Monday, July 26, 2010

FAQ'S about LOUKY

I have been asked many questions about our move from Brooklyn, NY to Louisville, KY. I have decided to address as many of these questions as possible before moving on with this blog.

  1. What is LOUKY? That's an abbreviation for Louisville, KY. This FAQ will be mainly about LOUKY, but will also deal with the following: Kentucky in general, the South in general, and the Brooklyn Baby Momma's attitude toward all of this, though not the Brooklyn Baby Daddy's, as he is his own person and stuff.
  2. Why did you move? That's complicated. Dave was laid off From Forbes back in November, and that served as sort of a catalyst for us. New York was becoming more and more expensive, the apartments we could afford were riddled with problems, traffic prevented us from being around Dave's family very often, having a kid in the city was HARD, and I felt a pull both to be near my family again after twelve years and to teach in a rural school area in need. I came from a poor, rural area, and I felt it was time to give back.
  3. How big is Louisville? The population is around half a million, although if you include the entire metro area (which extends South of the city and North into Indiana), it's over a million.
  4. How do you pronounce "Louisville?" What ever you do, please do not call it "LOO-EE-VILLE." That's just wrong. Most native Kentuckians pronounce it something like this: "Loo-a-vull." And yes, that's how I say it.
  5. Is there a Jewish community in Louisville? Uh...yeah. The mayor himself, a lifelong Louisvillian, is Jewish. There are several synagogues and even an Orthodox community. There are Jewish preschools and Hebrew schools and a ginormous JCC that even has live feeds to programs airing at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.
  6. Is there an arts scene in Louisville? Yes, my friends, we have art in Louisville. In fact, it is an epicenter for glass blowing, an incredible medium that was a big deal at my alma mater, Centre College. There are tons of galleries and museums and festivals where local artists sell their masterpieces. There's incredible theater, including Actor's Theatre of Louisville, a nationally acclaimed theater and home of many experimental and provocative works. Unlike NYC, we can actually afford to go to the theater here, which is a major bonus for a former drama major like me.
  7. And music? We know the Brooklyn Baby Daddy is a sucker for live music! Kids, we're in the land of bluegrass. Yes, there's music. Dave's even going to an open mic on Wednesday, and we have plans to go to yet another music festival this weekend. There are small blues bars and huge classical venues, there are top 40 bands giving concerts and amazing local bands that will one day be famous.
  8. What about restaurants? We know how the BBF loves their food! Louisville has a rich variety of eating establishments that we are excited to explore. And yes, you can get things like sushi, seafood, Vietnamese food, Middle Eastern food, vegetarian/vegan food, amazing barbecue, traditional Southern food, and Slow Food born of local produce. And you can eat for less than $100 a couple.
  9. Speaking of food, are you guys going to start eating fast food all the time now? NO! Absolutely not! Except for the Chik-Fil-A down the street, because I, like every New Yorker, have missed my Chik-Fil-A. But I remain dedicated to creating our own healthy, seasonal meals from scratch whenever possible and mainly patronize local establishments.
  10. Does Fresh Direct deliver in Louisville? No, but that's OK because we have a plethora of wonderful stores within a 5 minute drive. Whole Foods is so close I could shake a locally-grown, organic stick at it. Kroger, wonderful Kroger, Kroger with its huge aisles and amazing variety and incredible prices, is very near. And Louisville has so many farmer's markets and CSA's that I don't know where to begin - and they're actually, legitimately cheap! So here, as opposed to NYC, non-millionaires can eat locally.
  11. Will you drive everywhere now? Will you have to get two cars? The answer is probably yes to both. There is a convenient bus system, called TARC (Transit Authority of River City) that has a stop right outside of our apartment complex, but we'll probably become frequent drivers. However, we were driving a ton in NYC anyway because gas was cheaper than paying the subway/bus fares for the two of us ($2 per person each way).
  12. Will you be the only liberal freaks in that red state? Nope. Louisville is filled with folks as liberal as we are and way, WAY more. We found this out at the Forecastle Festival, dedicated to "music, art, activism," on the shores of the Ohio River a couple of weeks ago. There were seminars about leading a green life and grass-fed Angus burgers from cows raised a mile away and women with purple hair and circus clothes twirling around on roller blades.
  13. What are you guys going to do for money? I have a job teaching 7th grade English Language arts at a school in Bullitt County, a rural area south of Louisville. Dave is considering substitute teaching and freelance writing, as well as going back to school.
  14. OK, so I realize the cost of living is lower there, but don't you also make a LOT less money? Sadly, no. Teachers in a rural area of Kentucky make only slightly less than those teaching in New York City. And the cost of living is HALF that of NYC. Did you hear me, people? Half. I'd have to make $25,000 for us to struggle as much as we did in the Big Apple, and I can guarantee that teachers don't have it that bad here.
  15. Where will you live? Are you near civilization? We live in a lovely, two-bedroom apartment in a family-friendly, centrally located part of Louisville. We are five minutes from two of the hipper parts of Louisville, ten minutes from downtown, and close to all the stores I mentioned earlier. Our apartment has a huge dishwasher, its own washer and dryer, two bathrooms, a balcony, parking spots right in front, and a food disposal (something I've only ever seen in movies). The complex has a pool, a basketball court, a gym, tennis courts, a pond stocked with fish and brimming with ducks, walking trails, and a common house with a huge porch and free movies that we can borrow. It's rather heavenly. And the neighbors are QUIET AND NORMAL. (Wait. Did I just jinx everything?)
  16. Do people smoke everywhere? No more so than NYC, which, as Carrie Bradshaw demonstrated, is a city of heavy smokers. Smoking is banned in all public areas, like stores and restaurants, so even if there are a lot of smokers, I don't have to deal with it.
  17. Do people wear shoes? How about shirts? Yes. And yes. Nice ones. Sometimes designer.
  18. Will you ever come back to NYC? Definitely, to visit Dave's family and all our friends, if for no other reason.
  19. You sound maniacally in love with Louisville. Are you being paid off by their tourism board? I am maniacally in love with Louisville, but I am not being paid. This is the calmest and most serene I've felt in years. New York is an amazing city and, for some, it is the most perfect place on Earth. But I found life incredibly stressful there. I love hearing the crickets and seeing trees; I love having frequent and casual visits with my family; I love that people are friendly to me, even at the post office or the grocery store; I love that there's so little traffic and everything is so close; I love that my favorite stores are all here - Lush and Whole Foods and Target - and they're all within a 5 minute drive; I love how quiet it is at night; I love how funky and interesting the city is. I love it here.
  20. What will you call your blog now? I have to keep it as it is for a while, just because I'm so in love with the name. But, over time, I think I shall transition to "Bluegrass Baby Momma." Sound good?
I guess that's it, unless you want to add more in the comments. I miss my friends so much it hurts, but otherwise, the quality of my life has increased tenfold. And for my New York friends (and others) who remain dubious of Louisville's grandeur, I invite you to come visit. You won't have to sell a kidney for a hotel room, and I'll make you some red velvet cake!

3 comments:

Tiffanie said...

glad you're feeling good, Randi. : )

and i can't help but say ~ those women with the purple hair and circus clothes: those are my friends. ; )

keep enjoying. Louisville is indeed a cool city.

Kellygirlnyc said...

Oooh, I like Bluegrass Baby Momma. Miss you. I now have to eat froyo all by myself. By the way, you need to get your hands on some Milk and Cookies Ben and Jerry's ice cream. I don't know how you'll do it, but you owe it to yourself. ;)

Holly said...

I finally got a chance to read this. Things have been so busy. Congratulations on making the move to the place you need to be right now! I'm so glad things fell in place with your apartment and job and finances. It took a whole lot of courage to take the leap, but you are now being rewarded for that.

I've never been to Kentucky, so I'd love to take the family on a trip down sometime. It sounds great. We just heard some live bluegrass on Saturday evening, as our neighbors across the creek were having a party.

I wish you all the best, and stay in touch!