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West & Midwest
It's not just for beer and baseball anymore

From the April 22, 2002 Issue of New York

My hometown will probably never shake its beer-bellied Laverne & Shirley rep, but I take some solace in the Milwaukee Art Museum's breathtaking new Santiago Calatrava addition -- a new destination for international art and architecture aficionados. The soaring Quadracci Pavilion is the Rust Belt's answer to Sydney's Opera House, and it rounds out an institution that was already one of America's finest midsize museums. You can make an old-school arts weekend of it, taking in a concert by the city's first-rate orchestra or acclaimed opera before sampling Sanford's -- among the best restaurants in the Midwest. Stay at Hotel Metro, an all-suite hotel close to Lake Park -- a gorgeous spread of rolling greens created by our own dear Central Park designer, Frederick Law Olmstead.

Midwest Express flies nonstop from La Guardia (800-452-2022); Hotel Metro (doubles from $189; 414-272-1937 or; Milwaukee Symphony (; Florentine Opera (


Photograph: Alan Karchmer/Esto