LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington, a town in the coronary heart of Kentucky that’s surrounded by 250 thoroughbred horse farms, has constantly been acknowledged as dwelling to the Sport of Kings. Now, thanks to “The Queen’s Gambit,” a finest-promoting novel by the late Walter Tevis and a Netflix miniseries viewed by upwards of 62 million persons worldwide, it is also recognized as the residence of the Video game of Queens.
The last time the city acquired this variety of leisure visibility it was with a actual-everyday living equine hero, Seabiscuit. This time all over, it’s a fictional anti-heroine – Elizabeth Harmon, a chess whiz whose good results is owing in equal parts to her math genius and her dependancy to hallucinogenic medicines.
Tevis’ novel and, as a result, the miniseries (No. 1 on Netflix rankings in 60 countries) are set mainly in Lexington, a fact that VisitLEX, the city’s tourism arm, was speedy to pounce on.
“’The Queen’s Gambit’ place a spotlight on Lexington and piqued people’s fascination in the town that served as the backdrop for Beth Harmon’s increase to fame,” says Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX.
Being aware of that they desired to consider edge of the show’s world-wide attractiveness, the VisitLEX team has formulated a Queen’s Gambit Driving Tour, intended, as Ramer places it, “to roll out the pink carpet for website visitors smitten by the show.”
The tour is a mix of spots that currently exist and those people that no longer do. For instance, you won’t come across Ben Snyder’s Section Retail store the place Beth and her adopted mother shopped on the internet site of the previous retailer is the city’s neo-classical courthouse with its array of dancing fountains – a favourite location for locals to neat off for the duration of the sultry summer months.
Similarly, the Phoenix Resort, where Harry, Beth’s mate and chess mentor, experienced a home is no longer there, possessing been demolished to make way for the central branch of the Lexington General public Library. Action inside to see the world’s most significant ceiling clock, a Foucault pendulum that rises five tales superior, as properly as a frieze depicting the historical past of the horse in Lexington. Then halt for a selfie at adjoining Phoenix Park, a attractive pocket park.
Many of the places prominently highlighted in the miniseries can continue to be seen. The previous Henry Clay Substantial School on Principal Road, now house to the city’s Board of Education and learning, was the site of quite a few of the show’s chess tournaments. Magee’s Bakery throughout the road is a good spot to cease for a doughnut and cup of espresso.
New Circle Road, a loop all-around Lexington, gets a shout-out in the early moments of the initially episode, and it’s the most effective way to get to some of the area’s magnificent horse farms (following initially grabbing makings for a picnic from Parkette Generate-In, renowned for its fried hen, and a midcentury icon accurate to the series’ time body.) You just can’t miss Parkette’s huge neon signal.
It is the Chevy Chase neighborhood, however, that actually presents Queen’s Gambit admirers a sense of position. This place of silent, tree-lined streets and upscale outlets and dining establishments, just a stone’s throw from the University of Kentucky, wasn’t just Beth’s property in the series, it was also Tevis’ actual-lifetime ‘hood. He figured out to engage in pool at a friend’s house below prior to heading on to compose “The Hustler” (you just understood it would be a rational go from pool to chess, now, didn’t you?).
Chevy Chase is also property to iconic spots which make for obligatory stops: the a person-of-a-type shops housed in bungalows on Clay and Euclid avenues the university hangout Charlie Brown’s, with its worn leather-based sofas and fireplaces, and the Chevy Chase Inn, Lexington’s oldest bar and constantly value a stop by.
Roy Coffee, whose photograph hangs on the wall of the 88-calendar year-old bar, unquestionably believed so. Roy rode his horse in Lexington’s Fourth of July parade each calendar year and decided the Chevy Chase Inn would make for a good watering hole article-parade. On his 1st pay a visit to, he hollered inside of for the bartender to convey him a beer. The barkeep hollered again that he didn’t deliver if he wished a beer to arrive in and get it. Undaunted, Roy, accompanied by his horse, proceeded inside and a tradition was born. They do like their horses listed here in Lexington.
When you are in the location, you can spend time going for walks the roomy grounds of Ashland, 19th century statesman Henry Clay’s palatial dwelling, or the campus of the University of Kentucky, Tevis’ alma mater where he attained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and analyzed with Pulitzer Prize-profitable novelist A.B. Guthrie Jr.
Wheeler’s Pharmacy, a Chevy Chase spot icon for half a century, is a fitting substitute for the series’s fictional Bradley’s Pharmacy. If you are at Wheeler’s through lunch time, grab a stool at the soda fountain and get pleasure from a new-cooked meal.
And whilst, sad to say, there is no real-everyday living counterpart to reel-everyday living Lex Liquors, the Lexington location is household to 14 distilleries and the Brewgrass Trail of craft beers, so there are plenty of possibilities to imbibe. Just make absolutely sure you designate a nondrinking driver and know that you owe him/her a supper at Tony’s or Jeff Ruby’s, two of the city’s upscale steak properties.
A Area Like No Other
Even Beth Harmon would be impressed with the Harmon Area at 21c Museum Hotel, a pop-up suite that is a collaborative effort of the resort and VisitLEX.
The Harmon Area is a time capsule of American midcentury contemporary structure, accented by classic accessories and period of time home furnishings loaned by regional antique store Scout and private collectors.
“I’ve been collecting household furniture from that era for a few a long time,” says Lucy Jones, who loaned the resort a pair of parasol chairs and the vintage Television cupboard. “It’s a pleasure to convey to lifestyle the rich scenes from site and monitor.”
The room’s serene shade palette of sand, apple eco-friendly, light-weight blue and dark brown promises company a tranquil night’s rest, in contrast to Beth’s vivid nighttime hallucinations. Personalized wallpaper features photographs of chess figures. Scattered in the course of the home are copies of Chess Evaluation Journal and rare chess guides on financial loan from vintage bookstore Black Swan Books. There is even a handmade walnut and maple chessboard from Iron Bridge Woodshop for guests’ use during their stay.
In scenario you have not observed the miniseries and system to, SPOILER Inform.
The room’s most dramatic function is a larger-than-lifestyle upside-down chessboard suspended from the ceiling about the bed as an homage to Beth’s drug-induced hallucinations. Built of plastic, the king and queen are 24 inches tall and alongside with the pawns weigh much less than a pound each.
“Everyone doing the job on this job did an unbelievable job,” claims Brian Pulley, the hotel’s director of sales. Pulley isn’t certain how extensive the Harmon Suite will stick about, though he admits that “we’re scheduling to have it readily available at the very least via late spring.” (Premiums get started at $234 and fluctuate depending on the night of the week.)
Following immersing on your own in Beth Harmon’s Lexington earth for a couple times, there is no assurance you will turn out to be a chess pro like she did, but a person thing’s for sure — you will feel like one particular.