I’ve driven down Chinoe a zillion times since I moved here in 1985. Most of the time I am just trying to get somewhere or have my head in my to-do list. This is the time of year that I get to catch my breath a bit since sales always slow around Thanksgiving. As I drove down Chinoe this week, I remembered the first time I was on this street.
It was 1985. In the fall. A little earlier in the year than this. We had just moved to a house on Lincoln Avenue. Coming from Frankfort, Lexington seemed like a huge city to me and a very exciting place to be. I was really into riding my bike back then since I was only 15. I was anxious to explore the “Big City” so I biked over to an old family friend’s apartment on Lakeshore Drive. I didn’t know my way around Lexington then. I remember I rode my bike down Richmond Road all the way to Lakeshore then up the hill. I really should have gone up the first block of Chinoe and the turned on Fontaine. Much prettier and slower moving traffic.
After Daniel and I met up, we rode down Fontaine and hit Chinoe. The local people called this road Shin-O-Way. I thought for the longest time that the Shin-O was the street name and the “Way” was the street suffix. I later learned that Shin-O-Way was really how you pronounced Chinoe and that the street suffix is really Road. We have some street names that I hear people mispronounce all the time…..Like is Desha really Da-shay or Desh-ah? Most say Da-shay.
So, Daniel and I are riding up Chinoe. What I love about biking is that you really have time to notice things and catch the vibe of wherever you are. Having moved here from a 1000 square foot house in Frankfort to an old Bungalow in Kenwick, the houses on Chinoe seemed HUGE to me. Fancy too. What I remember most is just how beautiful this part of town is. The houses are wonderful. The trees are fantastic. It is the street Thomas Kincaid would paint if he wanted to do a Lexington scene. I was in awe.
We rode across Alumni Drive to the newer section of Chinoe. There is one big house there that is perpetually for sale. I remember thinking that house was the best one…..probably because it was brand new then. This is long before Castlegate was built behind it and all those late 80’s neighborhoods sprung up on Old Mount Tabor.
I’ve always been fascinated with this area. In high school, I had many friends who lived in this area. I always enjoyed checking out their houses. Once I got my driver’s license, I would wonder around every street in this part of 40502. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the stone house with the wavy glass in the windows on Barrow…..or the day I discovered the big modern red brick house on Warrenwood Wynd.
I’ve spent a lot of the past 28 years in Lexington neighborhoods. Little did I know this day was the beginning for me. I guess that is what makes it such a good memory.