The Milwaukee Debate League trains students for rigorous academic debate to help them strengthen their mental faculties and improve their self-esteem. Completing research in preparation for debates informs them about the world, and engaging in debates with their peers builds communication skills that translate to future careers. The centerpiece of the program, seven citywide debate tournaments, pits students against other teams to debate a specific policy topic and share their ideas about social issues. The Milwaukee Debate League also hosts other opportunities for students to learn research and articulation skills, including a summer institute, a leadership council, and the MDL Scholars Program, which engages high-school students in high-level research at Marquette University. Following a period of declining participation, the Milwaukee Debate League relaunched in 2011 and now works with 14 high schools in the area.
The CFI-certified flight instructors at Racine Sport Flyers conduct all their lessons in the cockpit of a 2010 Flight Design CTLS, a carbon-fiber light sport aircraft. Using its Dynon glass avionics panel, Garmin GPS, XM satellite radio, and dynamic map and terrain displays, they guide fly-along students through the steps necessary to become certified sport pilots and private pilots. Instructors also train students to FAA standards through ground school—which covers topics such as aerodynamics, aircraft systems, and navigation—and instill the basics through sessions in a multimonitor flight simulator.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Amid Centercourt’s 14,000-square-foot hardwood haven, people entertain their eyeballs with 20 flat-screen TVs, their ears with frequent live music, and their taste buds with a hearty spread of pub grub and brews. Centercourt fields a full team of wines and spirits, in addition to the 16 on-tap offerings and 30+ bottled beers awaiting their release. Sports enthusiasts can create an edible lineup with build-your-own sandwiches or Hobo fries (spud spears smothered in cheese and beef gravy; $4.95)—an appetizer that can be customized with bacon, chicken, or steak (up to $3.95 each). For a meal as light as a globetrotting eccentric’s hot air balloon, there are salads ($3.95–$9.95) and a roasted-vegetable wrap ($8.95).
Serving Milwaukee for more than 10 years, Gastrau's Golf Center provides peerless golf education and a year-round destination for those wishing to add distance to their drives or finesse their chip shots. Winter-bitten golfers can grab two large buckets and fling hapless dimpled spheres into the unknown from the covered and heated comfort of Gastrau's outdoor practice facility. The driving area's 16 bays shelter you from the elements so you can practice your swing amid the lull of winter or hide from the vengeful and blister-inducing sun god in the spring. PGA professional Dan Hoffman leads 30-minute lessons, bringing 13 years of experience to his instruction of budding birdie-catchers. The 30-minute lessons will cover topics such as weight transfer, torso rotation, swing plane, and cabinet refinishing. Every lesson is tailored to the individual needs and eye color of each student.
Every night the notes of renowned jazz, blues, and R&B performers echo through the glimmering walls of 88 Keys Piano Martini Lounge, where martinis and small plates meet beneath mood-setting blue lights in West Allis’s downtown stretch. The relaxed spot was conceived by co-owners Greg Barczak and Suzy Ball who, as West Allis Now reporter Mark Schaaf notes, “hope the city is turning a corner and want to make something more of the downtown” by attracting a younger crowd and lending the area an intimate, upscale nightlife option.
Inside the low-lit lounge, glass windows open and close to bathe guests and performers in a cooling breeze. Artwork and Wisconsin gangster memorabilia, including John Dillinger photographs and high-school report cards, beam down upon pots of fondue and gourmet pizzas. Behind the glowing bar, master mixologists blend a lengthy list of 28 specialty martinis and fill glasses with wine and beer.