I awoke March 1 to snow. The sky was spitting out flakes in a devil-may-care fashion. Streets, trees and parked cars were already coated in white, and it looked like the accumulation was well on its way to achieving the forecasted total of 8 inches. In New York City, this would be considered a blizzard. In Milwaukee, I’ve come to learn, it was just another day in March.
But for me, it wasn’t just any day. It was the first day of my new life as a Milwaukeean, after a couple decades as a New Yorker. And this chilly welcome had me wondering if Cream City was testing our relationship.
What brought me here was the offer to serve as editor-in-chief of Milwaukee Magazine, which qualifies as a dream job in my book. I wouldn’t have accepted it if I hadn’t fallen in love with Milwaukee. When someone asks how I like the city, I tend to gush. I can’t help it, with so much to get excited about – the great burger I had at Goodkind, the hours I spend at Boswell Books, First Fridays at the Art Museum, and, on weekends, walking the path to the beach in Atwater Park.
I also love that it all feels familiar, yet different. I was born and raised in the Midwest, in South Bend, Indiana. We had Potawatomis there, too, and named a zoo after them. And when I see the name Cudahy, it reminds me of my grandmother’s stories about working in the Cudahy factory in East Chicago.
But most of all, I love the quiet pride Milwaukeeans take in their city. I hear it from a wide variety of people, including my new friend Betsy (my Air BnB hostess!), who happily takes on the role of unofficial concierge to the city, and from my hairdresser Tia, a self-proclaimed spokeswoman for the State Fair.
I’ve worked at a variety of different magazines, but I’ve always felt that regional titles have a unique and vital purpose: to serve and celebrate the community. That’s something this publication has excelled at for a long time, thanks to a very smart and dedicated staff. It’s a mission I feel honored to continue.
I hope you’ll accept this invitation to tell me what’s on your mind, be it your concerns over what’s being done about crime, or your pick for the city’s best frozen custard (I’m still in the tasting process!). Post it on our Facebook page, tweet it to @CaroleNicksin, or email me at Carole@MilwaukeeMag.com.
Anyway, back to that first day. I bundled up, scraped the windshield, and set out to find an apartment. And, what do you know? The first one I looked at was pretty much perfect, so I rented it. And everything that has followed in my first month here has been equally serendipitous and wonderful. Except for that snow thing, which continued into April. But that’s okay, Milwaukee. I can live with it. Something tells me this is the start of a beautiful relationship.
You’re Invited! Meet Carole Nicksin and celebrate the release of the May issue at Great Lakes Distillery on Thursday, April 28. Click here to RSVP.
Tune in to TMJ4’s The Morning Blend on Wednesday, April 27 to watch an interview with Carole Nickson.