Why I Love Milwaukee: You Have to Leave, Then Return

Betsy Rowbottom moved back to Milwaukee 11 years ago. Since, she co-founded a startup, The Good Jobs, and now helps develop businesses with marketing agency SRH.

There’s this adage about how there are two kinds of people that don’t like Milwaukee: One is a person who has never been here, and the other is someone who has never left.

I’m evidence of the latter. I had to leave this city to love it, since it didn’t catch on the first three times.

I had to battle for every parking spot in Seattle to understand the hidden splendor of Milwaukee’s accessibility. And I had to find serenity in the mountains of Telluride, Colorado, to realize how important it is to have stuff going on, like the Irish jam sessions at Three Lions Pub, or bowling and a beer at The Holler House.

And don’t get me started on custard – I partake in the treat almost daily.

There’s this boomerang effect going on where all these people are returning from supposedly “cool” cities like Austin and Portland and Boston. For the people who are coming back, we’re realizing that we matter here.

No one here is invisible. We’re an innately interconnected community, one Smallwaukee, and that’s what I love most about it.
– Betsy Rowbottom, as told to Adam Rogan

“Step 1: Leave Milwaukee Step 2: Love Milwaukee” appears in the October 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning Oct. 1, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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Adam is a journalist who recently returned to his Wisconsin home after graduating from Drake University in December 2017. He interned with MilMag in the summer of 2015 and has been a continual contributor ever since. Follow him on social media @Could_Be_Rogan