My Hometown: Louisville, KY
It’s Derby Week here in Louisville and while some readers may be tired of my love affair with this city I also thought this might be an opportunity to start a loose-format series about the places we all come from. So if you are a regular writer or a potential guest blogger, I hope you will follow my lead…
I started to do a big write up about our history and culture and what it means to live in Louisville but I kept realizing I was just saying the same things that everyone else says about our city. The reason for that (I hope) is not because I don’t have an original thing to say but because we all pretty much agree on the reasons why Louisville is awesome. The folks at Brooklyn Derby did the hard work of putting it all together in this quick video.
Some additional points:
-- If someone here asks you where you went to school, we mean high school, not college. The reason? We want to find a connection with everyone we meet. If your brother graduated with my cousin, well then we’re practically family.
-- We have some of the most diverse architecture in the country, but it’s not in the urban center, it’s in our neighborhoods. Louisville is home to one of the largest Victorian neighborhoods in the country, shotgun homes, craftsman, four-square, prairie style and southern variation called ‘folk Victorian’. We’ve also snuck in a few beautiful examples of art deco.
-- If you are a lady attending the Derby for the first time, buy a hat. Everyone really does wear them. If you’re a guy, madras plaid or seersucker are the best choices. And maybe learn the words to ‘My Old Kentucky Home’. Singing it with 100,000 other people before the race is a special moment.
-- We have a big Catholic population and the Catholic social season is really important here. Lenten fish fries, summer church picnics and fall football games. These events are well-attended and you’re guaranteed to run into about 20 people you know.
-- The parks here are world-class. Of the 123 we have, Frederick Law Olmstead designed 18 of them after he designed Central Park in NYC. We also have the largest municipal forest in the United States.
-- The food really is that good.
-- The Humana Festival of New American Plays is considered one of the best in the country. Plays start here before they go to Broadway.
-- The University of Louisville has been rated the #1 fanbase in the country for a good reason. We love our Cards.
-- Visit Cave Hill cemetery. It’s huge, it’s beautiful and you can leave a bucket of chicken on the grave of Colonel Sanders.
Really folks. Just come visit. You’ll be glad you did. Drop me a line and the first round is on me. And remember, it’s Loo-a-vull. Pronounce it correctly and pretend you’re a local.
P.S. Yeah, I didn’t talk about bourbon. But I know some of you folks, especially Brother Mark, wouldn’t think of visiting Louisville without sampling the Only True American Spirit. The Brooklyn Derby folks covered that one too. Enjoy.
Mike Dwyer is a freelance writer in Louisville, KY. He writes about culture, the outdoors and whatever else strikes his fancy. His personal site can be found at www.mikedwyerwrites.com. He is also active on Facebook and Twitter. Mike is one of several Kentucky authors featured in the book This I Believe: Kentucky.