Best Of Lake Effect

The Lake Effect team produces nearly a thousand interviews over the course of a year. Sports, food, film, travel, books, music and more — Lake Effect has carefully curated its best conversations in one place.

Ways to Connect

SeanPavonePhoto / Fotolia

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Dec. 7, 2018.

For nearly 20 years, one of the go-to contemporary sources on Milwaukee history has been John Gurda’s book The Making of Milwaukee. The book was first published in 1999 and tells immaculately researched stories — from the area’s earliest settlement through the cultural, political and business landscape here at the turn of the century.

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Bonnie North

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Oct. 16, 2018.

Lake Effect has recently been airing interviews with journalists and politicians that Bonnie North recorded in Brussels and Berlin as a part of a journalist exchange program sponsored by the RIAS Berlin Commission.

Rick Steves / facebook.com

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on March 6, 2018.

When we say the word “vacation,” most Americans probably picture a white sand beach in Florida or perhaps an amusement park adventure with your family. However, guidebook author and PBS TV host Rick Steves urges you to use travel as an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone.

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Sept. 27, 2018.

The website, Atlas Obscura, takes visitors to exotic and unusual sites around the world. It connects travelers with other would-be travelers, and features unique tourist destinations in all corners of the globe (15,000 attractions, at last count). 

Image Courtesy of University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on April 24, 2018.

Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark crossed the North American continent to "discover" the Pacific Ocean, Scottish fur trader and explorer Alexander Mackenzie did it in what is now northern Canada.

Grove Atlantic

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Oct. 23, 2018.

Life in a small Great Lakes city can be challenging. The weather is often rough, the economy depressed and the prospects few. Despite those challenges, these places can still be desirable for some.

While the title character of Minnesota writer Leif Enger’s new novel, Virgil Wander, is the protagonist, the town Enger imagines, Greenstone, Minn., is every bit as important a character.

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Aug. 3, 2018.

Sarah Kendzior is the kind of journalist people love to hate. She is relentless in her pursuit of the truth, she does not mince words, and she is unafraid of powerful people. She is not in this business to make friends and she’s had the death threats to prove it.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on April 25, 2018.

While Milwaukee is often cited as the most segregated metropolitan area in the U.S., it’s hardly unusual. In most American cities, people of different races live in different neighborhoods and there’s a general pattern: neighborhoods near the center of a city are home to African-Americans and people of color, while the surrounding suburbs are majority white. But why?

Bonnie North

Editor's note: This piece was originally published April 6, 2018.

Wael Farouk is a formidable pianist. He's deeply expressive and his technique is virtuosic.

On April 6, at Carthage College in Kenosha, Dr. Farouk will perform an especially Herculean feat: All five Beethoven piano concertos.

Bonnie North

 Editor's note: This piece was originally published May 23, 2018.

The members of the Milwaukee band Various Small Fires are of different generations and different backgrounds. But they’re united in a remarkable ability to channel a sound that would have been right at home 40 years go. Even their original material has a soulful flavor of 1970s, brass-infused pop.

B-free-milwaukee-music
Rob Randolph

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Aug. 13, 2018.

Britney Freeman-Farr and Quinten Farr first met as teenagers at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, playing together in the jazz lab. A marriage, vocal cord surgery and a few albums later, the two are still together.

Britney, known by her stage name B~Free, boasts a soulful sound and a creative vision. The musical couple continues to push each other to achieve their goals while maintaining balance between support and criticism.

Rick Ebbers

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on May 2, 2018.  

A lot has happened to the members of Buffalo Gospel over the past five years. The alt-country group released their first album, We Can Be Horses, in 2013 to critical acclaim.

But as lead singer Ryan Necci explains, losses — both personal and professional — delayed the release of their latest album.

Courtesy of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Jan. 12, 2018.

As winter descends on Wisconsin and the cold sets in, our fair-weather - and fair-feathered - friends often take an extended vacation down south. But as many of Wisconsin’s birds leave for warmer weather, another group of birds begin to make their home in frost-laden forests and prairies around the state.

Image courtesy of Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek / danielmasonbooks.com

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Nov. 12, 2018.

Veterans Day is still celebrated in other parts of the world as Armistice Day, which originally marked the cessation of the first world war. Most of what we read and see about that war are from battles on farm fields in places like France and Belgium. But the war actually started well to the east, and much of the fighting was fought in mountainous terrain in Austro-Hungary, Russia, and Poland.

Vincent Brassinne / Flickr

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Feb. 20, 2018.

What is hygge?

According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, the main ingredients of hygge are: relaxation, togetherness, equality, savoring simple pleasures, and the right lighting.

"The shorthand of explaining hygge [pronounced 'hue-guh'] is the art of creating a nice atmosphere," he adds.

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