MILWAUKEE -- The Danes have the perfect word to describe Milwaukee's lifestyle of coziness: Hygee (hoo-ga).
Milwaukee is America's tenth top "Hygge" city, according to Sperling's Best Places list.
Hygge is a Danish concept referring to cozy living. Hygee is a feeling of satisfaction, contentment, gratefulness, and overall, feeling good. The definition is not strict, but there is a general consensus that the concept includes relaxing by the fireplace or candlelight, cuddling up with tons of blankets, and enjoying warm beverages with good company.
Sperling's looked to the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States to see which cities had that Danish feeling. The cities were ranked in consideration of various aspects of coziness. The four Hygge categories are weather, pastimes, venues, and homes with fireplaces.
The top ten Hygge cities are:
- Seattle, Washington
- Portland, Oregon
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Denver, Colorado
- Rochester, New York
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
With the recent freezing temperatures and snowfalls, Milwaukee natives are more than familiar with the cold weather. Apparently, the chill makes it cozier than other warm cities. Milwaukee scored #6 in cozy weather. Sperling's calculated each city's snowfall, precipitation, cold temperatures, and cloudy days. The worse the weather, the more Hygee.
Basically, the cold, miserable weather inspires people to go inside to enjoy the cozy indoor activities. These activities include playing cards, cooking, and knitting. Milwaukee was #7 in cooking.
Los Angeles is America's least Hygge city. The warm weather in the winter makes the city less cozy. LA's shortfall is also associated with the lack of Hygge pastimes and venues.
Cities that scored high in "Hygge Venues" have restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that provide "community and togetherness." The Brew City definitely has plenty of authentic pubs and bars to choose from.
Though the study was about the Danish definition, the study also found correlations to Scandinavian ancestry in the highly Hygge cities. Milwaukee has Scandinavian ancestry of 6%.
We might complain about the cold from time to time, but we enjoy the cozy atmosphere all the more. No wonder we're so satisfied living here!