At Travel + Leisure magazine in 2003, I pitched a story about my hometown of Milwaukee to the magazine’s Editor-In-Chief. I believe her exact response was: “Who goes to Milwaukee?” Uh, Harley riders and cheesemongers to start! Okay, perhaps they’re a bit outside of T+L’s demographic, but I was nonetheless given a page to amuse my Midwest pride.
Living in California now, I always enjoy a trip back to Wisconsin’s largest city to set my head straight (as long as it’s between May and October, ahem). Milwaukeeans bring a lot to the table: they have classic Midwest traits (down to earth, hardworking, hospitable) but they’re also informed, interested, and often activist. On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I thought of Milwaukee more than once. Perhaps most endearing, Milwaukeeans have a vicious sense of humor about themselves (Cheeseheads and the pervasiveness of Big & Tall stores will do that to you).