Issue September 23, 2009

Readers’ Choice ’09

Welcome to another Readers’ Choice issue. It’s good to see you here again.

In the following pages you’ll find the customary list of winners of a variety of categories, as chosen by you. Congratulations to the prize-holders. We have the best readers in the universe, and they chose you, so consider yourself The Chosen.

As well, we hit the streets to talk to more than just the thousands who responded to our annual survey of what’s good and great in this town. We had one question. It’s open-ended, and from the looks of your responses, you took that to heart.

 

What is something good you can say about where you are right now?

 

Lamar Brooks, 25

Spotted at 36th & Broadway

“I still love the west because this is where I’m from. People are always out and you can still find me down there from time to time trading war stories. I live in Middletown now. And for the most part it’s pretty quiet, old and white, in the words of our mayor, but it’s all right and good for my little one.”

 

Ernest Sellers, 63

Spotted outside the Southend Medical Center

“If you can’t make it in Louisville, you can’t make it anywhere.”

 

Steven Mostyn, 19

Spotted at the Apple Store in Oxmoor Mall

“It’s peaceful here in Kentucky, beautiful. Louisville has the feel of a big city but not the drama.”

 

Jim (self-declared Mayor of Butchertown), 76

Spotted sitting on a stoop on Webster Street

“This place is going to hell in a hand basket. I’ve lived here 29 years and it’s beautiful and we have some good neighbors, but they just got to get something more going on here.”

 

Puja Sangoi, 19

Spotted at the University of Louisville

“I like that in school, I’ve found a time where I’m starting to figure out what to do for the rest of my life, where I’m headed, and how to get there.”

 

Billy Burnett, 62

Spotted on a swing by the playground at Waterfront Park

“Sitting here with my beautiful wife, Susan, and enjoying the view of the city. We actually were just talking about buying a place on East Market Street so we can do this all the time.”

 

Susan Burnett, 57

Spotted on a swing by the playground at Waterfront Park

“There’s really something for everyone at Waterfront Park. It’s getting better all the time.”

 

Andrew Valentine, 22

Spotted at Central Park

“This is my first time out here. I moved from the West End. I was tired of all the drama.”

 

John Trohmer, 73

Spotted at The Puritan, where he lives in Old Louisville

“They do a lot for the old folks.”

 

Melissa Smyzer, 36

Spotted at 45th & Broadway

“I grew up here. It’s nice. Around here you know people very well and it’s tight knit. I’m happy with knowing them for so long, and it’s quiet on this end.”

 

Chris Carter, 24

Spotted at the Iroquois Golf Club clubhouse

“Everybody’s easygoing in this area. It’s more quiet than anywhere else.”

 

Janet Caisse, 50

Spotted peddling sweets behind the counter of Plehn’s Bakery in St. Matthews

“I love this place … the people … my bosses — I love my job. I love my customers. It’s a classy neighborhood.”

 

Earlene Zimlich, “29 forever”

Spotted at the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce

“The excitement here is contagious, with all of the events that go on throughout the year. The locally owned restaurants and businesses have their flair of individuality.”

 

Carmon Alvey

Spotted in Old Louisville

“I love the people. A girl sat on the bus beside me the other day, and she was from Pakistan. I’m from a small town, and I love that I can walk down the street and see any type of person.

 

Dena Wethington, 35

Spotted slingin’ hair at Wild Strawberry Salon in St. Matthews

“I love St. Matthews and I love being in the heart of it. There’s lots of life here — lots of local shops and businesses.”

 

Challa Woods, 19

Spotted at Soul Unique, 26th & Broadway

“I’ve never been a server, and now I’ve learned to be very professional and hospitable. This area has come a long way, and we’ve come a long way as a restaurant.”

 

Jill Welch, 38

Spotted at the Dixie Trading Post

“It’s a new beginning, and people have hope and positive attitudes.” (The Trading Post has just reopened under new ownership.)

 

Camille Linton, 46

Spotted at 18th & Muhammad Ali Boulevard, at Expressions of You Coffeehouse

“I love my customers. They’re from all over the city.”

 

Ryan Harper, 25

Spotted behind the counter at ear X-tacy, recommending the latest Muse album

“Actually, my favorite part of town is Germantown, but I love working here. This is a dream job for me — I’ve been preparing to work here since I was 10.”

 

Ann Hagan-Grigsby, 59

Spotted on Wilson Avenue at Park DuValle

“The Park DuValle community has changed significantly. It’s a stronger and safer one to live in. You can’t tell which homes are subsidized and which ones are not. It’s beautiful.”

 

Joan Childress, 58

Spotted outside the Southend Medical Center

“I didn’t have to sit in the doctor’s office very long.”

 

Frank McAfee, 57

Spotted at 15th & Broadway

“A lot of agencies are here trying to uplift and elevate the economics here. There are several groups like that, including the Louisville Urban League and Justice Resource Center, working towards improving this area.”

 

Govini Broker, 27

Spotted schmoozing customers at the Premier Skin Care stand in the Oxmoor Mall

“It’s quiet here. It’s a nice place. I’m from Israel, and people are so friendly and polite here. But I’ve noticed one thing — teenagers need to respect their parents more. They don’t seem to care about their futures here.”

 

Brittany Reed, 23

Spotted at 43rd & Larkwood

“I grew up here, and my mama did, too. I had a great relationship with my neighbors. My part of the street was peaceful for the most part. Where I live now is a dramatic change from what I once knew, but very welcoming for the change that I’m trying to make in my personal life. I mean, don’t get me wrong: The West End has a lot to offer and it is what you make it, but sometimes you get caught in the mix before you realize what’s going on.”

 

Tommy Blankenship, 26

Spotted taking a lunch break at an outdoor table near Carmichael’s on Frankfort Avenue, his UPS truck parked nearby

“Everybody’s real friendly here. And it’s always nice to catch some shade.”

 

Rhett Sample, 25

Spotted at the Shively Fire Department

“I love the Iroquois Park area because it’s a real tight-knit community.”

 

David Graser, 20

Spotted at the University of Louisville

“I don’t. I’m ready to get the fuck out.”

 

Darren Martin, 21

Spotted at the Shively-Newman Library

“The events around here — the concerts and all that. They always have something going on here.”

 

Puja Sangoi, 19

Spotted at the University of Louisville

“I like that in school, I’ve found a time where I’m starting to figure out what to do for the rest of my life, where I’m headed, and how to get there.”

 

Dana Greenwell, 40

Spotted at the Iroquois Golf Club

“I’m in good company.”

 

Drew Henry, 27

Spotted sitting outside Zeppelin Café on East Burnett Avenue in Germantown

“The beer here is a fair price. It’s better than Highlands prices.”

 

Trina Sawyers, 48

Spotted at 31st & Broadway

“We have kids here that we tutor. I volunteer with the L.I.F.E. Institute and it’s about helping others. I know because they help me, too.”

 

Chuck Lyons, 53

Spotted at the Iroquois Golf Club

“There’s a cold beer in my hand.”

 

LaShawn Moore, 49

Spotted in Old Louisville

“The serenity.”

 

Rahel Samuel, 30

Spotted studying inside Heine Bros. in Crescent Hill

“This area reminds me of Europe — pedestrian walkways with small cafés. It’s definitely an eclectic part of the city.”

 

Barbara Shelton, 53

Spotted at Baptist Towers in Old Louisville

“It’s a nice, safe place to live, and I don’t have to pay utilities.”

 

Larry Sanders, 55

Spotted on a bench overlooking the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park

“Right here is beautiful. The view is lovely. I have lovely company sitting here talking to me … It’s a fairly peaceful place to meditate and think about the future.”

 

Charlotte Noel, 58

Spotted inside Miss Cs’ Kitchen and Pantry on Story Avenue

“Butchertown is a beautiful neighborhood. The architecture and the people are wonderful, and we have the best neighborhood association … Swift (meatpacking company) is the only negative.”

 

Andrew Gazaway, 44

Spotted at 15th & Broadway

“There’s some great potential around here for commercial business really. I mean, it is so close to downtown, it makes it easier for folks to get around to the waterfront and everything else.”

 

Crystal Britton, 38

Spotted at the Shively-Newman Library

“It’s the library!”

 

Sandy Nixon, 40

Spotted inside Artemisia Gallery on East Market Street

“It’s all about the re-gentrification of Louisville here. It’s a fun part of the city where there’s always something new and there’s a real focus on local goods.”

 

Amanda Hardaway, 26

Spotted at the corner of East Burnett and Hickory Street

“This is the first time I’ve been this far into Germantown … I’d come here again.”

 

Karyla Johnson, 52

Spotted at Shively City Hall, where she works

“I am probably in the best place I’ve been in my whole life. This is the perfect job for me — it’s a great place to work.”

 

Barclay Lee, 16

Spotted at the University of Louisville

“It’s challenging. I’m hoping to get into a good university.”

 

Mamie Luv Davis, 25

Spotted doing color at Jerry Heston Hairdressing in Crescent Hill

“I call this area the ‘Upscale Highlands.’ I love the people around me.”

 

Ashley Neuman, 23

Spotted at Story Avenue near Spring Street

“I grew up in this part of Butchertown and I’ve always liked it, except for the pig smell … There’s a lot of history in this area and it has a lot of potential.”

 

Elizabeth Foster, 27

Spotted preparing an espresso at Day’s Coffee in the Highlands

"It’s a pretty idiosyncratic place to live. It has the vestiges of a neighborhood — I can get away with not using a car. And I love how everybody has the same idea of what a front yard should be — lush and overgrown. That, with the older buildings and houses, adds to the charm of this place.”

 

Emily McArdle, 24

Spotted at BBC in St. Matthews

“I like that you can walk to a lot of places and park your car in one.”

 

Amanda Moore, 26

Spotted leaving ear X-tacy on Bardstown Road

“I love the culture — being able to walk around and see people my age — people of all ages, really. And there’s great food here in the Highlands. You can’t beat it.”

 

Jennifer Henry, 26

Spotted sitting outside Zeppelin Café on East Burnett Avenue in Germantown

 "I come here for the pretzels and beer cheese. That’s why I’m here.”