If there was any doubt that summer was here, the hundred or so folks who ventured west to Portland to hear Gill Holland on Thursday night will confirm it. In a sweltering warehouse, Holland joked that it was the grand opening of the Portland Spa and Sauna. Air conditioning would be a great addition at the massive Tim Faulkner Gallery.
Holland, of course, is trying to do for Portland what he did for NuLu, turn around a dismal area that, though rich in history, is mainly an eyesore. And he knows about Portland’s history, its 1800s role as an essential Ohio River stop, its visits from the famous (Charles Dickens) and its own famous (Jim Porter). Holland spoke about progress, how our city now has the most shotgun houses in the country, and what it’s going to take to fix the vacant and abandoned ones (you want a house for a dollar?).
Finally, he talked about changing the culture, about a new scholarship program that will help disadvantaged resident from one of the poorest zip codes in the U.S. get scholarships to college. It was an inspired talk, and those who missed out on being a part of Holland’s vision for NuLu should consider joining him now in Portland.
It’s Westward: Another event showcased West Louisville this week. I went to the Louisville Forum at Vincenzo’s Wednesday, where four progressive women talked about the importance of local food. Among them was Caroline Heine, who’s directing the effort to place an economic engine for food in heart of West Louisville, called FoodPort. Expect to hear a lot more about that soon, and with the plans for a westward push for Waterfront Park, there is momentum for development. So if you’re one of those Louisvillians who’s never been west of 9th Street, there are reasons to go.
Oh, the Weather: It must be cool to have Ben Pine’s kids on your Little League team in southern Indiana. I talked to the WHAS-TV weather chief this week on the Rusty Satellite, and learned that his insight does help when it comes to rainouts.
Needle Exchange: I hope you’re not affected by this, but I talked with Dr. Sarah Moyer about the city’s brand-new needle exchange program, an important step in keeping a real problem from getting worse. And the interim director of the city’s Public Health Department is a pretty interesting person.
New Brewery in Jeffersontown: Watch for 3rd Turn Brewery, opening in September in the old Moose Lodge in Jtown, just steps from City Hall. It’s stumbling distance from my house.
And a Highlands Beer Garden: All it takes is $1.5 million, and that ugly KFC corner in the Highlands could become a really, really cool beer garden, like it was at the turn of the 19th century.
It’s a Lifetime Deal for Pitino: Our beloved basketball coach will be old, really old, if he finishes out his new contract. He’ll be 73 or so in 2026. I think he’ll do it, as long as he keeps winning.
Best Bet for the Weekend: Go to the track and see American Pharaoh