Our home town, the City of New Berlin, is situated in Waukesha County in the State of Wisconsin, United States of America. New Berlin, with a population of about 40,000 is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area comprising Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, and Ozaukee counties with a total population of over 1.5 million. Wisconsin consists of 72 counties. Wisconsin is one of 50 states making up the United States of America, situated in the upper Midwest. Wisconsin is located to the west of Lake Michigan, one of the 5 Great Lakes the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth. Lake Michigan is third in size at 22,300 square miles (58,000 square kilometers), 118 miles (190 km) east to west, and 307 miles (494 km) north to south. Lake Michigan ranges in depth from an average of 280 feet (85 meters) to a maximum of 925 feet (282 meters). Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake entirely within the USA.
Lake Michigan’s size has a weather influence on Milwaukee and its environs. In the warm seasons of April to October, prevailing onshore winds cause cooling during the day 60% of the time. The balance of the year, November through March when the lake is warmer than the land, results in less cooling at night. There is some lake effect snow, but this is more prevalent on the other side of the lake impacting Michigan due to prevailing winter winds.
New Berlin is roughly a square area of 6 by 6 miles (10 kilometers), served by two interstate highways, I94 to the north, and I43 to the south. Approximately 1% of New Berlin is water. Our condominium is located off National Avenue and Michelle Witmer Memorial Drive, feeding Library Lane. Michelle was one of an identical twin pair. Michelle was the first Wisconsin National Guard soldier to die in military combat in 60 years on April 9, 2004, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Michelle was assigned to the U.S. Army Military Police in Baghdad.
New Berlin has some notoriety. We have 2 roundabouts, both two-lane roads on Mooreland Road. One serves I43 and since our locals are not too sure about giving the right of way in a circle, many accidents are reported at that intersection.
Our condominium is located at Residences at City Center. This community is served by numerous facilities within an easy walk. We have a nearby medical clinic, dentist, optometrist, banks (4), grocery stores (2), a national pharmacy chain, hairdressers (4), dine-in restaurants (2), fast-food restaurants (10), hardware store, specialty stores e.g. gift cards, library, fitness center, gas (petrol) station, oil change center, and even a funeral home. Our condominium is a proud possessor of Richard Taylor’s Puzzle sculpture.
We are located 20 minutes drive from Milwaukee’s General Mitchel International Airport and a 90-minute drive from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. We are 20 minutes from downtown Milwaukee where we have access to a variety of theaters (Pabst, Oriental, Riverside, Marcus, Repertory, Northern Lights, Alchemist, Avalon Atmospheric, Chamber, and Brumder Mansion), the Milwaukee Art Museum, Harley-Davison Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, BMO Harris Bradley Center home of the Bucks basketball team, Miller Park—home of the Brewers Baseball, and Basilica of St. Josaphat to name a few. Milwaukee has a famous County Zoo, and hosts numerous summer festivals at the Henry Maier Festival Park including Summerfest featuring international and national musicians, exhibits, and a variety of food treats. Other festivals featured at the Park include Irish Fest, Festa Italiana, Indian Summer Festival, Mexican Fiesta, German Fest, Pride Fest, and Polish Fest to name some. The Wisconsin State Fair is another big event in August with animals and agriculture, and of course crème puffs and a wide variety of food available. Wisconsin, known as the dairy capital, has a population that loves to eat. Wisconsin is home to over 100 breweries. Milwaukee boasts many breweries with 20 calling the city home including best known Miller Brewing, and Pabst. (Update January 2021. Miller Park, built in 2001 was renamed American Family Field effective 2021, through sponsorship by American Family Insurance.)
I am blessed to be able to work from home. 43% of Americans spend some time working remotely, with 31% spending most of their time away from a formal office environment. There are three industrial parks within the city of New Berlin providing job opportunities for locals. 600 businesses provide employment for 13,000 people. Many commutes to centers in Milwaukee, or other places north, west, east, and south, and some as far afield as Chicago, Illinois. Most New Berlin residents are middle-class professionals. 3% live under the poverty line. Our residential water is sourced from Lake Michigan and wastewater returned to the Lake via the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District system. Some homes, especially those further east draw water from private wells. New Berlin has 4 elementary schools (Elmwood, Orchard Lane, Poplar Creek, Ronald Reagan), two combined middle and high schools (Eisenhower and New Berlin West). In addition, there are three Christian schools (Holy Apostles, Heritage, and Star of Bethlehem). Our area boasts 26 parks and a golf course. Malone Park, near the City Hall, includes a playing field. Parks are used season-round for biking, cross-country skiing, soccer, and walking. We have 20 places of worship within New Berlin
New Berlin has a crime rate that is 55% lower than Wisconsin as a whole, and 64% lower than the nation. With regards to violent crimes, we score 90% lower than Wisconsin, and 60% lower than the nation. New Berlin is safer than 87% of the cities in the US. Year over year crime in New Berlin has decreased by 18%. Property crime is the highest in New Berlin: burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. My speculations are that we are targets for criminals that live outside our city, and that keeps our local police force busy.
On my 40-minute walking route, I pass a home with a number of Ash Trees in their yard. Sadly many of these trees are infected with the Emerald Ash Borer. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. In effect, these trees die from the inside. State laws require that these trees be removed as soon as evidence of Emerald Ash Borer is detected. The family in this home are of Scandinavian origin and elected to keep a stump and to get an artist to carve a Viking head. Great artwork.