Winter Carnival at UW
The Winter Carnival at the University of Wisconsin is a celebration of things icy. There's ice golf and ice frisbee, ice broomball and ice fishing. It's held out on frozen Lake Mendota, out beyond the terrace of the Memorial Union.
It's a reflection of this piece of wisdom: if you want to be happy in the upper Midwest, don't reject winter, embrace it!
One of the Heights of Western Civilization
The beer sample tray at the Great Dane Brewpub!
I met VT member Sam Barnett and friends in Madison in early October 2005, and brave explorers that we are, we tackled the World Series of Beers at the Great Dane. What a beautiful range of beverages they feature! Everything from hoppy india ales to smooth germanic lagers to peppery dark stouts. Having your own beer festival in Madison is a good way to restore your faith in Western Civilization! (123 E. Doty, south of the Capitol dome)
Another VT meet-up occured here on a chilly Saturday in February 2007 with Tom of Madison. "Hurrah" for VT beer-drinkers!
- Beer Tasting
Where's the bubbler?
Something sort of unique to these parts is the word 'bubbler'. Most of the rest of the world calls this a 'water fountain'. We call them 'bubblers'.
If you want a drink of water, ask for a "bubbler". If you want to look at a huge pretty thing that sprays water everywhere ask for a "water fountain".
This might save you on a hot day.
Sights and sounds from south of the border travel north each summer to Milwaukee's Summerfest grounds for Mexican Fiesta. Highlights include mariachi bands, dancing to Tex-Mex rhythms, yelling and dancing contests, a jalapeño pepper-eating contest and low-rider car hopping. Henry W. Meier Festival Park
.Aug. 27-29, Milwaukee
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
In Madison, the locals often refer to certain streets by their nicknames, which you will not find on any map. Some examples:
"Willy Street" = Williamson Street
"Jenny Street" = Jenifer Street
"East Wash" / "West Wash" = East and West Washington Avenue
"Fish Hatch" = Fish Hatchery Road
In addition, the 12/18 freeway that cuts across town is known as the Beltline.
- Road Trip
More lingo - ramps, streets, and attractions
"ramp" = parking garage
Here's the story - A friend was at the airport and there was a sign "no parking in ramp." He parked in a parking space in a flat area of the parking garage and got a parking ticket. The officer pointed at the sign. My friend thought this meant no parking on the incline. Officer was not sympathetic.
"coliseum" or "dane county coliseum" = Alliant Energy Center, for those who haven't bought into the new corporate sponsorship naming scheme.
"interstate" without a number = I-90 (south of town) or I-90/94 (north of town). Unless it's "interstate to Milwaukee" in which case it's I-94. Technically I-39 and I-90 are the same road around Madison but I-39 is never referred to.
P.S. I call a drinking fountain a "bubbler" only to make fun of those who seriously call a drinking fountain a "bubbler".
Local words revisited
As far as the "bubbler" and "stop and go" word go, these are not necessarily what you will hear. I live here and do not use these terms. Madison is kind of a melting pot of lingo as we have a large university population that is constantly in flux.
What you might hear.
Bubbler, drinking fountain, water fountain
Stop light, signal, stop and go
Brangus is right on when it comes to the street names, which can be rather confusing, especially since the Madison street system is a maze of one ways to mystify the visitor.
As far as frozen custard and ice cream go, I am pretty sure that there is a difference between the two, although I could be mistaken.
P.S. Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream is the bomb. Try the Fat Elvis
Time Machines? What?
Let's imagine you are in a shop in Madison and wish to pay for your purchase with a credit card.
CLERK: I'm sorry, we don't accept Visa, but there is a time machine over there.
VISITOR: So I can transport myself to a distant future when you do take credit cards?
Here the clerk is referring not to a science-fiction device but rather an automatic teller machine, which Madisonians commonly refer to by the brand name Tyme.
In Madison, a drinking fountain is called a "bubbler."
Some people will refer to a traffic light as a "stop and go." This can be confusing when you are getting directions, because there is also a chain of convenience stores called Stop and Go.