Monday, May 3, 2010

Paducah, KY: it's also a real town!

Mention "Paducah" and chances are good (even among non-quilters) that people will assume you are talking about The Big Quilt Show. It also happens to be a town with a population of 26,307, a fabulous performing arts center, and a nuclear plant nearby!
Located on the Ohio River, Paducah has a series of history themed murals painted on the floorwalls ( the one honoring telephone operators is a new favorite of mine) and 20 blocks of the downtown area have been designated a National Historic District. Part of that is the LowerTown Fine Arts District where many artists have rehabbed houses and built studios....it makes a lovely walking tour!
I guess that's what I really like about going to the show in Paducah...it reminds me of the small towns I have lived in...if only they had been as interested in the arts!

Of course there's the area out by Interstate 24, with lots of motels, restaurants and Big Box Stores that you can find anywhere. The special place out there is Hancock's of Paducah, a fabric store/ quilters mecca.
During the AQS show there is plenty of city bus transportation to get quilters anywhere mentioned above, as well as the Rotary Antique Quilt Show at the Civic Center and the Carson Park fairgrounds, where Eleanor Burns sets up a big tent for sales and puts on her show.
I had not intended on doing a photo-essay (maybe next year?) but I am glad to share with you some views along Broadway, which is the main street. You can walk right down here from the show as it's only about three or four blocks.
There are many shops selling all sorts of goods, so if you haven't spent all your money with the show vendors, you will find lots of interesting things here. Ms. Burns has a quilt shop a few blocks away, and during show-time there are several temporary businesses set up to sell fabric.
Right on the corner you can see a little art sale, hear a band playing, and catch a horse-drawn carriage ride. I highly recommend that ride for a relaxing get-acquainted tour, and a fine close up look at the murals.

The Yeiser Art Center always has a fiber art show during the AQS week. Here's a peak inside...ssssh! don't tell. (if anyone really objects, I'll this photo down!)
This art center sits in the middle of Market Square, with a small brick street running down each side. Be sure to check both sides...there are shops and some really good restuarants, including a bakery that has been there since forever!
   
I'll be talking more about food in the next post, but Cohen's is a must-eat place. And it's haunted!
I've only been there for lunch.... not a good time for Sightings. But the waiter always appeared when needed.

You can't miss the mobile cow! She was an oft-mentioned landmark, as in "We're in the parking lot near the Cow...well, you'll know it when you see it!" (actual over-heard cell-phone conversation) (also note the murals in the far background!)
 You can read more about this place tomorrow...yummmmm, pie! But for now, just admire the beautiful wood and brickwork of the 1800s style in downtown Paducah!
We did manage to get to Caryl Bryer Fallert's studio in the LowerTown District. She has a shop in the front, a large studio in the center, and her quilting machines in the back...like this:
What a jaw-dropping surprise to see "Seasonal Sister" hanging there!
That was the Best of Show winner at the IQA show in Houston 2 years ago, made by Annette Hendricks, Gail Thomas and Helen Godden. It's 99" x 56" and worth every cent of the $30,000 asking price!

Coming next:
What you really want...Eating & Shopping!

2 comments:

Bonnie B - Quilter said...

Great write-up about the Paducah quilt show - can we adopt you as one of our Paducah Ambassadors. Glad you enjoyed the show and visiting Paducah. It's a great place to live.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the trip down recent memory lane! Kentucky Brown at Cohen's.........yummmm!

Gay