Like the old saying goes, if you dance to the music, you got to pay to the piper.
Whether you spent the day in a $1,000 suit in a $5,000 suite at Churchill Downs or chilling in a friend’s backyard sporting more cost effecting — and in our opinion more iconic — threads from The Nitty Gritty, there is a better than average chance you had a few drinks on Derby Day and possibly even waaaay too many drinks Derby night.
But as Scarlett O’Hara said in the much touted film “Gone with the Wind,” tomorrow is another day, and depending on your relative level of lushery, you may have to deal with — as Thomas Pynchon said in “Gravity’s Rainbow” — “the hair of the dog that not without provocation” bit you.
So to ease your pain, or to entertain those smug ones among you who did not drink on Derby Day, here is a list of possible activities for Sunday, May 5, aka The Hair of the Derby that Bit You.
Dueling Drag Brunches
Drag Brunch is becoming more and more of a trend all over the country, and Louisville is no exception. Our brunch game is so on point that we have two groups of folks doing Drag Brunches.
The Derby City Sisters host Drag Me to Brunch on a monthly basis, and each one benefits a local charity. This Sunday, they’ll be serving sass and making cash for the Louisville Youth Group. The food at Hop Cat – the Sisters’ host and provider of food and booze — is reliably tasty, and the Bloody Mary Bar helps you get some vital nutrients like vitamin c, iron and vodka.
The high-end steak slingers at Le Moo also offer a regular Drag Brunch. And while it’s a little pricier, the breakfast also is a little fancier.
Love/hate relationships with Derby
A whole lot of service industry folks spend Derby running their own race and working their tails off to cater to a seeming never-ending parade of drunks and tourists. Lucky folks are working in a reasonably expensive tipping-allowed establishment, and they at least get to make a ton of extra cash to compensate for their pain. Other folks are making minimum wage and zero extra bucks.
Either way, they are gonna need some love, and several spots offer special activities for them. If you show up with cash, you’ll likewise still be welcome.
Eiderdown is easily in my top five favorite restaurants in Louisville, so a Parking Lot Party with snacks, food and the easy-on-the-ears Squeeze-Bot is a top contender for where I’ll be sitting come Sunday.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Many of Louisville’s Mexican restaurants have been preparing not for the Derby but for Cinco de Mayo, an annual holiday celebrated in Mexico and borrowed by the United States for purposes of drinking margaritas. If the hair of a dog named tequila is what’s biting you, then by all means saddle up to your favorite Mexican spot and imbibe.
Need some suggestions? Insider’s Bar Belle ranked her top 6 last year, so here’s a look at those.
Sweat it out
We all know your body doesn’t actually love alcohol. Getting it out of your system sooner rather than later is a good idea, and mixing in some endorphins and adrenaline is an even better idea. So …
Pilates with Ashley Thursby down at the Louisville Ballet will afford you the opportunity to sweat out bourbon and meet one of the excellent dancers from the Louisville Ballet. With a fairly reasonable start time of 2 p.m., you could party till roughly 5 a.m. and still get eight hours of shut-eye.
Due to the close proximity to NuLu’s post-Derby celebrations, you can go get a post-workout drink or pint of Louisville Cream. Pick your poison.
“But I can’t work out, I’ll be half-dead!” OK. Take a leisurely stroll with the actually all the way dead, and meander about Louisville’s historic Cave Hill Cemetery with one of their walking tours. You can visit the Colonel, the GOAT and a game-changing magician who was lost for over a hundred years.
Get you some culture
Every spring, Kentucky Shakespeare hits the road with a small ensemble version of one of the Bard’s well-known hits.
This year it’s “Macbeth,” and since on Sunday the Scottish play’s scenes and soliloquies are setting up shoppe over at New Albany’s Bi-Centennial Park, you can escape Louisville and hunt around for a good bloody mary over on the “sunny side.”
Undoubtedly some people consider the Derby Bacchanalia to be The Devil’s Work. But if you slip into Seidenfaden’s Sunday evening, you can check out an exhibition of the same name.
“The Devil’s Work” is the most recent iteration of an ongoing series of horror film-focused art. Add in some horror movies playing and some salty popcorn, and you just might forget the horrors of your headache.
No joke, a good number of Louisvillians have a sobriety date that coincides with the day after Derby. Wrecking a bottle of Four Roses and losing one weekend is pretty OK, but if you find that you are doing it every day and wrecking your life, maybe rethink some things? You can hit up a host of resources to help you in recovery, including the always free meetings of AA that happen all over town, every day of the year.
Or just sleep
Wake up in time to get Postmates to bring you some pizza from The Post or some Indian food from Dak Shin — the former is the best pizza in town and the latter is the best Indian food (fight me).
After you nosh, catch the latest “Game of Thrones” and consider the fact that no matter how bad your hangover is, it’s still not as big a headache as Cersei Lannister.