More than a few people have professed their love of our fair city on this site before. Singing the praises of Milwaukee's unique offerings like bratwurst and bubblers, da Brewers and "der hey," Harleys and hops, the lake and ahhh, the cheese.
And now it is time for my love note to this town. My ballad to the place I always call home no matter where I'm actually living.
Living in New York, people I'd meet would listen to my strange colloquial lilt and ask me where I was from to which I would proudly answer, "Mwahkee." Then would follow the inevitable, "aren't there a lot of cows there?" question. I would promptly assure them that I was from the city, that Milwaukee was an urban paradise, bustling with culture, great food and amazing people.
Residing in Los Angeles, the question of the origin of my "accent" often arose. This was around the time California started their "Happy Cows" campaign. These conversations often turned into a great debate of whether Wisconsin still was the true dairy state. This is obviously not up for discussion and never was. We are the great dairy state and our cheese tastes better – no matter how happy those West Coast cows are.
Recently, calling Reno home has led to new rumblings for me. No one really asks me about my dialect because I don't really encounter enough people there to listen to me long enough to ask, but I am constantly going on about how living in a city like Milwaukee gives you all of the advantages of living in a big, major hub city – without any of the inconveniences like inflated rent or real traffic. (Yes, I know with the current construction one may beg to differ on this, but seriously, until you've sat on the 405 in 105-degree heat for two hours to go two miles or tried getting a cab in the rain in Times Square, you don't know what traffic is. Sorry, you don't.)
And by the way, there are a lot of cows in Reno. I see more cows in Reno just driving to the grocery store than I have ever encountered in Milwaukee proper.
In between all these places, I've been to every state – including Alaska – to Australia, Europe and beyond. I have the resources and flexibility to live anywhere in the world I want to, but I choose here: Miltown, Brew City, MKE.
So, what is this mysterious pull that brings so many of us wanderers back here? Yes, there's familial pull, but it's more than that. It's like this place is my family. Milwaukee gets so under your skin that it is ingrained in you. Or it gets on your skin judging from the amount of tattoo shops in this town. (Note to self: still need to get that "Made in Milwaukee" tattoo.)
Maybe as a chameleon myself, I identify with Milwaukee's continually changing climate, social scene and general growth. "Mileewaukay" kind of goes with the flow, being exactly what it needs to be to each of its inhabitants. Whether it's suburban paradise, urban hipster, East side hippie or conservative classic.
It sure ain't the weather bringin' me back.
I retract that statement. In summer and fall, it is the weather. The lake, Lake Drive, Prospect and Brady, Tosa ... ahhhh, the romance, beauty and paradise of our walking paths and streets.
Needless to say, when my plane landed safely on Mitchell International's all too familiar runway last Thursday, a sense of relief and coming home washed over me. Sometimes, to find your way, you have to get a little lost and take a bit of an adventure.
Baby, I'm hooooooooome!
Its why many are nostalgic for that old channel 12 jingle..."Makes no difference where I go...yer the best hometown I know...Hello Milwaukee..." Still sticks with me. Unfamiliar? Check this out...kitchy, catchy, genius to this day - from 1977: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4gNMOGrO0U
Updated photos w/ song:
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Lindsay Garric
Published April 14, 2014
The nighttime sky will reveal the "blood moon" or orange "pink full moon" on April 15. This visual phenomenon can be attributed to the beginning of a series of eclipses, each six months apart that will go on through 2015.
Published March 31, 2014
Shirtless? Sexy. Full frontal? I'll pass.
Published March 16, 2014
Nothing compares to the health and satisfaction of a home cooked meal prepared with wisely chosen ingredients. Does it take some planning? Yes. Does it take some organized shopping? Yes. Does it take a lot of time? Nope.
Published March 5, 2014
Brett Favre, I've got one word for your spring 2014 look - dayuuuuuuuuuum!
Published Feb. 13, 2014
The Raw I am about to discuss has nothing to do with Monday nights, carpaccio or Eddie Murphy. The "Raw" I am referring to indicates a dietary lifestyle choice gaining popularity from its reported health benefits, celebrity endorsers and more recent mainstream availability.
Published Feb. 6, 2014
I really hate heroin. I do. There is no other way to say it. And the vendetta is personal.
Published Jan. 23, 2014
Patrick Reilly has been "around" in Milwaukee. He was a staple on the East Side bar scene for years, helming and indulging in the wildest party spots on hot blocks like North Avenue. And then, he decided to get sober.
Published Jan. 16, 2014
Fashion fans and insiders, makeup artists and enthusiasts, design professionals and amateur aficionados, along with style experts and trend watchers alike, patiently await the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year so they can gear their purchases and creations to an on-trend color scheme.
Published Dec. 31, 2013
When it comes down to it, isn't the heart of all resolutions really about loving ourselves more?
Published Dec. 20, 2013
Life without chocolate? Not sure that is a scenario Lindsay Garric's willing to negotiate. And now, Mayana Chocolate is local to Spooner. Situated in the upper northwest corner of Wisconsin, almost five hours from Milwaukee, a road trip may be in order.