Monday, January 16, 2012

Abraham Lincoln

This is me and Abraham Lincoln! Well, actually it’s me and a GIANT statue of Abraham Lincoln. This statue is located in Waterfront Park in Louisville. 

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. 
He was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. 
His grandfather, also named Abraham, lived in Louisville.

NOT William Clark oops.

This is me and a statue of William Clark, who lived in Louisville.

William Clark and Meriwether Lewis led the first transcontinental expedition across the United States from 1804-1806. That means traveled from the east coast all the way to the west coast.

They studied the plant and animal life along the way. They made maps of the country. They were helped by a Shoshone Indian woman named Sacagawea.

CORRECTION: Thanks to Whit (see comments below) for informing me that this is actually a statue of George Rogers Clark, William's older brother. Yipes!  As they say in kindergarten, "let's pretend" it's William. For the sake of the children... :) 

The Belle of Louisville

This is the Belle Of Louisville. The Belle is a paddlewheel steam boat that was built in 1911 and moved to Louisville in 1931. 
The Belle is the oldest steamboat still in operation.
The Belle takes people on dinner cruises up and down the Ohio River. She’s a very pretty boat.

Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo is one of Missy’s favorite places in the city. It was very cold the day that we went, but Missy didn’t think I should miss the zoo for one BIG (or actually LITTLE) reason...

This is Qannik! She’s a baby polar bear. She’s almost 1 year old.
Poor Qannik was found all alone in Alaska in April 2011. No one knows what happened to her parents.
She moved to the Louisville Zoo in June 2011 and is very happy here.
Qannik’s name means “Snowflake” in the Inupiaq language.

Actors Theater

One of Missy's favorite things about Louisville is all of the great theater opportunities here. She loves to go see plays.  In fact, that's what she writes about for the newspaper.

Actors Theater is one of the best theaters in the country. Each year it hosts the Humana Festival of New American Plays, which is a very famous theater festival. People come to the festival from all over the world.

This is me hanging out with this year's Humana Festival poster at Actors Theater. Missy took me to see a play called The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which was a play about professional wrestling! Fun!

Churchill Downs

This is me in front of Churchill Downs, one of Louisville's most famous landmarks. Churchill Downs is a horse racing track.  Every first Saturday in May, it is home to one of the city's biggest celebrations-- the Kentucky Derby horse race. The Kentucky Derby is so important in Louisville that all the school children in the city have the day off the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.

This year will be the 137th Kentucky Derby. Some people call the race "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports."

This statue is of one of the greatest race horses of all time. His name was Barbaro, and he won the Kentucky Derby in 2006, the same year Missy moved to Louisville.

University of Louisville

    • This is me in front of the University of Louisville. This is the biggest college in Louisville. It was founded in 1798. 
    • The school is best known for its sports teams, but it was also where the first self-contained artificial heart transplant happened and where the first hand transplant took place.
    • Have you ever been to the Emergency Room? The University of Louisville is also where the first Emergency Room opened in 1911.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum

Did you know that the most famous baseball bats in the world are made in Louisville?

This is me in front of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. This is the largest baseball bat in the world!  Look at the people in front of the bat-- they're so tiny!

The factory was closed, but when Missy and I looked through the window, we could see Louisville Sluggers stacked up and ready to ship to professional baseball players across the world!

Muhammad Ali Museum

This is me in front of the Muhammad Ali Center. The Muhammad Ali Center is a museum and cultural center that was built as a tribute to the famous American boxer, Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1942. He won a gold medal in the Olympics in 1960. Because he was known for being kind of a smart aleck when he was a young man, he earned the nickname, "The Louisville Lip."

Ali is considered to be the greatest boxer of all time. He won 54 of his 61 boxing matches over the course of his career.

In 1999, he was declared "Kentucky Athlete of the Century."

When he retired from boxing, he went on to promote peace and education. He earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom award for his work, and he has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

21c Hotel and Museum

This is me at the 21c Hotel and Museum. This hotel in downtown Louisville was named "Best Hotel" in both 2010 and 2011 by a travel magazine.

Downstairs in the lobby of the hotel there is a two-story art museum that features new art by artists from all around the world.

The hotel is very beautiful and also features one of the best restaurants in Louisville. Too bad Missy and I had so many other places to visit today. We didn't have a chance to stop to eat.

The big red penguin is the symbol of 21c. There are lots of them all over the building, and the people who work there move the penguins around, so you'll never know where you'll find one. Once when a friend of Missy's stayed at the 21c, she came home to find a red penguin on her bed!

Louisville Slugger Field

This is me in front of Louisville Slugger Field. Unfortunately it isn't baseball season, so Missy and I couldn't go in.

The Louisville Bats AAA Baseball Team play here. They are the farm team for the Cincinnati Reds.

Going to see baseball games is one of Missy's very favorite things to do. I hope some day James and I can come back and visit Missy during baseball season so we can all go to a game together.

Ohio River


This is me in downtown Louisville in front of the Ohio River. The Ohio River starts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and ends at the Mississippi River right where Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri meet.

Louisville has lots of bridges over the Ohio River. In this picture you can see three of them.

Me & Missy by the Ohio River

This is my friend, Missy.  She's James's mother's older cousin. Missy is hosting my visit her in Louisville, Kentucky.

Today we're going to visit Downtown Louisville and the river front area.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My new friend GEO

This is me and my new friend GEO!

GEO is an artist.  The paintings behind us are ones that he painted.  During the Gallery Hop, GEO was showing more than 20 of the best paintings he's painted.

He was very nice, and he talked to us for a long time.

You know what else is interesting about GEO?

He's also a doctor!

Gallery Hop

Hi kids!

This picture is of me at an art gallery.  Missy and I are enjoying the "First Friday Gallery Hop" here in Louisville.

This was one of the paintings I loved the most.  If you look over my left shoulder, you'll see a painting of a VEEERRRRY stretched out face of the boxer Muhammad Ali.  Remember, I told you he was from Louisville?  This painting is around six feet long.  Over my right shoulder you'll see the same painting reflected in a mirror.  That's actually what Muhammad Ali's face looks like.  This painting was like a puzzle.  I liked it a lot.

Please & Thank You

Today Missy took me to her favorite coffee shop in Louisville. It's called Please & Thank You.

You know what's cool about Please & Thank You? They also sell records.  Not very many people sell records these days.

Tonight we are going on a "gallery hop."  On the first Friday of every month in downtown Louisville, all of the art galleries stay open very late so that people can visit the galleries after work.  I'm excited to see art by local artists.

Fun Facts About Louisville

Here are some fun things to know about Louisville:

  • Louisville is the 16th largest city in the USA
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) originally came from Louisville
  • 90% of all disco balls are made in Louisville
  • On the first Saturday of May every year, Louisville is host to the most famous horse race in America-- the Kentucky Derby
  • Louisville is the home of the Louisville Slugger, the most popular baseball bat used in professional baseball.
  • Muhammad Ali, maybe the most famous boxer who has ever lived, came from Louisville
  • The actor, Tom Cruise, is from Louisville
  • The cheeseburger was invented in Louisville

Welcome to Louisville, KY

Hello kiddos at the Chestnut Children's Center in Needham!

I'm James's Flat Stanley, and I just arrived in Louisville, Kentucky. It's early January, and it is COLD!

I'm here in Louisville visiting James's mother's cousin, Missy.  Missy is a teacher.  She teaches reading and writing to sixteen and seventeen year old kids in Louisville.  She's also a writer who sometimes writes for a local newspaper.

This picture is me hanging out with Missy's Christmas decorations. Look at these little, tiny houses! I look like a giant!

I'm looking forward to learning more about Louisville, Kentucky and seeing some of what makes this city great!