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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I'm moving to Milwaukee!

   
Author Topic: I'm moving to Milwaukee!
Hobbes
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Maybe. And not Milwaukee so much as Waukesha (just a few miles West of Milwaukee). The narrative is basically that minutes after posting a thread here with my intention to give up on finding a job (after over a year of looking), move to Seattle and wait around for their PhD program to start I got a call from a company about an application I had put in many months prior. That led to a phone interview which led to a fly-out, face-to-face interview and about 10 minutes ago led to an offer. Which is amazingly exciting for me; the specifics of the offer have yet to be communicated to me but the broad outline has and it all sounds good. Plus it's a job doing exactly what I want (bridge design) for a good firm. The maybe is, I haven't gotten their actual offer yet. I find it unlikely I'd say no but since I haven't said yes yet ... well I'll leave the maybe.

So that's all by way of an update for those who are following the drama of my life, which is half the purpose of this thread. The other half is to see if anyone has any advice.

No really specific questions. I doubt anyone has an idea about a place to live in that town, and while it's a pain to apply remotely, at least I have a job so I don't have to worry about being accepted and the town itself seems great, as if there's not really a bad section of town to avoid. Of course if someone does know the town I'd love to hear about it. I guess just general information on the area. What there is to do, places to go, etc... I think the main downside to this job is it's taking me away from the mountains. Any good nature areas within a reasonable drive? Chicago has a decent amount of culture (I like art and music, but I go for the classical stuff, so phrases like "good music scene" don't do much for me). It's nice that it's close (Chicago) but I've heard ripples that Milwaukee isn't completely devoid of this stuff either.

Any thoughts?

Hobbes [Smile]

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rivka
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Congrats on the offer! [Smile]

Good luck. I'm afraid I don't know anything helpful about the area (unless you wanted to know where to get kosher food! [Wink] )

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TomDavidson
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Wow. Looks like Walker's plan to ruin the lives of everyone else in Wisconsin in order to bring jobs to Waukesha is working! [Smile]

Milwaukee's classical music scene is middling, in my opinion, but Madison's is quite good and Chicago's is excellent. Within an hour of Milwaukee are several major parks and hiking trails; within two hours are some very nice climbing areas. And of course you've got the lake and the dunes, although the beaches are better a bit further south.

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BlackBlade
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Heart felt congratulations Hobbes! I'd love to live in Wisconsin.
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kmbboots
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Welcome to the Midwest!
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Aros
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Have you experienced (read: lived through) a winter in that part of the country? I'm from Utah, so I'm no stranger to the snow, but the winter I spent in Chicago was unreal. -80 with windchill? No, thank you.
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kmbboots
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Honestly, it gets like that maybe a couple days every few years. You do need good boots, gloves and a warm coat, though.
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Hobbes
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Thanks guys (or guys and girls I suppose). [Smile] My family is actually all from Michigan, not that this helps me much. More applicable is the time I spent going to school at Purdue. Plus I love cold. So that part doesn't really worry me much; really I'm more concerned about starting the job (I have been unemployed for a year) but I'm sure I'll be fine. What I really want to do is start with some positive experiences there. I really want to like it there, and though it does lack mountains, I don't see why I shouldn't like it.

Hobbes [Smile]

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TomDavidson
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Milwaukee is a pretty good city, although I'll admit that -- with the exception of its museums and a couple good restaurants -- it's one of my least-favorite cities in Wisconsin. Certainly with Chicago as close as it is, we rarely make Milwaukee specifically our destination except for some music festivals or special exhibits. If you own a car, you'll find the area rewarding; southeastern Wisconsin is a marvelous place to live.

As a bridge designer in Milwaukee, I sincerely hope you finally get to be the person who builds a convenient bridge across Lake Michigan. Every single person who's ever driven down I-94E on a Friday afternoon would contribute to a statue in your honor.

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Goody Scrivener
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Excelllllllllllllllent. Another one to assimilate into the Chicago Area Clump.

And Aros, -80 windchills are actually not normal for Chicago. What year were you here?

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Jon Boy
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I have nothing to add except this: congratulations, Hobbes!
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kmbboots
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Goody is building her empire. [Wink]
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Carrie
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I have family in Waukesha, but I haven't spoken with them in years (see also: the Brookfield branch). My folks grew up in Wauwatosa, so I'm pretty familiar with the entire area (from east to west, I think it goes Milwaukee -> Wauwatosa -> Waukesha -> Brookfield -> farmland, but I could be slightly off). It's a pretty nice area, and if not for the fact that I've sworn off ever returning to Wisconsin, I'd totally live there. [Smile]

I hope the offer is exactly what you want, and that everything works out well for you! Congrats!

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:


As a bridge designer in Milwaukee, I sincerely hope you finally get to be the person who builds a convenient bridge across Lake Michigan. Every single person who's ever driven down I-94E on a Friday afternoon would contribute to a statue in your honor.

It has been a long time since I took the ferry. Does it still run?
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TomDavidson
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It does, but it's still no more viable of an everyday option. [Frown]
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ambyr
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I have family in Waukesha, but I'm afraid I don't know the town well. Milwaukee's definitely the better bet for culture. And if you're willing to drive as far as Chicago, don't forget about Madison, either.
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Brian J. Hill
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Back when I was travelling the country, in a new town every week, I really enjoyed my week in the Milwaukee area. I ate at a fantastic restaurant in what seemed (to me) like a vibrant downtown with a quaint, midwestern vibe. The people were quite supportive of the arts, both visual and performing. But the most important piece of information about Milwaukee that I would share with someone who hasn't been there is this:

"Drinking fountain" = "bubbler." Don't ask why. No one knows.

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kmbboots
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http://www.thebubbler.com/index.php?pageid=whatisabubbler

Sure they do.

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The Rabbit
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I have in-laws who live just outside Milwaukee. My brother-in-law is avid outdoors man and seems to find plenty of places to go. He does a lot of canoeing and kayaking.
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kmbboots
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Wisconsin is great for paddling.

No mountains but some decent rock climbing at Devil's Lake.

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Brian J. Hill
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quote:
Sure they do.
Yeah, but are "they" from Wisconsin?
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Goody Scrivener:
Excelllllllllllllllent. Another one to assimilate into the Chicago Area Clump.

And Aros, -80 windchills are actually not normal for Chicago. What year were you here?

I attended Navy bootcamp outside Chicago in late 2000 / early 2001. The weather was news-worthy that year, at least from what I could tell. I do remember that were were placed in ranks at attention and left for over an hour when the weather was at its coldest. Our ski masks actually froze over with a thick layer of ice from our breath.

Funny . . . we'd barely received a dusting of snow by the time I left Great Lakes, mid-December of 2001. It must vary wildy.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
Thanks guys (or guys and girls I suppose). [Smile] My family is actually all from Michigan, not that this helps me much. More applicable is the time I spent going to school at Purdue. Plus I love cold. So that part doesn't really worry me much; really I'm more concerned about starting the job (I have been unemployed for a year) but I'm sure I'll be fine. What I really want to do is start with some positive experiences there. I really want to like it there, and though it does lack mountains, I don't see why I shouldn't like it.

Hobbes [Smile]

I didn't know you were a fellow Michigander. Where is your family from, if you don't mind my asking?
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pooka
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Congrats, Hobbes!
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Hobbes
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Thanks again everyone! [Big Grin] I haven't sent in the paperwork yet (since just signing my name that many times looks like it will take about 3 months) but I've got the official offer and with everything looking good, I'm taking the job. The only problem now is finding an apartment that has an availability soon enough.

quote:
I didn't know you were a fellow Michigander. Where is your family from, if you don't mind my asking?
Both of my parents are from Midland, Mi. They claim they didn't meet until they went to college at Ann Arbor but both my grandfathers worked for Dow Chemical.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Sala
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Congrats, Hobbes! I'm very happy for you.
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zgator
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Congratulations Hobbes! When you get to start picking your own geotech engineer for projects, give me a call. I'll send a drill rig up from Florida.
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Annie
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Congratulations Hobbes - that's an awesome opportunity. Plus, Wisconsin people are probably among the friendliest people on the entire planet. [Smile]
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T:man
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Wow, didn't know so many Jatrequeros were in the Chicagoland area.

[Angst]

Oh and congrats!

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Zalmoxis
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Congratulations! That's most excellent news. It's been much too long of a wait.
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krynn
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Hobbes,

First, congrats on the job offer! That is exciting news. I have loads of family in Milwaukee and the city is pretty cool. Here are a few things I can recommend.

Bars: My favorite is one called the SafeHouse. It is a really cool spy-themed bar. Google it. Also there is Water St. where all the young adults go, if that is your place.

Food: My family is Italian so we don't go out to eat much, but my sister and I try to go to Kopps every visit. It's a great burger place with really good frozen custard.

Events: SummerFest and ItaliaFest are lots of fun, and the fireworks show on the water bank is awesome. If you are a sports fan, you are in luck! The Green Bay Packers are undefeated this season so far (and the defending SuperBowl champs), The Brewers are in the playoffs, and Wisconsin is undefeated in college football.

EDIT: Just read you are from Michigan, but at least Detroit is undefeated for the first time in 55 years. That's exciting.

Anyway, I'm happy something came around for you. Good luck with your career and building bridges.

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Darth_Mauve
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Moving to Milwauke?

As a St. Louis native I have to offer you my condolences for what our baseball team is doing to your World Series hopes.

Otherwise, congrats.

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Hobbes
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Well I've been here a bit over a year now. I'm dredging up this thread for a couple of changes or events. First, I bought a house out in New Berlin (which is in between Milwaukee and Waukesha). Second, the first bridge I ever designed is beginning to be built. For anyone in the area, it's the Greenfield avenue bridge over USH 45 / 894. The old one has just been demoed and construction is beginning on mine. They plan to finish by mid July. I hope to get to go out to the site while they're building and keep a log of what's going on (I did show up and get some pictures of the demo).

For those following Wisconsin politics, here are some thoughts on the current transportation funding battles going on. Walker has been determined to see the project I'm working on go through on time. Or says he has, but his ideas for doing so seem pretty asinine to me so maybe he's some sort of provocateur or something.

As for culture here, I've been a semi-regular patron of the Milwaukee Symphony. It's actually decent. My experience has been that they'll have a title piece for any given concert, and they'll do a very good job on that piece. Then, with the rest, they aren't really up to snuff but they aren't terrible or anything. They also have little concerts featuring chamber orchestras and other break-out groups and those tend to be quite good. I imagine that the conductor (who normally is not the head conductor) and the orchestra is more committed to those than the bigger concerts so that makes sense.

I've found the museums here to be really bad, and everything seems to suffer from the fact that if you're going to tour (as a performer, or an exhibit, or anything else) you're going to go to Chicago and why then also hit Milwaukee, which is close enough that interested people will probably just come down Illinois anyway?

The outdoor options are rather limited. I've gone on some OK hikes in the Kettle Moraine state forest but all the natural areas are interleaved with farms and other private property so you don't really get that feeling of being out in nature. I've been up to the Porcupine Mountains a couple of times in the UP of Michigan and those are fairly nice.

Hobbes [Smile]

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rivka
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Sounds like things are overall going quite well. [Smile]
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T:man
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I'm glad you're enjoying the greater Chicagoland burbs ;-)
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