Wausau and Wonderland
Spring is coming; this weekend, celebrate the season in Wausau, Wisconsin. A bit of geographical trivia: Just west of Wausau, the exact center of the Northwest Hemisphere—which is the spot that’s halfway between the equator and the North Pole and the International Date Line and the Greenwich Meridian—is in Marathon County at the Reitbrock Geographical Marker. (There are only three places in the world that can make a similar claim: Two are underwater and one is in China.) If you want to be in literally the middle of absolutely everything, visit the marker at 5651 Meridian Road.
Looking at the fanciful work of the digital photographer Maggie Taylor is akin to falling down the rabbit hole with Alice. In 2008, Modernbook Editions published a new version of Lewis Carroll’s trippy classic, illustrated with 45 of Taylor’s lavish and surreal images; all are on display at Wausau’s Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, now through June 19th, 2011. Taylor rendered Alice’s strange adventures by manipulating pictures of china figurines and 19th-century daguerreotypes and tintypes, sometimes layering as many as 60 images into each illustration. Also at the museum: teapots worthy of a Mad Hatter’s party. “Mad about Teapots: From the Racine Art Museum” features two dozen whimsically designed ceramic teapots on loan from the Racine Art Museum’s Donna Moog Teapot Collection. A bellhop, giraffe, Pileated Woodpecker, and persimmon are among the designs of spouted vessels that Moog has said represented “the consummate test of a potter’s skill.”
GO Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 700 N. 12th St.; 715-845-7010, lywam.org.
Where to stay: The Jefferson Street Inn (201 Jefferson St.; 866-855-6500, jeffersonstreetinn.com) offers in-room luxury and massage services at the day spa next door; rates range from $99 to $299. The Rosenberry Inn Bed and Breakfast (511 Franklin St.; 800-336-3799, rosenberryinn.com) is in the Warren Historic District, within walking distance of the Woodson Art Museum; rates range from $90 to $150.
Where to eat: Jolene Lucci, the chef and owner of Back When Cafe (606 Third St.; 715-848-5668, backwhencafe.com), has been devoted to the slow-food movement for decades and offers a regularly changing menu of seasonal delicacies made from fresh ingredients, locally grown. The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. (2305 Sherman St.; 715-845-3000, greatdanepub.com) serves stouts, ales, and lagers as well as many vegetarian and gluten-free food items.