Nora talks Louisville
Nora shares the culture, arts, and bourbon that make her hometown so special.
"Hi! My name is Nora, I’m 26, and I’m currently working as a software engineer in San Francisco, CA. When I’m not hanging out with my friends or slogging through the Bay Area commute, you can find me at the dance studio or on the couch watching one of my (many) favorite movies or shows. I’ve lived in SF, Sunnyvale, Redwood City (all CA), as well as Charleston, SC and (very briefly) Barcelona, Spain, but today I’d like to share all the things I love about my hometown—Louisville, Kentucky."
If a friend were visiting Louisville, what is the first thing you would show her?
"One of my favorite ways to introduce people to Louisville is to take them out for an afternoon/evening on Bardstown Road. Packed with all kinds of quirky shops, restaurants and bars, it’s a great place to walk around and get a sense of the city. Whether you are into vintage clothing, handmade leather goods, musical instruments, or delicious cookies with a side of African crafts (check out Kizito!) there’s something for everyone."
"There’s something for everyone."
"Probably my favorite thing about Louisville is that it has a little bit of everything. You’ve got the richness and tradition of things like Southern cooking and Bluegrass music right alongside big-name sporting events and fantastic modern art museums."
"Since we are talking about Kentucky, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up bourbon. Kentucky is the bourbon capital of the world, so if you love whiskey (or even if you don’t) I highly recommend stopping in a distillery or two. Louisville is home to the 'Urban Bourbon Trail,' and a couple of my favorite stops are Angel’s Envy and Bulleit. If you’ve got a car, a few days, and a liver of steel, you can also check out the state-wide Bourbon Trail, which features 20+ distilleries and some of Kentucky’s prettiest scenery."
A few snapshots from the 'Urban Bourbon' trail.
Arts and Culture
"In general, one of my favorite things about Kentucky is its focus on the arts, and in particular, folk arts and crafts. Louisville is a place where local and regional music, writing, film, and visual art all have a voice alongside the more popular offerings. You can take a basket-weaving or wood-working class, or you can jump into a neighborhood contra dance or jam session at an Irish pub as a total beginner and people will welcome you in. To me, it’s really unique and empowering to be in a place with so many talented people where the barrier to entry is still really accessible."
"To me, it’s really unique and empowering to be in a place with so many talented people where the barrier to entry is still really accessible."
Wisdom and Insight into Kentucky
"While Louisville is definitely a liberal outpost, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a blue city in an overwhelmingly red state. If you are a defender of things like a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion or LGBTQ+ equality, it can be difficult at times to accept that the people down the street—or worse still, representing you in office—don’t necessarily share your views. However, Louisville is a city full of people passionate about bringing about political and social change, and there’s no shortage of opportunities to get involved and make that change a reality."
"Louisville is a city full of people passionate about bringing about political and social change, and there’s no shortage of opportunities to get involved and make that change a reality."
"Overall, I'd say that Louisville is pretty safe place. That said, it is a big city like any other, and so I'd recommend practicing basic safety precautions such as not carrying large amounts of cash, avoiding late night walks by yourself, and generally being aware of your surroundings."
Any other advice for going south?
"Only this: whatever you do, make sure you don’t pronounce the 's' in 'Louisville' :) How exactly to write out the correct pronunciation is a hotly contested matter, but most visitors settle for something a bit like 'LOO-a-ville', while locals somehow turn it into a two-syllable word that I can only guesstimate at 'LUH-Vull'..."