Annnnnd we’re back with stop #2 on our journey around Milwaukee’s many neighborhoods. A lot has happened since round #1: I’ve moved! Actually, I moved almost 2 years ago, but I’ve been so busy enjoying my new ‘hood that I haven’t sat down to write about it…until now.
Not only am I a Millennial, but I could also be categorized as a borderline hipster (although my bike does have gears and my mustache and beard are well-groomed). That means I was required by law to move to the stereotypical hipster-haven that is Bay View.
Bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, the Kinnickinnic River on the north, I-94 on the west, and Morgan Ave/St Francis on the south, this one-time company town turned bedroom community used to be its own separate village. Although they voted to join Milwaukee to get access to the sewer system over a century ago, The Beev still maintains its own identity. In fact, it’s such a large neighborhood that it has its own separate mini-hoods. There’s even two super-local news organizations.
With the exception of 2nd Street in Walker’s Point, there’s no place in Milwaukee that’s seen a more robust explosion of restaurants, bars, and businesses in recent years (due in large part to Bay View’s Alderman/Mayor, Tony Z). Odd Duck, Pastiche, Palm Tavern, Burnhearts…I could literally write an entire article that’s just one long list of foodie destinations in Bay View. With two of the best parks in the county (Humboldt and South Shore), each with its own beer garden in addition to a farmer’s market and a weekly summer outdoor music performance, there’s an amazing amount of places to keep the people and cash flowing in.
But it’s the neighborly community that’s really drawing the younger generation to the “Other East Side”. Hidden down each street are historic oddities, friendly family-run shops, spontaneous block parties, townie bars where you can get a $2 Schlitz and a game of Hammerschlagen, and people who smile and say “hey, howya doin'” when you walk by rather than ignore you.
As I grew out of my early twenties spent in East Town, I honestly didn’t expect to find a place in the city of Milwaukee that could be affordable, safe, exciting, and on the up-and-up. Bay View is a south-side oasis where it’s impossible to not have a Bay Viewtiful Day.