Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Riddance, 2008!

Lou and Roommate dragged ass on their New Years' plans after their southern friends bailed on coming up to the Ville. As a result, we missed a chance at Avalon's yummy-sounding, and extremely reasonably priced, $75 pp dinner seating at 930p. So, we'll be kissing 08 behind at Bearno's by the Bridge with Butch Rice and an open bar. (Mama needs to remember to pace herself...)

Mama's keeping it simple this year with resolutions like:

... develop a skin care regimen appropriate for the 30-mumble-mumble year old that you are. No more of this scrub your face with $3 soap shit.

... write more. Both on Loueyville and in "the real world."

... take some classes. In what? Dunno. Just classes. I have 12 months to figure that one out.

... talk to more strangers. Seriously. If some crazy lady starts a meaningless conversation with you at Heine Brothers or Molly's this year, it very well may be Lou.

I wish you all heaps of comfort and joy in 2009. No matter how good your 2008 was (mine blew), I hope your 2009 is even better.

Off to tart myself up for Irish New Years' at Flanagan's.

Kisses, y'all.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

MMJ on EW for ROO08

Loueyville's own My Morning Jacket is listed alongside "The women of Mad Men" and Viola Davis from Doubt (which I just saw an hour ago-- amazing movie) on Entertainment Weekly's "15 Great Performances of 2008" list.

Unfortunately for me, I heard but did not see the performance listed-- their 12am performance at Bonnaroo 2008. Faithful readers will remember that I went to 'Roo 2008, but it was less than two weeks after my first major surgery and I was definitely out of my gourd to even go (but I'm glad that I did). I had retired to the tent by midnight on that night, so I caught only the beginning of the show and only the audio.

Good job, hometown boys. Stay humble!

Friday, December 26, 2008

CW: All Cissy All the Time

I'm assuming that since I haven't read about this in any of our local media blogs, this issue is a very localized issue. But ever since 12/23-- maybe earlier, the local CW station on my television (and all tvs in the ResInn) has been frozen on a tableaux of Cissy Spacek in bed, hovering over the prone body of some man. I IMBD-ed her and still cannot, for the life of me, figure out which movie it is.

Both Roommate and Big Mama Lou have said, whilst channel surfing, "Huh, that station was on the same scene last time I was flipping through the stations." Because of Lou's intimate relationship with the toob this past week, she was able to set them straight, pronto.

I'm not sure why this is blog-worthy. A little crazy birdie inside my head wonders: maybe so few people watch the CW that no one has actually noticed.

Anyhoo, today (well, yesterday, if we're being honest) is Cissy Spacek's birthday. She's a Christmas baby. And I hope that somehow she knows that she's gotten more face time than Hannah Montana, at least in this little corner of Loueyville, over the past few days. And that's both hard to do and rather nifty.

Thank you for the well wishes over the past week. Surgery went well, but Mama's still feeling kind of crappy. Big Mama Lou came in from the Northeast to take care of me and celebrate the holidays, and she's taken a lot of my time and attention. I should be back on the case next week.

The friends from Florida cancelled on New Year's, so's everything's changed and up in the air. Very sad. Very sad. Hope y'all will keep sending suggestions.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quills-- A little birdie told me mid-January

This past weekend, I bumped into one of my favorite baristas (os?) from the late, great Quills Coffee and Books, and he said we could look forward to seeing the new Quills open at the location on Bardstown next to Flanagan's sometime in Mid-January. This is hugely welcome news.

(Hopefully my Ike-crushed house will "re-open" around the same time!... sigh, probably not)

I told my Quills friend that, while I've been seeing a few other coffee shops since July, I'd been unable to forge a meaningful relationship with any of them.

And truly, before I got sick, I did have a very meaningful relationship with Quills; I went there at least four or five times a week. Quills was indeed my "second home" for a year or so, and I have missed it terribly-- especially since I've been displaced from my "first home," too.

Which meant that when I started reading posts like this and this about my favorite coffeeshop's "Christian underpinnings," this godless heathen was aghast. Yes, Mama can be a bit oblivious to her surroundings at times, but aside from the occasional Bible-reader or even the occasional Bible-study group that I saw there, I had never noticed any blatant religiosity about the place or about the wonderful people who worked there.

I'm looking forward to having them back.

... on another note, my already irregular blogging may get more irregular for the next week or so. Surgery tomorrow, hopefully with a much better rebound time than the last one. But if I'm down for longer than I expect, happy holidays and much love!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Open Letter to Local Business Owners

My dear purveyors of good stuff,

Right now, I live in a hotel. And before you ask, the answer is: No, there's nothing glamorous about living in a hotel. I used to think living in a hotel would be sexy. Manny Ramirez lived in a hotel the whole time he played for the Sox. Kelsey Grammar's character in the tragically short-lived sitcom "Back to You" lived and loved in a hotel room. Heck, it worked for Zack & Cody for three seasons until they took their game onto a cruise ship. (Please don't ask how I know this. Let's just say that convalescing makes strange TV bedfellows. FYI: Dan Savage brilliantly eviscerated said show on This American Life last year, claiming Zach and Cody were turning his son into the worst kind of heterosexual.)

Alas, the Residence Inn is not the St. Gregory from that mid-80's Aaron Spelling show starring Brand Walsh's dad/Babs's husband (are they still married? is anyone still married?).

Last Friday, I came home from work to find that the housekeeper (and yes, having a housekeeper IS sexy-- that's the best thing about hotel life) had left a flyer for 32nd Annual Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour on my coffee table. And when I went downstairs to check about my mail, there was another full-color flyer for the Home Tour displayed on an acrylic stand. And I thought, "Oh how nice. I'm a little broke right now, but I can always hit it next year."

A few hours later, it dawned on me that I've been living in this *&^%^&* hotel for almost three months now-- Ooohh! No, today is my three month anniversary! I've now lived in a hotel for 1/4 of a year. Sigh.-- and that was the very first piece of local advertising I've seen pass through the doors of the joint. Sure, there's the obligatory "brochure shelf" tucked out of sight down an unused corridor, but the Home Tour folks put that full-color photocopied, attractive, festive ad in my face-- both in my room and right on the front desk-- all weekend long. And if I hadn't been a Villager, hadn't known that I'd have another chance to go at the 33rd Annual Home Tour, I would have jumped at it.

At least a couple times a week, I'll be hanging in the lobby or waiting in line at the front desk, and I'll hear some tourist or business person ask for dinner recommendations. If they're looking high end, the answer from the front desker is always the same: Jeff Ruby's. If they're just looking for something to fill their bellies, the front desker always directs them to... you guessed it: 4th Street Live.

Sometimes I stick my nose in. Sometimes I don't. I almost always stick my nose in when I hear folks mulling over dinner options in the elevator or in the hallways. (This takes a lot of effort as Mama is painfully shy around strangers.)

There are lessons to be learned here, Owner friends. First of all, there are 140 guest rooms in the Res-Inn. If the Home Tour people paid 15-cents per color copy, that meant that they spent in the neighborhood of $21 to blanket my hotel and get a brochure into the hot little hands of every single person staying at the hotel that weekend. A single, day-of-purchase ticket for the Home Tour was $30. If one Res-Inn resident hit the Tour, the Tour still made $9.

There are approximately 17,000 hotel rooms in the Louisville Metro area. That's a lot of color copies, sure. But if you're having a special event and you can share the cost with other businesses (Trolley Hops and Bardstown Aglow and Buy Local First and Louisville Originals folks, I'm looking at YOU), you've got quite the captive audience in hotel dwellers, whether they be tourists, businessfolks, or townies like me.

Secondly, if you're a local business within comfortable walking distance of a hotel, why don't you drop off some discount coupons for the front deskers to give out to arriving guests? It's only because I'm such a 'net nerd that I discovered the ill-fated Park Place's awesome Happy Hour deal. Heck, if Park Place had put a little ad in every Res-Inn welcome packet saying: "Hey, we're a high end eating establishment, but you can enjoy fine cocktails and appetizers at half price EVERY DAY and eat and drink like a classy person for the same price you'd pay at TGIFridays" they might have lasted a bit longer. Likewise, it's only through active interweb hunting that I've found out about the daily deals at the BBC Taproom and Artemesia. You don't even need to make it a discount coupon. Why is there no 1/4 page b&w photocopied flier on our brochure rack advertising BBC's daily specials? That's nutso!

And finally, I love me my front desk friends. They're a super sweet group of folks. I have no doubt whatsoever if you, Local Owners, scratch the front desk folks' backs a little, they'll scratch your backs A LOT. Just after Hurricane Ike, I was in a Highland coffee shop (Highland Coffee, to be exact) and a woman from one of the neighborhood Irish pubs came in and handed the baristas coupons for free beers on a particular night. I was behind her in line, so I didn't hear everything she said, but it was something along the lines of: we're thanking our neighbor businesses because we had power and were able to serve food during the dark days and our neighbors sent a lot of business our way. Aw. That's classy, folks.

There are approximately seven or eight people who work the front desk at the Res-Inn. Give them each a gift certificate for $25 at your eating establishment (you know they'll spend more than that). Give them a 25% off coupon for your store. If you're a tourist attraction, let them in free. And don't just do this once-- do it aggressively-- there's all kinds of turn over in the service industry, and you want to keep YOUR business at the front of their minds.

I'm still sick about the fact that I've seen six restaurants within walking distance of the Res-Inn go belly-up in the past three months: Primo, Market on Market, Melillo's, Jenicca's, Park Place, and Browning’s (she intones the litany of the dead). I’m trying to do my own broke-girl part by signing (and abiding by) the LEO’s Shop Local pledge. As soon as I’m finished with my work (if you can call this “work”), I’m heading over to Wild and Wooly to submit my 10 Buy Local receipts to enter their Holiday Passport contest.

But Local Owners, you gotta put yourselves out there a little more. Us Loueyvillagers don’t want to see you croak. We don’t like driving by the Spaghetti Warehouse (or whatever it’s called) and seeing it full to bursting, while 301 Bistro across the street has empty tables. It’s not that we don’t like the Warehouse—it’s yummy and cheap. We’re not unhappy that 4th Street now has a Panera Bread, as long as Panera doesn’t put Toast in jeopardy. Lou will probably end up spending her New Year’s Eve at one of 4th Street Live fine establishments. So, I’m not anti-chain. I’m just pro Local, for all the reasons one should be.

Rant over.

Lots of love,

Bluegrass Hotel Project

When I first found out I was moving to Kentucky (I make it sound like it came as a surprise, but it was me who made the decision to move), the first thing I thought of was how happy I was to be moving to the "bluegrass" state. Back when Roommate and I were an item, and he lived in Tennessee and I lived in NOLA, my favorite parts of visiting him were getting to see great bluegrass music live.

I naturally assumed that my new life in Loueyville would be chock-full of hot, sexy, live bluegrass. But... not so much. I take some of the blame. I haven't been very good about tracking down the good stuff. But I find it funny that when I mention loving bluegrass music to my students, they react like I'd just declared my love for polka.

Anyway, the Bluegrass Hotel Project was announced today at the Jockey Silks Bar at the Galt House. It seems like it should be a bigger deal than the few paragraphs the CJ devoted to it.

Named after the Bluegrass Hotel, a Victorian mansion in Cherokee Park where
many of the musicians used to stay, the project will highlight a time and place
when musicians from around the country flocked to Louisville to play bluegrass.

The project will include a two-hour television documentary to be broadcast
this time next year, a CD, DVD and a book. It is being produced by former
Bluegrass Alliance member Bill Millet.

Sam Bush, one of the musicians on hand today, said he had his own place to
stay when he moved to Louisville from Bowling Green at the age of 18, but he
stayed some nights at the Bluegrass Hotel. He said he and the others were
at the press conference “because we all had a great experience when many of us
moved to Louisville in the early ’70s.”

Sam Bush was/is in town? Hopefully he'll be back on March 6 when the Galt House will be hosting a festival/concert to celebrate the project.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

$20 Art Show @ Mellwood Center Tonight

I remember the good ol' days when I used to buy my "art" at mall kiosks and from sidewalk vendors, when my "fancy" art was the poster that was--gasp-- nicely framed. Simpler times, my friends, simpler times.

While my taste has improved, my income... well, not appreciably. And that's why I love me some $20 Art Show goodness.

Last Downtown Trolley Hop, U of L hosted one such show in the Noir et Rouge Gallery at 333 E Market. I scored a gorgeous, framed oil painting by one Matthew Wallace, and I can't wait til I'm back in my house to put it on my wall. (And Matthew, honey, you hurry up and become a big and important star in the art world so I can hock that puppy on Ebay and retire early, ok?)

Tonight there's another such show at the Mellwood Art Center from 6p-9p. I learned my lesson at the U of L show; I went around an hour into the show and 75% of the stuff was sold. (Matthew, honey, I'm not saying that yours wouldn't have been my first choice anyway. It probably would have.)

Go early. Buy art. Feel festive.

BTW, as Michelle noted earlier on Consuming Louisville, there's a new-ish letter press in town, housed at the Mellwood. They were out at BBC during the Trolley Hop, giving away free coasters with Hunter S. quotes on them. Hound Dog Press will also be at the $20 art fair. All Mama wants for Christmas is funky letterpress business cards from Hound Dog Press. It's only $95 for 100 cards. Sniff. I've been a good girl all year long. Please.

Maybe if she bats her long lashes at the very cute boys who own the joint, she'll get a discount. Or one of the cute boys! Either one would do!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good Riddance 2008: Prime Scene

Not really MY scene, but I thought I'd add it because the venue is so pretty. Prime Lounge on Main St downtown is hosting J-Dub's 7th Annual NYE Party.

It's $30 and that includes a cocktail and a champagne toast.

Here's the flyer:

Good Riddance 2008: Bearnos and Butch by the Bridge

Bearno's by the Bridge is pretty smart in that they're offering free shuttles to area hotels. You couldn't pay me to be behind the wheel in this city on New Years' Eve. Honestly, I would rather not even be on the road. Louisvillagers love their drinking then driving, alas....

The NYE Party is 8pm-2am and includes: "Music by Strumbeat, Butch Rice and DJ Larry. Open bar, buffet, champagne toast, party favors." The cost is $80 pp or $130 per couple.

I haven't been able to find out more info about the food that they're offering, but they're primarily a pizza place.

I like this particular location-- right by the river bridge. I like Butch Rice, too. You can hit his website at or his MySpace page here. Kinda low key for a par-tay...

Good Riddance 2008: Asiatique Asian Fusion

Asiatique is a hot swanky restaurant in the Highlands. I've been twice and the food is always awesome. The price is right, foodwise, but alcohol is not included. And I'm way confused by the 2 hr table limit... but this is the 2nd best food option I've put on the list (next to Proof).

From their website:

Asiatique will feature a four course dinner for $65 per person. This price
does not include alcohol, tax or gratuity. Reservations made and
seated before 6:00 will be $45 per person. All seatings are for 2 hours
from the reservation time and are subject to additional
charges for reservations seated past the 2 hour limit.

You can check out the yummy menu

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Riddance 2008: Blues is Alright for 2008

Stevie Ray's Blues Bar is the closest drinking establishment to our hotel. They're hosting a NYE party, but right now their website is a little sparce for information. Here's what it says: Table is for (4) people and are $150, this includes guranteed seat, 2 bottles of champagne, party favors and a night with The Predators. We only have 32 tables to sell...this night always sells out, last year all tables were sold before the week of Christmas.

It's hard to find out much information on the Predators-- googling "Predators Louisville" was a bit unproductive. But I did find this video. They look like your standard white guy blues band.

Thirty-two tables makes it seem like it would be a nice, manageable night.

Pros: Cost; I've yet to have a BAD time at Stevie Rays
Cons: the Blues seem appropriate til Midnight, but it would be nice to kick off the year with something more upbeat. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Riddance 2008: You Can't Not Be On A Boat

Rosencrantz: Do you think Death could possibly be a boat?

Guildenstern: No, no, no… Death is “not.” Death isn’t. Take my meaning? Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can’t not be on a boat.

Rosencrantz: I’ve frequently not been on boats.

Guildenstern: No, no. What you've been is not on boats.

I just went through this very same discussion with my students the other day when we were talking about "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by Walt Whitman. You can't "not be" on a boat because even if you're totally still, even if you're asleep, even if you're dead, if you're on a boat, you're still moving. (technically, I said, you could be docked and not moving and I get that; it's the thought that counts) We'll have this same discussion when we talk about Huck Finn next semester-- not only are they on a raft and therefore always "be-ing," the raft is rudderless, so they're at the mercy of the stream.

Thought I'd interject some philosophy/lit into the discussion.

What better way to begin a new year than to be NOT "not be-ing" on a boat??

The Spirit of Louisville Riverboat is hosting a New Years' Gala from 10p-1am. Includes dinner and costs $55. Doesn't sound like there are any drinks involved. I have seen talk of live music in regards to this, but I haven't been able to find out who.

Pros: Profoundly symbolic

Cons: Probably a lot of grannies-- I do love grannies, though

Good Riddance 2008: 21c

My gut told me to omit this one because though I would reaaalllly like to go, it's also reallllly expensive. But how could I omit this option when the first sentences of the press release for the 21C New Years party speak so directly to my experience???

I may have to bring a flask of my own hooch to defray the cost! Drinks at Proof run about $8-12 a pop. If you were to do this, it might make sense to stay there, $$-wise.

Pros: One of my favorite places in Louisville. Great food. Cool environment

Cons: Will start 2009 in the hole! Bound to be wicked crowded.

The official press release says:

December 31, 2008
Let's face it, 2008 was a bummer. Bail yourself out of that funk with your friends at Proof on Main and 21c Museum Hotel.

If you'll be watching the ball drop elsewhere, Proof invites you to dine
from our signature Proof favorites. Our ala carte menu will be offered from
5:30pm to 7:00pm.

Beginning at 8pm, Chef Paley will offer diners a special pre-fixe tasting
menu. Enjoy four courses and a sampling of Proof sweets before heading
downstairs to a rocking party at 21c. Local favorite Hay DJ will be providing
the tunes in the atrium-turned-dance-lounge. The co st is $121 per person and
includes a four course tasting menu, party favors, and a champagne toast at

Stuck with prior dinner obligations? Join us in the 21c Lounge, created
solely for New Year's Eve, complete with DJ, dancefloor, balloon drop, and space
to kick back and sip bubbly. Eleven dollars and a new or gently used backpack
will get into the party, with the goods going to support Blessings with a
Backpack. (We'll let you in for $21 if you come empty-handed, but c'mon, pick up
a backpack! There are kiddos out there that need your help.) A cash bar will be
available and, of course, a champagne toast at midnight underneath the glow of
disco balls.

Easy Cinderella. There's no reason to rush home when the clock strikes
twelve. Your fairy godmother must have been looking out because 21c is offering
the deal of the century. For just $365 per couple, enjoy the pre-fixe dinner at
Proof, the party at 21c, and a luxurious room to call home for the night. Throw
in late check out plus a little continental breakfast to soak up last night's
fun, and 2009 is already looking up.

Good Riddance 2008: Vernon Club

I didn't even know this place existed-- I knew the bowling alley was there and have always wanted to go, but I didn't know there was a club attached. The reason I'm suggesting this is that the Tim Kreckel Orchestra is pretty cool and I lurve the website. It doesn't seem to have any food or drink attached to admission, but I thought I would include it because it kind of speaks to my aesthetic. Before you reject it, at least poke around the website.

Pros: Guaranteed good tunes
Cons: Unknown quantity

Good Riddance 2008: Not Jenicca's

I'm still feeling crappy about the closing of one of my favorite restaurants/wine bars last month. But it looks like the Jenicca's sisters aren't shutting the door on New Years. From the address on the invite, it looks like it will be hosted at Mayan Cafe down the street.

I'm not a huge Bond fan, but I am a fan of dressing up (at least I hope I'll be feeling like dressing up... hmmm... and although it will require a shopping trip because all my dress up clothes are in storage). I don't know if you're able to reserve a table, but here's the official email invite, email to find out:
The theme is the 1971 James Bond - "Diamonds are Forever"$20 cover, which includes one signature drink, small plate selections and a champagne toast at midnight. 8pm - 2am.
Dj - Jason Clark will be spinning movie themed music. Diamond are Forever will be projected on the wall. Come as your favorite James Bond character from the movie!!! Shoot us an email if you are planning to attend. or
Pros: bound to be a cool crowd
Cons: unknown quantity-- could be loud and crowded (uh, then what isn't on NYE?)

Good Riddance 2008: Sound Your Barbaric Howl Over the Roofs of Downtown

Ever since we "moved" downtown, Roommate has been saying that he wants to go to Howl at the Moon. In my mind, it's just a step up from karaoke, and I am no fan of karaoke. My rule of thumb about this kind of thing has always been: "would I want to date someone who I met at X?" And the answer for Howl at the Moon is "most likely no." (unless said person -- hopefully a Johnny Depp/Mike Rowe/Ira Glass/Craig Ferguson combo-- had been dragged there against his better judgement).

That being said, I can think of no better time to go to Howl at the Moon than New Years Eve: a night about spending time with good friends, not a night of trawling for hot dude action. It's pricey, but they do seem to pack a lot of stuff into the cover price.
When I lived in New Orleans, I used to be able to abide the "dueling pianos" at Pat O'Briens only when I was seriously in my cups, you know? But when I WAS in my cups, "dueling pianos" suddenly became a pretty good, fun idea... so who knows?
Pros: At $100/pp you're guaranteed seating, and that's a big deal on NYE. Open bar. Free buffet.
Cons: Uh, it's Howl at the Moon. Sorry, I'm still not sold on the "fun" quotient here. That being said, with a few of the open bar drinks under my belt, I'd probably have a great time.

New Years Haps 2008-2009

To quote the New Years' Eve press release from 21c, "Let's face it, 2008 was a bummer."

Heck yeah. Mama had a crapola year for the most part. Breast cancer. The smooshing of Casa de Lou during Hurricane Ike. All the attendant stress and questioning that comes hand-in-hand with suffering two big blows like that in the span of a couple of months.

On the sunny side, Lou is going to spend New Years 2008-09 celebrating the fact that 2008 could have been a MUCH bigger bummer than it was. The big "C" could have been much, much, much worse. The house smooshing looks like it will yield a bigger, better kitchen... some day. And 20 days after New Years Eve, we'll usher out Mr. It's Hard Work and usher in Mr. Yes We Can. Whoopee!!!

And on the sunny side, it looks like Lou will be hosting guests for New Years, so we're looking for something to do. If I had my 'druthers, I'd just host a party at my house, complete with a gigantic bonfire in which I and all my loved ones could bring all their 2008 baggage and burn it in a cathartic orgy of renewal and release. Alas, my house has neither electricity nor a bathroom... So I'm looking for the next best thing.

I'll be sharing my New Years' Eve research with you in a special series. If you have ideas or information, please either email them to or add them to the comments!

Bring on the hope, bring on the change, good riddance 2008!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bonnaroo 2009 Dates (and passed over again)

Bonnaroo 2009 dates announced today: June 11-14. Although I am well on my way to feeling better these days, Lou can't help but be a little sad that she won't be classified as "handicapped" this year. That was some convenient stuff! The 'Roo people are offering a "5 payments of $50" deal through Dec 31; get it if you can plan that far ahead...

In other music news, Britney Spears announced her US tour dates today. No Loueyville. So sad.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Doesn't "Courier" Imply Some Kind of Speed or Reliability?

Pardon me for venting, but the Courier Journal website is really, truly, abominable (as is the CJ itself, but that's neither here nor there for this discussion). How is it that the CJ always manages to have the local sports scores and results updated with ambitious regularlity, but the headline news barely changes all day long???

Like, how is it that we know that WKU whupped UofL's buns in basketball a few hours ago, but we don't know that Senator Julie Denton's kid was killed in a car wreck this morning?? I'm not saying that that's news I NEED to have pronto. I'm not even saying that it's Big News, although my heart goes out to Senator Denton.

But how is it that I was able to find this out from the Page One blog and not on the website of the sole major news daily in town? I'm glad that Jake and Rick from Page One and the Ville Voice are filling a niche, but how sad is it that this niche is SO YAWNINGLY EMPTY! Shouldn't we have dozens of local news options on the interwebs? Isn't this the 21st Century?

Man, Mama is cranky tonight.

Again, priorities??? Sports scores or real news? And sincerest sympathies to Senator Denton and her family.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buy Local First


I'm at Day's Coffee right now, and just before I sat down and read this news item from the Keep Louisville Weird folks, I did what I always do with my receipt: I chucked it.

The Louisville Independent Business Association is sponsoring a contest: save 10 receipts from any of its members between 11/7/08 and 1/5/09, bring said receipts either to the Louisville Science Center or to Wild ' Woolly, and you'll be entered into a drawing for a $1000 gift certificate good at any of the LIBA business. The first 50 entrants will receive a free tote bag.

Member list and details available here!

Shop on, Louisvillagers!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Folk Fest-- the more things change, the more they stay the same

There aren't many events in Loueyville that I attend every year, but the Good Folk Fest at the Mellwood Center has become one of them. I went last year and the year before; last year it was later, after Thanksgiving. For me, the calendar move was a good one; I wasn't blindly focused on buying Christmas presents for friends and fam, and that freed me up to buy a beautiful bluebird blue clay pendant (unfortunately from an artist whose name I didn't catch) for myself.
The musical headliner for this year's GFF was Daniel Johnston, the famously offbeat songwriter and artist. Kind of a big deal concert for such a low key venue, in my humble opinion. Johnston, a relatively iconic figure and subject of the 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, is just back from a European tour and "headlined" the event at 2pm today. I made the mistake of getting lost (lost! I know! silly!) and didn't get there until 210p or so, and it was impossible to get close enough to hear more than just snippets here and there, but he seemed in good form and the crowd enjoyed the show.

I did stick around to see the one-man-band who followed Johnston, and although the accoustics were such that I couldn't understand a damned word he said, I seriously dug J. Marinelli. All by his little lonesome up there he was conjuring up the sound of my youth, bands like Dinosaur Jr and Pixies and Sonic Youth. Marinelli said he just moved to Lexington, KY, so we can expect to see more of him soon. I certainly hope so. Marinelli (pictured above) was one of four one-man-bands to perform at the Good Folk Fest this year.
As tradition seems to dictate, every time I go to the Good Folk Fest, I have to stop at the art supply store on the way out to feed my own inner folk artist. No more Hobby Lobby for me. Artist & Craftsman Supply seems to have better prices than the big boxy crafty stores. And they're much more convenient!
Good times.
BTW: I've stayed true to my word and stayed local (to downtown) with my eating and drinking since Melillo's closed, but you won't see me reviewing Bistro 301 or Blue Mountain Coffee any time soon, my friends. Mama's hanging up that hat for now.
And FYI, Melillo's is closing but the Bodega is not! That's marvelous news! And based on the flow of traffic in and out of there this morning (and the yummy breakfast smells coming from their kitchen), they're doing ok. The Bodega is a good Saturday breakfast alternative to the hour waits at Toast, perhaps?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Melillo's down

Mama needs to hang up her reviewing hat. She's got some bad juju.

This was never meant to be a restaurant review blog. And Lord knows, it was never meant to be a means of cursing small businesses! I just know that I joked about damnng Melillo's by reviewing them, and just two weeks later-- WHAMMO!-- the sixth restaurant on the Market St. corridor bites the dust.

RIP: Market on Market, Primo, Brownings, Park Place, Jenicca's (not dead yet! 11-29 is the last day), and Melillo's (I said, we're not dead yet! They'll be open weekends til the end of the year.)

There's a lot of mourning in the comments over at Consuming Louisville.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Boyz

Every so often, Mama likes to check out what her brothers and sisters on the interwebs are doing, and today she stumbled across the Food Boyz, the restaurant review website created by a local optomotrist and a local podiatrist. Like Loueyville (for the most part), the Boyz (it annoys me to type that "z") acc-cen-tuate the positive in the city and post only positive reviews of the best the city has to offer.

It's a bit outdated (although who can blame them with the rate at which businesses are blipping out of existence) and still posts reviews of Lemongrass Cafe, Brownings, and Park Place-- all no longer with us, RIP. It also still lists "smoking" as an option in reviews and still answers that question with "yes" for many places (C'mon Boyz, it's been more than a year). But the reviews are very thorough and feature bios and recipes for many of the area's top chefs.

There's something very odd about this site. What first caught my eye was the fact that they cover four areas with the site: Cincy, Loueyville, Napa, and Martha's Vineyard. Huh? My family has a house in Oak Bluffs, and I try to get up there once a summer. Before you get all excited and say, "But, Lou, I thought you were from very humble beginnings! You have a rich uncle hidden away somewhere??" let it be known that it's an aunt and uncle, and they bought the house with chump change in the early 1970's before the Vineyard became all Clinton-y and Vinyard Vines-y and Black Dog-y (Black Doggy?).

Anyhoo, the site only features five MV restaurants (none of which I've ever been to) and no "alternatives" (cheap places that I probably would have been to) and further exploration of the site leads to a notice to "bring to your city" by franchising. Francising? Does this means you pay the Boyz to start your own city's Foodboyz and then try to make scratch by selling ads? It's all a little loopy. Has the MV site been franchised out? The Napa site?

Again, the reviews are wicked thorough and the site itself is snazzy as heck. Definitely check it out.

Mama's being all judge-y here, but I just can't shake that "z"...

Coming Soon: Bardstown Road Aglow!

A tip of the hat to my "real" neighborhood-- mark your calendars for December 6th. Bardstown Road Aglow is always a good time, and it's a great way to support local businesses AND land unique holiday gifts for the friends and fam.

Check out my "note to self" in my entry about last year's Aglow: wear comfy shoes.

What's Left of Downtown? Piazza di Felice: Melillo's & the Bodega

I have to admit that I've got a bit of the sweaty palm action going on while writing this, after all, Jenicca's, subject of my first real "Best of Downtown" entry, announced they were closing just a week or so after I wrote the entry. What other downtown businesses can I doom? Instead of calling this the Best of Downtown, I think I should start calling it "What's Left of Downtown?" Loyal readers, you can just assume that if I blog it, it's one of the best.

I've only been there a total of four times or so, but the whole Melillo's complex located in Piazza di Felice on Market Street between Shelby and Campbell Streets is a charming little oasis of foodie goodies.

I first stumbled upon the Piazza when looking for the Phoenix Hill Farmers' Market on a Tuesday a little while ago. This market was over for the year as of the end of October; it was on Tuesdays from 300p-6:30pm and featured your standard veggies, a butcher, and some gourmet food from the Bodega. (I love that Uncle Mayor Jerry has a whole page on his website devoted to the locations, times, and dates for the metro area farmers' markets. You can find that here.) (Correction: according to the Bodega's website, the Phoenix Hill farmers' market continues through Thanksgiving)

The Bodega, the gourmet food market, sandwich shop, and cafe on premises, offers an awesome craft beer selection at grocery store prices. I was able to find Dixie Brewing Co's Blackened Voodoo beer for merely $7.99. The store offers just about everything you'd expect a small gourment food store to offer. The first time I went there it was after work, and I watched a woman plunk down nearly $60 for all the makings for a pasta dinner: bread, cheese, pasta, tony jarred sauce, beer. I couldn't help but think, "Maybe she should just go to Melillo's; it would cost around the same, and they do the dishes." A later visit was during lunch time, and the place was booming (yay for the downtown lunch crowd). I've yet to try either their breakfast or lunch menues, but they seem reasonably priced and the sandwiches and salads looked great. Bodega brews Java coffee and makes smoothies. They offer free wifi and have lovely outdoor seating. Bodega is open 7am-7pm M-F and 8a-4pm on Saturday. Closed Sundays.

Roommate and I hit Melillo's for the first time the night of September's Friday Trolley Hop (I'm bitter that I missed last night's Trolley Hop because I was stoned out of my gourd on painkillers; September's Hop was the best night I've had since I moved downtown). It was later than they were usually open, but it was a lovely night and they had live jazz on the patio. Roommate and I ordered two glasses of wine and a small antipasto. It's $10 for the small antipasto and $16 for the large-- but the small plate was heaped with stuff that made a great "while you're drinking" snack. That stop was a highlight of a great evening overall. A few weeks later, Big Mama Lou and I went for a proper dinner the night before Lou's last chemo (whoopeeee!!) and together we ordered way more food than we could possibly consume. I consider myself something of a mussels conniseur, and Melillo's mussels appetizer was as yummy as it comes. Unfortunately, Mama Lou insisted on ordering the same thing that I ordered, so I only got a sense of one dish, but it was certainly good (and unfortunately not listed on the menu on the website, and I forget what it was... penne, chicken [although I skipped the chicken], cream sauce, something...). The best thing about Melillo's is the cozy, homey vibe. And while Melillo's is too pricey to be a regular stop for this Lou, I'll definitely keep it in mind for nice nights out and for someplace to go for a glass of wine and an appetizer.

The last component of Piazza di Felice is Felice Vineyard, which I know bupkus about. I checked out the website and am no more enlightened. Urban vineyard. There are vines out front. The website cites wines from 2003 & 2004. The website also says that they're adding a second story for apartments. Event venue. Open Fridays? I'll have to check this out-- anyone have any information on Felice Vineyards?

Anyway, Piazza di Felice-- One of the best of what's left of downtown.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jenicca's down

Today I received an email from the owners of Jenicca's that said that November was their last month. That makes it 5 restaurants within 5 blocks that have closed since we "moved" to downtown. Heartbreaking.

According to the Jenicca's folks, they wanted to "go out" before they went futher into debt, before they went out on a "bad note."

I'm heartbroken. And am wondering if NOW they will give me the recipe for the "secret sauce" behind their super yummy broccoli crunch.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Best of Downtown: Jenicca's

Among the most underappreciated (best that I can tell) spots in downtown-ish Louisville is the wine/beer bar and restaurant Jenicca's. Even before I "moved" downtown, we hit Jenicca's on a fairly regular basis, but now I'm making an even more concerted effort to get there as often as I can. Like so many downtown establishments, Jenicca's is struggling, and it's in everyone's best interest that this place thrives.

Whenever I walk into Jenicca's, I feel like I want to move in. Not only does Jenicca's design aesthetic match my own (although you'd never know it walking into my shotgun home-- I love the NYC loft-y, industrial schtick, but when you own a 102 year old home, you feel obligated to preserve the original design as much as you can-- at least I do), the music is great, the food-- though light-- is my kind of food, and the people behind the bar-- usually Jennifer or Rebecca, the owners-- are lovely and kind. Not to mention the fact that they have beautiful bathrooms and a great outdoor space.

Jenicca's is open from 11-3pm on Mondays, 11-10pm Tue-Wed, and 11-midnight Thu-Sun. They offer an extensive wine selection and lots of craft beers, including Schlafly's on tap. Their menu features mostly sandwiches and snacks, and everything I've had there is great. I'm especially partial to the BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato) sandwich. At $5.95, it's an awesome deal. With any sandwich, you have a choice of broccoli salad (which is WONDERFUL) or chips and salsa.

Jenicca's hosts lots of live music on the weekends and other special events. Last Friday Trolley Hop the place was so packed it was nigh-impossible to get a beer. It made me so happy to see them so busy, I wasn't bothered a bit.

My only beef with Jenicca's is that they only offer regular coffee, actually it's hazelnut coffee which is one of my least favorite coffees. I can say with total certainty that if Jenicca's had cappucino-machine-made coffees or at least a regular coffee on tap that the restaurant would become my very regular on-the-way-home stop after work. I know that this is an unwelcome complaint for the Jenicca's owners. They've made conscious choices about what to offer-- and the conscious choice not to offer a better coffee selection is one that they're firm on. But still. With only Blue Mountain and DCE even remotely nearby, I can't help but think they'd do a killing on lattes and such with the local small business owners. I know if I worked in an office nearby, I'd sooner bring my own cappucino machine to work than go out and get a hazelnut coffee from Jenicca's any day.

Smaller beef: at least twice, we've tried to head there on a weekend afternoon and found them closed despite what their business hours said.

636 E. Market StreetLouisville, KY 40202

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Downtown Girl

I know it's been a long time. But the good news is that in four days, Lou will have her last chemo and hopefully shortly the worst of the whole "cancer thing," as I like to call it, will be over with. Thanks to all the loyal Loueyville readers (all two or three of them) for the good wishes!

Anyway, around a week after the Hurricane in Kentucky, ye olde insurance companye relocated Roommate and me to one of the better extended stay hotels downtown. On the downside, we've been here around three weeks now and I'm wicked homesick for the Highlands. On the upside, it's given us a chance to explore urban Louisville living.

I have to say, the experience has been mixed at best.

The worst news about urban Louisville living came this weekend when I swung by Browning's Brewery to pick up a growler of Bourbon Barrel Stout and found the place packed to the rafters... with people enjoying their LAST Browning's brew. Unbeknownst to anyone, from best that I can tell, Browning's was closing for good.

This just a week after Roommate and I had discovered the fantastic Happy Hour at Browning's upscale sister restaurant, Park Place. Half price drinks and appitizers made for a fantastic Friday evening. We'd certainly intended to spend more evenings there during our exile from our Humble Highlands Abode. Mama Dearest is headed to the Ville this weekend, and I was looking forward to taking her there and perhaps endulging in a Mama-funded full price tony meal.

The shuttering of these two fine restaurants comes hot on the heels of two more restaurant closures within two blocks: Primo and Market on Market. It certainly doesn't bode well for this neck of the woods-- the Slugger Field 'hood. Now, truly, there's no restaurants of note-- nothing Mama Dearest-friendly at least-- within a short walk of my new temporary home.

The same holds true for bars. Icebreakers-- never exactly a hotspot, except on weekends and not my crowd then, to begin with-- appears to have limited their hours to just weekends. Neither Roommate nor I have gotten thirsty enough to venture into the brightly lit Bank Shot billiards club. There's Connections, a gay club which is very straight friendly as long as you're gay friendly, but it's not the kind of place you'd pop in for a beer.

The best bet for a beer in the immediate neighborhood is the super-homey Derby City Espresso which has a fantastic espresso stout on tap for $4. Matt, the owner, is always good for a nice chat, and so far I've caught every presidential/vp debate on their big screen. The debate crowd is an Obama crowd; although they're a respectful, respectable bunch, I wouldn't venture attending on Wednesday if I were a McCainiac. The only drawback to DCE is its erratic hours, but cut Matt some slack; I don't know that he's ever NOT there.

Speaking of DCE, on Thursday (10/16) starting at 6pm they're hosting a fundraiser for Adam Tatum, the owner of Oak Street Pizza who was shot during a robbery a couple of weeks ago. That's some marvelous local karma.

Otherwise, we've got some slim pickings between the hipper parts of E. Market (home of Toast and Jennica's, et al. More on those later) and 1st Street. The music at Stevie Ray's has never been bad when I've been there, but the drinks are a little on the pricey side, and on most nights there is a cover. Blue Mountain Coffee House is nice, too. Like DCE, it's a great place to get a cup of (somewhat pricey) coffee during the day, but the drinks are also a bit higher than I would like to pay on just your average night of casual drinking.

I'm spoiled rotten. I know. In most cities a $5-$6 beer is not a luxury item.

But there are some absolutely charming parts about downtown life if you're willing to hoof it a bit. We're not talking Manhattan-style, long-distance hoofing. We're just talking a longer walk than this Highlander is used to (it's Fall, for goodness' sake... you can't ask for better hoofing weather). More on those to come.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting Drunky in Kentucky ... Safely

Pardon me from just patently stealing more Ville Voice headlines, but right now Lou is still dealing with treatment for breast cancer (ONE MORE CHEMO AFTER TODAY) and now the Hurricane in Kentucky that took out her kitchen and sole bathroom. It's a bit too much, you know?

Especially right now as I sit at Norton Suburban getting poison pumped into my body when I would much rather be at IF08. Very sad.

But remember when we won that sister city contest from Bushmill's Irish Whiskey? Some of that dough was meant to support safe drinking programs. Here's the latest from Rick at the Ville Voice:

If you’re having a big meal at Artemisia, and hang on for a drink, or two, or three, a city-backed program is interested in getting you home safely without risking a DUI.

Metro Government is teaming up with the Louisville Originals and CityScoot to provide a discount and encourage tipsy customers to call CityScoot. The company’s driver shows up in a collapsible two-wheeler, puts it in your trunk, and drives you home in your car.

The published rates for the service on the CityScoot website is $10 for the pick-up, then $2 per mile. The press release on the service says you can save 47 percent if you call from an Originals restaurant.

The city is pitching in $6,000, and the Originals $5,000, for the three-month trial. Only restaurants inside or near the Watterson Expressway are participating.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

OHNA - NIMBY Hmmm...

You may have noticed Lou's silence on the whole Original Highlands Neighborhood Association vs. Wayside Christian Mission moving into Mercy Academy's old building on Broadway issue.

And Lou thinks she'll keep in that way. Her knee jerk reaction is to be horrified by the Not In My Backyard folks. Then again, she does live on the opposite end of the neighborhood, so technically Wayside would not be in her backyard. But I do think everyone has to admit that East Broadway isn't Bardstown Rd. It isn't Highland Avenue. It already has a plethora of social services and health services-- including those running up and down lower Barret. The Mercy building was already a school; that neighborhood would have already have had to learn to live with high pedestrian and car traffic, noise, and a bit of nuisance here and there (uh, kids can be a pain in the tuchas).

Again, I have not gone to meetings or responded to surveys because I just don't know the real ins and outs of it, and I've had bigger fish to fry this summer. That being said, Wayside needs to be somewhere. And the residents of Wayside would be very ill-served by being hidden away in some already impoverished, underresourced, depressing neighborhood (as would said neighborhood be ill-served by a Wayside move there).

I just re-watched the movie Dave last night-- I recommend it to anyone suffering election lethargy. It's a good pick me up. One of the central controversies in the movie is over a homeless shelter whose funding the Karl Rove-y character sneakily vetoed. And Dave fixes the problem by calling a budget meeting with his entire cabinet and saying (I paraphrase), "I need you guys to cut back on some of the pork. We're talking about homeless kids here. You can't say no to helping homeless kids."

And all the cronies start slashing their budgets to find the money to help keep the shelter open. A flurry of cuts of a million here and a million there to eventually add up to more than $650mil. It's this lovely warmhearted scene, where even the most stone-faced wonk bursts into smiles and applause.

Because what can you say when someone says that they want to help homeless kids? No? NIMBY? I don't know.

Original Highlands Art & Music Festival, Sept 13

I keep waiting for the Original Highlands Art and Music Festival to expand to two days. Each year, they secure a line-up of music that could easily be a bit diluted and spread out-- this year includes Peter Searcy, Love Jones, Leigh Ann Yost, John Gage, Brigid Kaelin, and the Louisville School of Rock Band.

And, hands down, the OHNA always chooses one of the nicest weekends of the year.
This year's festival is part of the Ryder's Cup Festival and includes an even larger number of artists and previous vendors.
Pet Peeve: as an "art" festival, can't they come up with a poster that doesn't look like an ad for happy hour at Phoenix Hill? This summer, I visited my aunt on Martha's Vineyard and admired her more than 30 posters from as many years of the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair, each one more charming than the next. I wouldn't spend $6 at Hobby Lobby for a cheapo frame for this poster.
Note too-- as I mentioned before (just weeks before I was diagnosed and suddenly became elligable for membership)-- some of the proceeds for the event will help support Gilda's Club.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bats & Boobs

Speaking of baseball (I was, this morning), next Tuesday, August 26 is Komen for the Cure night at Louisville Slugger Field. Come see our playoffs-bound Bats in action and help support the cause. Pink mini-bats will be on sale for $10, with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
This Lou will be there with her Young Survior sisters. I'll be the one in the pink shirt! ;)

Loueyville About to Be A Little Less Weird

Speaking of local celebrities, a source in the know told Lou that "the pink and black attack," Louisville's own "dating Goth" celebrities, Kynt and Vyxsin, have packed their patent leather bags for a move to LA. (In fact, their MySpace page lists LA as home.)

"There are only so many gay pride events in Louisville," says the source. "Every time they travel, they're booked solid for events."

Kynt and Vyxsin have parlayed their Amazing Race fame into appearences on two of Rosie's family cruises, modeling gigs for Hot Topics stores, and a profile in this month's Gothic Beauty magazine.
Also, it's "their" episode of Amazing Race that's been nominated for six emmys this year. (The episode, titled "Honestly, They Have Witch Powers or Something" is the one where they're elminated in India).
I'm sorry to see them go. I never met them, but I liked having them around. Unlike Tracee Dore, who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth-- a google search yielding articles in local newspapers all lead to dead ends-- Kynt and Vyxsin did their hometown superproud.
(Gasp! While digging around for stuff on Dore, I discovered oodles online that Mikey V., the cop from Miami, was suspended from the Miami PD over allegations that he appeared in a gay bondage adult film called Rope Rituals, 1996!! And that he's not only gay but very out and for some oddball reason HGTV sat on that fact, despite being so very gay friendly. Weird.)

Mapother in the CJ

Mama isn't big on celebrity crushes (although she has been secretly married to Bono since she was a teenager), but there's something about this William Mapother guy that makes her all googly inside.
Starting this week, Mapother stars in Actors' production of Glengarry Glen Ross, the first play of a packed season. According to his website, Mapother threw out the first pitch for a Bats game while Lou was cavorting around New England. That right there is a double-header of goodness in Lou's world-- Mapother + baseball = sigh.
Today's C-J features an article about the actor and the play. More of Lou's crush here and here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Garden & Gun's Favorite Hotel: 21c

If you'd ever told this decade-and-a-half subscriber of The New Yorker that her favorite magazine would be replaced by one called Garden & Gun, she would have laughed her brown-thumbed, critter-lovin' ass off. But since its inaugural issue a little more than a year ago, this gorgeous magazine has offered some of the best writing and certainly the best photography and artwork on the magazine rack. From Roy Blunt Jr.'s regular column to features written by luminaries from Jimmy Buffet to Clyde Edgerton to Rick Bragg, Garden & Gun is worth reading from cover to cover; even the advertising smacks of stunning, classy taste.

This month's Garden & Gun arrived yesterday and the cover article led me to furious thumbing through the thick magazine: "Best of the New South: 50 People, Places, and Things We Love." (By the way, the cover model/musician is Miranda Lambert who is third billing-- seriously? third??-- on the closing act of the Kentucky State Fair. After reading the article about her, I could ALMOST pony up the $41 bucks to see her if it didn't mean also suffering through Trace Atkins and Keith Anderson.)

I couldn't be prouder that my favorite magazine chose to recognize one of my very favorite-est things about Loueyville; G&G's "Best Hotel" is our very own 21c.

Yes, I admit, my love affair with 21c began with the penguins. I'm a sucker for penguins. And on my very first trip to Loueyville, when I was interviewing for my current job, I first came across the curious penguins atop the building on Main Street and was smitten. Since then, 21c has been a regular stop for me whenever I happen to be in downtown.

I've had so many little "moments" courtesy of 21c. And when I say "courtesy of," I am stressing that these experiences are FREE. 21c's art is free and open to the public always. And that's the very best thing about the hotel/museum. Shortly after I moved, a cousin visited and we sat in the lobby and watched the moving sand-sculpture-installation-coffeetable for the better part of a half hour (and it was the middle of the day and there had not been any alcohol consumed at the time). Two dear friends stayed at 21c when they came to the Ville; Roommate and I passed a half an hour in their hotel room and opened the door to find one of the penguins standing guard at the door. I have spent an inordinate amount of time lingering by the elevators watching the boggling video installation of letters that rain down upon your reflection and settle upon your shoulders and hair (or in my case, lack thereof). I purposely make time to visit the loo, where the water runs off the edge of the infinity sink and where two-way mirrors wreak havoc on your sense of privacy.

In fact, I have a poster of the penguins in the hallway of my house and a throw pillow of the red penguin on my couch (those, of course, were not free). If there were a fan club, I'd have a membership card. I've promised myself that once I get through my chemotherapy and can truly enjoy an evening downtown, I will splurge and get a room at 21c to celebrate.

So congratulations to one of my favorite Loueyville places for earning an honor from my favorite periodical. It's a lovely match. While I have not yet drunk the Austin, TX Kool-aid (and admit it's been more than 15 years since I was last in Austin), it seems a good fit that 21c's plans to expand into that "It's in Texas, but it's not Texas" city (not to mention that Austin originated the whole "Keep ____ Weird" campaign that Louisville has so embraced).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NYT: Louisville (Kansas?) Sling

Today the New York Times published a recipe for a "Louisville Sling." I caught the mention on the 'Ville Voice this morning and figured I would send the recipe over to Roommate who is currently vacationing in Australia for a month and a half. Thought he might wanna introduce a little Louisville Love to the bartenders Down Under, a number of which I'm sure he already knows by name, personal history, and drink preference by now.

My poor brain sizzled as I read the recipe over and over, trying to figure out what was wrong with it. Surely I was overlooking the mention of a jigger of Maker's Mark or a couple of shots of Woodford, right? Had the Gray Lady issued a misprint?

No! In fact, the Louisville Sling is a non-alcoholic beverage. Well, sort of. While the recipe is billed as a "No-Alcohol Refresher," it does include bitters "for serving." Bitters, of course, being a(sometimes potently) alcoholic beverage. Precious.

Anyway, the absence of significant alcohol -- especially bourbon-- in the Louisville Sling indicates to me that the eponymous Louisville being slung is not our fair city, but rather Louisville, KS, population 209.

Friday, August 15, 2008

From the "We Could Have Told You That" Department

According to today's CJ, WFPK will be named "Station of the Year" for the medium to small markets at the annual Radio and Records Triple A Summit in Boulder, CO.

I'll say it again, our public radio stations belong on anyone's top 20 reasons to love the Ville list.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Design Star Fades

Sorry to those of you who've Tivoed but not watched yet...

A belated "buh-bye" to Ms. Tracee Dore. Seven hours shopping? Seriously? Girlfriend punched her own ticket with that move.

(A couple weeks ago, Roomie and I had lunch at Jennica's-- big yum!-- and I nearly tinkled myself when I saw that her store is RIGHT NEXT DOOR! Weenie that I am, I didn't pop in or anything. But still-- fun! I'm such a dork.)


He would have been 71.
Also, in Hunter S. news: Gonzo opens today at the Baxter. Unfortunately with The Dark Knight and Mama Mia also opening, well... I'm thinking that's where people's theater dollars will be spent this weekend.
Hey... on that poster, Hunter S. kinda looks like Lou!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Quick Bits and Happy (Belated) Anniversary to Me!

My previous post was my 100th post AND unwittingly posted on my two year anniversary of my move to Our Fair Ville. (Leave it to me to have my 100th post and my anniversary post be a somewhat snarky one... ).

A few quick newsy bits that have fallen through the cracks while I've been laid up.

First of all, the US Conference of Mayors named Loueyville the "most livable" large city in the US! Huge deal. Big news. And well deserved.

Secondly, next weekend is Lebowski Fest, easily the city's coolest counter-culture landmark event. Unfortunately, this Lou will most likely be out of town for the event, but even if I didn't consider myself an Achiever, I'd still want to hit this particular Fest because it will feature a guest appearance by Duff "Ace of Cakes" Goldman and one of his custom cakes. (Believe me, when you're laid up for more than a month, a whole world of TV opens up to you-- Ace of Cakes on Food Network kicks ass. It's like that motorcycle show for food geeks.)
Anyway, stay tuned, Friends of This Lou. I know I'm just dribbling posts at this point, but hopefully as my health evens out, so will my output.
BTW: I have a new goal-- the bloggers at the Ville Voice were named the best in Louisville in this month's issue of Louisville Magazine. I'll never be as current events-y as they are, and Rick and Jake ARE quite good... but some day (let's give it two years) that title will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine. :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Reality (TV) Hits Home Again

Tracee Dore is no Kynt & Vyxsin.

Ms. Dore, interior designer and Louisvillager, may have exquisite design sense as showcased by her design company's beautiful website, but girlfriend is pitching some shocking fits and is in the process of alienating all of her fellow reality show castmates on Season 3 of HGTV's Design Star.

While Kynt and Vyxsin charmed on The Amazing Race, Tracee (at least in the first two episodes) is being set up as the resident bitch in the Nashville-based show. New shows air each Sunday on HGTV. I feel terrible, but I am rooting for her to be voted off ASAP just so she stops making Louisvillagers look bad. (I have no doubt that once the season-- or her season-- is over, we'll be treated to an in depth article about how she's really a sweetheart and that the bitch was all in the editing... but still).

Speaking of K&V, the duo was given the honor of becoming Kentucky Colonels this weekend! Well deserved!!

(BTW: this is Lou's new goal... Now that Lou got her t-shirt, her next goal is to be a Colonel!)

Friday, June 27, 2008


Remember back in SEPTEMBER, when THIS Lou had a bit of a tiff when she found out that there was ANOTHER Lou lurking out there claiming to be a cheerleader for this underappreciated city???

Remember how THIS Lou hoped for a mention on THAT Lou's website-- or at least a super cute t-shirt that reads "I [heart] Louisville... and that's not just the Bourbon talking" in a size small????

Well, THIS Lou JUST received her t-shirt LAST WEEK. Thanks Lou!

It's nice that THAT Lou keeps his promises. Albeit belatedly.

After all, he's been pretty busy-- the Friends of Lou campaign has been rocking the VIP thing a lot lately. Sign up now.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Expo: Memorial Day Flea Market-- Crap You Can Use

Again, it's hard to believe that I have lived here for two years and have not availed myself of the monthly flea market at the Expo Center. Usually the last weekend of the month, the Kentucky Flea Market has several big, blowout weekends: Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

I dragged poor Mama to a Flea Market when we were vacationing in Florida this spring, and it was a massive disaster. Stall upon stall of Crap Nobody Uses, lots of socks, Avon stalls, and used books at new book prices.

The Kentucky Flea Market, on the other hand, is wall-to-wall Crap You Can Use. Mostly. At least every fifth stall was something worth looking at, mostly because of the cheap prices and "exotic" goods. (And that's a pretty good average-- 20% good stuff to 80% poo.)

The whole first two rows were bargain groceries, the kind you find at places like Big Lots. Overstocks, discontinued stuff. I'm not above buying discount groceries and toiletries from time to time, but I question the sanity of anyone who purchases discount condoms at a flea market (above). Methinks said purchasers are not all that committed to planned parenting.

I enjoyed taste-testing salsas and instant coffees. For some reason, I'm always sucked in by those booths featuring the little bags of dip mix that you add to sour cream. Why do they always taste so good? Artichoke and parmagan? Bacon and cheddar? Spinach herb? So good. What do they put in there? I only managed to keep myself from purchasing them (3 for $10) because of my upcoming need to pay better attention to what I eat. (Whatever they put in there to make them taste so good, can't possibly be good for you.)

What did suck me in, however, were the two stalls featuring vintage tv shows on DVD. Specifically, a bootlegged copy of Tales of the Gold Monkey, a favorite tv show of mine when I was a wee wee lass (it aired from 1982-1983), starring Stephen Collins as an Indiana Jones-ish pilot of a seaplane named the Goose in the 1930's South Pacific. I was more than happy to shell out $20 for the entire 22 episode run.

That show (along with Bring 'em Back Alive, which ran duing the same general time period and starred Bruce Boxleitner as Frank Buck, and was also offered at another stall) is somehow a hallmark of my childhood. So much so that when I went to the Museum of Television and Radio in NYC and was allowed to watch a tv show of my choice in their library, I opted for the pilot of Tales out of all of the shows ever featured on TV.

It's taken a lot of self-control to not skip out on this lovely, lovely day (it's 83 and sunny-- and don't worry, Lou is on her computer outside) and camp out on the couch and go all Veronica Mars on my new purchase (ie. consume it like it's a bottle of Jack Daniels and I'm... me. Kidding. Mostly.).
Other things I could have bought but restrained myself: Season One of MacGuyver for $16; Bath & Body Works products for half the retail price; a solid wood curio cabinet for $159... Other things I could have bought but was kind of grossed out by: aforementioned condoms; sugar gliders (poor things); knives up the Wazoo.

But I dropped $20 on something I couldn't get elsewhere and will get 20+ hours of solid entertainment from (and $5 on parking), and enjoyed the truly diverse crowd (more Big Hair there than I've seen in a while, though). Overall a good day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Loueyville Anniversary

BTW, my brothers and sisters in Loueyvillagerhood, I will be under the knife on the day of our actual anniversary. Just in case I don't get the chance to post between now and then, thank you so much for reading My Loueyville this past year. 5300+ posts ain't bad with no promotion or what have you.

And, in an open thank you to Louisville in general: I came here practically sight unseen. I came here because I lost my job in New Orleans after Katrina, and I couldn't imagine staying there with no job security, with no security in general.

The folks at my school here in Louisville recruited me relentlessly; they may me feel a sports hero. I was kind of broken back then-- Katrina had hit me hard, psychologically-- and it felt so nice to feel so wanted. Roommate discovered this neighborhood by accident (but after much driving around) and told me that this was where I needed to be. I bought the second house I looked at. I moved here after being here twice, briefly each time.

I feel so lucky. I started this blog after my first school year of being here because I truly wondered at the fact that this city was so totally undiscovered. I have been thrilled that in the two years that I have been here that there have been so many Louisvillagers who have sought to spread the Good Word about this place.

New Orleans remains the city of my heart-- cut me some slack, I lived there for nine years and dreamed about living there for years beforehand. But if the winds had to blow me to some city that was not New Orleans-- and they did-- I feel blessed to the hilt that they sent me here. I live in the greatest undiscovered city in America, and in the best neighborhood in that city.

Thank you, Louisville, for bringing me home.

(I still HATE the winters... can anyone do anything about that??)


Louisville Slugfest and summer preview

It's an utter travesty that I have lived in Louisville for almost two years and have never set foot in the Louisville Slugger Museum (unless you count the gift shop). Tonight I had a work related shin-fest at the Museum and enjoyed my tour immensely. In fact, it seemed like, in my tour group, I was the only person truly transfixed by every aspect of the factory.

Sure I've been to Fenway a few times, but where else can you plant a "good luck" smooch on Manny Ramirez's actual bat???? My heart was a-flutter, lemme tell you. I did get some strange looks when we exited the tour to a room featuring a HUGE portrait of David Ortiz and I said, "Big Papi! My boyfriend!!" Lou has no boyfriend, per se, but lots o' "boyfriends," including half the Boston Red Sox (special love to Lowell, Papi, Manny, and Lester), Bono (my original boyfriend), Glen "Big Baby" Davis of the Celtics, John Edwards, and countless others...
Last weekend, I went to a function downtown and left to go to my car and saw that the BIG Louisville Slugger Bat outside the museum was lit up in pink light to honor the MLB's pink bat, breast cancer fundraiser. I had to pause a moment because I was so choked up. But I did manage to get a picture of it.
Um, yeah, y'all don't need a map to point you into the direction that Mama Lou's health crisis has taken her.
That being said, contrary to most summers of her teaching career, Lou will be right here at home for the bulk of the summer. So while there may be some dead time, (ew, blech, bad, bad, bad slip o' the tongue) I should be able to report on all the summer goings-on.
Bonnaroo may be a no-go for me. But we still have the AAA All-Star Game and the Ryders Cup and For'castle Fest to look forward to... Stay tuned Louisvillagers. Lou will be just fine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TBC: To Be Continued

Unfortunately, Lou has been diagnosed with a fairly serious health problem. It could be months before she's able to return to her regular blog.

Please send your good wishes Lou's way. Even though she is a godless heathen she still appreciates all prayers and love transmitted in her direction.

Mama loves all of you. Louisville rocks.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Eight Belles

Like the rest of America, I watched the end of the Derby horror-struck, sickened, unable to process my surging adreniline and the flood of grief. The party I was at took on a funeral air for the most part, and after several numbing mint juleps, I went home. And sobbed through six tissues.

Eight Belles was a pretty horse, a horse with tremendous heart. And though it may be somewhat crass to admit this, I don't know that collectively we would have despaired the loss of any horse in this year's Derby in quite the same way that we've felt the loss of this horse. For all the speculation and admiration that followed horses like the incredible Big Brown and the other favorites, Eight Belles was the story. The filly who skipped the Oaks to race with the boys. A filly more evenly matched with Derby colts than most people recognized. Her numbers put her flat in the middle of the pack-- even before she raced, it was clear that at least half of the field didn't measure up to her.

And, again, probably not a popular opinion, but the fact that she was a girl, I think, plays on our collective sympathies even more. Her trainer and owner and jockey fawned over her in a way that people don't fawn over colts. Called her "sweetheart" and "baby." And speaking for myself, as a woman, I loved the "girl power" aspect of the story. If I'd been able to bet on Derby day, I would have put my money on her (and, of course, my Denis of Cork-- bless his heart to come from 20th to finish 3rd-- he's still a horse to watch), especially after seeing her on TV on Derby Day. She just looked like she had a win in her.

I like to talk a good game, but in reality I know bupkus about horse racing in the grand scheme of things. And, like many people, my knee jerk reaction to the tragedy was to think, "I don't know how I can ever watch horseracing again." I felt that way when I watched a horse die in the paddock area of Keeneland last fall, a senseless and incomprehensible death where the horse reared, fell down, and broke his neck on the bricks.

And that was my gut reaction: "I don't know if I can watch horseracing again" not "should horseracing exist."

But that's been a question that's been raised in the wake of this horrible loss and in the wake of the loss of Barbaro. In some online news sources, I've seen pundits speculate about whether or not there's a difference between horseracing and dogfighting. Speculation that we condemn one and celebrate the other only based on the socioeconomic differences between the fans.

Again, I stress that I come from no place of expertise when it comes to horseracing. But I can honestly say that for the most part I have more concern for the treatment and well being of the humans who work on the backside of the track than I do for the horses on a day-to-day basis. And yes, that does concern me.

The questions that should be raised-- and are being raised by many-- are ones about reform to the sport. Should all tracks move to Polytrack? Tracks like Santa Anita have seen dramatic reductions in catastrophic injuries since moving to Polytrack. Should we be looking at reform in horse breeding? European racehorses are more hearty than their American counterparts. Should we be doing more when it comes to horse medicine? There is now sophisticated medical imaging technology that can detect even the most delicate fracture.

There are always going to be things about horseracing that upset me. But that doesn't necessarily set it apart from other sports. Athletes in general risk injury or worse for the love of the sport and for their fans. The level of excess at the Derby is generally appalling, but events like the Superbowl have it beat.

I will say this categorically: I really, truly, passionately wish they'd ban whips.

But I do think, for the most part, horses are very well cared for. I believe they have generally good lives. And I do believe that they love to run. It's hard not to believe that when you watch a horse race.

What happened to Eight Belles was a senseless, incomprehensible tragedy. And as I still try to recover from the news, I'm reminded by other news today that life is just goddamned full of senseless, incomprehensible tragedies. 10,000+ dead in Myanmar. Six sea lions shot dead while trapped in humane traps on the Columbia River. 12,000 kids in China sick with a deadly virus.

It doesn't make this any less sad. Nor is the answer to shuttle it off as just one more thing to outrage and appall us.

Online today at the NYTimes, this was posted in the comments of The Rail blog:

Michael Blowen, of Old Friends ( sent me this
e-mail on Sunday that he received from a young fan:
Hello. My name is XXXX,
and I am 11 years old, and I won money off of Eight Bells at a Derby party
yesterday. I feel so bad about what happened to her that I can not enjoy my
money that I won. So, I am going to donate my winnings to your organazation and
so is my mom. I found out about you on the internet last night. Your farm sounds
like a very nice place. I am asking everyone that I know if they also won money
off of Eight Bells, and if they would like to dotate their money as well. Some
people that I am asking are donating money just to be nice. So I just wanted to
let you know that as soon as I collect the money, my mom will send you a check.
From, XXXX
— Posted by alex

Also worth checking out: Jane Smiley's Op-Ed column.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lou Loves the Longshots for Derby

Forgive me if this blog entry is a little soggy. I'm still drying out after yesterday's Oaks.

Yesterday was a washout. Buddy and I got there just before Race 5 and around an hour before the rains started. And what rains they were. Big drops blown sideways by hard winds, thunder, lightning. At one point Churchill had to lower the score boards. Buddy and I were, of course, among the riff raff on the infield. Finally, after having spent more than an hour off and on in the shelter of an ATM tent, we grabbed a giant recycling sign, held it over our heads, and made our way to the Grandstand where we dried off a bit and watched the Oaks on the monitors.

Honestly, it wasn't much fun. I was dressed for the 78 degree morning and not the 62 degree wet afternoon. We froze our tuchases off. I did have my annual julep, and then a woman next to me bought a Filly and asked if she could pour the drink in my empty glass. I must have looked at her like she was crazy because she said, "I'm in recovery. I just wanted the glass." I didn't have the heart to tell her that she could get one at Walgreens for $2.50.

All and all it wasn't a bad day for my pocketbook. Lou has once again proven that she's decent at picking the second or third place horse (but never, ever first). Out of the five races I put money on, my horse placed in three. I had the impressive Little Belles for the Oaks and she came in 2nd. I wasn't betting super long odds-- most were 7-1 or 8-1. Belles was 5-1.

That being said, Mama loves her the underdogs, and with most handicappers drooling over Colonel John, Big Brown, and Pyro, I think the Derby field is a good place to look for the longshots to shine.

After spending about an hour with the C-J Derby Preview, here are my choices for double-digit odds that could pull off a win.

Of course, my baby, Denis of Cork. He's 20-1 morning odds. Definitely underrated and his fifth place bomb recently has caused a lot of people to put blinders on when it comes to Denis. The only things this puppy has going against him are (a) I've got my money on him and (b) he's named after a priest from Ireland. Last year's religiously named horse-- Dominican-- was also "my" pony, and he came in middle of the pack. This is science, folks!

Recapturetheglory (20-1) has great Best Beyer and BRIS numbers, but his Dosage is 5.00, the highest of the field (and no, Lou has no idea what these numbers really mean). In the Illinois Derby (during which he beat Denis), he ran the last 3/8 in 36.2 and the last 1/8 in 12.2. Killer numbers bested in last starts only by favorite Colonel John and Visionaire.

So that's why Visionaire makes the list. Visionaire (20-1) has less stunning numbers, but had an amazing finish in the Bluegrass. He came in 5th but rocketed at the end.

Eight Belles' (20-1) numbers are better than Recapturetheglory's and she's among the fastest horses out there. A filly hasn't won the Derby since 1988, so let's face it... we're way overdue. She gave up a chance to trounce the Oaks field for a shot at the Derby. You gotta love those guts. And her stablemate Proud Spell took the Oaks, making this a possible storybook weekend for Larry Jones.

Bob Black Jack (20-1) is my final longshot. Second best numbers in the field after Big Brown. Finished second after Colonel John in the Santa Anita... handicappers like him as a longshot. But he's my least favorite longshot. Will bet him only if odds stay at 20 or better.

There you have it, Colts and Fillies. Bet at your own risk; I'm not really a handicapper, I just play one on the internet. Good luck! Go Denis of Cork!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Denis of Cork wins the (kindergarten) Derby!

Lou has it on good authority that Denis of Cork won the prestigious Louisville Collegiate School Kindergarten Derby this morning!  The event has been going on for more than 45 years.  Congrats to Denis of Cork (this Denis of Cork happened to be a filly).

By the way, the Mayor's office has declared May 1 official Louisville Collegiate School Kindergarten Derby Day.

Happy Oaks Eve!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mapother Update

Apparently, the actor is investing in his hometown! On April 8, the C-J reported that Mapother and a group of investors is "is planning a year-round farmers market on a one-acre parcel on East Jefferson Street that it bought for $1.1 million." Augusta Brown Holland, the wife of film producer and Louisville transplant Gil Holland, said "the goal is to pattern the Louisville market after such successful projects as the Pike Place Market in Seattle and Chelsea Market in New York City."

"She and her husband said they want to offer one-stop shopping for not only produce, but also some meats, fish and perhaps even wine and cheese. The plan calls for several places to eat on site."

Very exciting!

Derby Post Selection

Derby Post selection just took place at Fourth Street Live. Denis of Cork took post 16-- three horses have won from that post. Woo hoo! They sure do drag this out...

More on the other horses' positions here.

LOST Louisvillager-- who knew?

Not me, obviously.

Last night, Roommate and I attempted to see Actors Theatre's production of Doubt. I say "attempted" because about twenty minutes into the show (twenty minutes of mostly good), the whirly stage ground to a halt and stopped whirling. The voice of God came over the loudspeaker and informed us that, as it was probably going to take around "10 hours" to fix the stage, it was probably best if we didn't stick around. We re-ticketed for next Tuesday.
In the meantime, we had a chance to check out the 2008-09 season for Actors, which was just recently announced. We're of different minds about the line-up. Roommate said he thought it was as good or better than this past season; I looked through the list and had a resounding "meh" reaction.

What did interest me, however (because I am a serious geek) was the fact that Glengarry Glen Ross was listed as "starring TV's LOST's William Mapother."

I told Roommate that while the name looked familiar, I didn't recognize the name as one who plays any of the major LOST characters. (so obviously, I may be a serious geek, but not a very good one) Roommate convinced me that Mapother must play Bernard. Who I love. So I was happy.

But today-- thanks Google and I discovered that William Mapother is/was (so hard to say with LOST's malliable timeline) Ethan AND a Louisvillager! (This, however, does not explain why, when you Google "William Mapother" it gives you a link to his homepage, but the description of the homepage is: "Consultant to the consumer credit industry on bankruptcy." Dual life??)
Apologies that this is probably not new news to most Louisvillagers, but remember this Lou was a New Orleanian when Mapother first appeared on LOST.

Mapother has also recently done a stint on the now cancelled K-Ville. Shame, that-- the cancellation not the appearance. Mapother graduated from St. X in 1983 (and is a fellow English Major). He's also appeared in several indie films. And he just had a birthday. Happy birthday!

The reason the name sounded familiar is that William is a Mapother of the Tom Cruise Mapother IV Mapothers and their shared great-great grandfather emigrated from Wales to Louisville in 1850.
And because this Lou can find any reason to waste tons of time online, I've since discovered that he's a very funny guy, has good taste in tv and music, has a uncannily large fan base online (a couple of his fan sites have been around for years), and is called in several places "the nicest guy you'd hope to meet."
Mapother will be appearing at Actors in August and September. Looking forward to it.
Here are links to some of his fan sites: william and a blog.
Last year he attended the Taste of Oaks Celebrity Party. Wonder if he'll be in town this year? (okay, Mama may be crushing a little here.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Update: Horse in the Race!!!


Denis of Cork nabbed a spot on the Derby yesterday when another horse was rerouted to the Preakness. Calvin Borel, last year's winning jockey (and possessor of the world's greatest "happy face"), will ride.

Borel, who was convinced that his mount Street Sense would win last year's Derby, has said about Denis of Cork: "Looking at all the other horses that have a lot of speed in the race, I think he'd overcome them so quick it'd be unbelievable."

Mama's got two futures bets on this puppy-- one at 100-1. I won't be able to retire in this baby wins, but I will probably pass out cold. Just a little heads up to those expecting to be in my general proximity on Derby Day.

While I am prone to hyperbole, this is actually not an exaggeration. Two weekends ago, Roommate and I went to Keeneland, and I put $2 across the board on a 29-1 horse named Samba Rooster in the Lexington Stakes. His numbers were just too good to ignore. Samba Rooster LED the entire race until the last turn when he was overtaken by Behindatthebar-- hmmm, who just happens to be the horse that is going to the Preakness leaving room in the Derby for my pony... a sign perhaps?

If you happened to be at Lexington that day, I was the short blonde up by the rail with her arms waving in the air, jumping up and down, shouting, "GO ROOSTER!!! GO ROOSTER!!! And when the horses made the turn and Samba Rooster started to lag back a bit, I had to grab onto Roommate's arm because I was out of breath and dizzy. Samba Rooster came in 2nd (netting me around $40, thankyouverymuch, pony). Had he won, I probably would have hit the ground in a breathless heap. I know, I know, it's not THAT much money. But it really is so... exciting!