Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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
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
(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
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.
Lots of love,
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
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 Loueyville.com 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
It's $30 and that includes a cocktail and a champagne toast.
Here's the flyer: http://www.primeloungeky.com/images/events/nyepartybg.pdf
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 www.butchrice.com or his MySpace page here. Kinda low key for a par-tay...
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 here:www.asiatiquerestaurant.com/menus/event.shtml
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
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. http://video.aol.com/video-detail/the-predators-at-blues-n-barbecue/3283407846
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
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
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
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.
Pros: Guaranteed good tunes
Cons: Unknown quantity
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 email@example.com or add them to the comments!
Bring on the hope, bring on the change, good riddance 2008!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
In other music news, Britney Spears announced her US tour dates today. No Loueyville. So sad.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
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
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
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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
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 foodboyz.com 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"...
Check out my "note to self" in my entry about last year's Aglow: wear comfy shoes.
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
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
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
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
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.)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
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 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
Friday, May 23, 2008
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??)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
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 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 (http://oldfriendsequine.com) 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.
— Posted by alex
Also worth checking out: Jane Smiley's Op-Ed column.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
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
By the way, the Mayor's office has declared May 1 official Louisville Collegiate School Kindergarten Derby Day.
Happy Oaks Eve!
Plan your next roadtrip with MapQuest.com: America's #1 Mapping Site.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"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."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
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!
GO DENIS OF CORK!!