Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's truly a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
The responses to this week's Social Circle are some of the very best. Contributors provided thoughtful and detailed posts from every side of town and described how their neighborhoods have changed, or didn't change, over time.
Milwaukee continues to grow and transition, and it's not the same place it was a decade ago, or two or three decades ago. Some changes have been for the better, some have been for the worse. But having the chance to reflect on the evolution of Brew City and make mental notes of what we like and what we don't like about the changes helps us make more conscious choices about where we're going and build an even better future Milwaukee.
Jeanette Alred: "Humboldt between Clarke and Center from 1st through 7th grade. We moved to Shorewood after that, but that doesn't count. I think I would have been better off staying in Riverwest. Only thing that has changed that I can tell is some cars in the front yard where my classmate used to live, otherwise Riverwest seems just the same to me now as when I was a kid. Loved it there. I went to St. Casimir school for most of those years and now it is a Head Start. I remember doing Jack The Ripper in the bathroom with the lights off. Fun times."
Pamela Anderson: "I didn't grow up here. Grew up in Kenosha, but I remember watching the Circus Parades Downtown, going to the zoo and visiting the 'Big City.' Have always loved Milwaukee."
Matt Baran: "Kane Place between Humboldt and Arlington. Yuppies replaced hippies, all the Polish grandmas are dead and there is an infestation of condos where we used to set off illegal fireworks on the train tracks."
Skip Forrest: "Bartlett Avenue in Whitefish Bay. Visually It hasn't changed one iota. I don't know if the demographics have changed. I suppose I don't see as many kids playing hide-and-seek and running across the median as much as I remember as a kid, but then I only drive by occasionally. Trick-or-treating at night used to be a blast, scary and adventurous and fun. Of course as a society we don't allow that anymore."
Anthony Hanratty: "Herman Street between Dakota and Montana. It used to be Bay View, now it's a middle-aged version of Williamsburg. Gentrified and full of itself."
Natalie Kamprath: "37th just north of Silver Spring. Enough said!"
Shannon Knapp: "What street DIDN'T I grow up on? I lived on Irving, Murray, Brady, Cambridge, Warren, Booth, Pierce, Marietta and spent my time walking from one to the other to see friends. They have all changed. Brady Street being the least appealing now."
Julie Wezyk Liotta: "Burleigh and has pretty much stayed the same in the Enderis Park neighborhood. I still live there."
Patty O'Dell-Dooley: "Bartlett Avenue in Shorewood, right across from Lake Bluff School. I do not know anyone in the hood anymore, the last person I knew on the block moved out last week."
Claudia Reilly: "When I was little, there were always a hoard of kids playing on my block. There were over 100 kids in a three-block radius. You could always find a group to play kick the can or tackle pom. Last time I went to the house, to see one more time after being sold, I was struck by how empty the street was. No kids, no activity. Gone are the large 'Catholic' families of the '60s. This was Newton Avenue in Shorewood."
Pat Rynes: "My parents lived in Parklawn until I was 9, then we moved to 68th and Congress, and the last place they lived was on Medford Avenue until they passed away. I don't live in Milwaukee anymore."
Lauryl Sulfate: "I didn't grow up in Milwaukee, but I moved here to go to MIAD in 1997, and I lived in the dorms for that first year. OMG, has the Third Ward changed since then! When I moved in, the entire Downtown area was a ghost town by 6 p.m., and there were NO businesses in the Third Ward at all. There was a 'video' store across the street from the dorms that had a few real movies mixed in with their vast porn selection. We used to go over there to rent videos and buy stuff out of the candy machine. Needless to say, it's a bit fancier in the Third Ward these days..."
Bobby Tanzilo: "I didn't grow up here but I lived for eight years on Greenfield Avenue, just east of 16th Street, and I visited it biennially as a child. It's changed a lot. But the change took a long time. It didn't change overnight. What hasn't changed is that it is still a vibrant immigrant neighborhood. But the signs are in Spanish and English instead of German and English."
Monica Thomas: "Carrington Avenue in the Cedar Hills subdivision of Oak Creek. As the red maples die off, the city replaces them with scrawny oaks. So there's lush auburn giants dotted with Charlie Brown Christmas trees. And there's more than just the two stop signs now since some of the Franklin Walmart traffic crosses through."
Steven Vieth: "Murray and North above Palermo Villa for 15 years. North Avenue literally used to be brick, other than that just more college kids! Oh and they made it so you can't climb on the library roof anymore."
Carrie Wisniewski: "I grew up on South 12th Street, between Becher and Rogers. It used to be a tight-knit community. Around junior high, crime increased significantly and therefore we moved to the suburbs after 8th grade graduation and I went to high school in Muskego. My grandparents and brother stayed in the neighborhood and the common theme was always not feeling safe. So much so, that they actually put iron bars on their windows on the lower level to avoid being the target of break-ins. Speaking of break ... it breaks my heart. I loved walking to school every day, riding my bike and swimming at Kozy park as a kid."