leisure 06.3.14

Out of Town
Every Person in New York


MONROE, WISCONSIN


The Limburger can take down even the most stalwart cheesehead. The battle of beer versus wine plays out on a wall mural (this is Wisconsin, so siding with wine is not advised). And there are a lot of dollar bills on the ceiling of the tavern. How'd they get there?

Downtown Monroe, Wisconsin has been home to Baumgartner's Cheese Store and Tavern, 1023 16th Avenue [11th St.] 608.325.6157, since 1931. It's a link back to the old country for the Swiss community here, but you don't have to have the Alps in your blood to love Baumgartner's.

There are two parts to the place—a cheese store in front where you can stock up on Brick, Farmer, Brun-uusto (their take on the Scandinavian Juustalepia), and Cheddar aged five years. When you step into the tavern in the back, though, you're stepping back in time and into the heart of the place.

You'll have passed under the sign that says "Through this portal you can get the best cheese sandwiches in the world." And the sandwiches just might live up to their billing. Whether you go for the Brick and raw onion, Limburger and onion, Limburger and Braunschweiger (smoked liverwurst)—or one of the other less assertive choices—you will have done Wisconsin proud.

It's practically a state law that you don't wash the sandwiches (or the excellent chili) down with a Chardonnay. Instead, choose one of the beers on tap from Monroe's local brewery, in business since 1845, maker of Huber. (You can take a tour there on Fridays and Saturdays).

And how did those dollar bills get on the ceiling? That's a trick one of Baumgartner's staff will have to show you. Give them a dollar and a quarter to find out.



POSTOJNA, SLOVENIA


Twelve miles of underground caves is the reason to visit Postojna Cave, one of Slovenia's biggest attractions.

Not all of those twelve miles are open to the public. But when you go, you'll see, by walking and via cave train, plenty of gorgeous stalactites, natural sculptures, passages, galleries, and chambers.

One area, dubbed the Concert Hall, can hold up to 10,000 people for a performance—and the acoustics are superb. Hearing a symphony deep down in Postojna is a memorable occasion.

The caves were carved out by water over four million years ago. There are some indications that people visited in the 13th century; there is a written description of the caves from the 1600s, and the cave opened to the public in 1819. Electric lighting was installed in 1884.




LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA


When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that could be the 35th Annual Mooning Amtrak event that takes place railside in Orange County's Laguna Niguel.

Started in 1979, as many great things do, as a bar dare ('drinks for everyone who goes out and moons the next train'), the tradition has no organizers, no admission charge, no more free drink offers, nor, it must be said, any particular meaning. Still, it's a hoot.

It takes place this year on July 12th, all day, and into the night, when flashlights are pressed into service.

If mooning Amtrak trains sounds like your idea of a good time—and you know who you are—head to the O.C. for some r & r (rail & rumps) with fellow moonshiners.








Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.




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