So pretty much everybody I’ve ever met takes some sort of pride in where they are from. Unless they are from Cudahy, then I discount their opinion immediately. I digress. There are nostalgic qualities about everyone’s hometown that take you back to that place in an instant. Whether it’s seeing a kid fall off of their bike and remembering that time you told your dad not to let go and he did, resulting in a tumble through a thorn-bush or seeing high schoolers smoking cigarettes like gangbusters behind a 7/11 and thinking about how you used to be those kids, badasses (obviously). As you get older and these funny things just become passing moments in time that bring a smile to your face, you grow up and sometimes realize life isn’t as cool as it was back then.. unless you’re me.
After college, and 4 years of living in a weird, uptight community better known as Wauke$ha, I decided to move back to my hometown. I was really nervous at first, thinking I would feel like a kid again and instead of just having those fleeting moments, I would feel like I was right back in that place and regret not doing bigger things in my life.. and all I have to say now is, that was stupid.
Having grown up in Bay View, I never would have guessed that one day, it would be the trendy place to live. Knowing your neighbors, having polite conversations with strangers and hanging out at all the local shops and restaurants are all things that I thought happened in everyone’s neighborhoods. After being gone for 4 years and moving back (let’s be honest, I never REALLY left), I realized why this town is so special. It’s the people – a community that can barely be matched by any other.
So to keep in true Nickie fashion, here is a list of why my hometown is better than yours:
1. On any given night of the week, there is live band playing somewhere within 5 blocks of your house. Whether it be alternative, rockabilly, funk or soul bands — there is always some to go see.
2. New, local restaurants open all the time. Now, I know everyone loooooves Applebee’s but seriously, try somewhere local — it will change your life. Whether it’s brunch at The Palomino, appetizers at Odd Duck, a pulled pork sandwich from Honeypie or homemade chips and bleu cheese from LuLu’s, if you just try it, I swear you’ll never want to eat at a chain restaurant again.
3. All summer long you have something to do on Tuesday nights and Friday nights.
Chill on the Hill is the best, because you can pack up a picnic and go hang out in the park for a few hours, pet some stranger’s dogs, drink beer – it’s all around awesome.
Fish Fry & A Flick is obviously cool as fuck — mostly because they show adult movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Lion King, but I would much rather see Zoolander, Pulp Fiction and my all time favorite Dark Side of Oz (if you don’t know what that means, google it. immediately. like yesterday.)
4. There are various murals and mostly importantly, Pabst Blue Ribbon murals scattered about the neighborhood. I really don’t need to say much about this one, except who doesn’t want to see pink elephants drunk on the side of a building.
5. Our community takes every chance it can to hold festivals, block parties and other various awesome get-togethers. Bay View Bash, Sausage Fest, The Water Frolic Parade (not the actual water frolics, fuck that) and many more. The best part about each of these, is that they do it in true, snarky, jackass style.
6. Well, my family is from here – so that automatically makes it awesome. If you follow my blog, you either already think I’m cool or probably resent me, but real life.. you’re still reading it so you definitely secretly love me. And if you think I’m funny (I can have dreams too you know), you’ve never met my family. You know how everyone says that, well.. I really mean it. They are some of the most down-to-earth awesome people you’ll ever come across and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.. orrrrr it’d have to be something comparable to a pink, sparkly t-rex wearing a bowtie laying in a field of money trees.
It’s like my town is the smartass, underdog who was always cool but just needed a little love and now it’s a growing community with some really rad, game-changer type of people living here. I can’t wait to see what happens next.