Fun In The Big City


This post is by Joe Stephens


I’ve been in Louisville, Kentucky since last Thursday doing the AP Reading. What that is, in a nutshell, is a couple thousand English teachers and professors from all over the country gather in one place to read and score 1.2 million essays that were written in May by high school students on the AP (Advanced Placement) English Literature and Composition Exam. The good news that the 1.2 million is the total, not how many we each had to read. We were divided into three rooms with each room responsible for reading one of the three essays. My room read the prose essay. I scored 1508 essays from Friday until today (yesterday when this goes live). I say I scored and not read, I mean that, well, not all the kids wrote all the essays. But that’s another story. Even the essays in general is another story. What I want to write about is all the stuff that you can do for fun in Louisville.

20160613_205656First of all, the part of Louisville I saw is mostly what’s called the Central Business District, or downtown. The city is huge, with a metro area totalling over 1 million people. So what I saw and did is miniscule compared to the entire city. But even in our little corner tucked against the Ohio River (which seems really WIDE compared to the part that flows past my town of Parkersburg, WV), there’s so much to do that you just can’t get to it all, especially when you only have a few evenings free to do stuff. So if you want to visit, plan for plenty of time. There are even theme parks here, but I won’t be talking about that.

First of all, anyone who’s been to one will tell you that AAA baseball games are the best 20160613_191845entertainment bargain around. My friends and I went to a Louisville Bats game and the tickets were $10. Yes, drinks and refreshments were as expensive as at a movie theater, but if you plan your trip right, you can get there on a promotion night. We missed dollar hot dogs and soft drink night by one day, but they have them regularly. Almost every night there’s some kind of discount or giveaway. And even if you don’t like baseball, go. The park is amazing and there’s some sort of goofy entertainment between every inning. We had a blast and we barely even paid attention to the game.

20160615_174136If you’re not into sports, there are tons of other things to do, including museums, theater productions (Louisville is the unofficial Boston of the South, with many future Broadway hits having their final tune-up productions taking place here for a fraction of the cost as on the Great White Way.), big-name concerts, and even crazy activities like the world’s largest underground zip-line. While you’re here, you really need to see the Muhammad Ali Center. It was simply fascinating. We happened to be there the week of his funeral, so it was even busier than normal, but we had no trouble seeing 20160609_142201everything.

Maybe the best part about Louisville is the food. Where we were, there seemed to be a great restaurant every fifty feet. One area, Fourth Street Live, in addition to being the location of many shows and events every week during the warm months, is completely lined with fantastic restaurants. If you can’t find something you like there, you don’t like food. And, if you’re into beverages of the adult type, Kentucky is the home of good ol’ Kentucky bourbon. But you can also find many varieties of craft-brewed beers and local wines if you’re looking for something a little milder.

So if you have some time on your hands and are looking for a fun place to go, Louisville, Kentucky should be on your short list.


sunrise cover option 7



Joe’s newest book, Dawn of Grace, just debuted on June 9. It’s available on Amazon.



ITS Cover ArtCheck out his third book, In The Shadow on Amazon

kindle cover

Take a look at his debut book, Harsh Prey on Amazon 

Kisses and Lies Cover Michele croppedTake a look at his second book, Kisses and Lies on Amazon



16 thoughts on “Fun In The Big City

  1. Not traveling through Louisville anytime soon, but my husband and I will be embarking upon a trip to NC and SC soon to visit his mother and his older brother. We’re overnighting in St. Louis on the way out there and will be catching a St. Louis Cardinals ballgame — baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, as the old commercial goes! Glad you had fun in Louisville, and reading all those essays, Joe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not been to Louisville, but have been do Padukah. You are correct, there are so many wonderful places in KY. and I hope to see Louisville some day. Been where the Ohio and Mississippi meet, and that is a sight to behold! Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is quite bustling, but it’s quite spread out, so it doesn’t feel as big as it sounds when you just say a million. And where we stayed was busy during the week and during the evenings in terms of people coming to it for work or recreation, but no one lives there. They all commute in from outer neighborhoods.


  3. So far I’ve not been near anywhere in Kentucky, Joe, but Louisville sounds interesting. You have my total praise…and sympathy for the gruelling task you’ve just done. Marking essays can be so exhausting so I bet you needed a little downtime, downtown! 🙂


  4. It’s interesting to hear about the AP English essays from the OTHER perspective – the teachers. That’s a lot of essays! I loved AP English. I’ve never been to Louisville but you make it sound very appealing. I especially like the “Boston of the South” comment. St. Louis has some great blues clubs, hopefully you got to check out a couple.


  5. One of my ancestors, a fellow named Benjamin Craig, was one of two dudes who founded a Kentucky town on the Ohio River back in 1794. In the early 1780s, he and a couple of his brothers led what was called the Traveling Church from Fredericksburg, Virginia into Kentucky. He and his brothers were itinerant Baptists preachers. Don’t know if he was a big college basketball fan (hey, I’m kidding).


  6. The only place I’ve been to in Kentucky is Lexington. Went there for the Kentucky Horse Park. Quite a place. The area was quite pretty with a small town feel. Louisville sounds like a fun place to visit.
    Evaluating 1500 essays seems like a deadly task. I’d expect that by the end of the day it would be hard to have the same enthusiasm as when you started. Too bad they couldn’t spread the work out more. Thanks for providing an important service.


  7. I lived in Louisville, but I worked a lot of hours and didn’t get to see much. I was with The Salvation Army and the part I saw, most people wouldn’t want to see. We did get to see a couple of museums. We didn’t enjoy them much because we were Chaperoning 100 inner city, shelter kids between the ages of 5 and 12. So you could imagine when we came across the nude sculptures. Glad you got to go to a game and to see some of the sights. Cher’ley


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