NEWaukeean of the Week

Paul Oemig

"Milwaukee is culturally right on par with many other cities much larger than it"

By - Jun 1st, 2015 10:58 am
Paul Oemig. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

Paul Oemig. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

What is your job and its responsibilities?

My chief job is a photography practice I have creating visual solutions, primarily for commercial clients and crafting those images from a vulnerable, minimalist point of view. Much of the photography work I do is around the subject of food, something I’m very passionate about too.

I am also responsible for hosting and leading the organizing behind CreativeMornings/Milwaukee, a monthly breakfast-lecture series for the creative community, along with a wonderful team of people. In Milwaukee, there exists various silos among different creative circles and disciplines, so I believe creating an accessible, ongoing space for the creative scene at-large to gather, connect, and share is vital — especially one that is linked with other cities. It’s so easy to get stuck in our day-to-day and forget we’re surrounded by teachers, and perhaps new teammates.

What strikes you as the most unique thing about Milwaukee?

It’s been commented often on before, but the “small town feel in a big city” is always something that strikes me. Much like a small town, people are generally very easy to talk to and no location is more than a 15 minute drive but each neighborhood has it’s own distinctive identity and feel, much like the boroughs of a large city.

Favorite secret/hidden gem in Milwaukee?

The long walk along the pier not far from McKinley Marina is a bit of gem for me, especially with a thermos of tea and a few friends to share it with. It’s a great place to get lost looking at the lake and reflect; you feel removed from Milwaukee for a moment. The view of the city reflecting there at night is especially compelling too.

What do you think of Milwaukee as a place to socialize and play?

There is an increasing abundance of great places to play and socialize, and while it may take some digging at times, Milwaukee is culturally right on par with many other cities much larger than it, especially in terms of the fantastic food and concert scene. Some friends of mine from Chicago have even started traveling up regularly to try Milwaukee restaurants and some concerts because of how impressive things are. Having so many parks, trails, and the lakefront is also refreshing.

What do you think of Milwaukee as a place to work and do business?

The level of energy and enthusiasm right now in the city’s professional community is really exciting. Alongside that, the pace of active development happening across sectors is also invigorating. More and more people are looking for gaps that need filling and taking action; I also believe the lower cost of living compared with other cities, like New York or nearby Chicago for example, allows business professionals greater opportunity to take those risks. In short when it comes to work and business, Milwaukee is a blank canvas.

Where do you see Milwaukee in five years?

A beautifully painted canvas. One that people will travel from far abroad to see and experience.

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