Early in our travel week, we drove from Chicago up to Milwaukee to meet our friends Robin and JIm, once of Berkeley, now of Ripon, Wisconsin (the town that’s the birthplace of the Republican Party, I can never refrain from saying).
Our plan was to meet at a Oaxacan restaurant called Cempazuchi, on Brady Street north of downtown. The neighborhood turns out to be happening, as doddering tourist types such as your current guide might put it. By which he means: it’s lined with restaurants, coffeehouses, clubs ‘n’ bars, and a couple of tattoo shops.
Above is one of those last, the Saints and Sinners Tattoo Company. The green hipster fixie machine caught my eye. And the legend “Sullen Art Collective” on the front door got my attention, too. Given the overall look, I read that and thought “art that is sullen.”
I pointed out the door to Kate, who said, “In my craft or sullen art. …” It was a familiar line, but I didn’t place it. She did: the title of a Dylan Thomas poem.
Later, she tracked down the text, and read it aloud, twice: