Friday, August 21, 2009

In Love with La Crosse

A few days ago I decided to explore downtown La Crosse, a place I tend to frequently fairytale-ize to others. The truth is that it’s really just a grimy old city with a brewery and a big, dirty smattering of bars.  (Actually, I was told once that La Crosse has more bars per capita than any city in the U.S. How flattering.) But still there’s still something lovely about this place that warms my heart when I speak of it.

Here’s what I found on my La Crosse excursion. There are only three things, but still I think they’re fun.

I was on Pearl Street when I saw a man sitting at a very colorful table. A lemonade stand! It’s my lucky day! Turns out he was promoting Gay Pride Fest. Who knew La Crosse had a Gay Pride Fest! Needless to say, I bought a button.

(They would have the coolest button.) I’ll be there this weekend for a bit, but I’ll most likely bring my girlfriend since I still suffer from a slowly declining case of homophobia. And yes, that is my muscular chest beneath that guitar-inside-a-pine-tree shirt.  Hands off, ladies; this guy's been claimed. Any complaints you have can go directly to

As I walked down a street I can’t remember now, I found this old billboard that was obviously covered up for a long time and now was bare and awesome. The old advertisement is pretty hilarious.

I hope no one ever leases it. It makes me laugh.

Next to my favorite coffee house is an aged, musty bookstore that I explore whenever I get the chance. On the bestseller pile in front of the store, I found this book. 

La Cabaña = The Shack, in Spanish. I would highly recommend this book, by the way, in whatever language you speak.

The city of La Crosse holds an endless amount subtle gems like this. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy being among those scuzzy bars and historical buildings so much. There’s always something new and interesting to find down there. That something may smell like beer, but it’s still pretty cool.


  1. Yes, I agree there are a lot of 'subtle gems' to be found in this area! Sure, they may be disguised as a scuzzy bar or dive, but there are many diamonds-in-the-rough here. Sometimes you just have to seek them out.

    I really think the Pearl Street Bookstore deserves a better explanation than 'musty bookstore'! It's a huge mostly-used book store. It has old creaky oak floors, bookshelves that go from floor to ceiling, and ladders to reach the books on the highest shelves. HOURS of entertainment! You never know what kind of treasures you'll find there!

    And speaking of 'subtle gems' time I was browsing at the Pearl Street Bookstore, and I suddenly heard a bagpipe band! I looked out the large store front windows, and sure enough...a bagpipe band marching down Pearl Street! Complete with kilts! And at the rear of this little bagpipe parade was our family friend Jim Kielley playing drums! For the life of me, I can't remember the occasion for this parade...all I know was that this parade ended at a pub that serves the best taco salads ever (per Jim). Augusta or Alaina: if you're reading this, maybe you could ask your dad what the occasion for the parade was? Popcorn Day possibly???


  2. yes, that's a better description of the bookstore.

    i'll to some more looking around la crosse to see if i can find some more. :)

    maybe the parade was for kilt-fest. once a year, men dressed in kilts frolic down pearl street, flaunting their traditional scottish garb and desperately hungry for taco salad.

  3. I believe it was for St. Patricks Day. There was some weird shortest marathon or something going on. The band now has a website, if you want to see upcoming events or really old pictures.

  4. cool!

    hey augusta!! i had no idea you were reading this! you should push follow so i can see you up there!!

    hehe, it's great to hear from you!! hope all is well!

  5. I now have a mental picture of La Crosse forming in my head, maybe I will have to visit someday :)

    I must apologize to you Tess! I realize that my picture says I am Mom, it was the computers fault!! That's what I called myself when following Christie and Marina's blogs so anyways, SORRY!

    Now I am off to check out and I can finally sleep since Christie's flat tire has been fixed (thank-you Brian and Josh!) and she is on the road again! Whew!

  6. Yes, you should come with Christie sometime and visit! We can play board games...go to the Sweet Shop...share some wine...

    No, worries about the "Mom" title! I figured that's what happened. (It didn't freak me out like on Brian's other Blog when someone's title was "your damn mother"! THAT freaked me out a little, but then Christie explained to me. :-)

    Glad Christie finally made it home safely! Whew, what a night for her!

  7. I now blogged about it, hint, hint ;)