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Thread summary:

Son moving from England to Louisville, seeking information on city, typical way of life, friendly people, acceptance of foreigners, safety of city

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Old 03-10-2009, 04:41 AM
 
Location: Bucky Palace, London
114 posts, read 232,675 times
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I have a son who is coming over to Louisville to work for a year and having never visited the USA, only having gained information of this area over the internet (never having read an article on general Kentucky life in the English media) I thought it would be interesting to hear from real-life Louisvillians (is that what you are called?) about life in your city and your views on the area.
He will be based in the central area of the city. Is this a safe place to be? Is there a lot of crime in Louisville? Do people walk around the city or just drive everywhere? Is it safe to walk? That might seem like a totally daft question but a lot of us at this side of the pond are under the impression that Americans tend to drive everywhere. Is this true? Are 'small' meals in restaurants actually quite large?
Having read some of the comments on this forum it appears that if you have not been to a local high school then it is difficult to be accepted socially yet he is very keen to be accepted as part of city life. Will this be difficult having no history with the area? Is the population of the city mostly locals or do people move into this area from other cities/countries to take up work?
He is really looking forward to spending time with you guys but obviously apprehensive too.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:33 AM
 
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Your son would probably be more at home in the Highlands/Cherokee Triangle neighborhoods of Louisville. Downtown living is coming around but they lack basic retail shopping which is readily available in the Highlands down Bardstown Rd. Also the young people living in the Highlands are more active: biking, walking, socializing, etc. and they enjoy being within walking distance to shopping, entertainment and the largest park in Louisville. Bardstown Rd/Baxter Ave also have a very robust night life that requires a certain amount of common sense to remain safe but given how much activity there seems to be a relatively low amount of crime in the area.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Bucky Palace, London
114 posts, read 232,675 times
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He is staying close to Theatre Square on West Broadway so having looked at the very interesting 'Metro Mapper' he does not appear to be very far away from this area. A few of us are also coming over for a few weeks next year and can't wait, and this from someone who has never ever previously shown a scrap of interest in coming to the US. Can't even begin to imagine the scale of the country and the space!
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
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Quote:
Having read some of the comments on this forum it appears that if you have not been to a local high school then it is difficult to be accepted socially yet he is very keen to be accepted as part of city life. Will this be difficult having no history with the area?
Having an English "accent" will be a positive thing as Kentuckians are somewhat anglophile (moreso people from Lexington than Louisville, but Louisville, too). There is actually a book on the the postive features of having an English accent in the US:

Accent on Privelege
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
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He is staying close to Theatre Square on West Broadway so having looked at the very interesting 'Metro Mapper' he does not appear to be very far away from this area.
He is too far to reasonably walk to the Highlands. Cycling would be do-able. I think he should get a car because there is very little shopping downtown, for basics like food. I think there is or was a Kroger supermarket nearby, though, so he isn't too far.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
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A car would probably be a good idea, there is so much of the city that you NEED a car to get to. People in Kentucky, and in Louisville are generally very welcoming people, just today 2 girls came in my store I work at from North London and they were talking about how they love it here and how everyone is so nice. I think your son is going to fit nicely because his english accent will draw attention to him, and it is true people around here are drawn to people who have english accents. Maybe its because you all pronounce your words so much differently than we do with our accent her in Kentucky, but i dont know, i think a lot of people here think everyone from England is royalty or something, or maybe theyre just fascinated with a different culture, idk, but i would tell your son not to live in the West End, west of 9th-10th street, it gets a little iffy. If he is smart he will figure out what areas are the "good" areas, and what areas are "bad', and if he uses common sense he will be fine.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:14 AM
 
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Louisville is very friendly to the "internationals." In fact we have a weekend set aside to celebrate all new immigrants to Louisville (and visitors) the International Festival. Last year I had my recently arrived tenants from Finland represent their country in the parade. They had a great time and it really jump started their stay here. Also we have a few local business owners, two Irishmen (Molly Malone's) and a Brit (Jackson's Organic Coffee) that appear to be able to converse in the king's English if he gets homesick. Regarding the car situation; again our tenants from Finland bike to work (we are two miles from downtown) but did buy a car after one month to use here and to take back with them when they leave. One couple I know from New Zealand bought a decent used car, drove it all around the country for three weeks and sold it just before they left for what they bought it for. Not too shabby.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
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My husband is from Ireland and he loves it here
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Bucky Palace, London
114 posts, read 232,675 times
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You've all sold it to me!! It's sounds a great place to be. Can't wait to see it for myself next year. One of his uni friends who has family from Kentucky told him it's one of the friendliest states in America so keeping my fingers crossed for him. He has two brothers who are both insanely jealous of him coming for a year and will be more so when I tell them his English accent could be an asset! I find it a bit funny that there is actually a book about that - bizarre!! I think though that he may return with an american accent which would also be a hit for him over here!!!
We did have to look up Louisville and Kentucky in the atlas when he first told us where he was going, knew it was somewhere south but wasn't sure whereabouts. When we first looked it up in the atlas (under North/East America) and saw how far it is away from the Atlantic I thought, wow it's quite near the west coast - then we turned the page over and saw how far away the west coast is!!!! He told me New York is only about 2.5 hours away, I assumed he meant in a car!! Naive or what and that's from someone who has studied geography!! It's just the sheer scale that is mindblowing. There must be so many people who never see the sea.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:49 PM
 
282 posts, read 767,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Liz View Post
You've all sold it to me!! It's sounds a great place to be. Can't wait to see it for myself next year. One of his uni friends who has family from Kentucky told him it's one of the friendliest states in America so keeping my fingers crossed for him. He has two brothers who are both insanely jealous of him coming for a year and will be more so when I tell them his English accent could be an asset! I find it a bit funny that there is actually a book about that - bizarre!! I think though that he may return with an american accent which would also be a hit for him over here!!!
We did have to look up Louisville and Kentucky in the atlas when he first told us where he was going, knew it was somewhere south but wasn't sure whereabouts. When we first looked it up in the atlas (under North/East America) and saw how far it is away from the Atlantic I thought, wow it's quite near the west coast - then we turned the page over and saw how far away the west coast is!!!! He told me New York is only about 2.5 hours away, I assumed he meant in a car!! Naive or what and that's from someone who has studied geography!! It's just the sheer scale that is mindblowing. There must be so many people who never see the sea.
I think your son will do fine in Louisville. Though, as suggested, a car would definitely be advisable. You can get by without one if you live in some of the other areas suggested, but most American cities (except for the very large ones like New York, Chicago, etc.) are laid out and designed with cars in mind.

Most Americans definitely do view an "English Accent" (funny how we say that you all have the accent! ) as a positive and as long as he is semi-outgoing, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people, make friends, etc.

And yes, the USA is definitely fairly large. I think Louisville to New York, not counting stops, is about 12 or 13 hours of driving.

Either way, good luck!
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