They’re so damn comfortable. A bit torn, faded in some spots and probably dated. Yet, they’re easy, still retro stylish and even though the brand isn’t as hot as it used to be they’re still cool.
Indeed, you love your favorite pair of jeans. Don’t we all? Those old Levi's that are probably an outdated number but still a solid piece of your wardrobe.
Yet, a part of you thinks it’s time for a new pair or, at least time to throw away this pair.
Ask a handful of local people about Milwaukee and chances are that someone will use a reference like, "it just fits you like your favorite pair of jeans." Or, "it’s so easy, not too big and not too small." "Just right."
Without a doubt, we all love the Milwaukeeiness of Milwaukee. There’s a way to things here and, yes, it’s easy to navigate, park, explore, dive into and generally live in. Milwaukee’s great. I love it.
Yet, if our city fits us like our favorite pair of jeans how long before too many holes and tattered and frayed edges lead to problems or stuff hanging out where it shouldn’t be?
Milwaukee’s come a long way in the past 12-15 years. Development, technology, infrastructure and, of course, media (he says patting his company on the back), dining, entertainment and sports. Given our population size, we probably support more entertainment than we should in this area. But, that’s a testament to our loyalty, hard working nature and our gritty Milwaukeeiness. We’re a dedicated bunch, for sure.
Should we, though, continue to be that old pair of Milwaukee jeans? Are they good enough? No. So, today I’m recycling a pair and think Milwaukee should, too.
Milwaukee’s home. And cities are always evolving and never complete. Thus, Milwaukee will never be done. It’s dynamic and it rocks. But we need more upcycling. More innovation. More collaboration. More Milwaukee story telling. More Milwaukee ambassadors. More Milwaukee love. More mixing. Innovative transit options. More shaking things up. More people breaking through the resistance that we too often feel and doing big things. More people also doing the little stuff on this list.
Reality is that new, nicer jeans are just more appropriate than that tattered pair. Milwaukee needs to continue to realize this. Many believe and embrace this already. Do you?
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.