"If it wasn't for _______ (fill in obligation), I wouldn't even be here."
"The ______ scene is awful."
"There is absolutely nothing keeping me here."
I hear it from both strangers and close friends and it breaks my Dreamsicle heart in tween. Have you fallen out of love with your neighborhood? Don't fret. We've got a little Love Potion Guide to help you romance your city again.
You don't have to drink. I know, it sounds blasphemous and insane but don't punch your screen yet.
We've all heard the complaint/excuse that there's nothing to do but drink. I'm not suggesting we become nuns, but if the bar scene is draining for you-- don't do it.
If the party is agonizing or the music is insufferable without a gallon of gin in your gullet, maybe it just isn't fun to begin with. Meet up and camp out at a coffee house or sushi bar.
Claim a secret space. One of the best parts of being in love is having secrets. Try this one. Or this one.
Or this one. Hell, any of these.
Walk. I have the pleasure of being a professional pedestrian and I attribute much of my Love for the city to having opportunities to observe. You can't see the sun glinting off the top of the Library, watch ducks, check in on gardens or pick up treasures when you're driving.
Physically gain a new perspective. View your city from the pier, from the top of a sky scrapper, gliding beneath bridges on the river, or from the top of a Ferris wheel. You'll find things you never knew you loved.
Break out of your rut. Perhaps your distaste is simply boredom in disguise. Adventures are good for any relationship.
Get on a list. Don't depend entirely on Facebook to keep you in the loop. Get on mailing lists for projects and groups that tickle you. Take photos of bulletin boards and posters to keep in mind while plotting your weekend.
You need music in your life. Read this blog. That is all.
It's possible that your friends suck. Perhaps you're not out of love with your city, but you've outgrown your group. Negative people who rag on everything make it impossible to ascend to the highest levels of party. And being caught under a bitchy black cloud could ruin even the most idyllic metropolis.
Branch out, you've got love to give.
Show your love by showing up. Do you like that there are musicians in your neighborhood? Go to shows. Do you love that there are tassel twirlers in your city? Get to a review. Think your friends are funny? Get to the open mic. Someone you work with made a movie? Get your mitts on a ticket.
If you feel as though your community is weak and you're not turning out to support it, it's possible you're part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Be what makes us better.
Which leads us to our last bit of Love Tonic:
Your city, your neighborhood and your scene are like any other Lover in your life.
You need to give to get. The fun is abundant but don't expect it to curl up in your lap. You need to go find it. There will be moments of anger and disinterest, but if you put forth the effort there are sweet (and usually sexy) rewards.
But most importantly friends,
If after you've shared a feast or licked your fingers dining alone, strolled along the marina while your hair is whipped about by the lake, fawned over driftwood monuments--
skulked in graveyards, paid homage to the gods of Rock and Roll, screamed at the lucha libre match, been wooed by a darkened movie house--
Swarmed by Glamazons, covered in paint and drink and good company and you STILL feel as though there is a hole in your city soul and something is missing...
Maybe you need to make it.
Maybe it's your sign that that is what you need to do. Maybe that's your calling.
All of the things we love started out as someones gift, as someones "Wouldn't it be neat if..."
Possibility is at the core of my love for Milwaukee. There is room to grow.
Let's have an affair.
What do you love about MKE, kittens? Meow it in the comments