And of course Louisville feels nice too, in a different way. The city is in the midst of a transformation – areas of downtown which until a few years ago were a dead zone are experiencing a regeneration. New craft restaurants and bars, antique shops, galleries, coffee shops, record stores, and flea markets are flooding the area, happily reminding me of parts of Brooklyn. Creativity matters here, and the new urbanism is refreshing and makes me proud. But beyond Louisville’s downtown, Louisville and the surrounding area is my home. I get to drive down my favorite roads, visit the river and photograph my memories. I mentioned to my young nephew that even the light here feels different, the feel of an afternoon is different and makes me nostalgic just being in it. He didn’t understand, and talks about visiting New York to ride the subway and see the Yankees. I know that one day, he will.
The light really does feel different. Everything is greener and slower and I know I’m always going to have a very complicated relationship with Kentucky. One day I’ll write an incredibly poignant essay about how reminders in Chicago catch me off guard and make me incredibly homesick, but that’s not today (even though I did find country ham at my local hipster/hippie food co-op and laughed for about five minutes straight).