Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Enough for the City

I love me some Milwaukee.
I really, really do.
Some people hate it here.
Some people think it's dirty.
Some people think it's racist.
Some people think it's lame.
Some people think it's stupid.

But to those people I say MOVE!
I love Milwaukee.
What I DON'T like about Milwaukee is everyone raking on it all the time.

This all began when I was watching a Bucks game.
Yep, it's true. Milwaukee has a professional basketball team.
And they're going to the playoffs!
A commercial aired for a summer basketball camp that the Bucks were putting on.
I thought to myself, "Well how great that the Bucks will be having something for Milwaukee's youth."
And then the location of the camp was stated: Mequon.
Mequon is a "suburb" of Milwaukee
Mequon is a good 30 minutes from Milwaukee.
Children that could really benefit from a skills building basketball camp most likely can't get to Mequon.
I'm not saying children who live in Mequon won't benefit from a basketball camp.
They will.
But wouldn't it make sense to at least hold the camp in the city. Where the parents of the Mequon kids commute to for their jobs.
I realize I'm speaking in sweeping generalizations here but here are some fun facts:
The median income in Mequon is $90733.
The median income in Milwaukee is $32216
The graduation rate for Mequon is consistently in the high 80s or low 90s percentage wise
The graduation rate for Milwaukee is in the mid to high 60s percentage wise (This is up from the low to mid 50 it was pulling in about 10 years ago!).
I guess I don't understand how anyone expects Milwaukee to get "better" if people keep leaving.
I'm not saying city living is for everyone, I get that it's not.
But I feel the people who do live in Milwaukee have to explain it to our suburban friends or relatives.

I have a bone to pick with the radio station 88.9 as well.
Radio Milwaukee it's called.
And I like it.
I really do.
Sometimes they play a little too much "A Tribe Called Quest," but whatevs.
And they do play local music, which I love.
And they do this neighborhood series.
About the different neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
I love this! The station reaches all over the place thanks to the internet it shows the world that Milwaukee is truly full of diversity and neat little nooks and crannies.
So as I'm tooling around on their website I peruse the upcoming neighborhoods that will be profiled:
The neighborhoods, in no particular order, are Lindsay Heights, Clark Square, Martin Drive, Havenswoods, Walker’s Point, Harambee, and East Tosa.

What the what? While I know where some of these neighborhoods are...East Tosa?
Wauwautosa is a SUBURB of Milwaukee.
It is NOT Milwaukee.
Not to mention if you look at this map of Milwaukee neighborhoods, there are clearly more neighborhoods to profile, before we get into the suburbs.
I suppose I could be, and hope I am, wrong about the name East Tosa, and I hope it signifies a hidden gem somewhere I have never been.
But the likelihood of that is slim, I'm afraid.
I think it's even a bit more disheartening because I felt this station championed Milwaukee, and here it is pandering to it's moochy suburban cousins again.

These issues compounded the other night at a board meeting for our little old neighborhood association:
After the meeting was pretty much adjourned, one of the board members decided to talk about their trip to Arizona. They commented that they've noticed in "the south" that gated communities are a way of life.
I commented I didn't think that was a southern thing as much of a classist thing.
They went on to say how concerned they were in our neighborhood that they couldn't let their 5 year old daughter play outside because their fence wasn't six feet high.
And that they couldn't work in their bathing suit because their fence/our neighborhood wasn't walled off.
I would like to note that we live IN the city. Some would even say central city.
We, well at least me, are not about gating ourselves off from the rest of the city or other neighborhoods around us.
We are about welcoming and improving.
Greening and cleaning.
Not Gating and Hating.
What my favorite part of this exchange was that they actually thought nothing was wrong with thinking we could/should gate Cold Spring Park off from the rest of the city.
OMFG is all I have to say to that.

Baseball Stuff: Opening Day

As some of you may or may not know.
I'm a bit of a baseball fan.
I like to pride myself on a little bit of knowledge and a lot of quotes when it comes to watching games.
Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me and I'll shout something off-color to the umpire.
But usually, I'm able to keep it kid-friendly and classy.
Because that is the kind of fan I am.

I'm also the kind of fan that goes to games to...
You guessed it.
WATCH the game.
I realize baseball games are full of fair-weather fans and opening day is like amatuer hour.
Fortunately for us, our seats have been in sections that seem to respect the game.
I even heard the guy next to me say "Too High."
Which was perfect.
And is from one of the greatest baseball comedies of all time, "Major League."

Unfortunately, all I heard for the second half of opening day was the guys behind me talking about waterproofing your basement.

Now E. and I talk in games, but we keep it between ourselves. We don't announce the conversation to the people next, in front of and behind us.

But not these rural Wisconsinites.
Oh they went on and on about waterproofing your basement, Christmas tree farms and each other's last name.
I wanted to stick my score-keeping pen in my ears.
When they did talk about the game it was to offer ill-begotten facts and opinions. Which is the yuge at games, I hate it, but it's a fact.
Unfortunately, the game didn't offer me much relief.
 The Crew lost by two which is an Opening Day first for me.
My fear was that this doesn't bode well for the rest of the season.
I still fear I may be right.

I apologize to the rest of my readers (the handful of you out there) that during baseball season this blog gets a little heavy with the game.

I'll try to keep it real though.
I swear.

This season I will try to warn you to my baseball heavy blogs with the above title "Baseball Stuff!"