Riding the Bus

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As a child, I viewed my city as an intertwining jungle, so varied in its inhabitants and artifacts, and so rich in culture and history. The twists and turns of each road were cluttered with children and their parents and the elderly and middle-aged adults rushing their way to work, enticing my six-year-old brain with subjects for Eye Spy and my up-and-coming Crayola illustrations. My left hand clutching my mom’s thumb, my right hand rubbing the blue-velvet seats, I would stare with my mouth agape out smudged windows at neighborhoods built by Polish and German settlers with Cream City brick, or at timeless murals decorating the exteriors of factories and abandoned buildings, all while my legs bounced to the rhythm of the bus’s tires clashing with potholes and cracks in the road.

The Milwaukee County Transit System gave me a firsthand view of the treasures of my city, and I credit it for instilling within me a lens to view my environment with a more appreciative and open-minded perspective. Growing up, much of my weekends were spent on journeys to the city museum or downtown market on the other side of town. My mom and I would board the county bus after taking the short walk from our Southside apartment to the bus stop in the...

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