On July first, 2013, my girlfriend and I arrived at our new rental house. It was pouring down rain, and we had just driven over nine hours from Petoskey, Michigan to our new home in Louisville. A home that we had, in fact, never seen in person. When you’re two just-out-of-college people working in the arts, you don’t have the funds to travel so far just to look for rental homes. Since we showed up and moved our posessions from our leaking rental truck to our tiny Germantown shotgun, we’ve found a whole new wonderful world in Louisville.
One year on, I decided the appropriate way to say thanks to the city that’s welcomed us so warmly would be with a list of all the things in town that have made my first year so great.
- Ramsi’s Cafe On The World - Simply put, I haven’t found another restaurant in town that has captivated me as greatly as Ramsi’s. I’m a vegetarian, and the amount of options I have there are as large as the menu - even most of their meat dishes can be served minus the animal. Ramsi’s also partners with a local farm, and they’ve started dedicating more and more time to sourcing all of their ingredients locally. My favorite dish would have to be the Egyptian Kitchen, a meal so wonderful I would turn left onto Bardstown Road during rush hour to get it.
- Four Sisters Crepes - If Ramsi’s is my favorite place to eat an amazing dinner, then Four Sisters is my comparative restaurant for breakfast foods. The four sisters from Vietnam can turn flour and water into a thing of beauty. Sweet crepes with combinations that I would never think to try, and savories that are cooked perfectly, and complimented with some of the best sun dried tomatoes and Balsamic reduction that I’ve ever had. They also started serving beer, wine, and home-made Mimosas, so what’s not to love? If that isn’t enough, you can also consider the fact that all four of them are some of the genuinely nicest people I’ve met around town.
- Farmer’s Markets - Louisville is home to some amazing farmer’s markets, and while I haven’t hit up every single one, I have spent time trying. The Bardstown Road Farmer’s Market stays open year-round, which I find absolutely amazing - did you ever think vegetables would sell outdoors in that weather last winter? They did, and I was there. I also recently stumbled onto the Saint Matthews Farmer’s Market, and all I can say is wow. It’s huge, there was some amazing live music, and more booths than you can shake a stick at. We’re really lucky to have so many great options for shopping local in Louisville, and you can find a list of all our farmer’s markets here.
- Crazy Daisy Antique Mall - Antiquing has always been a passion of mine. The quality of older goods goes far beyond the disposable nature of a lot of our current things, and I try to buy practical and useful antiques over new stuff whenever possible. When I found Crazy Daisy, I knew that I had discovered a wonderland of amazing things. I found a pair of glasses from the 1930s that actually match my current prescription, I found a pair of Hessian Boots that fit me perfectly, and I also found a full set of tails from the 1920s that (again) fit me so perfectly I didn’t even need to make any alterations. It isn’t very often you can walk into a place like Crazy Daisy, discover so many things that are perfect for you, and feel so at home - like the building itself almost knows what you need...
Things to do:
- Visit Jefferson Memorial Forest - I’ve taken a pretty aggressive return to hiking, and nowhere in the immediate area of Louisville can beat the trail network of Jefferson Memorial Forest, at least not that I’ve been to. It’s an amazingly lush and deep forest that feels just as old as it is. There’s a lot of history in Louisville, and it seeps up from the forest floor in the heart of the forest - when I make my way through the deepest parts of the trails I almost feel as if I’m in another era. The greens are deep, and the sounds of cars and the city vanish completely. If you like getting out of the noise and light pollution of the city, the Jefferson Memorial Forest is just a quick drive away. It’ll take you to another Louisville that you may never have seen before.
- Explore Louisville’s History - Louisville is full of some amazing history, and is saturated in amazing locales. I started off my year by spending time at Locust Grove, and since my visit there I’ve been lucky enough to see the insides of several other beautiful historic locations. I’ve toured the inside of The Mammoth, I’ve heard the macabre history of Eastern Cemetery, and I’ve seen the remnants of crumbling homesteads deep in the forest. Louisville’s history runs deep, and there is so much left to see.
I could go on to gush about all of the things that make Louisville great - from an outsider’s perspective - but many of you already know why this place is amazing. The city - our city - is an amazing one, and I’m glad to be a part of the community.
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