EDITORIAL: Explore the Milwaukee beyond 10th and 20th

How many students have heard about the upcoming Milwaukee Film Festival, and how many of those who have heard about it will actually go? How many people have seen a play at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater or visited the Milwaukee Ballet? Perhaps most importantly, how many of us have ever randomly stumbled upon a shop or a low-key event without having first heard about it through someone or something else?

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. We’re talking about parts of the city that extend past Wisconsin Avenue and State Street. Outside the comfort zones of 10th and 20th. We’re talking about the real Milwaukee.

Unfortunately, the farthest “off campus” some students get is the Bradley Center, and it’s probably only to watch the men’s basketball team play.

By spending four (or more) years in a dynamic environment like Milwaukee, you’d be selling yourself short if you only stay on campus. This city offers an endless of variety of things to do during your time at Marquette.

We’re sure you’ve heard about Summerfest before (if you haven’t, we strongly suggest you look it up immediately). But that’s not the only wonderful festival Milwaukee offers. There are countless ethnic festivals such as Polish Fest, Festa Italiana, African World Festival, Indian Summer Festival and more.  We encourage you to check these types of events out, even if your heritage doesn’t match the name of the festival.

This past weekend was the annual Doors Open Milwaukee event presented by Historic Milwaukee, Inc. This unique experience allows the public to see more than 125 buildings downtown and across the city in ways they have never seen before. You can go backstage at the Pabst Theater, tour the Pfister Hotel, explore the 149-year-old original Mount Sinai Hospital and much more.

So maybe you missed the incredible opportunity to discover Milwaukee this year, but unless you’re a senior, you have no excuse to not partake in the experience next year. If you did take advantage of Doors Open Milwaukee 2012, let us know what you found. We’d love to hear about it.

This would be the paragraph where we suggest some other obvious places you should visit, like the Art Museum or Miller Park. But we’re not going to. Instead, we’re going to suggest that on a day when you have nothing to do, you visit that place you drove past on the bus last week. You’ve never heard of it before, but you thought it looked interesting. Go there. Not the Milwaukee County Zoo or the Riverside Theater – although both of those places are great. But go find the undiscovered treasures this city has to offer. We’re sure you’ll be glad you did.

Milwaukee is one of the greatest cities in the world. OK, we may be a little bit biased, but you have to admit it is pretty awesome. For many students, this could be the only time you’ll ever live in this city, so make the most of it while you’re here.

The leaves are starting to change, and the temperature is dropping. Get out and explore the city before three feet of snow prevent you from walking outside in below-freezing weather.

We don’t want to sound too “travel agency-y,” but we do hope that during your time here, you are able to find the niche of Milwaukee that resonates with you. The city is filled with diversity and hidden jewels that fly beneath the radar. We challenge you to find them. Share them if you wish – or keep them all to yourself.