I hated J-Town and I know I’m not the only one.
Growing up a Bullitt County girl living a Jefferson County life, there was always something about J-Town that really irked me. Ask me why and I wouldn’t even know where to start. In fact, I still don’t. Jeffersontown, KY is quirky, lively and home to some of my favorite local restaurants. I’ve never had a single bad experience in J-Town, and every home I’ve ever visited within the city’s limits has always been beautiful and more than reasonably priced. So, what gives?
Now I love Louisville. I mean, I really love Louisville, but J-Town always kind of felt like outerspace to me. Like, you have Louisville, the greatest city in the United States (okay, maybe I’m a bit biased), and then there’s Jeffersontown. It always felt very separated, distant even, and I think this is one reason I’ve harbored so much negativity toward the area for so long. It wasn’t Louisville so it wasn’t home, and I didn’t want it. Hard pass.
But then there was something else. Something completely different about the area that made my skin crawl when I thought about it. Jeffersontown was the place where dreams would go to die, and the suburbia status quo reigned supreme with its white wash brick homes and neighborhood communities with gated pools and clubhouses.
Jeffersontown was where you went to sell out.
That’s why buying my first home in Jeffersontown, KY has made me re-evaluate everything I ever knew about Spencer Barber, your Jeffersontown Neighborhood Voice.
After working in the automotive industry and living in Clifton/Crescent Hill for several years, I decided to take my marketing expertise to Cincinnati, OH where I worked for a full-service marketing agency serving Toyota. That was probably the longest year of my life. Nothing against Cincinnati. Some of the best food and most talented roller derby skaters I’ve ever encountered are from Cincinnati; it just wasn’t me. It could never be me.
Fast forward 18 months, I’m finally back in My Old Kentucky home and yours truly is officially a first-time homeowner in the city of Louisville. Or is it Jeffersontown? Is it both?
After renting during my first six months back home (and hating every bit of being someone else’s investment), I’ve decided to buy my first house in the neighborhood I swore off for so many years, and now I’m here to tell you I was wrong.
When Louisville Metro was established in 2003, Jeffersontown, KY remained a self-governing city and the area’s largest municipality outside of Louisville. I guess that’s pretty punk rock and I am 100% here for that type of community.
But I didn’t know that, did I? And the idea of selling out to a residential area with its very own neighborhood association made me gag a little. I can’t lie, it still kind of does. What doesn’t make me gag are the benefits of neighborhood associations, the quiet, barren streets and my incredibly short commute to work.
Located in what appears to be the hub of Louisville with convenient highway access throughout, J-Town is home to several local staples such as Recbar, Feast BBQ and the Gaslight Festival. Quite the opposite of textbook suburbia, Jeffersontown gives you the best of both worlds with cozy, tucked away neighborhoods just minutes away from a plethora of entertainment.
As a Louisville native and former J-Town skeptic, I’m excited to explore my new neighborhood and share everything it has to offer with other J-Town naysayers in hopes of squashing the idea that only sell-outs and people with way too many kids are the only residents of this independent, self-governing come-up of a neighborhood.
Spend the next 12 months with me #JigginInJtown as I highlight some local favorites and surface the hidden gems throughout one of Louisville’s largest “neighborhood” communities.