MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee couple turned their passion for Milwaukee into a guide with a purpose.
"I've lived in Milwaukee my entire life, I've been a writer, editor with OnMilwaukee for 20 years. Even before the pandemic I loved walking around Milwaukee," shares Molly Snyder.
That's the genesis behind their book "Walking Milwaukee," by Molly Snyder and Royal Brevvaxling. It gives you 31 different walking tours through all parts of the city.
"It's for the adventuresome spirit, the person who wants to take some easy routes along Milwaukee and check out something different and learn a little history along the way and have some fun," explains Snyder.
Brevvaxling adds, "There are some challenging walks. They’re ranked from easy-moderate to hard. There are some challenging walks like the 35th street viaduct in our Silver City walk. We clearly let people know that's not going to be an easy stroll."
"Some walks geared more towards family we make sure you can walk by a Purple Door Ice Cream somewhere where you can stop off," shares Snyder.
This adventure is in addition to their day jobs. Snyder is editor of OnMilwaukee and Brevvaxling a PHD college instructor and photojournalist.
"We both just really love Milwaukee. We love walking around and we love getting exercise that way. We love casual walking, we like to occasionally do a nature hike but were more city people," admits Snyder.
Their strolls turned into a learning experience.
"What we found through this book we familiarize with 4 very different sides of this town in Milwaukee we really found the beauty inside each neighborhood and each side of town.”
Snyder recounts, "Like going to Piggsville, like I'd always heard of Piggsville and like what is Piggsville and why is it called that?" She laughs. "That’s in the book by the way. It was really fun to go and see these places!”
"There were parts of Merrill Park neighborhood I didn't know. I didn't know about the race track. That was pretty interesting," says Brevvaxling.
Writing the book took about a year. The treks turned up hidden gems.
"I was really blown away by the beauty of Northridge Lakes," Snyder exclaims.
"We have a walk that is really in Northridge Lakes and it's so hard to believe you are in the Northside of Milwaukee you feel like you are in a nature preserve."
Sauntering Milwaukee streets as sightseers gave the couple a different view.
Brevvaxling recalls, "It was really important to showcase a lot of different Milwaukee streets. It's about urban hikes and that's important to me and appreciating the beauty that Milwaukee has."
Perhaps traversing different neighborhoods can keep our minds off the strife of 2020.
Snyder notes, "Think about something other than the challenges a lot of us are facing right now, walking has been a savior for us I think.
There was only one bump in the sidewalk during their journey.
Snyder admits, "We got into a fight about thinking which route should we go. Literally he was like we should turn left. I was like oh no we should turn right! I thought there was going to be so much more because when we both think we’re right, we both think we're right!" But Brevvaxling is quick to add, "I was right! They both laugh.
The couple reminds us that we must never forget the magic in our own backyards.
Snyder says, "If you let yourself, it is such a rich experience living in Milwaukee. You can really access so many different cultures and find the similarities"