"I would create a subway system or an incredibly intricate network of streetcars from city limit to city limit."
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
I work at VISIT Milwaukee, and what makes my role so awesome is that I get to spend my work days taking photos, making illustrations, talking about and designing for the beautiful city we call home: Milwaukee.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and what brought you here?
My mother’s family has lived in Milwaukee for generations. I lived in the area briefly for my Junior and Senior years of high school, and moved back after college and living abroad in 2014. It was never part of my plan to stay in Milwaukee, but somehow I ended up signing a lease, getting a job and absolutely loving it.
What do you love most about Milwaukee?
I don’t think there is just one thing I love most. Milwaukee has everything from incredible local music, arts, food, traditions to beautiful architecture, rivers, parks and our amazing lakefront. What I love most about Milwaukee then, I guess, is that there is so much of it to love. With all its blemishes and flaws, there is still no other place I would rather call home.
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
I would love to see more spaces for the youth. Somewhere between needing adult supervision and being allowed to drink, there is a whole demographic of young people that want to go out and explore culture, cuisine and more, but I find that they have very few spaces that are dedicated to them specifically. For example, we have close to no all-ages venues, making it particularly hard for the youth to engage with the vibrant local music community that Milwaukee has.
What is one word that you would use to describe Milwaukee?
Where do you see Milwaukee in five years?
I see a city that grew together, despite all odds stacking against it. I see a city bursting with life, where neighborhoods from north to south, west to east are blossoming. I would love to see Milwaukee lead the country in finding solutions for clean, healthy water, for example, and solving issues of inequality and incarceration. In five years, I also see us having much better citywide connectivity in regards to transportation.
This is such a tough question! Honestly, I would create a subway system or an incredibly intricate network of streetcars from city limit to city limit. However, it would have to be free, or offer year passes for a ridiculously cheap price.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Bee’s Cuisine or Ethiopian Cottage. I am a vegetarian and there is so much good food to discover in Milwaukee. Bee’s is some of the most delicious Thai food I have had in the U.S. and Ethiopian cottage makes real tasty Injera.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
My biggest hope for Milwaukee is that we can overcome our inequalities and forge stronger relationships with others in the county and the surrounding areas. For our city to succeed, we need to come together, connect and invest across the board – we are uniquely positioned on the coast of 21% of the world’s freshwater and are located in a state with agricultural and natural resources that other places envy. Yet we have whole areas of our city that do not have clean drinking water in their homes, and others remain food deserts. I know how hard so many people are working to make our city’s future brighter and better, so I will always have big hopes for whats to come.
What is your favorite Milwaukee tradition?
I think my favorite Milwaukee tradition is beer gardens. I love the communal tables, the steins, and the fresh air. As a half-German who spent the majority of her life in Austria, it is also great to have a place where I can wear my dirndl and not feel out of place!
What does your ideal Milwaukee weekend look like?
My ideal Milwaukee weekend would be a Friday night dancing at Mad Planet. Saturday would start with morning brunch at Palomino, Hotch or wherever there is no wait and I can get a Bloody Mary. Saturday afternoon would be spent by the lake with a quick stop at Northpoint for food, leading into going to see some local bands that night at Cactus, Company or Quarter’s with mandatory pre-show drinks at Foundation. Sunday means more brunch but either at the National or the Riverwest co-op and stopping by Rushmor or Exclusive and then playing my new records on repeat for the rest of the day.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
I just moved to the Cambridge Woods neighborhood from Riverwest, so I’m going to talk about Riverwest because I miss it dearly. Riverwest is eclectic, lively, sometimes uncomfortable but always welcoming. The neighbors, establishments, and community are truly one of a kind.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
My all-time favorite place to hang out in Milwaukee is down by the Milwaukee River. I love walking from Riverwest to Estabrook with my dog – it feels like I am taking a vacation from the city, in the city.