The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: An Alumnus’ Guide to the Best Area Haunts

Throughout my three-year stay at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM for short), I saw a lot of things go down. My conclusion: UWM is a good college, depending on how you approach it, with a lot to do.

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin

First of all, UWM is a healthy school. There’s a great recreation center located on campus with a lot of great facilities located within it.

I personally never went there, despite it being recommended to me by nearly all of my friends. Instead, I preferred to work out at the local high school track, which was located just a small distance from the dorms on-campus (a few blocks down Oakland Avenue).

There is also a multitude of trails for jogging and biking, with outlets located very close to campus.

These trails should typically be ridden on during sunlit hours, as a stabbing occurred once toward the south side of Milwaukee.

But there are plenty of other places to avoid stabbings in Milwaukee, especially around the University.

The UWM campus is a major target for robbers and thieves, as students are constantly reported being attacked and/or mugged. Numerous items have been stolen from the school. The student union is also a haven for the homeless.

That is not without saying that these things don’t occur nearby the campus, either. The 24-hour George Webb restaurant isn’t exactly a safe place late at night.

But there are many places to stay un-stabbed while having fun near UWM – even eating out late!

A great place to go for late-night eats is the famous Oakland Gyros, which is one of Oakland Avenue’s prime attractions for students and thugs alike. It is open until 4 a.m. on the weekends and the most expensive dish comes in just under $10.

The menu is great, although the meat is somewhat questionable. I’ve had both good and bad experiences with Oakland Gyros, with ‘I’ve never been poisoned’ as a recyclable conclusion.

Oakland Gyros is directly next to a bar named “Axle’s,” a little dive with two dartboards next to two pool tables. There are nightly specials, which is practically irrelevant in the city of Milwaukee because even a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon will set you back $5 after tip, but get enough shots in you and you won’t care about prices.

“Axle’s” is friendly, with no dance floor, so there aren’t nearly as many sleazebags as Water Street or anything on the south side. But it’s small too, and LOUD.

Be sure to get there early, so you can play 28 minutes of Neil Young’s “Decade” for only $1 on the jukebox;

  • “Down by the River,
  • Cowgirl in the Sand,
  • Like a Hurricane..

will have everyone in the bar pretty pissed off.

But the University of Wisconsin (UWM) isn’t about pissing people off (and subsequently getting stabbed). It’s about learning, growing, and enjoying yourself while staying healthy.

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