Louisville neighborhoods
December 30, 2004 6:07 PM   Subscribe

It looks like my bf and I may be moving to Louisville sometime this summer. Does anyone familiar with the area have any recommendations of cool areas of town to check out when we go looking for apartments in the next few months?
posted by Elaisa to Travel & Transportation around Louisville, KY (5 answers total)
I don't know about cool places to look for apartments, but I do know that you need to check out Lynn's Paradise Cafe for a kitsch-tacular meal. Then again, the neighborhood around there seemed pretty hep too.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:00 PM on December 30, 2004

Lynn's is not bad, but it's gotten a little pricey. Never go there on the weekends, it's super busy.

The Waterfront is pretty nice, right on the river. The city is dumping all kinds of money into it, it used to be a landfill. I believe they're putting in free wifi down there. The Falls of the Ohio (in Indiana, right across the bridge) is pretty cool, fossils and such, but the water level is pretty high right now from all the snow we just had. Cherokee Park is nice, it's pretty big, some little trails here and there. It's good for bike riding, jogging, walking, playing frisbee (it's also pretty safe at night, generally).

There's a new historical arms museum you should check out, downtown, by the Science Center, and down by Market St. there are a bunch of art galleries. Flame Run, which is a glass studio is pretty sweet. Super nice folks there.

Bardstown Rd is pretty cool, a wide varied demographic of people. Lots of little shops to wander in and out of. Check out Kizito Cookies, Ramsi's (restaurant, most excellent).

We also have the yearly art show, the St. James Art Fair. It takes up a few city blocks, and people set up all over in the streets.

The Magnolia Bar (The Mag, as the local dried up rockers who hang out there call it) is an okay little dive. Then there's Cahoots (on Bardstown Rd), the Backdoor, Highlands Taproom, and a few others around there.

Go here for a general guide.

I run a local music website, if you're into that kind of stuff, you can also ask around there for things to do.

That's just a handful of things to do. When you all get here, hit me up. My wife and I will show you around.
posted by jackofsaxons at 7:27 PM on December 30, 2004 [1 favorite]

Just make sure you pronounce it lou-ah-vaul. Good people come from Kentucky.
posted by sled at 7:50 PM on December 30, 2004

Bardstown Rd is the place for cool/hip, with scores of interesting restaurants (Louisville is definitely an eating-out city) and shops. Neighborhoods to look into on that corridor include the Highlands, Cherokee Triangle (pricey), Deer Park (all the perks of the area but not quite so expensive).

The other "restaurant row" with more than just restaurants is Frankfort Ave, including the neighborhoods of Crescent Hill, Clifton, and Reservoir Park. Mostly built in the late 1800s.

"Old Louisville" just south of downtown offers the university, some gorgeous high Victorian homes, many of them subdivided into apts and condos. Not necessarily the safest part of town, but beautiful.

The south end tends to be blue collar, with a high concentration of Asian immigrants. Fabulous ethnic grocery stores, and Churchill Downs. The eastern suburbs (Hurstbourne Parkway and points east) are chock-a-block full of McMansions. The west end is traditionally more African-American. Downtown, despite 40 years of urban removal and big ideas, is still pretty deserted after dark.

I know a very few folks who manage to get around without a car, but public transportation is not great. Shoot me an email too -- I'll be glad to help you out. And it's pronounced Loo-uh-vull!
posted by Alylex at 8:25 PM on December 30, 2004 [1 favorite]

One door opens and another closes...we'll be moving away as you are moving in. I've lived here on and off for almost 40 years. I'll throw in my 10 cents...

(1) Call it LOUIS-ville and they'll know you're a stranger...

Remember two things: it's "lull-vull" in the Southwest county and they're not really a part of the city. Even though the entire county merged a couple of years ago. You did know you were moving to the 16th largest city in the US, didn't you?

Second, you will often hear people ask "Where did you go to school?" . They mean high school. Learn where the various high schools are and you'll get to know the old neighborhoods well.

Email jackofsaxons, and Alylex. They sounds like they know the city well.

(2) City Sites

The city is packed during the Kentucky Derby Festival, which include a huge fireworks display and a hot air balloon race. We've got a great AAA baseball park and we're the home of the Louisville Slugger.

Louisville has a long history in the alternative music scene. In the 80s we were this close to being a punk Seattle (before Seattle was even Seattle). mI can't tell you how vibrant the local music clubs are now cause I'm an old, old man, but we have a nice blues bar and the Dirty Soul Party.

(3) Eating Out

Lynn's is a disappointment to those of us who were regulars starting a decade ago, but ignore us. It's still cool and you now can make reservations. Try the North End Cafe, Diamonds, and Wick's Pizza. We do eat out a lot in Louisville.

If you like microbrews try Rich-O's, Brownings, and BBC.

(4) The Metro Area

By the way, Rich-Os is in New Albany, Indiana. There are three small towns just north of the Ohio River and are part of the Louisville Metro Area. New Albany, Clarksville, and Jeffersonville are all primarily single family homes with a mall or two. Some people from Louisville hate to admit it, but you can buy a place or rent much cheaper in Indiana. We rented a nice home in Jeffersonville for less than a smaller apartment would have cost in Louisville.

(5) Transportation

If you've lived in a large city with good public transportation then TARC is going to disappoint you. Everyone drives here and everything is designed for cars. Except the streets during heavy snows (over 5 inches). They the city shuts down. I'm only slightly kidding.

No matter where you live in the metro area you're about a 20-30 min drive from the opposite side. (Except during rush hour of course. Then it just depends on if there is a wreck in "Spaghetti Junction.") They're going to add a couple of bridges in 20 years, but I first heard that 25 years ago.

Oh, and when they refer to it as "Dixie Dieway"...they're not kidding.

(5) Politics

As far as politics...the city tends to skew conservative democrat. They hold the majority in the city council and they just reaffirmed the Fairness Ordinance. While also trying to shut down "adult businesses." You never quite know how politics is going to run here, but it will usually be called "pro family." We're no where near as politically conservative as it is up river in Cincinnati. The rest of the state is a bit more conservative than Louisville.

I could go and and will if you like. Just drop me an email.

I really hope you didn't mean Louisville, Colorado.
posted by ?! at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2004 [1 favorite]

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