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Who's your Milwaukee All-Star?

Milwaukee All-Star: East Town Association's Emily McElwee

Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All-Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in the city who consistently and diligently make it shine. Each week, a new member will join the team – based on your recommendations – and at the end of the year all will come together in a Rally of the Raddest Milwaukeeans. We're not sure what that means quite yet, so for now, meet …

Emily McElwee

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: How long have you been doing your job?

Emily McElwee: I started working at East Town Association in April 2009. I have had seven Jazz in the Park and Bastille Days filled summers. I am the assistant director.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What time of year is your favorite in Milwaukee and why?

McElwee: I love summer – don't we all? – but my favorite season is early fall. This transitional time we are in right now is the best time of the year. I love the feeling of big changes Downtown as MSOE students return to school and things begin to quiet down.

The weather is still wonderful and the outdoors are open for exploration. I love sweaters and tea and running down the bike path off of Mason Street under a canopy of yellow and orange leaves. My body heats up but my nose and fingertips feel the bite of the fall air.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What's your favorite or least favorite smell in Milwaukee?

McElwee: My favorite AND least favorite smell in Milwaukee is the smell of the lake, specifically the way it smells near the lighthouse behind the Summerfest grounds. It's kind of stinky, but it's home.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What neighborhood do you live in?

McElwee: I live in the Murray Hill / Downer Avenue neighborhood on the East Side.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What's your hope for Milwaukee?

McElwee: I hope that Milwaukee kids will have the coats and gloves they need this winter. I hate thinking about kids waiting for their buses without coats.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: When and how did you fall in love with Milwaukee?

McElwee: I am from Shorewood, but went to high school at Pius XI on 76th and Bluemound. From a pretty young age I was getting to know people from all over town by driving through the city and into the city to see friends. I don't remember a time when I didn't love living here. But falling in love happened later.

After visiting many other cities, I was able to recognize what so many others have also recognized: Milwaukee is an amazingly accessible city full of fantastically diverse neighborhoods. Most cities as culturally rich as Milwaukee are not so easy to navigate and I love that I can take advantage of all of it, easily.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Why do you do what you do?

McElwee: I work at East Town for the summers. I love the hustle and exhaustion of running a minimum of two major events a week, and the pleasure of seeing so many happy people meeting and mixing and enjoying the work we do here. It's amazing to have a job that gives Milwaukeeans a place to enjoy each other's company.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What's your one guilty pleasure?

McElwee: Buffalo chicken soup, Tuesdays only at the Soup House on Michigan. Oh my goodness. So delicious. And did you try the hot dogs that Park Bistro served at Bastille Days this year? A baguette toasted on the inside without being sliced, filled with mustard and butter and the most delicious all-beef hot dog. I don't even like hot dogs, but I had four.

OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Name a Milwaukeean you would like to high five.

McElwee: I would like to give a heartfelt high five to Terrance Davis who works as the Visitor Services Specialist at the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center. He is an awesome guy. I met Terrance last Friday when my husband and I went to borrow an UEC canoe. He is truly a specialist at visitor service. Thank you, Terrance, for being so enthusiastic and making us feel so welcome.

Do you know a Milwaukee All-Star? OnMilwaukee.com and Too Much Metal are looking for true-hearted folks living in the city of Milwaukee who love what they do – and do it with zest and style. Email fred@toomuchmetal.com or molly@onmilwaukee.com with recommendations.

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