The Best Goat Salami in America

Underground Meats goes whole-hog with local hand-crafted charcuterie

Inside The Cure Box at Underground Meats.

I discovered Underground Meats much in the same way the name suggests: not screaming from a sign or on a loud TV commercial but by word of mouth and a chance encounter on the patio at Mickey’s. There was beer, really tasty brats, and then there, in the corner; some kind gentlemen offering salami samples, including something I had never seen or tried: Goat Salami.

It’s really not that mysterious. Underground Meats is part of the Underground Food Collective (UFC), which is a group that focuses on all kinds of different artisan food projects. UM focuses on dry-curing sausages and whole muscles as well as producing some fresh sausage. The operation is a nod to the days when local production of foods was more prevalent.  Continue reading

Let The Fire Burn!

Solstice Festival Marks the Beginning of Summer in Madison

The 10th Annual Solstice Festival was held on the lake side of Olbrich Park Saturday (June 23) and featured afternoon and evening of events culminating in a bonfire at sunset. The solstice is primarily an astronomical event but also has varied cultural significance for humans.  The word solstice is derived from two latin words rammed together to basically state “the Sun stands still”. Continue reading

Gallery: FruitFest 2012

Fruit Fest, Madison’s LGBTQI Summer Music Festival, was held on June 16, 2012 in the parking lot of the Plan B night club in the 900 block of Williamson Street. The Marquette Neighborhood and its surroundings boast a large number of  LGBTQA residents which just adds to the fun, eclectic, and diverse pedigree of the area.

This year’s music was headlined by Cazwell, but also featured folk musicians, punk bands, DJs and of course, drag queens. The festival has grown in the recent years it has been around and now includes a 5K run called the Fruit Loop, Star Fruit Idol Karaoke contest, and the 1st Annual Summer Camp Bingo AIDS fundraiser.


Orton Turtle Sculpture Leaving Fast

Courtesy: Caffeinated Politics

A metal turtle sculpture that has graced the Spaight Street entrance to Orton Park for the past few months may be leaving soon (June 21) unless the City of Madison purchases the piece of art. The artist was commissioned to make the sculpture through grants from two city entities and Orton was the first place artist Tim Sprenglemeyer had in mind for the work due to the natural beauty of the park.

Read more at the Caffeinated Politics Blog 


Dandelion Dash Gives Waterfront Fest A Fast Start

Little Dandelions get ready for the 2012 Dandelion Dash at the Marquette Waterfront Festival at Yahara Place Park, June 9, 2012

The annual Dandelion Dash, part of the Marquette Neighborhood Association’s Marquette Waterfront Festival was held at Yahara Place Park in Madison, WI on June 9, 2012. The 5K walk/run featured approximately 50 participants with the winning time clocked in under 17 minutes.

While the 5K Run for is for everyone, the “Dash” is just for the kids and is one of the more exciting events to watch. The Dash portion is now run in two heats as the participation by the little Dandelions has grown. Video cameras on phones were not available when the race began 17 years ago as a fundraiser for the Greater Williamson Area Business Association. I was remarking to a fellow spectator that now with mobile technology it’s much easier to describe and share how delightful the “Dash” is for both kids, parents, and spectators.

Continue reading

Waterfront Fest Opens ‘Big Four’ Festival Season

Courtesy: David Michael Miller

Summer in the meteorological sense may have started a month ago, but the summer festival season here on the near-east side of Madison is about to get underway. The Marquette Waterfront Festival at Yahara Place Park is this Saturday and Sunday (June 9-10), the first of four major festivals in the neighborhood that are the toast of the city.  Continue reading

Drunk Driver Causes Mayhem on Willy Street

A drunk driver fleeing Madison Police damaged two buildings and cars on Williamson Street early Wednesday morning.

A drunk driver fleeing police crashed into an apartment building, bakery, and at least two cars in the 1500 block of Williamson Street shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday (June 6). The driver, Christoper M. Brunetto, 29, of Fairfield, Connecticut was injured but no one else in the buildings were hurt.

Brunetto was involved in a hit-and-run minutes earlier near the Echo Bar on Bedford Street which led to the chase and crash 20 blocks later on Willy Street. Brunetto, according to a police news release will be charged with his fourth drunk driving offense. reports that Brunetto may be a hockey goalie; related equipment was found in his car.  Continue reading

Solidarity Sing-Along Fills Recall Enthusiasm Gap

Solidarity Sing-Along at the Capitol Square on Recall Day, June 5, 2012

The Solidarity Sing-Along started March 11, 2011 with a simple mission:  “…a strong commitment to effecting change through peaceful action and purely non-violent means.” It has been a moving, poetic response to the brusque, machiavellian  way in which Scott Walker and the Republicans have governed this state. Over a year later the enthusiasm in some ways has carried this revolt on its shoulders, and it was stronger than ever on Tuesday (June 5) at the Capitol.  Continue reading

I Guess The Recall Can Start…The Media is Here

Speaking truth to Ailes in front of the Fox News set on the Capitol Square in Madison on June 4. 2012.

It must be time for the Recall as the television news organizations have come to town, not long after the DNC finally did. Glad they both finally noticed. I was strolling around the square today after being singing a few stanzas with the Solidarity Sing-A-Long in their usual spot at the foot of the Capitol’s State Street steps.  Continue reading

Willy Street Park says ‘Thank You!’

The Willy Street Park has been a green refuge just off the street for over 30 years.

Over 30 years ago the owner of a small parcel of land on the corner of Williamson and Brearly Streets started building a Taco Johns restaurant.  Horrified by the prospect of a nondescript fast food establishment clashing with the fabric of the neighborhood the local community organized against it and the building was never completed. In its place grew the Willy Street Park, a welcome patch of green space along Williamson that has been operated by an all-volunteer corporation; tending to the gardens, flower beds, and trees while making constant improvements.  Continue reading