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.

Parkway Musings

Nature, Neighborhood, Weather


Millie and I (see above) just returned from a walk on Menomonee River Parkway. I do my best blog-thinking on these walks and today was an outstanding day for such a venture. Here are just a few of the gems that popped into my head as we walked:


Let’s hear it for the weather – clap, clap, clap, clap. Fall is, hands-down, my absolutely favorite season. Today is a spectacular example of why I love this time of year. The weather is cool and crisp, the bugs are gone, the sun is shining brightly and there’s a crunch with every footstep. Bravo Mother Nature.


Every time I walk Millie on the parkway, I’m pretty sure I’m violating some county ordinance. I know this because there are a few well-hidden signs that say NO DOGS ALLOWED. I’m guessing this is because of a few crummy dog-walkers who have not picked up after their dogs. You know who you are. Or maybe you don’t because you are one of those elite runners that allows your dog to run behind you unleashed. You’re moving so fast that you don’t know when your dog stops and leaves a souvenir on the pathway. In any case, I think the parkway should be open to well-managed, leashed dogs and their owners. I think we can coexist with the runners, the walkers and the stroller-pushers.


Today while walking, I heard a voice behind me say: “Coming up on your left. I have plenty of room. Thank you.” This was a courteous cyclist. It was also shocking to hear. I’m used to bikes whizzing past me with no warning. They can see me, but neither I nor my dog can see or hear them. The dog gets startled when they suddenly appear and then the cyclist gets mad when the dog inadvertently lunges in their path. If you’re riding behind a dog walker or anyone, give notice. Buy a bell. Give a shout out.


Maybe it was just a tease, but it sure looked like there were road repairs going on just west of Church Street on the parkway. Could it be that the infamous potholes are actually being fixed? We can dream, can’t we?


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