Louisville, Kentucky

Southern Comfort with Midwest Practicality

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What's it like to live in Louisville?

Why Live in Louisville?

I would say it depends on how much you value you money over other things - the cost of living is quite low, and you will feel rich coming from NYC. However, in terms of culture, Louisville fancies itself much more cosmopolitan than it actually is. You will never have to worry about your safety as a member of the queer community, but you will likely be bored, coming from New York. Maybe that’s what you are looking for though.

Why Live in Louisville?

Well I would really never recommend moving somewhere without at least visiting and spending a few consecutive days there. I think it’s a good city overall, but there’s major issues that COVID has made worse and more visible. Most notably homelessness, inequality, etc. I guess it’s not much different than anywhere else, but when it’s in a city this size, I think we struggle more to deal with it than huge metros.

The gay scene here (I’m gay), in particular, is a bit cliquish and shallow/materialistic in my opinion (granted, that’s kind of a common complaint the world around). It’s going to be really tough to get a good idea of the scene considering the bars are really limited right now in seating and hours. I’d try to make the move during March or April, otherwise you may be fighting bad weather. Hopefully by then COVID cases will start declining and maybe the bars will be busier if people get vaccinated.

Louisville usually scores toward the middle of the pack in terms of livability, crime, and the like. Ironically I think we’ll wind up benefiting from COVID, and bounce back quickly due to people coming from the coasts and elsewhere in search of cheaper areas if remote work stays. So we possibly may be seeing more transplants.

I’d not go as far as to say Louisville is a bad place to live, its actually pleasant. It’s affordable, but it has had a lot of growing pains coming into the 21st century. A lot of our industry is a bit backward facing. I also think the state drags us down a notch or two compared to how much support say Indy and Nashville get from their states.

If you can get anything from this ramble: Visit first, never move somewhere blindly. I’d say you’d like it, but this city caters to a different type of people versus your Nashville’s or Austin. Be a bit lax in your judgements once you get here because we’ve taken a lot of hits this year. But I think this city will bounce back quick and better, no matter the nay sayers.

What is it like to live in Louisville?

I have lived in 4 different neighborhoods in Louisville and have loved them all. Life changes are the reasons for the moves. Land, depending on the neighborhood, is extremely affordable comparing it nationally. Housing is great. There are neighborhood watch groups in most communities. People are friendly (I know most of my neighbors on a first name basis.) My experience with the police is that they are friendly and helpful (this can be an issue for some, but my experience has been good.) We have many things to do from free to some cost. Great parks (all free) to walk, jog, ride a bike, play ball (basketball, soccer, baseball, etc.) A walking bridge (free) with great views of the Ohio River.) Great museums (at a “reasonable” cost.) Fabulous restaurants (varied in type of food and cost.) One can get almost anywhere in the city in short time (unless it is a busy street during “rush hour” and even then it is not awful. Louisville is fascinating, friendly and reasonably cost wise. It is a great place to visit with children (so much to see and do,) loved ones or alone. If you just visit, welcome!!! If you move here, hoping you love it as I do!!!

Why should you consider moving from Atlanta, Georgia to Louisville Kentucky?

No seriously, don’t make the mistake people usually make moving to a new town and think about getting the most square foot for the money and end up in a god-forsaken suburb that looks exactly like the awful suburb that you just moved away from.

Traffic is way easier to navigate in Louisville than in Atlanta in general. But, there are reliable places that get backed up and turn into parking lots just like everywhere else. Here they are where all those people living in cookie cutter outer ring suburbs are fighting to get into town.

Housing isn’t really any cheaper here if you want a place. If you want to buy a shotgun house in a neighborhood on the west side of town you can get in for less than 75k. The same house in Germantown will cost 175,000 for the same layout and lot size.

If you are brave you can bike from St. Matthews, Germantown, Portland or a half dozen other neighborhoods to downtown in twenty/twenty-five minutes. If you like to hike, bike, or play league kickball stay close to the big four parks (Iroquois, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Seneca).

The public schools are very good although I hear people kvetch about them all the time. Catholic Church picnic season is awesome with fair type rides, booze, gambling, and carnival food for weeks on end through the summer. Lent is also a blast as the fish fry is a communal treat attracting both heathens and the faithful to wonderful neighborhood celebrations. Pothole season is pretty rough on cars after a hard winter but thanks to global warming those are fewer and farther between.

There are amazing restaurants in town that rival what you can find in NYC, Chicago or LA at a third the price. Other than Skyline I haven’t eaten at a chain restaurant in years. Also, we have Skyline (Cincinnati Chili) which is awesome. 610 Magnolia would be a standout restaurant in Paris or New York and you can get out of there for 150 bucks for two people if you aren’t drinking wine. I have easily spent 500 bucks for a similar meal in a bigger market.

We have Oaks Day and the Thursday before Oaks Day (I refuse to call it Thurby). Out of town folks get to borrow Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. Also, other towns go to the mall on Black Friday and we go to the track.

As far as I can tell the most culturally significant thing to ever happen to Atlanta was when Sherman burnt the place down. Louisville has the best horse racing, best baseball bats and best underground Christmas light show.

If you are at all friendly and neighborly Louisville will suck you in if you let it.

Living in Louisville | This City is MORE than Kentucky Derby