While MKE boasts an incredible art museum, diverse restaurant scene and great outdoor workout spaces, the little nuances of our city that we often take for granted are what make Milwaukee unique.

We asked writer and August 2017 issue contributor Dominic Inouye to share with us the reasons he loves Milwaukee. Here are his picks:


Milwaukee’s best quality is its diversity, whether that is manifested in its wide variety of ethnic and cultural heritages, its 28 ZIP Codes or its almost 200 distinct neighborhoods.

Milwaukee Art Museum

A go-to place for my husband and I, especially on dreary or rainy days, is the Milwaukee Art Museum, where we have been members for many years. We can still be amazed by the permanent collections and love how the Museum reenvisioned the space, but we particularly enjoy the special exhibits. While we both appreciate all kinds of artistic expression, he really enjoyed Rembrandt’s drawings and Pissarro’s paintings, while I was drawn more to the likes of Larry Sultan’s photography and Thomas Hart Benton’s murals.

Photo by Jeff Millies

Outdoor Workouts

I love that I’ve been a part of November Project‘s Milwaukee tribe for over three years now. We are a free, fun fitness family that uses the city as our gym every Wednesday and Friday at 6:26 a.m., all year round (that means sun, rain, wind, snow, lightning and – at least once that I can remember – hail). On Wednesdays, we’re on O’Donnell Park, but on Fridays, we visit many other parks and spaces in our city, including the Lake Park Bistro stairs and Bradford Beach, Commerce Street’s hills, Pere Marquette Park and Washington Park.

Photo by Meghan Quadracci

Range of Restaurants

For breakfast, I love the chicken and waffles at Coffee Makes You Black, the eggs Benedict at Blue’s Egg or, if I’m just in the mood for a healthy drink, the coffee smoothie at The Juice Kitchen. For lunch, the ramen at The National fills me up and never disappoints; when I’m working at home, I can always rely on the nearby Mekong Cafe Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese lunch buffet; and nothing beats the southern comfort of The Tandem for lunch or dinner! For dinner, my husband and I love the intimate Zarletti in downtown Milwaukee (great for a pre-show meal) and, when we want someplace to walk, the familiarity and weekly specials at Juniper 61.

The Tandem’s Georgia fried and spicy Memphis fried chicken with french fries, bean salad and coleslaw. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

Street Views

The best views of the city by far are on the street while on foot: eschewing the rapid transit of our cars, buses and even bikes and seeing the city face to face, eye level and within conversation distance of its residents, its houses and businesses, its sounds and smells. All the little details and stories I failed to notice even though I’ve lived in Milwaukee for 23 years.

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Inouye is a contributor to our August, 2017 Issue, writing this month’s story, “Fractured Narrative.”