Each month, a glossy new issue of Madison Magazine arrives in the mailboxes of readers, sharing local stories and events such as a profile of a local band instructor or an upcoming ballet folkl?rico performance. For nearly 35 years, the award-winning publication has filled pages with articles and photographs showcasing the Madison area?s restaurants, businesses, and cultural life. The arts and entertainment section highlights events such as the Madison World Music Festival, and food and dining articles explore new barbecue spots and share recipes that highlight local and seasonal ingredients. In addition to regularly reserving space for subjects such as health and habitat, the magazine turns out once-a-year creations, such as an annual food lover's issue and a Best of Madison Readers? Poll that directs readers toward comfortable coffeehouses and talented theater companies.
Each day presents a new challenge to Mathew Levin. He could be installing new brake pads, diagnosing a mysterious engine rattle, or fixing faulty wiring. The combination of mechanical prowess and electronic expertise is what drew Mathew to auto repair in the first place?that and a lifelong love of cars.
Growing up in a small town taught Mathew the value of a spotless reputation, and he couldn't stand to see garages treat customers dishonestly or watch dealership salesmen delivery faulty advice. After becoming an ASE-certified Master mechanic, Mathew founded Integrity Automotive Service on the principle of honesty. Mathew supervises his team of two mechanics, though he takes it upon himself to deal with every customer directly. He'll frequently offer to test drive vehicles for free to make an accurate diagnosis and make sure he explains exactly why each repair is needed before completing it. Mathew's thoughtful, honest approach to car repair has ensured him a steady stream of repeat customers and cars that wag their exhaust pipes when they see him.
Spread out across 16 acres, the award-winning outdoor displays at Olbrich Botanical Gardens showcase both Midwest-hardy plants and floras native to the world's tropical forests. Water lilies and dragonflies occupy the Perennial Garden's 200-foot stream, whereas a boardwalk snakes through the Rain Garden's flood-tolerant plants. Elsewhere, guests can marvel at the pavilion in the Thai Garden, which nine Thai artisans reassembled after it traveled to Olbrich by sea and rail for seven weeks.
Inside the Bolz Conservatory's 50-foot-high glass pyramid, temperatures kept at between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit maintain a steamy atmosphere for more than 640 tropical plants, a waterfall, and free-flying birds. Along with its plentitude of plants, Olbrich Botanical Gardens hosts a range of classes and events, which include concerts, botanical-themed art exhibits, and the annual Blooming Butterflies exhibit.
A family gathers in front of a fire to watch flames dance inside a teepee of logs. After several moments, a uniformed staffer walks over to ask whether they have any questions, and, startled, they stop telling ghost stories or reminiscing about bygone summer bonfires to think about whether they'd like that very model in their own home. Fireside Hearth & Home's cozy design room has that effect. Several staged but comfortable living rooms, kitchens, and patios revolve around fireplaces and stoves, letting customers really imagine life around the hearth. The inventory of gas, wood, and electric fireplaces, as well as stoves and inserts come out of the workshops of top brands such as Heat & Glo, Heatilator, Quadra-Fire, and Outdoor Lifestyles. The knowledgeable staffers can explain the variances of styles and features, as well as install new fireplaces and convert wood fireplaces to gas ones.
A 7,100-square-foot sculpture garden is only the tip of the iceberg at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. In fact, the garden is also the tip of the museum—it’s on the facility’s roof. Designed by Cesar Pelli, the sprawling building encompasses an eclectic array of modern works, including a 5,000-item permanent collection that incorporates pieces ranging from Frida Kahlo’s works to John Coplans’ black-and-white self portrait, which shows only his feet.
A rotating lineup of temporary exhibits complements the permanent core, and a regular event schedule features films, talks, and performance by masters of their craft. Visitors can browse art books and craft jewelry in the museum store, where all purchases support artists and designers more simply than training to become a muse.
Dedicated to celebrating family rituals, traditions, and customs in life, White Jasmine dedicates itself to the most popular ritual of all: food. Beyond offering a variety of spices, teas, and flavored gouda cheese in the store, the staff conducts cooking classes in which they impart skills in everything from handling traditional Pakistani woks to converting staples such as rice and bigger rice—also known as potatoes—into gourmet meals. The store's president, Huma Siddiqui, also produces a half-hour cooking show, Everyday Cooking, seen on Madison TVW every Sunday morning.