By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Apr 12, 2021 at 7:16 PM Photography: Visit Milwaukee

Milwaukee rules. You know this. I know this. And apparently The Daily Beast not only knows this, but wants to know – like all of us – why more people don't. 

In a recent installment of the website's "It's Still a Big World" travel series, author Cassandra Brooklyn (don't let the name fool you; she may be based in New York now but she's also a Sconnie native) asks an important question about her hometown: "Why Is Everyone Surprised by How Cool Milwaukee Is?" The culprit? Probably the unfortunate legacy of the Jeffrey Dahmer case and outdated perceptions from old sitcoms, Brooklyn supposes – but the good news, according to her, is that the new and exciting realities of Milwaukee are replacing those dusty assumptions and stereotypes. 

"Times have changed," Brooklyn writes. "In recent years, when I tell others that I’m from Milwaukee, I’m surprised by how many respond by saying they had recently visited. Virtually all of them tell me they loved the city and I can tell by the shock in their voices that every single one of them was surprised they had such a great time. What did they expect from the land of beer and cheese? Actually, they probably expected little more than fantastic beer and cheese (which they surely found) but were then blown away by everything else the city has to offer – and how cheap it is."

Like that paragraph implies, the piece celebrates some of the usual Brew City travel cliches but also shouts out some deeper-cut touchstones, proving Brooklyn is indeed a local. Sure, she gives the typical nods to the MAM and Harley Museum – but she also points out America's Black Holocaust Museum (one of the few non-Downtown hotspots she references). Of course Summerfest gets attention – but so do the many festivals that liven up the lakefront and make our summers well worth the winters. The Milwaukee Public Market is a commonplace lunch recommendation, and Usinger's lines up with the "beer and brats" standards – but Alem Ethiopian Restaurant? That's a pick from a seasoned pro.

If I wanted to be persnickety about Milwaukee's depiction in the national eye – and if Milwaukeeans love one thing, it's being persnickety about Milwaukee's depiction in the national eye – I wish again that it ventured a little further out beyond Downtown. That being said, it's still a great tribute to Milwaukee, the obvious and the less-so, perfectly timed for 414 Day. Plus, there are some excellent day trip recommendations at the bottom of the piece that even longtime locals could use to guide their next one tank getaway

So be sure to read the whole piece here and raise a cheers to Milwaukee's no-longer-that-surprising greatness. And then celebrate some more on Wednesday for Milwaukee Day. (If you need some tips on where or how, click here.)

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.