Sunday, September 17, 2017

Downtown Jeffersonsville (Free!)

We're Now On An Odd Schedule 

The Biker is now working a night shift at Amazon for their holiday season. The dog and the cats are completely confused and we haven't quite synced our sleeping schedules to his new work schedule. Or our blog posts, which are a wee bit behind (again.)

We took advantage of one of his days (nights?) off to amble through downtown Jeffersonville. In the nineteenth century, Jeffersonville had one of the deepest ports on the Ohio river, and also the Howard's Shipyard, the biggest inland shipyard in America. Jeffersonville does have a Steamboat Musuem, but it has an admission fee, so we skip it. There's plenty of free stuff to see and do!
The Big Four Bridge is a historic railroad bridge that now serves as a pedestrian bridge between Louisville and Jeffersonville. It took a few minutes to get this shot, because there is a constant stream of people walking to and from downtown Jeffersonville over the Big Four Bridge.
One thing that really stands out about the green spaces at the Big Four Station is just accessible the space is. We saw several people enjoying barrier-free access  - a young couple enjoying a picnic at one one of the tables, and a family heading up the ramp to the bridge to enjoy the view. 

Parking is currently free at the Big Four Station, but we understand that the city is seriously considering changing that in the future. 
The city began a urban revitalization project in 1987. The first step was to create a historic district, to protect and preserve the many nineteenth century homes and businesses in the downtown area. This is Willey-Allhands House (the yellow building), with the Grisamore House (red brick) next door.
Parlour Pizzeria bought and restored the gray house on the corner. This is the second house the owners of Parlour have bought, renovated, and turned into a restaurant.
Glossbrenner Park is a small pocket garden on Chestnut Street, whimsically decorated with found treasures and folk art.
The city is now working with a local group, City Pride, to create other pocket parks. We certainly hope the city will find a way to plant more of these cute teacup trees!
Each intersection in downtown Jeffersonville has artwork instead of a more traditional crosswalk. This crosswalk was a nod to Escher, with an abstract bird pattern. Across the street, you can see the Red Yeti, a popular brew pub.
The black and gray building in the middle is easily our favorite building.
It used to be the old Elk Lodge! 
Next door is Fern Hill, a florist with beautiful displays of flowers both inside and out.
Can you spot what's wrong with this picture? This is the Preservation Station. The depot was moved to this park many years ago, to save it from demolition. Not only is this depot no where near a train track, the caboose is an NE6 Caboose, so it's been painted the wrong color! Oh well, the red is definitely more eye catching than blue.
Of course, you can't visit Jeffersonville without visiting Schimpff's, which has been in business since 1891. Since it was late in the day, we didn't check out their candy museum, but we did take home some very tasty peanut butter fudge and white chocolate blueberry truffles. 
Oh and one white chocolate rat. Their Halloween treats were already out - how could we posssibly resist?
The building on the right used to be a floating restaurant. Jeffersonville bought the building after it closed, and then repurposed it into the River Stage. You can't see it from here, but the lawn in front has been terraced, so the city can host free concerts in the summer. 
After all that walking, we were ready to eat! We back tracked to a diner we had seen called Ann's.
The Biker choose the fried chicken, and I choose the fried catfish. The servings were large, the prices were reasonable, and the waitress was extremely friendly.  Both the chicken and catfish were nicely breaded and flavorful, but because the food is served cafeteria-style, the entrees could've definitely hotter. The pecan pie was just as good as our favorite diner back in Texas, with a light homemade crust, and we certainly couldn't quibble about the complimentary extra biscuits and rolls we were served! 

Know Before You Go: There is free parking at both the Big Four Station, and at the corner of Chestnut and Market. You can find an entire map of downtown Jeffersonville on the city's Main Street website here.  

During the summer, the county historian offers a couple of walking tours, and the city has  free concerts on Friday evenings. There is also a Farmer Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Other events are listed on the sidebar of the city's website.

Safety Note: Yes, you can walk to downtown Jeffersonville from the Louisville North Campground, but the most direct route (about a mile) will take you down Montgomery Street/9th Street, which is a very sketchy warehouse area. If you want to walk instead of drive from the campground, we recommend taking a longer walk (1.5 miles)  through the nearby neighborhood to South Sherwood Street, and then down to Riverside Drive. You can then take Riverside Drive east to downtown Jeffersonville.


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