Now Reading: UK professor Erik Reece on Lexington in Garden and Gun

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[Thanks to KY political blog Barefoot & Progressive for the tip.]

 UK writing professor and Lexington author Erik Reece contributes a City Portrait of Lexington in the August/September issue of Garden and Gun , as something of a preview to the World Equestrian Games.The subhead says it all, “These days, there’s much more to Lexington than horses, bourbon, and basketball.”

His opening paragraph reads, “In Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise, the narrator, Jack Gladney, and his university colleague Murray drive outside their anonymous college town, one not unlike my own, to see what is reputedly ‘the most photographed barn in America.’ Standing among a throng of shutterbugs, Murray finally says to Jack, ‘No one sees the barn.’ All anyone can see after so many photographs is the image of the barn, not the thing itself. As someone who has lived in Lexington, Kentucky, for over half my life, I often feel that way about horses. Now, with the World Equestrian Games descending upon the city, horse imagery is so pervasive that I have a hard time seeing the genuine article.’”

It’s a thoughtful exploration of the city, horses, and basketball, that goes beyond the typical Chamber-style “Come to Lexington for the Games” jingoism. Though the article includes tourist-friendly recs of local/regional restaurants, bars, and businesses (including Ace’s neighbor, The Grey Goose), he also acknowledges, “For two weeks this fall, Lexington really will be the Horse Capital of the World…After that we’ll clean up and get back to the work of reinventing Lexington as a more sustainable, more interesting kind of Southern city.”

[For a representative taste of Garden and Gun, check out their Secret Society Weekend at the renowned Blackberry Farm. ]

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