Sid's new to MKE.
Sid's new to MKE. (Photo:

(Fried) Fish out of water, from NYC to MKE

I have been given the great honor to share with you my stories about moving from Manhattan's Lower East Side to Milwaukee's Bay View. Each blog will cover something new and exciting to me about Milwaukee – fish fries, supper clubs, tailgating at Brewers games, local characters and everything else that makes this city great.

Let's start from the beginning.  I met my husband, Milwaukee native Jason Sweet, at a bar in New York City. He proceeded to make fun of my sports team hat and I made fun of him for telling me he's a blues musician. You could say it was love at first sight but I wouldn't. The bar where we met, Tom and Jerry's, also happens to be a Packers Bar – something I didn't know even after going there for over 15 years.

Milwaukee was never on my list of cities to visit – much less live.  My thoughts on Milwaukee quickly changed when I visited for the first time in the glorious summer time.  We sat outside the Palomino with one of Jason's oldest friends – Kent "The Colonel" Knapp. I soon found out everyone has a nickname in this group of friends. Kent's wife Shannon is "Mrs. Red." So you get the picture.

We enjoyed the afternoon drinking "baggers" orange juice, vodka and seltzer (named after a local band called The Carpetbaggers)  this was followed up by meeting Jason's entire family – I should have probably paced myself as drinking in Milwaukee is about endurance. Nothing like meeting the family half in the bag from baggers.

Fast forward to May 2013.  I had been laid off from my corporate job in the Big Apple and Jason was ready to go home, so we packed up the apartment and the dog to start our adventure in Milwaukee.

This began with apartment searching and job seeking. We knew we wanted to be in Bay View as that is where the only two people besides family I knew lived; and it had all my other pre-set requirements – we had to be walking distance to decent restaurants, watering holes and convenience stores. Little did I realize we basically moved into Milwaukee's equivalent to Brooklyn's Williamsburg.

I affectionately refer to Bay View as "Beard View" because if you don't have a beard and a mustache that requires waxing you are out of style, my friend.

 We found our spot and it was right by the Bay View Bowl, 1,500 square feet – a mansion compared to my tiny NYC apartment – and there was grass everywhere.  We set out to explore the neighborhood and were quickly welcomed by the Highbury – a soccer bar!  This is where I began my love/hate affair with shots. 

To be continued ...


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