Paducah's Renaissance Area carries an air of sophistication that might give the impression that there is nothing for young people to do in the district. But talk to 13 year-old Lily Shapiro and you'll find a different perspective.
Lily grew up in the shops and restaurants of Paducah's historic downtown. In her short lifetime she's seen the businesses grow and the arts flourish through the completion of projects such as Maiden Alley Cinema and the restoration of the historic Market House Square.
We spent an entire day with Lily, shopping and eating in some of her favorite places and spaces in Paducah's Renaissance Area. The options available to teenagers in the district proved to be more than we expected!
Lily is like a lot of girls her age—a talented athlete, an texting junkie, and occasionally enjoys a good chick flick with her girlfriends. She finds lots of activities to hold her interest in Paducah's Renaissance Area, including doing a little shopping at Shane Lee's Boutique where she always finds an assortment of jewelry and even an adorable pair of rubber galoshes! What girl wouldn't love that!
We dug through a few of the antique stores in the district and found a pretty amazing 1950s feather boa at Fleur de Lis Antiques and Collectibles. Shop owner, Judy Bray, has a knack from finding great vintage items that appeal to a variety of ages—including 13-year old girls. Lily's shopping expeditions are complete when she stumbles upon some of her favorite basketball cards.
A few items also caught her eye that made great gift ideas for some of her favorite people, including vintage salt and pepper shakers for her mother's collection, and handmade fudge from The Chocolate Factory for a few friends.
A typical Saturday for Lily in Paducah's historic downtown includes a bike ride down Broadway and through the Downtown Farmers' Market. One of her favorite downtown events is the Teen and Tween Series at Maiden Alley Cinema. She also enjoys a few visits to the Yeiser Art Center. This month's Members' Only Show at the Yeiser is the perfect place to get young people in the community engaged in the local arts scene.
Lily introduced us to a few of her favorite culinary delights in our day of shopping, eating and exploring Paducah's Renaissance Area. She recommends the famous Doe Burger at Doe's Eat Place, the Bacon Grilled Cheese sandwich from Kirchhoff's Bakery & Deli, a great steak from Cynthia's Ristorante, pasta at Max's Brick Oven Café, pizza from Ristorante di Fratelli, and the Cheese and Chicken Quesadillas from Tribeca Mexican Cuisine. A trip downtown wouldn't be complete for this young, local explorer without stopping at Etc.2 for a bubble tea.
In an age where entertaining young people becomes more and more challenging for parents, Paducah's historic Renaissance Area offers a wide range of options that will inspire, educate and rejuvenate the imagination of aspiring youth. Just ask Lily!