Louisville Real Estate Blog | Brad Long Real Estate Group | Keller Williams Louisville East

Louisville Apps


The common form of communication in today’s day and age is far more than a simple device to relay messages. The modern telephone is not only a tool for making phone calls but is a computer, television, camera, and complete link to the World’s information. “Smart Phones” as they are called, give owners the opportunity to gain information anywhere at anytime.

Aside from the internet, applications, or apps as they are better know, provide the owner the most specialized and greatest wealth of information. There are apps for everything available, but my favorite apps are the ones personal to my hometown. Believe it or not, there are over one-hundred apps, varying in sub-topic, and most of them are free. These apps give travelers an easy way to gain inside local knowledge on their own, and give locals unlimited access to every view of their city. I tested several different types of free Louisville apps, some I have found to be helpful, others not so much.

There are several free Louisville sports apps available, each designed with their team or school in mind. Although each app is slightly different, most have the same purpose; to keep you up-to-date with sports news and give you game times. My two favorite Louisville sports apps are WHAS11‘s Louisville College Sports app and (because I am a UofL fan) the “LouisvilleCards Mobile” app. Both apps are easy to use and lay out all the important information. “LouisvilleCards Mobile” covers the news, schedules, scores, and displays videos of all UofL athletics, while the WHAS11 app covers all college sports in the State.

If you are looking for Louisville apps that will help you decide what to do, there are plenty. I reported a while ago on the “Louisville Lush” app, and it is still one of my favorites. “Louisville Lush” lays out all the happy hours and restaurants with specials in your area. The app tells you what places are having deals right now and what you can look forward to. “Louisville Lush” has helped me make the tough decision of where to go for dinner several times. The “Louisville Mobile” app is an essential app for every Louisvillian to have. This app spells out everything from Louisville parks to restaurants, and news to events. This app even allows you to sign up for emergency alerts. “Louisville CitySave” is another must-have app. After entering your neighborhood into the app, dozens of coupons will show up on your screen. Louisville CitySaver gives deals on restaurants, attractions, and retail. The app always has coupons for a night at the theatre, a day of golfing, or discounts at your favorite stores. Right now Playthings Toy Shoppe is offering $5 off $25, and Louisville Stoneware is offering 10% off.

There are endless apps available to Louisvillians. Oldham County, Churchill Downs, and the Urban Bourbon Trail even have their own helpful apps. All the major news stations, radio stations, and traffic centers have apps, keeping you linked in to local media wherever you go.

After trying out dozens of apps all about Louisville, only a few extremely helpful Louisville apps remain on my phone today. “Louisville Lush”, “Louisville Mobile”, and “Louisville CitySaver” are must-haves. These apps help on rainy days, when you’re the only one at the party who didn’t watch the news that day, and can help you save some serious money. Go download these apps now...must I remind you, they are free?

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Louisville Free Public Libraries are not just for Reading Anymore

Louisville is filled with excellent resources for families and community members that are often taken for granted. I myself, am guilty of not taking advantage of some of Louisville’s greatest amenities.

Just one block from my street is Mid City Mall, which houses one of the Louisville Free Public Library branches. It is not the biggest, newest, or most beautiful library in Louisville, but like the other LFPL branches, it offers tremendous value to the neighborhood. The library offers extensive resources for families with children varying from infancy to high-school age. My toddler and pre-schooler love the free story time and the occasional musical guest that follows.

There are eighteen Louisville Free Public Library locations scattered throughout the city, each offering wonderful learning opportunities to it’s members. For young library members, the library has put together several programs to help parents and kids enjoy reading together. Each branch puts on a story time for various age ranges at various times during the week. Children love to be read to, especially by a professional librarian. The Read With Me Program and Summer Reading Program are designed to encourage young children to read at a young age. These programs are also designed to teach children to enjoy reading and to read for fun rather than to read because they have to. For the parent who wants to go a step further, all library branches have “Family Fun Backpacks” available to check-out. These backpacks are packed full of material to help your child develop good reading skills.

For teen-age library members studying for middle school to college entry level exams, the LFPL branches have you covered. Each branch is equipped with computers containing a program called the “Learning Express Library.” This program gives members a chance to study and take practice exams for free. The Learning Express Library helps students pass such tests as the SAT, ACT, and even the GED. Writing a paper, or researching a foreign country for geography class is simple when you come to the LFPL. Free access to online journals, an online encyclopedia, and endless online reference books are available at each branch.

All adult Louisvillians who aren’t aware of the amount of interesting and helpful resources that are available at our local Louisville Free Public Libraries are absolutely missing out. The library offers dozens of programs to help you become a more successful and well-rounded person. At the library you can do everything from listen to a guest author speak about their book to learn how to use a computer on a free program. Adults can even become part of the Mayor’s Book Club. Meeting every third Wednesday of the Month from noon to 1:00pm at the Main Library, the club discusses 50 books throughout the year, all with international themes.

Our Free Public Libraries are incredible resources for our community and incredibly overlooked. I encourage everyone to use them more often. For more information on our Louisville Free Public Libraries or to find the closest branch to you, go to www.lfpl.org

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Louisville Steakhouses

One thing that Louisville has no shortage of is good places to celebrate a special occasion dinner.  Just in the past week, my family celebrated four birthdays and each birthday was spent at a different restaurant around town.  Not every member of my family wanted to spend their special day eating at a high-end restaurant, but everyone got exactly what they wanted.  My dad had a small get together at his favorite pizza joint, Luigi’s Pizza on Main Street, my sister and her husband spent the night in Nulu with a meal at La Coop and drinks at Meat, and my mom spent her 60th birthday filling the “Pope Room” at Buca Di Beppo with family and friends.  My husband however, is a little more high maintenance and the two of us always look for any excuse to dine out in style.
 
If there is one thing my husband wants for his birthday every year it is a properly cooked, melt in your mouth, steak and Louisville is filled with excellent steakhouses that never fail to deliver exactly what he wants. Over the eight years of celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with my husband, we have sampled almost every steak in Louisville and have our opinions of which steakhouses rank the best.

With local steakhouses and chains both thriving in Louisville it’s hard to choose where to go for your special night. I always prefer to support our local steakhouses over the chains. Jack Fry’s, Pat’s Steakhouse, and Rivue at the top of the Galt House are all some of our favorite places to go for a great meal.

Jack Fry’s has a comfortable, quaint atmosphere  with one of the best steaks in the city.

Although many people find Pat’s Steakhouse a romantic setting, I never have.  The steak at Pat’s is delicious, but the atmosphere is more homey than romantic.

Rivue screams romance. With sweeping views of the river and modern decor, Rivue not only has wonderful steak, but a menu filled with entrees to please any diner.

The chain steakhouses in Louisville never disappoint.  Morton's, Ruth Chris, and Jeff Ruby’s are all steakhouses we have thoroughly enjoyed for our special occasions. Morton’s has a wonderful ambiance, delicious drinks, and top notch service, just what you would expect from any Morton’s. Louisville Morton's is one of my favorites however because of it’s small size and basement feel. It is intimate and cozy. 

As long as you are okay with heights Ruth Chris is a great place to go. The butter crackling on your steak as it comes to your table makes your mouth water before you can even see your steak. The steak at Ruth Chris truly melts in your mouth. 

Jeff Ruby’s is by far my favorite steakhouse in the city. Serving my favorite steak in the city as well as fresh sushi, Jeff Ruby’s serves the best of both worlds. The atmosphere in Jeff Ruby’s is always lively and sophisticated at the same time and puts you in the mood to have a good time. I have eaten at Jeff Ruby’s over ten times and have never had one complaint about service.

Of course steak isn't the only way to go if you want to have a nice dinner. Louisville has amazing options in vegetarian and vegan food as well as food from most cultures. If you really want to go all out, 610 Magnolia is one of the hottest restaurants for special occasions, but make sure you make a reservation at least a week in advance.

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Appetizer and Drink Date Night

With so many great dining options in Louisville I often find myself having trouble deciding where to go for a night out on the town. My favorite solution to this problem is the “appetizer and drink date night.” This past weekend my husband and I decided to try out several different places that we had never been before. At each stop we limited ourselves to appetizers and one cocktail a piece. This was a great way to become familiar with the restaurants while being able to visit several in one night.

The first stop of the night was Wiltshire on Market. The quaint restaurant took us in right away without reservations at the bar. We decided to order two bourbon cocktails off of the menu, that kicked off our night with a bang. Our first appetizer was a warm kale, feta, and artichoke dip that was served with homemade pita chips. The dish came out piping hot and was made with the freshest ingredients. The star of our “light meal” was what came next; the potato, leek, and truffle soup. Each bite sent a powerful punch of flavor over my taste buds causing my husband and I to fight over each bite. Wiltshire on Market’s menu changes weekly based on seasonal ingredients and the full menu reflected this farm to table approach. I will definitely be revisiting Wiltshire on Market soon for a full meal.

Our next stop was a restaurant we had both been wanting to try for a while, Basa, a modern Vietnamese restaurant on Frankfort Avenue. Basa was packed, but there were two seats at the bar with our names on them. This time we stuck with cocktails we knew well, simple bourbon and cokes. Basa has an extensive bourbon list that we were happy to choose from. This restaurant is an excellent place to go if you are looking for a place for appetizers and drinks because of their small plates menu. We decided to choose four out of seven of the options on the small plates menu, and let me tell you it was not an easy task. All of the options on the menu looked delicious and before I tasted one dish I was planning my return trip to try the options I did not get to order. The appetizers we decided on were the grilled beef scewers, garlic noodles, shrimp spring rolls, and crab tempura. The portion sizes were generous and the flavors were spot on. I wouldn’t order the noodles again because although the taste was delicious, the angel hair pasta was hard to eat and underwhelming. A big negative of Basa was the long wait for the food. I had a clear view of the kitchen from my seat and it was a mess. Servers, managers, and bartenders were lined up in the kitchen waiting for their orders to come out, only causing more disarray. Hopefully Basa can get there stuff together.

Our last stop was just down the street at Sweet Surrender. After all these wonderful savory dishes I was ready for something sweet. Even at Sweet Surrender, where my piece of red velvet cake was bigger then my head, I wouldn’t let my husband have a bite (I did take half of it home though where I think he snuck some). My husband got a piece of cheesecake, and of course he finished the whole thing. I have no complaints whatsoever about Sweet Surrender. Delicious cake served in a cute little house turned restaurant, whats not to like?

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Louisville Parks’ Best Sledding Hills

Every time the snow starts to fall outside I turn into a young child again and get excited about playing in the impending winter wonderland. Some of my best childhood memories were made after waking up in the early morning for school only to find out it was a snow day. After climbing back into my warm bed and getting a few extra hours of sleep, I was always eager to get outside and spend the day in the snow. Dressing up in countless layers of snow gear, building igloos in my front yard, and warming my freezing hands with a cup of hot cocoa after hours dredging through knee deep snow are some of my fondest memories of Winter. Above all my favorite snow day rituals however, is getting together with my best friends and spending hours sledding down some of Louisville’s best hills.

No matter what your age, sledding is always a good time. For the beginner sledder a simple slide down a hill is enough to stir up a day of giggles, but the more experienced sledder may turn things up a notch with ramps or “creative” sledding materials (one of my favorite things to sled on is a blow up mattress). Whatever your sledding level there is no shortage of sledding hills to choose from in Louisville.

My favorite place to sled in Louisville is Cherokee Park. When the weather permits, and the snow is deep, Dog Hill is the place to be not only for sledders but for watching sledders. Dog Hill is not for the faint of heart, it is steep and long and you will be in for a wild ride. There are surrounding hills in Cherokee Park that are less intense and are more appropriate for children and beginners. Cherokee Park is also one of my favorite places to take a winter walk through the snow. The walking paths are beautiful when snow covered and you can get views of the sledders from many of the paths.

Now that I have children, Cherokee Park’s Dog Hill is often too crowded and too wild to bring them, so I prefer Tyler Park. The hill at Tyler Park is still a nice size and has two levels so you can choose how far you want to ride. The Park is smaller so you don’t have as many hill choices but it is generally not as crowded at Cherokee Park.

Some of the best sledding can be found in your back yard or right in your neighborhood. If you feel more comfortable going to a designated Louisville Metro Park sled hill, there are six of them in the city. When the weather permits, the hills are maintained for safety by the city. Two of the hills are at Cherokee and Tyler Parks while the others are located at George Rogers Clark Park, Joe Creason Park, Charlie Vettiner Park, and McNeely Lake Park. These hills were chosen as the best and safest hills in our parks and will always be marked open or closed in snowy weather. Park staff will also light bonfires when appropriate. For more information on our parks’ sledding hills go to http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/outdoors/sledding.htm.

Sledding is always a fun adventure but can be dangerous if you aren't careful. Have fun this Winter and take advantage of our excellent sledding hills, but be smart about it!

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Louisville is a friendly city but hard to make friends

I am one of Louisville’s biggest fans and rarely have anything to complain about when it comes to my hometown. There is however one thing about this city that frustrates many new residents. Whenever you have an extreme positive, like the tight knit community that makes Louisville so unique, there is often a negative that comes along with it. Many new residents that I have spoken to have all had similar complaints; that it is difficult to make new friends. Louisvillians are not unwelcoming people, in fact they are some of the most welcoming people I have encountered. Friends are hard to make in this city because social groups are loyal and circles hold on to each other for a long time.

I myself have experienced this problem even as a native Louisvillian. After moving back home after college, I found myself alone in the city that used to be filled with familiar faces. All of my friends had decided to stay in their college towns or move away to other cities. I was back in Louisville by myself. As a Louisvillian, you hold on to your circle of friends and are not very good at making new ones. I was stuck and didn't know what to do with myself. Luckily, I broke out of my self-pity fueled shell and found sources around town to create my new social life. Now, I am happy to pass along my insight to those struggling with the same problems
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My first tip to making new friends is to know where to go. You don’t always have to have a partner to go out with if you are going to the right place. There are plenty of places that you can visit alone and not feel out of place. Pool halls are excellent places to meet people. Playing pool automatically gives you an excuse to meet and have a conversation with new people. It is absolutely fine to walk up to a pool table and ask to join the existing players, and who knows you may hit it off and have easily made some new friends! Louisville has several nice pool halls, such as The Back Door, Diamonds, and Barret Bar.

I would also suggest using my favorite website that addresses this problem head on. New2lou.com is an excellent resource for new resident to Louisville looking to meet other new Louisvillians in the same boat. New2lou.com keeps you informed on the important events coming up as well as valuable information about the city. New2lou also puts on a social event every second Wednesday of the month allowing anyone interested in meeting new people to come out for a good time. For information on this month’s social event go to new2lou.com.

My third tip is one that I have not used personally but I have a friends that swear by it. Reddit.com is a self proclaimed “website about everything.” If you have an interest in golf, needlepoint, or cooking, you can chat with people on reddit.com about your similar interests. Normally I wouldn't recommend meeting people online and meeting them in person, but a friend of mine has actually made several real-life friends through the website.

If you are struggling to make friends in Louisville don’s get frustrated. Many of us have been in the same position but there are ways to find great people with similar interests to you in this city.

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