"My biggest hope is that Milwaukeeans take pride in their city."
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
I work in public relations at VISIT Milwaukee, and my role is awesome because I get to talk about how much I love this city all day and watch first-hand as writers who have never visited the city before fall in love with Milwaukee.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Milwaukee for almost 13 years. I grew up outside of Chicago, came to Milwaukee for undergrad at Marquette University, fell in love with the city, and, other than a quick two-month internship after graduation, never left. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
What do you love most about Milwaukee?
This question is tough because it always sends me off on a tangent as I desperately try to fit everything I love about Milwaukee into one breath. But as amazing as our restaurants, breweries, museums, parks, festivals, and sports teams are, my favorite thing about Milwaukee is the people. Milwaukeeans are unabashedly friendly. They will strike up a conversation with anyone, say hello to a stranger on the street, or give enthusiastic recommendations to a visitor. That’s honestly not something you experience in other cities.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
My biggest hope is that Milwaukeeans take pride in their city. We’re not just “Chicago’s little sister.” We’re not just some flyover city. Milwaukee is unique in its own right, and I think sometimes we, as residents, take that for granted. Milwaukee isn’t perfect; no city is. But if we approach the challenges our city is facing with pride in elevating our collective community rather than with cynicism, I think we’ll see more success in overcoming those challenges.
What is your favorite Milwaukee tradition?
My favorite annual tradition is the Riverwest 24. It really is the people’s holiday. Whether you’re participating and on your bike for 24 hours, volunteering to make sure the event runs smoothly, or just out in the street cheering people on, it’s one of the most energizing weekends of the entire year. It brings the neighborhood together and leaves your heart feeling completely full.
What does your ideal Milwaukee weekend look like?
Friday, of course, means getting a fish fry – usually from Klinger’s or Swingin’ Door. Saturday starts off with a barre class at Barre District (to work off that fish fry), then heading to a brewery or beer garden, depending on the weather, to partake in our local brewing culture. Sunday morning I’m typically at PowerCycle in Tosa followed by brunch for some much-needed sustenance, and then home to relax with my husband and mentally prepare for the upcoming week…and to do laundry.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
My favorite secret fact that I love to tell travel writers is that Milwaukee is built on a lake which still exists under the Northwestern Mutual building and that it’s literally someone’s job to check the water levels of the lake and add water if it gets too low to avoid wood rot. That’s just so fascinating to me, but I also might be biased by the fact that the lake is named Lake Emily.