Thanks to our good friend, Kelsey, Sarah and I were contacted by Urban Outfitters to write a city guide for our tiny but cool home of Lexington, KY as a promo for their new store that is opening downtown! They asked us to list our favorite things to do and places to go in town. It was a really fun and bittersweet project to work on since Sarah and I will both be leaving this lovely town within weeks to pursue other adventures around the world; Sarah is off to teach in Deauvilles, France, and I will be working in Antarctica for the next six months (more on that later).
As a native Kentuckian, growing up I always felt a need to distinguish myself from the stereotypes that so often plague people from the Bluegrass State. Once, when flying home from Chicago, an older gentleman sitting next to me struck up a conversation and eventually asked where I was from. After my response, he looked wide-eyed and exclaimed, "My gosh you don't sound like someone from Kentucky!" At my first day on the job as an intern in New York City, I told my new group of coworkers where I was from and got the inevitable, "You can't be from Kentucky! You're wearing shoes! Are you dating your cousin?" Though asked mostly in jest, it is a common misconception that people from Kentucky are unlearned and unmotivated to enact social change. There are certainly pockets of these places that do exist (and the media propagate) but because of these cliches, I used to be embarrassed to admit my home state.
Now, as an adult and having grown much more confident in my skin and my history, I'm proud to say I'm from Kentucky! Proud to share with people who may not realize it: Kentucky is really cool. We have a weird underbelly of creative people doing some pretty phenomenal things. Lexington, while best known for its horse racing and basketball team, is also home to a lot of great local breweries, distilleries, weird noise bands, an awesome "all the way to the left" radio station, WRFL, and even a company that touts Kentucky as much as I do! I've had so many memories that have shaped who I am today and I wouldn't trade my Bluegrass roots for anything.
Writing this guide was such a wonderful way to say goodbye and reminisce about good times we've shared at our favorite haunts. A big thanks to Urban Outfitters for allowing us a chance to reflect on our time here. Below are some of the photos that Sarah took to accompany our hit list and you can read the whole shebang here.
If you are lucky enough to stop through Kentucky, be sure to stop at any of the places on our list and tell them Maggie and Sarah sent you!