After talking to Kyle, who also grew up in Milwaukee, moved to Minneapolis for school and now lives in NYC, he admitted to me he occasionally talks bad about Milwaukee. My initial response of "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" was then following by probing to figure out just WHY someone would do such a thing.
And it was just as I suspected. People, if you moved away from Milwaukee before you were an adult to another city - you should not be allowed to give reviews of Milwaukee. OF COURSE your new city is more fun, more active, more intriguing. You were FIFTEEN when you were here. That's like me saying, "One time when I was 8, I visited Chicago. But if you ask me the bar scene is pretty lame, dating is tough, and really there's not a lot of quality adults in the area." You hardly had an experience with the city. And the few times a year you come back to visit family doesn't count. (Sukie, I'm looking at you and telling me that Duke's was full of less attractive people. DUH. Any Milwaukeean could have told you to avoid Dukes - and Water St. for that matter - like the plague if you're no longer 21 and / or are not a hood rat. FYI.)
There's a reason when you're taking a vacation to a new city you try and talk to people who have been there or even better LIVE there. They know the city, they've tested things and places out. They can tell you that really loud and fun looking restaurant near your hotel is actually just a tourist trap, the pizza sucks and if you really want a good meal you should hit up that little corner spot in that off-the-beaten path neighborhood. When I go and visit Minneapolis, I let my friends who live there tell me where we should grab dinner, which bar has the best beer. If I didn't do that it's likely I'd have spent my visits over the last 6 years at Blarney's. Not because it's the best place in the city - but because it's what I know. (Which I've learned over my 6 years of visits, is VERY little. I know Dinkytown and sometimes Uptown. My years in college didn't take me exploring very often.)
I love showing off my city. I have a group of visitors who has been coming down every summer for the last 8 years and I believe if you ask them, Milwaukee is a pretty great place. I thrive on finding new places to take them, new adventures to go on. I mean, they have been coming back for 8 years and I'm pretty sure it's not just for Debbie's cooking (although, that's probably their favorite Milwaukee attraction.)
So I guess I'm modifying my rant from yesterday - don't hate on Milwaukee unless you've given it a fair chance, as an adult. When you leave this city you are an ambassador to all that exists here. Unless you believe you've experienced enough to consider yourself an educated ambassador, let those of us who know it talk about it. And finally, if anyone ever wants to know more about this fair city, you now have an open invitation to ask me. I will gladly make recommendations or play tour guide any time you come to visit.
And you really should come and visit :)