Downtown Louisville Rocks

Friday evenings are bliss! It's kick off your shoes, turn up the music and sprawl out on the sofas kind of evening for us. Sometimes, it's pizza night. Other times, it's leftovers night. The best times is when it is spicy Thai or Sichuan food by delivery night. We rarely ever step out on Friday nights. There are far too many cars on the road, too many people in the restaurants - yes, reclusive might define us well although we are not unsocial.

One Friday evening saw us scrambling to get to the library before it closed and we walked right into Louisville's Downtown Street Faire. Huh! I remembered reading about it in the last city newsletter. I even remembered that we forgot to check it out last summer. Friday evenings are that special. Well, they got even more special when we discovered just what the Louisville Downtown Street Faire is about!

Local businesses have booths and kiosks. They are all there: from the lovely ladies from the Acupuncture Clinic to the Italian Ice shop, not to mention all the restaurants! The local flavor is hard to beat! And the community spirit is very strong. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me nor my wallet so I vowed to return the following week.

Needless to say, the bungee jump was at the top of the list. We waited at least 40 minutes for 5 minutes of exhilirating and breath-taking fun for Medha.

That's her up there. My heart was in my shoes the first time she went that high!

I could hear live music filtering through to me from the Steinbaugh Pavilion. People were spilling out of the white tent area next to the pavilion and from the pavilion itself. Almost everyone had a glass of locally brewed beer in their hands. Small counter-high tables dotted the street, crowded with half-empty glasses of beer, hot dogs, burgers and popcorn. I couldn't wait to get nearer to the music cos the lead guitar was belting out some smashing tunes.

But we had a few other stops to make like Sparkles Face Painting, for example!

Another ten minute wait before Medha's face was transformed into a butterfly.

While her face was being painted, I wandered to the other booths and spied the lovely ladies from Market Place Bakery in their full glory. Oh yum! Just look at those goodies! They disappeared very quickly, too!

There was also an inexplicable but very alluring aroma in the air. It had enticed me on my first visit, too, and I just had to follow my nose again. It was Handmade soap. After smelling them all, I kept returning to the Chai Goat Milk Soap. It had the smell of home: spices blended together with a mild scent of tea. It's the kind of aroma I want around me when I want to relax completely. I also loved the Rosemary Mint soap, which was very refreshing. It's what I want to wake up to every morning.

These handmade soaps are made by Amy Kalinchuk aka The Old Crone, who is a school teacher in Denver. She taught herself the art of soap-making and was soon making so many soaps that she needed to figure out how to share her success with the rest of her community.

If you're local to Louisville, Lafayette or Boulder, you will want to catch her at the Street Faire this coming Friday, 5pm to 9pm. She won't be there for the last fair, which is Youth Night, on August 17th.

If you are local to Denver then you could find her at Historic Downtown Littleton Farmer's Market, corner of Nevada and Main, 9am-2pm on Saturdays till September 29, 2007. Or at Old South Pearl Street Farmer's Market, 1500 South block of Pearl street, between Florida and Iowa, 9 am to 1 pm on Sundays till October 28, 2007.

If you are not local, don't fret! She has a web site, Olde Crone's Bewitching Bath Soap, where she sells her handmade soaps, shampoos, lotions, lip balms and more. She's thought of everything - for those of us who need to know more or dabble in some soap making, she has written a book called How to Make Soap that she sells on her web site.

Here's Amy with her wonderful wares! And she's not really old or olde!

What pulled me to Amy's booth like a magnet was the aroma. What endeared me further was that she was making this at home. And I was sold when I found out that her soaps are all-natural. She does not use any artificial ingredients, fragrances, or additives.

I was already on a high, when I decided to take things a notch higher with beer from Colorado's first micro-brewery, Boulder Brewing Company, started in 1979 by two professors from CU. The company is now called Boulder Beer Company. Their beer has won awards but what matters most is that it is smooth and the perfect ale for the hot summers we've been having. This handsome man poured out some Pass Time Pale Ale for me.

It put me in the perfect mood for the music that was growing louder and louder, with the crowds joining in and thumping their feet. It was a local band called Firefall. I'd never heard of them before. It really didn't matter as they were rocking the place with their music. According to a more informed friend of mine, they had a very popular CD in the 80's. It was Medha's first ever rock show and I am so glad that it was with us and to such excellent music!

This is a picture Medha took of Firefall's encore while seated on her Dad's shoulders! As you can see, many folks joined them on the stage for their final number!

Unfortunately, it all ended a little too soon!

While Firefall won't be there this coming Friday, another very popular band called the subdudes will be playing. If you're in the area, do stop by to check it out! There's good food, great tasting locally brewed beer, handmade soap, locally made handicrafts and a whole bunch of fun for the kids. And that is quite a bit coming from someone like me who feels that nothing happens in Louisville!


Anita said...

The young have no fear...Medha obviously had a blast! The bungee jumping, her first rock concert...cookies?

I am fascinated by hand made soap...bought a book a long time ago, but never tried my hand at it. Khadi too markets beautiful soaps, and stuff.

And you got to go twice!

Raaga said...

hmmm... there's a store in Bangalore which sells these special soaps too... but they're frightfully expensive.

Looks like you all had a great time.

bee said...

that pic with medha getting her face painted is just superb. looks like all of you had a blast.

Unknown said...

everytime i write a long comment i can be sure that something will go wrong, for eg. i was in a page not found after posting and then on returning back nothing remains...was saying this reminded me of the Lilac Fest in May in Rochester, we hd great fun with the stalls and home goodies...
Khadi soaps are good na Anita, reasonably priced, i like the jasmine cheese in white colour and the lavender too! I think Raaga is talking about the Lush brand of products, even if i ever buy one of those, i will never be able to use it thinking of how I can melt away a 1000 buck soap....ouch!!!
Hey glad you shared your fun times with us Manisha :)

Molly said...

Hi Tai...lookslike you really had fun...have still not visited any local fair here and would really love to...medha must have had somuch fun...wanna try it myself too..and the article on handmade soap is soo good..and yes you must go there again...

Rockquelle, the Rollergirl Next Door said...

You are a revelation, Manisha! Thanks so much for the support!

aka The Olde Crone

p.s. I love Indian food, too. I'll have to link to your blog from mine:

evolvingtastes said...

Sounds like you had a good time doing local stuff. That bungee jumping stuff ain't for me, I am too much of a scaredy-cat, so I am sure Medha is quite the daredevil.

Indian Food Rocks said...

Anita, that she did! She wants to go back again - tihs time, with a few of her friends in tow! So I might go thrice and once more! Amy's soaps are wonderful. The fragrance is very soothing.

Raaga, maybe your answer lies in making them yourself! Or finding an Amy in your neighborhood or community who does. Welcome to IFR!

Bee, thanks! It's now one of my favorite pictures!

Nandita, now don't you take up where Bee left off! Switch to Firefox - in most cases, the Back key will present you with your form with the fields filled in. Or copy your comment into your clipboard before hitting Publish, just in case you lose it.

I must check out soaps from Khadi when I visit next. Or some kind soul can send me some. Any volunteers?

Molly, you made it! Welcome to IFR!. You should go to a local fair. Not only is it tons of fun, you support local businesses and your community when you do. The more local you are in your purchases, the more your community flourishes.

Amy, welcome to IFR! I love your soaps, what can I say?! I hope to see you again this Friday.

Some of my friends here might tell you that there are very few recipes on my site. Don't believe them! Tucked away in the right sidebar is my menu of recipes, which opens out as you click on it. And thank you for the link love!

ET, you know more about local stuff than I do. I am just getting my feet wet so to speak! Bungee jumping isn't for me either. I was scared just watching her. She on the other hand got her shot of adrenalin and couldn't stop shaking for a while when she got off!

Esri Rose said...

Found your blot through Amy K's newsletter, since you featured her soap. Great pictures, and what a beautiful daughter!

It's a bonus that your blog features Indian food. Have had my own Masala spice tin for years.

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

Hi M!
I had no idea that we have street faires in Louisville (okay, I didn't even know there was a downtown :P)

Thanks for all the info. We'll probably check it out this weekend, assuming my 5 month old cooperates!

We should definitely have tea! Sorry I saw your messages late, I wsa a little busy. Let's coordinate.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

A lovely post. Really enjoyed this one Manisha. I also just love the photo of Mehda's butterfly face!

BTW: I have awarded you with two awards (on my blog) - congrats! LOL!

Priya said...

The street faire sounds like a lot of fun...Will let me frnd(ex-roomie) know abt it...she moved to Fort Collins a few months back. She'll love the bungee jumping and the soaps...

Pav said...

ooohhhhh that definitely looks soooo much fun !!! I envy Medha !! You are such a cool mom....*hugs*

it almost resembles Seattle's own Pike Place Market :) :)

And ooooh home made natural soaps... it almost sounds similar to "Lush" soaps that I absolutely loveeeee !! This is it.. I must visit Colorado soon

Roopa said...

oh my look at that young spirit from your little one. its really exciting for them na!i am fascinated by those homemade soaps i have seen here too but its damn exp! looks like it was funfilled evening for all of you!

musical said...

Great pics! and and i love Medha's adventure and her face painting, did you try one too :-D.

and i love those soaps :). we get them at the local fair too.

This one was such lovely write-up, Manisha! am glad you guys enjoyed so much!

Unknown said...

I use Firefox wonly! and knowing how unpredicable things are I always copy before I publish, but when I write a longish comment, i invariably forget to do so...

are you coming to bombay anytime soon? will take you shopping - fabindia sells some lovely organic soaps too -and my friends call me 'fabindian' you get the drift LOL

They should start paying me now for the brand 'ambassadoring' i have been doing for them the last some years

Molly said...

Thanks Tai....will definately try and find out if there is any happening rt now and visit...i love visiting fairs and used to go to the ones in India the Kala ghoda festival,bandra and all...and yes agree with Nandita Fabindia has some very nice soaps and even clothes..have been buying kurtas for my family from there since ages..even the home collection is a big cotton fan:)) cant wear synthetic...

Indian Food Rocks said...

Esri Rose, thanks and welcome to IFR! I think everyone should have a masala tin, don't you? It's just so convenient!

I found your Wet Noodler Posse blog quite interesting!

Roopa, if you get to downtown over the weekend it will look like this. Pretty much nothing! The fair is only on Fridays! Today and next week only. After that, next year is your only hope!

Louisville has a quaint little downtown. In winter, the arena outside the Steinbaugh Pavilion is converted into an open air skating rink.

Do get in touch with me whenever you can. I totally understand how this pesky offline life can get in the way.

Meeta, you are a sweetheart! Thank you for those wonderful awards! I am overwhelmed and have a long list of people I want to thank...OK! I won't do it here! I'll dedicate a whole post to it!

Seriously though, that is just so thoughtful of you and that explains why you got the awards in the first place!

Priya, after the little madam comes home from a manicure, we will be heading to the fair again. Yes, a manicure. I hate putting my knotty fingers on the table for anyone to see. She has no such qualms and considering that she is paying for it herself from the cat-sitting she did, why not!

Fort Collins is more than an hour and half away from here. Have yoru friend check out the local events at Fort Collins. They have Friday evening concerts, Farmers' Market on Saturday and more!

Mythili, actually Medha has a cool Dad. If it were left up to me, face paint is all she'd get. I can't bear to see her go up that high in the bungee jump. From what I have heard of Pike's Place, it is much bigger. Louisville is a small town, under 20K population.

Let me know when you come out my way. It is beautiful here all year round!

Roopa, she loves these fairs and I am glad she has not inherited my genes when it comes to these things! If you are interested in the handmade soaps, why don't you look into making them yourself? You could do your own research or buy Amy's book to start you off!

Musical, I'd love to try one but I can't bear paint on my skin. I hardly wear any make-up for the same reason. Glad you liked the pics!

Nandita, what to say to you now? My sis sent me some Fabindia kurtis recently - love them! Only problem I have is washing them since they all bleed color! We are planning a trip - hopefully this year. So I'll hold you to your promise! You can take me shopping and HKG will take me on a foodie trip. (Aho! HKG! Aiklat ka?! I haven't forgotten!)

Molly, look up the web site for the city you live in. There is usually a Chamber of Commerce or a Downtown Business Association that puts together these fairs.

Well, cotton is wonderful and cool for every day use!

Pelicano said...

Manisha- that's beautiful soap! I've always wanted to make my own actually. Both of my grannies did, and, in a little cookbook that belonged to one of them, I found a pamphlet on soap-making put out by a lye company. The thing is, I don't know where to find lye. It isn't a popular cleaner so much nowadays (except pre-diluted as oven-cleaner). But, I think I heard somewhere, sometime that lye could be made from ashes. I suppose lye could be ordered online somewhere?

musical said...

"i don't wear any make-up"

Me too!! my skin feels choked!

Mrs. K said...

Ooow! Hellooo to Medha up there! My 9yo went wild during this vacation too.. I had to accompany her on all those scary disney world rides. Its funny, as a kid, I was afraid of any roller coasters that go high up. But now I am accompanying my daughter!
That picture of medha with face painting needs to be enlarged and framed. :)