Land of the Snowy Shamrocks

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I hope your St. Patrick’s Day went well.  Here it was strange; because of last night’s snow, when I went outside I saw more white stuff than green stuff.  I can’t remember the last time that happened on St. Patrick’s Day.

Elsewhere in Lexington, the main talk is the NCAA basketball tournament, now that the schedule has come out.  Over the weekend, the University of Kentucky was narrowly beat by the University of Florida (61-60) for the SEC title.  Still, we’re in the playoffs this year, which is more than you can say for last year.  This time around the three teams most likely to win are UK, UF, and last year’s champions, the University of Louisville.

The state of Kentucky is well represented in the tournament this year.  Besides UK and UL, teams that were expected, Eastern Kentucky University (from Richmond) will participate, too.  Along that line, I noticed that today’s newspaper cost $2 at the news stands, though it definitely isn’t as big as the Sunday paper, which runs for the same price.  I’m guessing demand is high for that particular edition each year, thanks to the schedule and bracket chart.

Another big piece of local news is that the Kroger supermarket on Euclid Avenue, the nearest store to UK, closed for the last time on Saturday.  I learned it was nicknamed “Disco Kroger,” because it opened in 1976 (during the disco era, of course), and was the first Kroger in town to be open 24 hours, making it a popular place for dates.  Judging from the way customers are acting, having it close is the end of an era.  Myself, I didn’t notice too many differences between it and other Krogers, but then I haven’t been in town as long as those other shoppers.  The plan is to tear it down, build a larger Kroger in its place, and put a parking lot on top of it, to make up for the parking spaces lost.  Opponents of the design have called it “Fort Kroger.”  In the meantime, there aren’t too many grocery stores in downtown Lexington, so we should expect their crowds to increase, with former “Disco Kroger” shoppers joining them.  The main downtown store Leive and I shop at is Yu-Yu, the big Asian store near UK; perhaps their business will increase, too, as more non-Asians go there.

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