Not a bad Medium Size City
I lived here for 22 years, and have a love and dislike of the place at the same time. In the like category are the city size as it has most of what you want from a city, folks are proud and friendly in their somewhat defensive way, there is the uniqueness of the city dialect, nice museums, good suburbs, a pace of life that is not too fast and not too slow. It's Teutonic history means it has great outdoors events with music like Summerfest, and yes given the German heritage, drinking beer goes without saying. It has 2 professional sports teams which is rare for a city metro area of only 1.5 million. The local colleges are good, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is a gem too for getting a college degree either as a full time or part time working student, and the vocational tech college MATC is top knotch. Work ethic and accountability are strong here. Being on Lake Michigan is a god send for this city.
Views looking over the lake remind you that you may be at the ocean on a summer day. Milwaukee represents in many ways the American Spirit of getting it done and made with pride. Areas on the city's east side are really nice. In the dislike category is you are no longer sure just what the City stands for. Made in Milwaukee used to mean just about everything manufacturing built extremely well and at good solid wages, but that base has gone downhill big time hurting blue collar high school folks the most, probably due to the big free trade agreements. In its place is a mixed economy with nothing that really stands out. It is just a city that keeps going like the energizer bunny but what is at its core, you just do not know. The city dynamic seems in a stasis, neither getting bigger nor declining completely, just hanging in there is the sense, and you want more than that from a city. The City schools, high property and income taxes, and the god awful everlasting winter weather are the major deterrents to wanting to move here. Why they put the baseball stadium in the middle of a freeway hell and not downtown like St. Louis did is a mistake of Epic proportions, although Miller Park with its enclosed top does allow you to see professional baseball in any kind of weather which does show up in Milwaukee. The suburbs are just like suburbs everywhere, and unfortunately the inner city has really declined sadly. It is too bad they did not site the new Chinese FoxConn high tech company in the middle of Milwaukee as that would have brought many needed jobs to those in the city that need them, and added a real ZAP putting Milwaukee on the map nationwide as on the cutting edge and in a trans formative positive way, instead of having to rely on its historic past of Harleys, brats, beer, metal bending, and car parts, and now a mottled mixed economy. Standard of living is average here. I am glad I grew up there in its heyday, but today am averse to moving back there.
Randal | Verona, WI