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In Arts & Entertainment

Jacobs' book tells simple stories about ordinary people that inform and illuminate a great city.

Former Sentinel reporter returns to Milwaukee to talk neighborhoods

His book may be about Chicago, but its stories translate well to Brew City, too. Scott Jacobs, author of "Never Leave Your Block: Adventures in Urban Living," is coming to Milwaukee to talk about them, Saturday, Jan. 12.

The former Milwaukee Sentinel reporter should know. In addition to serving as the editor of The Week Behind, Jacobs has also freelanced for The Chicago Sun-Times, Slate, Scan and Milwaukee Magazine. In other words, he has years of city stories to tell.

Jacobs will be on hand at Boswell Books, 2559 N. Downer Ave., at 2 p.m.

"'Never Leave Your Block'" is about the little things that make big cities work," says Jacobs. "The book consists of 33 stories I've written over the last 10 years about everything from friends, neighbors and activities in my Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago to my own early adventures in the city and potty training my 5-year-old son."

"It is a bit eclectic," he adds. "Although Publisher's Weekly called it 'a tribute to the importance of strong neighborhoods in the weave of urban fabric' I'm equally proud that it recently was given the 'Mom's Choice' award for adult non-fiction."

The book paints a portrait of a gentrifying neighborhood where new residents and old share the streets, parks and public playgrounds in an uneasy equilibrium. It's received praise from Bill Kurtis and the Chicago Pipeline.

Though we like to poke fun at Chicago, in reality, Milwaukee's story isn't all that different, is it? Jacobs has his finger on the pulse on urban America – and his visit to Boswell ought to be a fun event.


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