I was startled when doing some blog surfing the other day. There are an astounding number of listings for “Five Things I Hate About Milwaukee.” Milwaukee being the big city just to our east (and my place of birth), I just can’t let that go unchallenged. I recognize that there are lots of similar blogs about every major city (you should see what people say about Chicago!), but here, in no particular order, are the things I love about Milwaukee:
- Fantastic restaurants … I defy you to find another city of Milwaukee’s size that is so jam-packed with marvelous cuisine and astounding diversity. Go ahead. I dare you!
- Wonderful people … Everybody should be as nice as Milwaukeeans. I’ve never been “taken for a ride” by a cab driver who thought I might be an out of towner, and where else can you find more than 52,000 people who would come out to watch baseball games featuring teams from two other cities?
- Parks … Oh man, have we got beautiful parks. Many have immaculate public golf courses, including one that is even good enough to host an annual PGA tour event. When’s the last time you were able to say that you played golf on the same course that hosted Tiger Woods’ first round as a professional? You can do that any time if you live in or around Milwaukee.
- Culture … up the wazoo! The theatre district is home to some of America’s finest venues for plays, concerts, art shows, etc. The Milwaukee Symphony is a gem … just ask Doc Severinsen!
- Summerfest … The “Big Gig” is going strong after 40 years and is, without a doubt, the world’s largest music festival.
- More festivals … Ethnic festivals on the beautiful Lake Michigan lakefront every weekend during the summer ensure that our families have something interesting and fun to do that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a TV. Personally, my favorite is Fiesta Mexicana … or Irish Fest … or Festa Italiana … or Indian Summer … or Polish Fest … well, you get the idea!
- Big time sports … From MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and everything in between, Milwaukeeans are blessed with outstanding professional and college sports (We ARE … Marquette!) all-year round. Don’t forget, we also have strong ties to the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Badgers, and the UW-Milwaukee Panthers.
- Fantastic restaurants … Oops, covered that already. But they’re worth mentioning again!
- Famous people … Besides our professional athletes there are many home-grown actors, singers and major mensa types around here. Even Jesus Christ comes from Milwaukee (well, at least Jim Caviezel, the actor who portrayed Him in “The Passion of the Christ” does … same with Sam Page of “Shark,” Daniel Travanti of “Hill Street Blues” fame, Al Jarreau, Frank Lloyd Wright, Orson Welles, Liberace, the BoDeans, and OPRAH!). We used to be able to stare in awe as Halle Berry walked down the street, but her former husband, Eric Benet, screwed that up for us!
- History … Everything from the Civil War underground railroad to Gen. Billy Mitchell and the ill-fated Edmund Fitzgerald have ties to our town.
- My wife … she was born here, too!
- BEER!!! (And you thought I forgot!)
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The comments expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Johnson Direct, LLC.