We spent a day in Madison, WI by suggestion of Rory’s uncle Chris who had lived there for a few years back in the day. It was definitely a city with a very carefree and eclectic energy. It seems to be built up around the University of Wisconsin so there were a lot of college kids and funky cafes and shops along the main strip. It reminded me of the feeling of Burlington, VT except a lot more college oriented. It was right on the Lake Mendota with a beautiful view and a fresh feeling in the air. Most noticeably was all the beautiful architecture around the city. Most were built in the mid to late 1880’s and there were so many different styles: Romanesque Revival, Greek Revival & Italianate style to name a few. The details were intricate and elegant and from far away the beauty of the buildings drew you in for that closer look. There was even a Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built house at the highest point in University Heights. Walking around and admiring the architecture gave you a greater sense of the city’s history and of the people who walked these streets hundreds of years ago.
Also, the city seems to be implementing sustainable practices – recycling, solar energy programs, and have even set up the MPowering Madison Renewable Energy goal in which they hope the community will reduce green house gas emissions by 100,000 tons by 2011 and for the City of Madison to reduce green house gas emissions by 25% or 15,000 tons of CO2 by 2011. Friendly smiles and helpful souls walked the streets in Madison. We stopped in a few record and book shops and hunkered down for about an hour or so in a fair trade coffee shop to do a little blogging. We left that afternoon feeling happy to have experienced such a place. We definitely felt a lot of good energy coming out of this newly discovered city and appreciated it that much more.