West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

A Tourist in Tosa - On the Road Again

Tosa Business, Tosa Landmarks, Community

Like many who have reached middle age, I've found there are some good things: I'm slightly more wise, a tiny bit more patient and I have a little more time. One of the negatives, however, is that I seem to have left my metabolism behind somewhere back in my early 20s. I found out the hard way that "Once on the lips, forever on the hips" is more than just a motivational phrase. It's painfully true.

So in my effort to fight back, I've looked for different ways to exercise. Two things that I've found especially enjoyable are running and walking. Now I'm not a fast runner, and my hamstrings don't like me when I'm finished, but it's an efficient way to burn calories. Walking has always been one of my favorite ways to get around. It's one of the reasons that I love New York City - you can walk everywhere...and fast, which is definitely my speed!

As someone addicted to my iPhone, I've found two apps that make running and walking even more enjoyable: Runkeeper and Pandora. Runkeeper tracks my runs and my walks. It maps out my route, calculates the hills that I "conquer" and gives me total mileage and calories burned. If you let it, it will even "coach" you with average pace and distance covered, but that's too annoying for me. Pandora offers a few "workout stations" that play upbeat music that keeps me moving.

And now that I'm back on the road again, I've looked for routes around my house that are interesting to look at. Here's one of the things that I love about Tosa - sidewalks. I have an ongoing argument with an Elm Grove friend who dislikes sidewalks. I love them! I can safely navigate almost all of the streets of Tosa and beyond without worrying about cars swerving into me.

My walking and running have made me fall in love with Wauwatosa all over again. I walk from the center of the Village, through the Highlands, to Highway 41 and then all the way back to Menomonee River Parkway and find it absolutely fascinating. The diversity of businesses and homes is astonishing. And might I say that State Street and North Avenue are really turning into gems.

Walking and running through these areas makes me so proud to live in Tosa. Some friends who live in Hartland, Greendfield and Shorewood were absolutely green with envy when they joined us for Tosa Fest. They couldn't say enough about what a fun and vibrant place this has become with our great restaurants and our many unique businesses. And the best part is that so many of them are locally owned!

Here's hoping that Wauwatosa continues to attract healthy, unique businesses and business leaders who can help keep our community one of the best in the Milwaukee metropolitan area!

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