What is happening in 53206

A Rich Community in Milwaukee

We have lived in the inner city of Milwaukee since 2006.  We continue to learn more about living here as well as learning more about ourselves.  We realized we should start to share some of these things since others could learn too.  We are probably going to get something wrong but we want to share regardless, knowing we are still growing and learning in our search of getting it right.


Processing Week 6 – Misplacing Automobiles, Defining Buckets, and We Got This

I’m not a macro-economist. I took one econ class in college. The professor was a parrot-head (someone that goes to Jimmy Buffet concerts). Besides telling us the basics of how a free market economy works, the main take away from that course was that he lost his car at a Jimmy Buffet concert at Alpine...
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Alex and Meg Bruzan

We are Alex and Meg

53206 has an incarceration rate for black males at roughly 50%.  Why are we OK with that?


When I was working in a school we had a saying, self awareness, plus perspective yields empathy. Empathy was the goal, because you begin every interaction seeking to understand what would be in the best interest of the person you were serving. If I’m deciding what the next course of action should be for a...
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Stolen TV

Home Invasions and Half Iron Mans

I told myself if I could get halfway through the bike, I would be ok. I haven’t always been the type of person that exercises. I’d never paid to participate in a race. I’ve run two marathons, but the course was either designed by my sister or just made up as we ran. One year...
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53206 Park

Communal Responsibility

Last night my 10 year old went to the neighborhood park with a few other girls from the block.  As she was gone I couldn’t stop listening for anything out of the ordinary and worrying about her in general.  Last week there was a drive by shooting spraying about 100 rounds for several blocks on...
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Week 3 Of Semi-Retirement – Flexibility

In the early 2000’s I spent a lot of time going to church. Church means different things for different people at different times of their lives. For little Alex Bruzan, it meant evangelical, structured services with singing to start, singing to end, with a half hour talk in the middle, and a couple of prayers...
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Do you have a flashlight or candle I can have?

“Do you have a flashlight or candle I can have?” A woman walking down the street stopped me and asked me this question.  I thought this was a weird request so asked why.  She said that the power and water was shut off in her home so a flashlight would be helpful in getting through...
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3 Paragraphs On Purpose

For the first time in a long time, I’ve got time. So I think I’ll spend an hour refining those three big goals I’ve been working through. The more refined they are, the easier it should be to figure out some actions that’ll work toward solving the problems created by those three big goals. I’ve...
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An Update On Charlie’s House

I’m standing in the downstairs kitchen at Charlie’s house getting ready to put up a coat of mud in the living room. When I come here, I can’t help but think about him. We were neighbors for about a dozen years. When we first moved into 53206, I had a fear that the people who...
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Week 2 Of Semi Retirement – Spreadsheets To The Rescue

I know when most people think of retirement they assume they won’t be doing much. I wrote last week that I was so focused on achieving the goal of early retirement also known as FIRE (financial independence retire early) I rarely spent time visualizing what it might be like to not have to work anymore....
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Car Crash

It’s Harder To Live In The Ghetto Than It Is To Live Not In The Ghetto

It’s harder to live in the ghetto than it is to live not in the ghetto.  Saying that outloud to myself, it seems absurdly obvious ( and a little grammatically awkward). I spend a lot of time thinking about why we chose to move into the inner city, what we were like back then, and...
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First rental demo

Electrical Fires

“When you pay rent somewhere, you pay to feel safe, not to worry about if your house is going to catch on fire.”  That’s a quote from the article linked
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Is This Called Backwards Design?

I was reminded today about a principle in design that is easy to overlook, but is so critical to accomplishing long term goals. It’s particularly useful when the goal is arbitrary or currently unbounded. I have the goal of designing educational systems and structures which minimize the predictability of student success along racial and socio-economic...
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A Couple Of Thoughts On Seeing My First Drive-By Shooting

For the number of times I have been asked if I am worried about getting shot when I explain to people where I live, you would assume I’ve seen a ton of drive-by shootings. In reality I hadn’t seen one until this past Saturday. My family and I are very lucky to have not witnessed...
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We Got This

We love the idea of putting more money into 53206 and we believe that the We Got This Garden is one of the best ways to do so.  They provide youth a place to work in the garden as well as train the youth how to have a vision for their life.


53206 By the Numbers

1. A 2013 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study found it was the most incarcerated ZIP code in the state, with a majority of its men having spent time in jail or prison. Experts say little has happened since to suggest the ranking has changed.

2. A third of Milwaukee’s 2,940 vacant lots are located in 53206.

3. Two-thirds of the children in 53206 live in poverty, compared with 42 percent of all children 18 and under city-wide.

4. Nearly 95 percent of its residents are black. No other ZIP code has a greater percentage of African Americans.

5. Residents received the lowest rating for health outcomes from the Center for Urban Population Health in 2009. The rating was based on access to quality healthcare; health behaviors; physical environment; poverty and education.

Stats above by Jsonline


Shop 53206

Products on the site are created by our neighbors in the 53206 zip code.