Hi! I don't actually live in Lexington right now, and thus feel a little like an internet poseur. However, I am about to sign my life away to become an indentured servant/graduate student at UK... so I will be moving over the summer to your fair city.

I've been to Lexington a grand total of two times, and both mainly to visit UK. So tell me what you like best about Lexington.... I'm coming from Grand Rapids, MI, which is about the same size population-wise, but is surrounded by 80 billion suburbs, unlike Lex.

There are things I would actually like to figure out, though. Since I am a grad student and no longer an undergrad, I don't particularly want to live amongst undergrads. No offense to them, because I did the party-party thing, and it was great, but I'd rather have party time as an occaisional option, not a common occurence. I am also looking for a house (2 bed), but I would settle for a duplex or townhouse. I'm a big fan of having a backyard in which to grill, to let dogs run around in (I miss having a dog!), and to dig in a veg garden. I've been warned away from the North end of town, presumably because it is shady? And by north end, I also assume these people mean the edge of the downtown area, because I've seen houses in the Masterson Station area, and they look pretty fab, and that is technically north(west).

I'd rather drive to class than ride the bus, if possible. I have no idea what the parking situation is like on campus, but I am more than prepared to pay for parking permits. Nothing can be as bad as Univeristy of Wisconsin's $1000/semester permits. I'd be working mainly in the medical science buildings surrounding the UK hospital, if that helps. If there are no close lots, is it possible to park near the field/a commuter lot and bus in, assuming there is a bus that runs through campus often? If I am able to drive, I'd like to stay within a 15 minute radius of the campus. I've been told that Harrodsburg and Nicholasville roads are pretty packed during the AM and PM rush hours, and to avoid having to take those to campus.

I've looked at houses on craigslist and some other sites, and there are quite a few in the Tates Creek area, along with a few that are East of that area (but not all of the way to the interstates), and a few SW of UK... I think most of the houses are between Man O' War and New Circle... Some are off Alumni (not real close to campus though), and some are off Chinoe. I know zilch about these areas, so the houses could be at 666 Satan's Driveway, and I'd never know. And as for a student, when should I really start looking for a place? My program starts August 1st (or so), and I would like to be in town by the middle of July so I have time to acclimate. I plan on driving down and staying in town for a few days to make appointments and visit some possible houses, but I don't know when to do this :)

Also, how is the job outlook around Lexington? My boyfriend will be moving with me, and he will most definitely need a job. He says he'll do anything for a job (and preferably full-time or close to it), but has job experience in sales/service and IT, if that means anything. Pretty basic stuff. Also, is there a community college or something like that in the area where he could take classes?

And on another topic, has anyone ever had dental work done at UK's school of dentistry? The insurance for grad students is sort of awful (its the only negative!), and does not cover vision or dental. But I hear the work at the school is done well (albeit taking a long time) and for a very low price. And does anyone have any advice on supplemental insurance programs? Both my teeth and my eyes suck, so I'll definitely need something.

Anyway, thanks for your help in advance, to any responders! I have already x-posted this to the lexington_ky LJ.

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luckyracer From: luckyracer Date: February 27th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
All the places you list for living, are pretty good neighborhood's as far as I know but i could be wrong. Parking is available by hospital, just look here you can get a permit and park in a garage, but apply for one early.

now its the best time to start looking for a place, as this is when students on campus are already starting to look.
Um.. there's tons of community colleges around UK, namely KCTCS/LCC just search the web and getting a job is like anywhere else.

sorry this is so incoherant. its late i'm tired.
iluvpokeystix From: iluvpokeystix Date: February 27th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks! do you happen to know if grad students are considered employees or students... because i do not have 60 credits at UK, so I can't get a student permit :P
pamplepoose From: pamplepoose Date: February 27th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome to UK!

If you don't mind the 15 minute drive to and from UK, Tates Creek sounds like where you'll probably want to look.

If you check out the classifieds section of the Kentucky Kernel, you'll definitely find something. (http://kykernel.com)

Parking at UK is horrendous. I don't have a parking permit because I refuse to pay an obscene amount of money for a spot on the opposite side of campus. There is tons of street parking, however you really just have to luck out when it comes to that. If you're will to pay, you can probably get a permit for one of the parking structures.

And I would also recommend looking now. I just signed a lease for an apartment last week. Some of the best places go early, but then again I know someone who didn't start looking until late March and lives right off Limestone across from the School of Business.

All the housing near the Medical Center is mostly undergrads. It's also a pretty shady place as of recently. I'd avoid anything on Waller, State St. and any street of of those. There's been a lot of burglary, and a recent shooting on State St.

I'd also shy away from Newtown.

Honestly, anything in walking distance of campus is mostly undergrads, and from what I've heard from friends who live out in Tates Creek, the drive isn't worth it.

I hope I helped at all. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot an email my way.

iluvpokeystix From: iluvpokeystix Date: February 27th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
i'm not too concerned with being close enough to walk to campus. i've always commuted from a distance between 10-20 minutes, so i am totally comfortable with driving. i would rather drive than walk, especially in the winter (and i have noticed that snow isn't much of an issue there!).

i know alot of apartments are leasing now, but i haven't found too many houses that will be available for the summer... most of them are available now, and probably don't want to sit empty for 4 months until i get there :)

and where is newtown?
hellscook From: hellscook Date: February 27th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
The Tates Creek area is a quintessential area for both grads and post-grads alike. The Chinoe area is a near-bohemian-style section of town. Both areas have access to decent groceries and eateries, and Chinoe is closer to campus, but you'll still have to get a parking pass anywho.

ACS is a traditional IT employer in the Lextown area, as is Manpower Technical. ACS can either be an "allright" place to work, or it can be living hell, depending on who you work for.

I lived in Lexington for 8 years before moving to Louisville for a better job in IT. For inexplicable reasons, good-paying IT jobs in Lexington are ridiculously non-existent... but if you're only going to be there a for a couple of years, contract work might be bearable.

There are a cornucopia of fun-and-not-too-expensive places that Lexington has to offer... especially as we round the corner into spring: The UK Arboretum, Woodland Park, Joseph Beth Booksellers, DeShay's restaurant, Atomic Cafe (quintessential summertime hangout / jamacian restaurant,) and free Live Jazz on Tuesdays at ecton park in the summer... if you come down in July, that'll be prime-time for that place. You'll also wanna check out keeneland in the fall.

70 miles west is Louisville, and if you're going to bother moving to the state, you may as well plan on attending the Kentucky, the first Saturday in May. We also put on a nip of a fireworks show in April to kick off the derby festival. A little north and east of Lexington is Red River Gorge, a state park ripe for hiking and camping.

All in all I did a piss poor job of helping you house hunt. However, I have successfully become a bit homesick for Lexington. :-)

Back to the point, stay away from the north end of downtown, yes, and Nick-ville road... too much traffic hassle. Masterson Station is decent, but a ways from campus, which limited travel routes to get to-and-from.

This is a link to google map's Woodland Park Anywhere south of e main street (aka richmond road... get used to roads in lexington having multiple names) to campus in that area is pretty safe, and within walking or biking distance to campus.

As a matter of fact, if you can find a place inside of the "box" of main(north border) chinoe(east), Alumni(south), and Limestone(west), you'll prolly be set.
iluvpokeystix From: iluvpokeystix Date: February 27th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
that is WAY helpful! Should I begin looking now, or wait until may or so? i don't know how scary the rental housing market is down there.
From: treerad Date: February 27th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
i agree with everyone else - the parking is horrible because it's hella expensive and you aren't guaranteed a spot, although i know nothing about parking near the medical center. there is an intermediate pass for teaching assistants and i assume research assistants that costs $75-100 less than the faculty permits, but it's still close to $300. i'm too cheap to pay that much so i take the bus - student passes are $75 for the year and you can use them to go anywhere, but that's only worthwhile if you live near a bus line (you can find those at www.lextran.com ); on top of that i find that the evening schedules are a pain.

tates creek and chinoe are good areas to live in, but tates creek has nasty traffic at rush hour (definitely not as bad as nicholasville rd, though). from what i've seen, most students live inside man o war and tend to be on the south half of town. the way i looked for an apartment was to use online apartment finders, narrow it down to the places that had what i wanted, and then visited and knocked places out that were in sketchy neighborhoods or too far away and went from there.

and i'll be watching about that dental thing, i'm definitely curious and i've heard nothing about the dental school here other than it exists.

good luck!
iluvpokeystix From: iluvpokeystix Date: February 27th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks tons!
euphoriafish From: euphoriafish Date: March 31st, 2007 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Housing at UK

I used to live at the Old Farm apartments off of Tates Creek. It was nice, a bit more expensive than some places but oh so quiet and party free due to having families and nonstudent residents as well. The apartments have a nice back porch that is good for grilling or growing potted plants. Rush hour was bothersome but not so bad as Nicholasville Rd.

Now I live on Maxwell St., which is too noisy and filled with drunken kids wandering too and from downtown to the clubs. Also, it's right next to a hospital and not far enough away from Rupp Arena-- Maxwell is a very busy one way street. If you live too close to Rupp Arena *OR* the football stadium, people will try to park in your driveway during games, and during football season it is impossible to go home during a game if you live in the Commonwealth Apartments (from what I hear).

Other places I hear are good: Red Mile Rd., Lighthouse Apartments between Nicholasville and Tates Creek. Be careful if you look at places near Richmonda Rd. Some of them are in high crime neighborhoods.
euphoriafish From: euphoriafish Date: March 31st, 2007 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Housing at UK

oh yeah, and the north end of town isn't so much shady as noisy and filled with drunks and homeless people. we're right next to the bars and clubs downtown, but also in walking distance of the main branch of the public library (there's another branch on tates creek and several in other neighborhoods) and the Kentucky Theater, which is a great place to see an indie movie.
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