Friday, May 21, 2010

Lovin' On Louisville

Today, one of my favorite blogs, Kelly's Korner, is doing a "Show Us Your Hometown" link-up. I would consider Nashville my home now, but since I'm actually headed to my real "hometown" tonight to visit my parents for the weekend, let me show you the wonder that is Louisville, Kentucky. (I have a lot of pride in my city of origin, in case you couldn't tell.)

Louisville is a great city--lots of local culture, traditions, and things to do. The pinnacle of all those, of course, is the Kentucky Derby. I've only been to the race in person once, but it is nonetheless a huge part of being a Louisvillian. The Kentucky Derby Festival lasts two weeks leading up to the big event, starts with Thunder Over Louisville, the biggest fireworks show on earth, and includes a marathon, a boat race, balloon race, and other fun stuff, and kids even get out of school on Oaks Day (that's the day before Derby). I always loved watching the all-day TV coverage on Derby Day, singing "Run for the Roses" and "My Old Kentucky Home."

I grew up out in the East End, about 20-25 miles from downtown, so my most local context was the Middletown area, and I grew up at Middletown Christian Church--a vibrant Disciples of Christ congregation that I actually wrote a post about here.

In 8th grade, I started going to Louisville Collegiate School (which looked nothing like this at the time, but I couldn't find a pic of the older part of the school online!)
It was kind of a culture shock, even within the same city, because Collegiate was much closer into town, in an area called the Highlands. It was 1994, and while us suburban kids were still wearing hot pink and hypercolor shirts, kids in the Highlands had discovered grunge. "Watch out," warned a family friend whose nieces went to Collegiate. "The girls don't shave their armpits there." Baggy pants, overalls, and plaid flannel shirts were all the rage.

To this day, I still want to live in an area like the Highlands. Lots of culture, artsy stuff, cool old homes, and you can walk to everything.
Matt loves the area too, and when we were looking for a church to get married in (Louisville for me, United Methodist for him) we chose St. Paul UMC, across the street from Highlands landmarks the Twig & Leaf diner and a Heine Bros. coffeeshop. 
Our reception was at one of my very favorite spots in Louisville--the Brown Hotel. The Hot Brown (bread, ham, cheese, smothered in hollandaise) was so named because it was created in the Brown's amazing fine-dining establishment, The English Grill. The lobby is so beautiful--I wish we had even more pictures of us in these arches!

Do you love your hometown as much as I love mine?


Sara said...

Jessica, I found your blog through Kelly's. We grew up in the same church! How funny - I remember you but I do believe we are a few years apart in age.
Anywho, your family is gorgeous! And you did a great job describing our hometown!

RosyRose said...

Hi Jessica...
I lived in Louisville for several years...actually in the highlands:) My husband and I worked for a non profit housing org. that developed homes for intercity louisville! We lived in an apartment in the original plantation house in the highlands close to bardstown st. I LOVED Louisville! I always love to go back to visit! So nice to meet you!


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