Louisville Magazine

AUG 2015

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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16 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.15 THE BIT WHERE AM I? Do you know this location? Send us an email (editorial@ loumag.com, subject: Where Am I?). We'll publish the correct answer next month. Trumped by Tulsa By Jack Welch / Illustration by Carrie Neumayer JUST SAYIN' Travel magnet, apparently, we're not. Last month: More Where Am I? guessers than ever before correctly identifed this Big Bird- like head duct-taped to the top of the sticker-plastered crosswalk pole in front of Hilltop Tavern in Clifton. The frst reader to respond with the right answer was Debra Richards Harlan, a retired historic-preservation consultant who lives in the Bonnycastle neighborhood. "All those years working in Louisville's urban neighborhoods has trained my eye well," she says. Shortly after we ran the picture, the head, which showed up after Derby night, disappeared. "We think the city came and got it," Hilltop co-owner John Skelton says. (Apologies if we're to blame.) "We had a horse head for a while, but somebody stole it." The computer tabulations are complete, and Wallet Hub — a social-media company and personal- fnance resource that relentlessly sends out online tips and lists — has determined Louisville to be the 50th-best of 80 U.S. metropolitan areas for 2015 summer travel. That's right — if some couple in Boise, Idaho, is sifting through candidates for "the most fun-flled and wallet-friendly summer destination," Wallet Hub thinks Oklahoma City (seventh), Tulsa (15th), Memphis (27th), Birmingham (39th), Little Rock (43rd) and McAllen, Texas (48th), to name six possible stumpers, are wiser choices than Derby City. The methodology for the site's fndings rates cities in fve "measurable" categories — costs and hassles of getting there, local costs, number and strength of attractions, weather conditions, and parks and recreation — then does the math to come up with a single ranking. Louisville does well in one category — local costs (12th) — and manages a 37th in attractions, but takes hard hits in the other three. We have to face the fact that our air service (50th) is middling at best; it's not cost- or connection-effcient fying into and out of here. And weather-wise, which not only includes the stultifying summer heat and humidity, but also atmospheric volatility, the rank of 60th is understandable. (Understandable, that is, if someone could explain to me why Atlanta comes in 15th, Houston 26th and just-up-the- road Cincinnati 27th — all big jumps from 60th.) In a separate Wallet Hub report on best and worst weather, we ranked in the 75th percentile among 600 U.S. cities for summer weather. Because, in a city that brags about its park system, most people can't begin to fathom why Louisville would be ranked in the bottom third in the parks and recreation category (50th), I checked out the subcategories and found that 12.5 percent of the grade was derived from the general "popularity of the city." (Ahh, the old image/perception factor!) The other 87.5 percent had to do with elements such as number of bike-rental facilities, number of food festivals, government spending on parks, average ftness-club fee, movie costs, bowling costs, beverage and food prices, number of 4.5+-star restaurants, park playgrounds per 100,000 residents, percentage of residents with walkable park access, and percentage of city area that's parkland. Gotta think it's the bowling costs holding us back. In Tulsa, sources tell me, you pay a quarter a game with free shoe rental.

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