Moving to Milwaukee was like breaking out of prison.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and why did you choose to live here?
I’ve been living in Milwaukee for about 6 years now. I went to school in Oshkosh which is rather small and secluded and then lived in Pewaukee prior to moving to Milwaukee. Pewaukee is a beautiful place but it’s rather mundane and repetitive, all the days seemed to blend together with no diversity or spontaneity. Moving to Milwaukee was almost like breaking out of Shawshank; I spent many years locked up and had to travel through a tunnel of shit but it led me to a beautiful place.
What about Milwaukee makes it a place you want to work and play?
Milwaukee just has this enthusiasm about it. Not many cities can sell 25,000 seats to a Major League Baseball game on a Tuesday night. Not many cities pack local music venues any night of the week. Not many cities have festivals that cater to each specific ethnicity or culture that inhabits its city. You can see that enthusiasm as you walk around Milwaukee, from the people wearing Milwaukee Home shirts or Wiskullsin shirts, or the 5,000 plus showing up for a Newaukee/Art Milwaukee event. It’s gotten to the point that you need to make excuses to stay in for the night.
What is your favorite Milwaukee event?
My favorite thing to do in Milwaukee is going to see a show at The Pabst or The Riverside, hands down. In fact, for a while it was the only thing I would do except sit in a bar. But thanks to social organizations like Newaukee I’ve been given the chance to broaden my horizon or hear about events I didn’t know about and start to appreciate Milwaukee for all that it is and all that it has. From the Lunar Music Series on top of the MAC to finding out Milwaukee has an island. I knew Milwaukee had museums but it wasn’t until Newaukee had an event at the Milwaukee Public Museum that I actually went. I knew about the Rep but it wasn’t until a recommendation from a fellow Newaukeean that I went and saw a theater performance. It’s become hard to narrow it down to just one thing to do in this city.
What is one thing about Milwaukee you’d like to change?
Obviously the transportation issue is a hot topic in Milwaukee right now, but having been fortunate enough to have traveled all over the place I do think a major issue is the lack of public transportation in Milwaukee. Getting around in Milwaukee is a pain in the ass. And all these people that oppose it need to add up the cost of their parking ticket or think about the frustration of not finding a spot or the long waits for cabs. Getting around every other city is easy because of public transportation. I don’t like that if I’m having a drink in the Third Ward and a buddy is on Brady Street that I most likely won’t see him. I think with a little tweaking the streetcar could be a way of bringing the city together, adding jobs, boosting businesses and making this city seem less segregated.
What do you do?
I’m currently in a transition period in my life from recently owning a small business in Milwaukee. I’ve recently decided to go back to school in hopes of getting into a field that can help others and to start a new chapter in my life but in the meantime, you can find me behind the wood at Upper 90. Resume per request.
Recent NEWaukeeans of the Week
People: Bryan Babler
Building(s): 322 W. State Street
Neighborhood(s): Downtown, Kilbourn Town, Westown