This article appeared in the November 2010 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
Baseball bat, sword, fist — covering all the ways to smack and jab at the Louisville Slugger Museum (800 W. Main St., 588-7228), Frazier International History Museum (829 W. Main St., 753-5663) and the Muhammad Ali Center (144 N. Sixth St., 584-9254).
Drinking New Albanian microbrews at Bank Street Brewhouse (415 Bank St., New Albany, Ind., 725-9585) — eminently worth crossing the river for.
Strolling Waterfront Park’s more than 85 acres of lawn and walking and jogging paths (along Witherspoon Street and River Road) and admiring Marvin Finn folk art sculptures and the Belle of Louisville, the oldest steamboat still in operation in the United States.
The simple pleasure of the tok-sel lima beans (a traditional Mayan recipe) at Mayan Cafe (813 E. Market St., 566-0651).
Going to Proof on Main (702 W. Main St., 217-6360) for the impossibly delicious octopus bugna cauda (pictured) and innovative cocktails, then touring some of the best contemporary art (and bathrooms) in the world at the adjacent 21c Museum Hotel.
Treasure hunting through nearly two acres of collectibles in an old converted 1890s schoolhouse at Joe Ley Antiques (615 East Market St., 583-4014).
Hitting drugstore/diner Wagner’s Pharmacy (3113 S. Fourth St., 375-3800) for an early breakfast and rubbing elbows with horse trainers, jockeys and other folks from the backside of Churchill Downs. (Snagging the table where Diane Lane sat in a scene from Secretariat is a bonus.)
Sitting in a booth adoring the old black-and-white photos covering the walls and practicing gluttony with the mouth-watering shrimp and grits at Jack Fry’s (1007 Bardstown Road, 452-9244), a quintessentially “Louisville” restaurant.
Listening to live music at Zanzabar (2100 S. Preston St., 635-9227) with all the other cool kids — especially on Nov. 5, when One Eskimo, the English indie rockers, are playing.
Sampling from more than 130 bourbons at Bourbons Bistro (2255 Frankfort Ave., 894-8838) and then devouring the house-seasoned burger to soak it all up.
Exploring an old warehouse that is now Butchertown Market (1201 Story Ave.), home to several unique shops selling Middle East imports, Bourbon Barrel foods, chocolate-covered Twinkies and really fabulous shower curtains.
Sipping the finest espresso at Caffe Classico (2144 Frankfort Ave., 895-0076), and if you’re lucky, catching an evening performance by a flamenco dancer or two.
Hanging out on the strip of Bardstown Road between Bonnycastle Avenue and Eastern Parkway, buying kitschy Kentucky souvenirs at WHY Louisville (1007 Bardstown Road, 452-9244) and then dining at Seviche (1538 Bardstown Road, 473-8560), savoring the scrumptious tuna taquitos.
Deciding between the bacon-infused Manhattan cocktail or the butter-pecan bacon-brittle ice cream at the pork-centric Blind Pig in Butchertown (1076 E. Washington St., 618-0600).
Watching the magical art of glassblowing at Glassworks (815 W. Market St., 625-0699) in the working glass studio.
Not caring about your caloric intake and ordering the infamous Hot Brown (white toast topped with turkey, Mornay sauce, bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese, then broiled till bubbly) at downtown’s Brown Hotel (335 W. Broadway, 583-1234).
Shopping ’til we drop at the high-end boutiques in and around the Vogue Center in St. Matthews (3729 Lexington Road).
Heading to Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe (2870 Frankfort Ave., 899-9800) for a leisurely breakfast or lunch — ordering anything, because it all makes us happy, and leaving with an artisanal loaf of bread.
Taking an interactive journey through the world of art at the Speed Art Museum (2035 S. Third St., on the University of Louisville campus, 634-2700) by playing a new self-guided discovery game designed to accompany the exhibition “Pursuing the Masterpiece: Five Recent Acquisitions.”
Getting a glimpse of “the wild life” late night amid Baxter Avenue’s pubs and enjoying a slice of New York-style pizza at Papalino’s (947 Baxter Ave., 749-8525).
Roaming the East Market Street corridor, particularly art galleries Swanson Reed Contemporary (638 E. Market St., 589-9466) and Zephyr (610 E. Market St., 585-5646), along with the farm-to-table fare at Wiltshire on Market (636 E. Market St., 589-5224) and charcuterie at 732 Social (732 E. Market St., 583-6882), plus trendy shops like Scout (742 E. Market St., 583-0301) and Elizabeth Hills (805 E. Market St., 346-4510).
Reliving the Jazz Age Friday and Saturday nights at the Old Seelbach Bar (500 S. Fourth St., 585-3200), listening to maestro Dick Sisto and gang.
Photo: Louisville Magazine