The Best Murals in Louisville

“LOVE” mural: found right across the street from the Butchertown Crossfit, 37 Buchanan St. 

This past weekend my friends and I had a “Galentine’s Day” get-together in Lexington, KY. The drive from Indianapolis to Lexington takes me through Louisville, and since the day was bright and sunny, I decided to leave a few hours early to chase some street art in the city made famous by the Kentucky Derby.

I’m sure I only covered about half of the murals in town, and many of the neighborhoods I drove through had so many other pieces of street art that if you go, you might find something even more unique than the walls I found.

Flower Mural on the side of the Red Tree Furniture Store, 701 E Market St.

These next few murals are all within blocks of each other; a word of caution – this neighborhood was kind of sketchy. Since it was during the daylight, I didn’t feel terribly unsafe, but I would probably take a friend with me if I went again. These are in the Shelby Park area.

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On the side of Red Top, 1127 Logan St. I should have been paying more attention to what Red Top is because apparently it’s a gourmet hot dog place & who doesn’t love hot dogs??

This raven mural is one of my favorites! I love the literature vibes it gives off and the raven seems like it might be some kind of nod to Edgar Allen Poe.

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Right across the street from Red Dog.

This next mural, on the side of Scarlet’s Bakery screams spring! I love all the swirly pastel colors and had to take several selfies in front of this one 🙂

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Scarlet’s Bakery, 741 E Oak St

A few feet away from Scarlet’s, you will find this other bright mural with primary colors.

A few blocks over is this super cool “To the Top” mural which was designed by the Often Seen, Rarely Spoken group. They painted it on the side of Abell Elevator.

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1256 Logan St.

On the wall adjacent to To the Top, is a fun geometric mural.

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Then literally right down the street (you can see it from To the Top) is another geometric design, which from a distance is supposed to look like flowers. I didn’t see it really, but I also didn’t go across the street. I also probably should have worn sunglasses so my eyes weren’t so squinty in this photo, haha.

This next one is a favorite of mine! Also on the side of a bakery, the bacon and donuts mural is so cute! It was tricky to get this shot because it’s shorter than me and I had to prop my tripod up and angle it weird, but I think the picture turned out pretty good anyway!

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Nord’s Bakery, 2118 S Preston St.

And finally, the mecca of murals, the Greetings from Louisville mural that’s near UofL and Churchill Downs. The details that Greetings Tour puts into these murals is stunning and I hope they make it to Indianapolis one day!

1101 Central Ave.

 

 

Veal’s Ice Tree

Nestled just off I-74 on Indianapolis’ southeast side is a winter spectacle that’s been delighting Hoosiers for over 50 years. Since 1961, the Veal family has been creating the ice tree in their back yard, and today their granddaughter Wynter Veal-Drummond continues the family tradition.

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The tree started by accident. Wynter’s grandparents Mabel and Vierl Veal were trying to make a hill for their children to sled down, so they started pumping water out of the pond next to the house to make an ice hill. The wind had other ideas, and blew the water onto some nearby bushes, creating the first ice tree. The family thought it was pretty and decided to keep growing it. Eventually, it took on the form of the ice tree that we see today.

Building the tree is a pretty involved process and as soon as it starts getting cold out, Wynter begins building the frame. She uses 2×4 boards for a steady base and adds branches from the neighbors’ tree trimmings.

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Photo courtesy of Wynter Veal-Drummond

Once there are several days of temperatures 30 degrees or lower, they turn the hoses on and begin pumping the water out of the pond to spray on the tree form. As the tree grows, Wynter adds more hoses, and during the 2013-2014 season, the tree grew to 80 feet tall!

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The dying process gives the ice tree that magical look that people love to use for unique photo backdrops. Wynter dyes it using a powder form of food coloring and most years they are able to hook a special spray bottle that contains the food coloring up to the hoses and dye it that way. This year, though, she had to do it the way her grandfather did and dye it by hand.

It can take hours to get the final results and on Wednesday, the coldest day of the year, she was outside dying the tree for six hours in negative degree temperatures.

She leaves the backside of the ice tree in its natural state, which looks beautiful as well. Wynter offered to let me climb the formation using cleats, but I decided to stay safely on the ground 🙂

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Her mother, Janet Veal-Drummond, lives in the family home next to the tree and estimates there have only been about eight winters that haven’t been cold enough for them to grow the ice tree.

This year’s season may also be a short one; since I visited on Saturday, Indiana has had some unseasonably warm temperatures that will begin to melt the ice formation. Wynter says that once the tree starts to melt, it’s very hard to rebuild it.

Creating the ice tree may be a lot of work, but it’s a family tradition that Wynter hopes to continue for years to come. She says not only does it help her feel close to her grandparents who have both passed away, but it gives her joy to see how happy it makes other people when they see it.

How to get there: 11333 Southeastern Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46259. From I-465 take I-74 east toward Cincinnati. Exit at #99, Acton Rd. 3. Go south to Southeastern Ave. (1st road) and turn left. Turn left at the first drive after the sharp curve.

Follow Veal’s Ice Tree on Facebook & Instagram for the latest on the tree’s condition.

 

 

Reykjavik & the Blue Lagoon

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Happy New Year! Hard to believe that it’s 2019 already – where does the time go?? It’s almost been THREE months since my trip to Iceland and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I just have one more post about that amazing little island that captured my heart in 2018, and I’ll be highlighting what we did in Reykjavik as well as talking about my experience at the Blue Lagoon.

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