Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Skylines

This week's assignment is given to us by Kate of Kansas City, Kansas.

"My topic is up to bat this week and I picked Skylines. One of my favorite things to see when I go to a new city is the look of their skyline - and for me, skylines can be the look of a small-town Main Street or the giant buildings of a huge city's downtown or a field full of corn. What is the "skyline" that you think of when someone mentions your town?"

Paducah is a small city in way Western Kentucky (and the W in Western is capitallized like the N is in North Carolina - like it's the destination, not an incedental direction). We're between Nashville and St. Louis; closer to each of those cities than to Lexington or Louisville. That far west. We sit on the spot where the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers join forces, about twenty minutes upstream from where they sacrifice their spirit and identities and their very souls to the Mighty Mississippi.

Because of all that, Paducah has always been a center. It is a town, my husband likes to point out, that lives larger than its size. River commerce thrives. (One barge can carry the load of 75 eighteen-wheelers.) Cultural activities are incredible here. We have a $44,000,000 Performing Arts Center, The Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, where I saw the stage production of To Kill A Mockingbird last night. (As a great part of The Big Read; Paducah is one of 269 communitites across the nation participating in this inspired program of the National Endowment for the Arts.)

The Carson Center for the Performing Arts

In addition to the TKaM performance last night Tom, Dick, and Harry was playing at Market House, the community theater, The River's Edge Film Festival began its fifth year at the fantastic independant movie theater, Maiden Alley Cinema, the actual Second City comedy troupe (you know, the one that spawned Alan Arkin, Belushi, Radnor, Murray, Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and a bazillion more) played at the college after an important art show by Michael Crouse. And that is just last night!

What does all this have to do with skylines, you rightly ask?

Paducah has had to survive the invasion of the Mall. Right out by the Interstate. It opened in 1982 and with the addition of two area Walmarts (gag, choke, spew, BOYCOT) historic downtown Paducah suffered the inevitable blight. Thanks to dedicated citizens, city leaders, and civic minded businesses this lovely old city thrives. Not with skyscrapers, but with charm and history and culture and spirit, with independant specialty stores and antiques shops and fine dining and friendships. I hope I've captured a little of that for you in these 'skyline' photos.

My attempt at an artsy photo: looking out of the Carson Center at downtown.

Besides being all that it is, Paducah is a wonderful place to walk the dogs.

hug your hounds and support your historic districts!


  1. And tomorrow night, the Paducah Symphony performs "Viva, Italia!" with guest conductor Janna Hymes!!

    The first female conductor in our history!!


  2. One day I'm going to drop by. In the not-pretend-to-walk-from-Norway kind of way ;) I want to see your little town after hearing about it for years ;)


  3. Anonymous Bill - (not to be confused with my Bill) thanks for visiting and THANKS for posting about the symphony! My Bill (who truly is NOT anonymous Bill, honest) is the featured speaker before the program, and there will be an art exhibit featuring lots of talented artists, including my Bill!
    So, thanks Anonymous Bill! (Are you Trombone Bill???)

    Anie you just come ANYTIME!!! There's guest room and plenty of volunteers to be guest room whippets!

  4. Kentucky has many different aspects that's for sure. The Mississippi side, the Ohio side and whatever is on the eastern and southern sides.
    That's how I see Louisville. Full of arts and creativity.

  5. OH how interesting! I love your city. I hope to later on live in a smaller city. Houston, TX is too big!

  6. I love the down town area...My favoirte part is the antique stores. I love going through the "old" treasures.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Katie Dawn

  7. Thank you for sharing about your town in such a lovely fashion!

  8. Paducah has it going on! Plays, symphonies, historic buildings, nice place to walk your dogs. Kentucky has so much to offer. We used to visit when my brother-in-law managed a brood mare farm there, and I was always bowled over by its beauty and culture. Thanks for sharing! (And down with WalMart.)

  9. I miss your lovely city (I used to live in Martin, TN and would visit Paducah quite often!).

    Thank you for the walk down memory lane - though the small town I remember sure has grown up!

  10. I love your quaint town. I've been to Bowling Green Kentucky before, but I don't think I 've been to Paducah. I think you presented some lovely skyline scenes and I like your artsy photo.

    I would love to explore your town. It sounds like a wonderful place.

  11. It's great travelling round the world like this - thanks for the post.

  12. I love that second shot! for some reason it reminds me of a big bus. have a wonderful weekend!!

  13. what a great addition to the shoot-out gang. location and your commentary on your town is wonderful. I look forward to learning about Western Kentucky.

  14. I started your book last night - and I even dreamed about part of it - the part where your dog goes running out around the tree...the dream was like a scene out of the book - I rarely dream what I read, so I found that very interesting....very....!!

    I've only read a couple of "chapters" so far because I had to finish what I was reading last night - but then picked yours up immediately after and began reading :) Going to enjoy it!

    (love the pics by the way)

  15. ps - thank you for the note tucked inside, too

  16. We are coming back tomorrow morning and spending however many hours it takes to catch up on your blog. We keep putting it off, because Moma really wants uninterrupted time to read and enjoy. That doesn't happen to the extent she would like for it to ... but we heard her say, TOMORROW it's happening. OK? Watch for us!

    Jake and Fergi (your faithful followers, despite our recent hiatus)

  17. Kentucky is a beautiful state. I am glad you are posting. Nice shots.

  18. Amen to your Wal-Mart boycot! I hate that place :) I loved the shot you took of your downtown from the window of the arts center (which is very impressive, by the way - I'm looking foward to "Wicked" coming back to ours this winter!)

  19. OK. Well maybe it wasn't "tomorrow", but we did come back. And we've enjoyed every moment. It's sleeting outside. We cuddled together inside and we close our eyes and imagine ourselves there. It's like a mini-vacation. Complete with charm, history, culture and spirit. Our kind of place.

    Jake and Fergi xxoo


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