The HerKentucky 60 Things Project: Lexington

In last Sunday's Herald-Leader, Cheryl Truman, with the help of many readers, listed 50 things that define Lexington. We thought it would be fun to make a similar HerKentucky list, with 10 things that define our respective hometowns. Today, Emily shares her take on 10 things that define Lexington.

In choosing things to include on my list of 10 things that define Lexington, I opted to go for things that are top-of-mind for me right now. There is a lot of history (and I'll fully admit I know very little of it) behind lots of places in Lexington, and were covered well in Cheryl Truman's Herald-Leader piece. I'm just sticking with what I know (and love) about my city.

1. Interstates 75 and 64. Lexington is located in a prime sweet-spot of I-75 and I-64, which will set you off in whichever direction your car needs to go. It's so convenient to have both north-south and east-west interstates right at your back door. Whether you're heading away on a vacation or are traveling for work, there are many destinations within a one day driving distance. Today, I hit the road for Knoxville - a short drive straight down I-75 that took less than 3 hours, and was smooth sailing (hooray for no construction!)

2. The seasons. Also related to today's drive along the interstate is the seasons. Lexington has all four seasons, but without too many extremes. We get bright, warm summers but without the humidity of our friends further south. We get fall and these AMAZING colors all around on the trees. If you squint your eyes, the colors seem as vibrant as they are in a crayon box. Winter brings enough snow to build snowmen and go sledding a couple of times, but not so much that it shuts down the city (usually). Spring brings with it some rainy days, but also delivers pastel-colored blooms that will snap your winter blues.
 As seen on my drive down I-75 today.
3/4. Coffee Times Coffee House/Street Scene. These two are lumped together because they are right next to each other and you can't possibly go to one without going to the other. In high school, Coffee Times was my favorite hangout spot, where I could act all cool because I was drinking coffee and being all philosophical (ha!). These days, I go there to meet with friends to have brainstorming sessions, and use it as my second office if I need to get out of the house. Also, if I ever need a funny greeting card, this is where I go first. Street Scene is a vintage store right next door, which has awesome items from jewelry to furniture to lighting to clothing to Toms shoes. It simply makes you happy to go there, even if you're like me and have no idea how to use vintage items in modern decor.

5. University of Kentucky football. Since hubs is a loyal UK football fan and we got married the day UK beat #1 LSU, UK football is embedded into my life. Every fall, I listen to disgruntled fans call into talk radio shows demanding for the current coach to be fired. Even during the bowl games times, you'd hear people wanting a change. It's never ending, and kind of funny.

6. University of Kentucky basketball. You can't escape it, nor do I really want to. The juggernaut of UK basketball brings energy, life, and unity to the city (although not to the state... sorry Cards fans). One look at Big Blue Madness and you'll realize that this NBA-size production is unlike anything else in college basketball. Further evidence? The ESPN All-Access Kentucky series currently running. Craziness.

7. Keeneland. Until you go yourself, you'll never understand the magic of Keeneland. Between the people watching, horse gazing, food/beverages, and pretending like you know how to bet, it's just an amazing experience that seems even better since we can only experience it in April and October.
From Keeneland last Wednesday

8. Good Foods Co-Op Hot Buffet. Yes, I'm going straight for the cafe/buffet and not for the grocery-part of the store. The by-the-pound hot bar has a menu that changes daily, save for the Good Foods Kale, which is like healthy green crack. With vegetarian, vegan, and carnivore options, everyone is satisfied with this tasty stuff. On the weekends they have brunch items, of which my favorites are the chorizo burritos and the grits - always a different flavor (cheddar jalapeno, smoked gouda, basil, etc). Not so great for my waistline, but oh-so-yummy.

9. Lexington Cemetery. I've written about the cemetery before, which you can find here. Every time I enter the gates it's like I'm being transported into both history and into a secret garden. The least creepy cemetery ever!

10. The people: There are some good peeps in Lexington. Yes, there are some douchenuggets, but the awesome, honest, beautiful friends I have outnumber them by far.