Moving to Louisville, KY for beginners
March 24, 2015 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Greg Nog and I are moving to Louisville in a few months! We know basically nothing about the city, so please help us find a nice neighborhood to live in, narrow our housing search, and/or manage our expectations. Some desires inside.

We love basically everything about our situation in St. Louis (we currently live in Tower Grove East, if you are familiar), and would love to replicate it as closely as possible. Feel free to chime in with neighborhood suggestions, or other random thoughts about making the move! Also, we are talking renting, not buying.

Strong preferences:
--Stand-alone house, or 1st floor apartment in shared house (small/1BR is fine).
--Lots of storage/work space, preferably in the form of a garage/basement/shed. Greg has lots of arts supplies, and we have a home gym situation we would love to bring with us, so we're not talking, like, cabinet space here
--Cat-friendly, because we have these two lovely beasties
--$1000/month or less

Medium preferences:
--Urban community feel, probably within city limits. Crime is less of an issue for us than for other folks, I'd imagine, but it would be nice if people talked to/interacted with their neighbors
--Near enough to a nice park that we can easily run to it
--Access to bus line (although we do have a car), and some walk/bikeability
--Some nearby amenities would be nice, like a neighborhood bar or coffee shop, but we don't need to be right in the middle of the action or in the coolest neighborhood ever, and lots of large apartment buildings are a turn-off
--Socioeconomic and/or racial diversity
--A small yard and/or porch would also be cool

Also, hey, tell us anything else you think we should know about moving to Louisville! We have looked at past questions, and are excited about all the fun stuff to do once we get there, and to meet all of the Louisville mefites. Thanks for your help!
posted by likeatoaster to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dudes, welcome! Can't wait to have you here!

The neighborhood I recommend for you folks is called Crescent Hill. Ticks all of your boxes, and is just a great place to be. Here's another search.

The area known as Nulu might also be of interest, but it's nearing Peak Hipster, so I hesitate to recommend it.

Let us know when you arrive so we can arrange the welcome meetup!
posted by jbickers at 8:24 AM on March 24, 2015


Crescent Hill, for sure. I have a very good friend who lives there with her family and it ticks all of your boxes. Check out American Turners...it's a circus! And a swim club!
posted by cooker girl at 9:04 AM on March 24, 2015


I live in Louisville, and I have learned to love it since I came here in 2007. I live in the Schnitzelburg neighborhood --- very affordable to own in, but with a limited selection of rental stock. I will cheerfully defend my neighborhood (and the Greater Germantown Area, which includes our surrounding neighborhoods) as being the equal of Crescent Hill in many respects. We're closer to the geographic center of Louisville --- which is not the downtown, which is due north of us, and have extraordinarily easy access to the airport, the university, Churchill Downs, and the mid-to-south Highlands. We're not quite as close to downtown as Crescent Hill is, but we're very affordable, with good socioeconomic diversity (traditionally prosperous blue-collar with divey bars and hardware stores, with young white-collar parvenus like me coming in and bringing brewpubs and yoga studios with us). On ethnic diversity I'll admit G-town's pretty white, but frankly so is Crescent Hill. We're on a major east-west bus line (the 29) and close by a frequently-running north-south line (the 18). The major airport-serving bus line (which is lamentably infrequent) runs through the neighborhood one to our west (St. Joseph), and you can walk to it if you set out early and don't mind a hike.

(Oh, we also have two of the best local microroasteries operating in or near our borders, so you should be good on coffee)

I'm happy to share more about my neighborhood or Louisville as a whole, either here or in private mail. Welcome!
posted by jackbishop at 9:38 AM on March 24, 2015


The neighborhoods you will want to check out are Crescent Hill/Clifton, Original Highlands/Highlands, and Germantown. Not the most racially diverse, but decent socioeconomic variety. Parts of St. Matthews may also fit the criteria, but there is way less diversity. Neighborhood may depend most on where exactly you work and what type of commute you want to deal with. The Louisville subreddit has a lot of good info about renting.

I've been in Louisville for 20 years and really enjoy living here. The cost of living is very affordable and it is a food lover's paradise. Not to mention Derby is around the corner! Welcome! And feel free to memail me if you have other questions.
posted by chaoticgood at 11:28 AM on March 24, 2015


I grew up in Louisville and still have friends and family there. My mother lives south of the city, but two friends I speak to often through social media live in Germantown and Beechmont. They both like their neighborhoods. I think as far as racial diversity goes, Beechmont is going to be one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Louisville. West of the airport is traditionally where Louisville's Vietnamese community has been and I think now there is a growing Muslim population there also. If you live right near Woodlawn Avenue, there's some cool shops, plus two great Vietnamese restaurants.
posted by Slothrop at 4:44 PM on March 24, 2015


Ooh, I should definitely second that Beechmont/Iroquois recommendation. Definitely a win on being both racially diverse _and_ an authentically charming place (some other southern neighborhoods like Lynnview and Okolona have immigrant enclaves, but Beechmont is a lot nicer). Also, Beechmont has the other location of the town's best coffee roaster. Only downside is that it's fairly remote from the lively northeasterly neighborhoods of the Highlands and Clifton, but nothing's close to everything.

Slothrop is correct about the Muslim growth in the area. Several immigration waves have come in, and the Bosnian and Somali communities in particular have a pretty significant presence in Beechmont.
posted by jackbishop at 7:30 PM on March 24, 2015


I cannot recommend neighorhoods as I've never lived there.Though a few years back Talking leaf and I went to a music festival held at the Mellwood Arts Center and had a wonderful time. Aside from the festival we spent a lot of time in the neighborhoods around Brownsboro, Frankfort, and Bardstown roads. We also spent some time in the parks on the river and Cave Hill Cemetery. I think you will love your new home and good luck on your move.
posted by evilDoug at 10:07 PM on March 24, 2015


From a friend and Louisville native:

Well, like any city I suppose Louisville has distinct neighborhoods with distinct personalities. Bardstown Road and the Highlands (one area) is the old hippie, alternative part of town. Still sports a lot of good record stores and vinatge.

Then there's Clifton and Crescent Hill - an older, quieter, put prettier area stretching along Frankfort Avenue with great shopping, restaurants, and art galleries.

But by far the most exciting and fast-changing areas are closer to downtown. East Market Street or NewLou (Nulu? dunno) has spawned some awesome restaurants, bike shops, coffee shops.

St Matthews is an area farther east of the center. There are a few big nice malls out there.

The only place I think is sort of over-hyped but actually pretty gross is Fourth Street Live. It was an early downtown revitalization project that resulted in a Hard Rock Cafe and some other sports bars going into a strip of the downtown area. It's really not a good vibe.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 1:04 AM on March 25, 2015


Thanks everyone! We will probably look at the neighborhoods you suggested, and let you know where we end up!
posted by likeatoaster at 7:04 AM on March 26, 2015


We have found a place! It's a little 3 BR house on a nice street in Shelby Park, and we are really happy with it. Thank you all so much for your help in narrowing down the neighborhoods -- it was a great jumping off place for our search.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:53 AM on July 2, 2015


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