Sunday, January 25, 2015
My city and I are really fiercely fond.
If I'm going to be honest, this is a relatively recent feeling. When I was growing up, I spent most of my time in parts of Milwaukee that I rarely visit now. And I always had a sort of nagging impression that my home town was something to be ashamed of--never in so many words of course, but my school friends didn't seem proud to live where we did, and neither did I. And then it came time to apply for colleges, and people did their best to make a grand exodus and get out of here. I did not, although more by financial constraints than by choice. So I went to college without leaving home, and that may have been the best gift of a lesson that Marquette has given me: Milwaukee is cool.
All of a sudden I was spending my time in places where people sought new ideas and made art and ate good food. I was seeing my city through the eyes of people who came here by choice, and finding a whole new world I'd never known existed before. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do, and it's very possible that saying the name of an ultra-hip restaurant or bar will still draw a blank look from me, but I'm eager to learn.
There are several words to describe what I love most about Milwaukee--it's genuine, sincere, a little rough around the edges. Milwaukee tries really hard. It's not always a paragon of progressiveness or open-mindedness, but there are so many people who live here that are trying to make it better that they outweigh the negativity. Milwaukee knows that it has a lot of work to do, and the feeling of camaraderie and potential that comes along with the responsibility is part of what makes it great. It's a city on the cusp of spilling over with startup businesses, community organizations, arts programs, all designed to improve the quality of life for those that call Milwaukee home. I'm so excited to be a part of this Milwaukee Movement and to make my own contributions to my city's growth.
So often, I'm taken by surprise by all the small, lovely things I pass on my daily routine. These images were brief snippets of my Saturday that was filled mostly with work and errands. But I was happy to do them as I looked around me with the knowledge that I live in such a beautiful place.
I love to travel, to go out and see other parts of the world. But I really love coming home, too.