Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wow - Milwaukee One of America's Five Most Underrated Cities

It's an okay photo in the article but I think they might have done better! It might have shown a view of the Calatrava/War Memorial Center and our gorgeous lake front, for instance.

Milwaukee has many positives to attract people, including a still low crime rate (relative to other cities both smaller and larger), one of the best still-intact although sadly underfunded public park systems in the United States, Lake Michigan and its still pristine waters, and unique still intact ethnic neighborhoods.  We also have a first class state-funded university system (University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and dozens of local campuses around the state), as well as many notable private universities, including the Jesuit-run Marquette University, Cardinal Stritch College, the innovative Alverno College, as well as Milwaukee Area Technical College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.  We are also the City of Festivals!  Milwaukee hosts the largest music festival in the world - Summerfest, at the Maier Festival Grounds along Lake Michigan's shore, just south of "downtown" Milwaukee.  Summerfest was the baby of our last great mayor, Henry W. Maier.  He envisioned a city of  "flags, fountains and festivals."  Some buildings downtown continue to fly their flags today, but most of the fountains were closed down due to funding cuts over the years.  However, the festivals idea took root and grew, grew, and grew!  Today, in addition to the "Big Gig" (Summerfest), we have a whole summer and autumn full of ethnic festivals on the lake front, each with its own unique attractions.  2011 Festival Calendar - Milwaukee

As you know, though, I find the climate increasingly wearisome as I get older.  Global climate change has definitely increased our days of uncomfortable humidity (high dew points) and high temperatures in the summer, the severity of alternating droughts and deluges, more tornados and severe weather, and more extremes in winter weather.  But when it's below 60 dew point in the summer, it's beautiful!  And I don't recall a 60 below zero windchill since the mid 90's.  Thank Goddess!

America's Five Most Underrated Cities
By Jason Notte , The Street
July 12, 2011

Population in 2000: 596,974
Population in 2010: 594,833
Decline: 0.4%

Despite a smaller population, the typical denizen is younger.
Photo: Beige Alert

Milwaukee's been losing population since the 1960s, but the release valve's shutting quickly as the losses trickle to less than a percent -- the best population news Milwaukee's received since the city grew 16.3% during the 1950s -- and the city gets younger.

You don't have to set foot in the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, place a complicated order at Alterra Coffee, buy rounds of organic and gluten-free beer at Lakefront Brewery or see the city's starring role in Bridesmaids to realize that Milwaukee's changed quite a bit in the past decade. Those may, however, be some of the best indications of the city's youth movement that dropped the median age from 30.6 in 2000 to 30.3 last year, well below the nation's average age of 36.8.

As a result, the town once known for dying breweries and Happy Days reruns is ending up in some fairly enviable places, including the Daily Beast's list of the Best 50 Cities For Love and No. 9 on Forbes' list of Best Cities for Singles. A city rivaled only by Las Vegas for most bars, clubs and restaurants per capita, Milwaukee's GDP has grown enough to keep the taps flowing with a boost from $78.9 billion in 2006 to roughly $83 billion today behind growing companies such as Manpower and a reduced dependency on traditional employers such as MolsonCoors' Miller.

Though the Brewers aren't blowing the retractable roof off Miller Park and the Bucks have teams fearing the deer a little less in recent seasons, a Super Bowl win by a certain team in the suburbs [Green Bay is NOT a suburb of Milwaukee!] is enough to give local fans something to cheer about. With all the museums, galleries, music venues and watering holes to visit, however, it's tough to fit the local teams into the schedule.

Now here are some gorgeous photos of Milwaukee:

Milwaukee Photos
This photo of Milwaukee is courtesy of TripAdvisor - this is part of Juneau Park lagoon.
Juneau Park slopes from the high bluff area along Prospect Avenue down to the lake shore
and, as you can see, offers views of densely wooded slopes and views of downtown.

This is a lovely photo looking north from part of the Third Ward, along the Milwaukee River, toward downtown.
The Third Ward, formerly a manufacturing/commercial district, has many buildings converted over the years
into "industrial-type" condos within walking distance of downtown, our fabulous lakefront, and of course, access
to the Milwaukee River.  Photo credit.

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