Monday, December 26, 2011

Tastiest Town

We're Number One!  We're Number One!

(at the moment)

At the moment, Louisville tops Southern Living Magazine's South's Tastiest Town contest. You can vote daily, and you should vote daily because we're only beating Lafayette, LA by a sliver. (Surprisingly we're leaving my old hometown and foodie paradise, New Orleans, in the dust at the moment.)

Voting runs through January 31 and each time you enter, you're eligible to win a $2500 trip to the Tastiest Town of your choice. Click on this link to enter.

What better way to ring in the new year than for us to nail down an honor that we richly deserve?

Friday, December 23, 2011

THIS... is Louisville: 1st Issue Release Party

Lately I've been cheerleading for the local Kickstarter project Menu and Hours, but Louisville has a pretty solid history backing worthy projects on Kickstarter, including Morels Food Truck and the soon-to-be-released THIS... is Louisville magazine, both of which received funds that surpassed their Kickstarter goals.

From the THIS... is Louisville facebook page:

We believe everyone has a story to tell. Louisville is a photo documentary based magazine telling the stories of real people in Louisville. 

Almost all the crew for this magazine went to WKU, we all have (or are working towards) degrees in photojournalism, so shooting documentary style is our "thing." We love it, it's our passion. The idea is to try to cover Louisville as vastly as possible.

Stories that we have started working on include refugees, people facing the job crisis, the LGBT community, people challenging the role of gender, candid street fashion, an older lady that has somehow found the fountain of youth, and these are just a few.

We are going to try to tell their stories as honestly as possible. There are so many important people that are just "everyday people" living in our community and their stories NEED to be told.

The inaugural issue of THIS... is Louisville has just hit the hands of the creators, and I have it on good authority via Twitter (@THISisLouville) that it is gorgeous. I've also heard from Maggie Huber that the magazine has been funded at least through issue two.

Watch their truly beautiful Kickstarter video and then stop by to pick up a copy and congratulate them on December 29 from 730p-? at Seidenfaden's. There, you'll be able to pick up the magazine for FREE, buy signed prints, and otherwise support this really exciting new publication. The Magnolia Photo Booth folks will also be there.

Between The Paper and THIS... is Louisville, exciting things have happened in print media in this city in 2011. Wishing both publications continued success in 2012.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Save the Date: Skate Tweet Up II: Electric Boogaloo

Even though I can barely skate, and I am going to hurt like HECK tomorrow, I had so much fun at tonight's Skate Tweet-Up that I can't wait to do it again.

Tonight's turnout was pretty small; I think some folks were scared away by the spitty rain this afternoon (although it was largely spit-free from 7p-830p while we were skating). But what a fantastic group of people!

The Jeffersonville rink is tiny and adorable. There's a hot dog/hot chocolate vendor outside. And street parking is convenient and easily found. And it's only $8 for the whole shebang-- skating AND skate rental!  I really wish the rink would stay open longer than just January 1.

So, I am planning another Skate Tweet-Up before the rink closes.

Who: YOU! This event is kid-friendly and non-skater-friendly.

What: Skating at the Jeffersonville rink.

When: December 28 from 7-9pm, apres-skate gathering at the BBC on Main Street

Where: Jeffersonville, Indiana-- corner of Market and Spring Streets.

Why: Because it's lovely and festive, and you'll work muscles that you didn't know you had-- ow!

Hope you can make it!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

PAL's Iroquois HS Students & Blue Apple Players @ 21c

If you work downtown, here's an after-work, brief event that might interest you for Monday:

The Blue Apple Players have been working with eight students from Iroquois High School to develop original drama pieces inspired by the art at 21c's Cuba Now exhibit.  On Monday, December 19, these works will be performed at 21c at 530pm for free.  The program should last more or less a half an hour.

From the press release:

The mission of the PAL Coalition is to reduce the incidence of substance abuse by young people residing in the 7th Street Corridor of Central Louisville. Through this after-school club, students have taken on a community leadership role in creating strategies and projects that will reduce substance abuse and support a healthy community. These outstanding teens selected drama as one way to communicate their message. But identifying the vehicle of drama wasn’t enough to jumpstart their work; they needed someone to lead them in how to utilize drama to make their ideas come alive. PAL reached out to Blue Apple Players. 

The PAL Coalition met Blue Apple Players Education Director Heather Burns in the fall of 2010. Burns taught the PAL students acting techniques and led them through the process of how to create an original piece of drama for several projects. 

“Teaching drama with Blue Apple is unique because it allows students to bring their own ideas to the table and trust themselves,” said Burns, “The PAL Coalition have shown me a stronger focus than many of the self-described ‘drama kids’ that I’ve taught. It’s all about their personal dedication to the mission of PAL. That’s why it was time to do something really special and partner them with the 21c Museum.”

This is a win, win situation, folks. It's a great little after-work slice of culture for you, one that is bound to reaffirm your faith in teenagers and the power of art. And it would be so nice to give these kiddos a solid audience to perform to.

So please think about going. I'll be there, and I'll head straight from 21c to our skating Tweet Up, so this isn't an either/or proposition.  And look for more on the work of the Blue Apple Players in next month's The Paper.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside II: Skating Tweet Up

Last month I posted about the outdoor ice rink that opened across the river in Jeffersontownville or whatever the town is called. (sorry Hoosiers, you know me and my aversion to bridges).  Last week on Twitter, I proposed a Tweet Up at the ice rink. Our first date looked like it was going to get rained out, so we moved it.

What: Loueyville Tweet Up at the Ice Rink

When: Monday, December 19, 7pm-ish

Where: Corner of Market & Spring in Jeffersonville, IN

Who: YOU!

Why: Because it's only $8, and so dang festive!

I don't know how to tell you how to find me. I don't really look much like an acorn. But I'll try to remember to tweet what I am wearing. Just ask every short, blonde, thirtysomething who falls on her ass, "Are you Lou?" :)

If it rains, we'll reschedule. Keep checking Twitter, if it looks like the weather is going bad (@Loueyville).  If it snows, it will be even MORE dang festive!  Let's all get our Norman Rockwells on, Louisvillagers!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hungry With Questions: An App for That

Awesome Louisvillager, do-gooder, and Queen of the Louisville blogworld Michelle Jones of Consuming Louisville has kicked off a Kickstarter to raise funds for a very cool iPhone (and hopefully eventually Android) app.

Menu and Hours is just that: menus and hours. Well, it's pretty much just that. I'm guessing that "Menus, Hours, and Contact Info" was dismissed pretty quickly as a potential name.

Watch the video and let her explain why this app needs to happen. Michelle is offering generous incentives for people who pledge at the $10 level and above.

And sweet Pete, if Ms. Michelle's adorable narration of the Kickstarter video doesn't motivate you to pledge your support, you have a heart of stone.

NYE 2011: The Pass @ Butchertown Pub Studios

I'm loopy for a number of local singer/songwriters. Alex Wright, Justin P. Lewis, Tyrone Cotton, Butch Rice, Brigid Kaelin (in exile), Dewey Kincade, and many more.

But the list of Louisville bands that I love is decidedly shorter (educate me, dear readers!).

One band that I do LOVE-- my favorite band in this fair city-- is The Pass.  And they're playing a show with Nerves Junior on NYE at the Butchertown Pub Studios.

The folks at Backseat Sandbar have the details.  It's only $12 in advance, so this is looking like a very good contender for how I will spend my New Year's Eve 2011.

NYE 2011: What Are We Doing New Year's Eve?

Let's face it, New Year's Eve is kind of a bitch of a holiday. Like Valentine's Day, it's always a lot of pressure and usually little payout. (Case in point: Last NYE, I went on a date to a fancy-ish dinner and then a very lovely house party... with a guy who turned out to have a secret serious girlfriend. Not a banner way to usher in a new year, in retrospect.)

But 2011 has been a pretty good year. I've made a lot of fabulous new friends, done incredibly exciting new things, and embarked on some fairly serious soul-searching that may lead to even more new friends and exciting experiences (fingers crossed). 2011 hasn't been devoid of crises-- most notably, Roommate's heart attack back in January. But even that led both of us to some positive changes in our lives, and certainly led me to love him more and better.

While prepping to write this post, I looked back on a NYE post from 2008 and was reminded how damned lucky I am in 2011.  Back then I didn't know any of y'all-- no joke: in 2008, I had three friends in this city, Roommate being one of them. I was going through the whole cancer thing. I was living in a hotel because my house had been crushed by Hurricane Ike back in September. Dark times, dear readers.

That year, I wrote a series of posts on NYE happenings in Louisville under the header "GOOD RIDDANCE 2008;" this year, I have slightly more tender feelings toward the year that we're about to dismiss. So, I'll just label these NYE 2011.

So, Louisville, what's the skinny on NYE 2011?  What are you doing? Email me at Lou (at) and let me know. I'll post the best stuff to the blog.

Granted, some say that the Mayans predicted that this would be the last year... ever. But I'm really looking forward to 2012 nonetheless. At the very least, if the Mayans were right, I'm hopeful that they meant that the Earth would be invaded by aliens. In which case, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that said aliens are just my "real" family coming to take me home.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Improvapalooza 12: Tickets on Sale!

Today, tickets go on sale for Improvapalooza 12, the longest-running improv festival in the Southeast, hosted by the Louisville Improvisors.  The event runs January 6-7 at 8pm at the Mex Theatre in the Kentucky Center. Tickets are $17.

This year's festival will include Colleen Smith of the Groundlings and comedienne Candice Brown (who has been on Torchwood-- Total nerd squee!!). Also featured are the Narcotic Farmers, an improv super group combining some of the best improvisers from the Nashville improv group Music City Improv with the Louisville Improvisors.

I covered the Improvisors for The Paper a couple of months ago, so I'm really excited for this event.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Guys, I think I just ate some plate"

This week's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me's" Sandwich Monday Blog features Kentucky's own Hot Brown. Because it is so amusing, we'll forgive them that they enjoyed the Hot Brown's at Lexington's Ramsey's restaurant, and not here at the Brown Hotel like they should have.

Highlights of the review include:

Robert: On the old pirate maps the bacon "X" meant "Here be diabetes."
Mike: Exactly. Dig here for a heart attack.
Ian: The crucifix of bacon is the least Jewish thing I have ever seen.

The final verdict that was the sandwich-- if you can call it that-- didn't live up to its visual promise, tastewise. Hope they don't write it off and instead try another Hot Brown in its native city, Louisville. A well-done Hot Brown is a party in your mouth: a sluggish, deadening, nap-inducing party that takes you two days to recover from.

Linda Golden: Photo Exhibit

Students at the Tokoin-Gbonvie elementary school in Lomé
This week the Gardiner Lane Heine Brothers will start featuring and exhibit of ten photos taken by the lovely and talented Linda Golden. The photos, taken during her time in the Peace Corps, feature Togolese women and girls.

The photos are for sale for $50 each, and all profits from each sale go to Pathways Togo.

For more information about the exhibit, visit Linda's blog, LJ Golden-- Just Exploring. Here's a brief excerpt:
The images feature Togolese women and girls, who were my closest friends during my time in Togo. They welcomed me when I arrived, showed me how to carry water from the pump (a short-lived endeavor on my part), made sure I was appropriately dressed for the mosque on the important holy days, guided me through the village (it was a small village, but I still needed help finding the middle school), and saw me off each time I said “goodbye.” They let me advise them on how to care for their children’s health, even though I have no children of my own. At least one told me she wanted me with her when she delivered her fourth child.
I'm really looking forward to seeing Linda's work. Hope you go check it out too.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Diego Garcia Ticket Giveaway!

Thanks to Diego Garcia's PR folks, I have two free tickets to his show tomorrow night to give away.  

More information about the show in my previous post, here

Want to go? Either leave a response to this post below or tweet me @loueyville and let me know why you need a night out!

I'll pick a post at random tomorrow at noon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Diego Garcia: Not Just An Atoll (Z'bar on Sat)

I don't blog all that much about music because here in Louisville we're lucky to have a lot of great music bloggers who get the job done.  But occasionally I get a press release from a musician's PR firm that kind of excites me.

This Saturday, Diego Garcia, formerly the frontman of the band Elefant, will be playing at Zanzabar. His PR people let me stream his solo album, and I was totally charmed. From the press release:

Diego Garcia has become one of 2011’s breakout new stars, with NPR calling his debut album ‘Laura’ “one of the top 25 albums of the year (so far).” The album has had an impressive response from radio, hitting #1 atWXPN in Philadelphia and #4 at tastemaker station KCRW in Los Angeles. With lush string arrangements and Spanish guitar, Diego Garcia’s poignant single “You Were Never There,” was recently featured as Starbucks ‘Pick of the Week’ (with 750,000 download cards distributed nationally). Prior to his successful solo career, Diego Garcia originally made his mark on the music scene as front man for the popular indie band Elefant.

Zanzabar is probably my favorite local venue, so I'm really excited for this show.  Below you will find a link to a free download of his song "Stay." We've been hearing Garcia a lot on WFPK; this is a fantastic time to see him in person.  Tickets are $12.  And with the kind of buzz he's been receiving, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it sells out.  Maybe you ought to get your tickets in advance, huh?  You can do that here.

Doors at 8p; show at 9p. I'll see you there!

(Keeping my fingers crossed that I might have a ticket giveaway coming your way soon.  And maybe an interview in which I ask totally absurd questions.  In the meantime, check out's article by Allison Ray.)

Personal: A Holiday Season Reminder

Even in the best of years, I'm just not a Christmas-y kind of person. When I was a kid, it seemed like holidays-- Christmas and Thanksgiving and Fourth of July-- had a Norman Rockwell sort of flavor to them. I had a big family. I was the oldest of a whole passel of kids. We lived in New England, which for some reason makes everything seem a little more Norman Rockwellish. But as an adult, I have admit that I could pretty much take or leave just about every holiday.

This year, I had a bunch of people over the night before Thanksgiving, and that felt more Thanksgiving-y than any actual Turkey Day meal I've had in a long time. New Years is overhyped and over-promised. And one of the many downsides of being childless is that Christmas just really doesn't feel like Christmas when there aren't little kids around.

But this year, my inner Grinch has been having a field day. Money woes and work angst have been amplifying each other into a feedback loop of crushing stress. In some ways, this Christmas was poised to be the least joyful holiday ever.

And I'm not saying I've figured out how to rescue it. I'm trying. Only time will tell. What I am saying is that I am going to work harder to have my long-lost inner Buddy Elf vanquish my long-standing inner Grinch.

Tonight I bopped on over to my personal Facebook page and saw that my Aunt KL posted this picture:

This is Christmas 1960. The tallest one is my dad. The other little dudes are his four younger brothers (Aunt KL is married to the littlest one). And when I saw this picture,  I was floored.

Dad died when I was three; he was twenty-seven. I was born on his 24th birthday. I think about him a lot. But I don't really ever think about him being a kid. A kid who had brothers. A kid who enjoyed Christmas. A kid who had awesome big ol' glasses that hipsters in 2011 would covet.

And my lord... if you've ever met me, you're probably freaked out by the resemblance too.

Anyway, I kind of needed that kick in the pants. Needed to be reminded to be grateful for the holiday season, regardless of the feedback loop of stress.  Needed to be reminded of how many more Christmases I've gotten to enjoy than my dad did.

So I'm going to try to do better, be merrier. I know so many people who are facing a far more challenging holiday than I am, so I need to do more than to just do better-- I need to be better.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to make some headway banishing my Bah-Humbugs by seeing Actors Theater's A Christmas Carol with The Guy. How do you bring cheer to your winter holiday of choice when you're just not feeling cheerful?  Do you have any recommendations that are bound to put some jolly in my soul?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Power 2 Give: Support the Arts this Holiday Season

I admit, I have a knee-jerk bias against just about anything that subs numbers/letters for words (unless it's the title of a Prince song).  But, I'll squash that sentiment for the rest of this post because I do love this opportunity to support the arts.

Power 2 Give (see, I just had to go back and delete "to" and replace it with "2"... sorry, squashing) works kind of like Kickstarter or Donors Choose.  It lists projects that need funding in the local arts and sciences, and you can choose which ones you would like to contribute to.  Or more precisely, from their website:

A project of the Arts & Science Council (ASC), empowers you to give directly to local arts, science and history projects you are passionate about. Nonprofit organizations post projects that are in need of funding. You help bring them to life with a gift.

What I like most about this website for this holiday season is that you can purchase gift cards in $25 denominations so that your friends, employees, family, Secret Santa recipient, etc can choose the project that they want to support.  

Many of the projects are also supported by matching gifts from local and national sources. Some organizations have opted to eschew matching gifts from corporations, which is also cool. 

I admit that I have a wee bit of a personal bias involved in this recommendation (No I'm not going to tell you what it is. I'm a woman of mystery.), but if you're not sure which organization to support, you can't go wrong with Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble.  Get those actors some damned pants!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Broadway Across America: RAIN

When I was a kid, Mama Lou always said to me, "Melissa, you never say no. Someone could invite you to a pig-calling contest, and you'd say 'Sure! When?'"

I am still waiting for someone to invite me to a pig-calling contest. I'd love to go.

But it's kind of awesome that my blogging hobby has led to me being invited to go see so many things so often.  I'm still that kid Mama was talking to-- I still almost never say "no" to an invitation. And that has served me so well so often, I hope I don't ever have to stop saying "yes."

So when the folks at Broadway Across America invited me to see RAIN, the Beatles tribute that just left Broadway and is now touring, I didn't think twice.

Confession: I'm one of those rare people who is totally apathetic about the Beatles. I understand the power behind the songwriting and the musicianship and all that, but I just don't dig the Beatles the way that (seemingly) most people do. In fact-- ghastly admission coming-- my "desert island discs" list would include the album "The Monkees" but nothing by the Beatles (seriously people, I know that the Monkees were a manufactured band, but a vast number of their songs are just... stunningly good!).

So I was kind of feeling a little meh about seeing RAIN, but I'm so glad I went.  And holy cow, if you're a bonafide fan of the Beatles, I'm sure you'd love it! Imagine seeing a fabulous cover band, then put the power of Broadway behind the production.... These men replicate the Beatles' sound impeccably and have been doing so (most of them) since the mid-80's (right around when Mama was chiding me about the pig-calling contests).  Four costume and set changes. Multi-media stuff that's both new and historic.  So well done, overall.

And the crowd... I'm still kind of baffled by it.  First of all, Roommate and I were two of the youngest people in the audience.  Secondly, some of these people (mostly women) reacted to RAIN as though the were the actual Beatles.  Hooting, hollering, swooning.  But as Roommate said, any band that can keep a group of people on their feet for more than thirty minutes has something going on.

There are two shows left on Saturday, December 3.  If you're an honest-to-goodness Beatles fan, you're not going to want to miss this.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rumor Report: Hammerheads Moving?

I hope they take the really cool shark that hangs above their door...

A little birdy (okay, it's Roommate) tells me that Hammerheads will be relocating to the location formerly known as Big Blue Country.  Sure, my last Rumor Report on Big Blue Country (that they were considering a name change to attract a more diverse sports crowd) didn't pan out. I mean, maybe they DID consider a name change, but decided against it-- who knows?

But Roommate swears this is true, and if it is that's fabulous news-- we've walked away from Hammerheads' long wait for a table more times than we've actually eaten at Hammerheads.  No more "limited seating" if they're in the Big Blue Country location... it's pretty huge.

Can anyone substantiate this rumor?