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IDO Seeks Proposals for Streetscape Landscaping Maintenance

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in East Side Indy, IDO News | 0 comments

We’re in search of a professional landscaping crew that can maintain the Irvington Streetscape between Emerson and Arlington Avenues. Proposals are due June 5, 2017, and work will commence July 1, 2017. If you’re interested in bidding on the job, please read and respond to this PDF: IDO Washington Street Landscaping RFP 2017.

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May Neighbor Spotlight: Kathleen Angelone

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, Featured | 0 comments

Kathleen Angelone has been abandoned in Germany, served as an attorney for Indiana Department of Revenue, volunteered all over the world, and calls Irvington home. She owns and operates Bookmamas at 9 Johnson on the south side of Washington Street. HISTORY Bookmamas originated with Kate Ayers and Amy LaCroix on the north side of Washington Street. Kate and Amy moved the store once more before settling into its current home. Kathleen bought it once they were ready to sell in October 2007. Kathleen is no stranger to the east side. Her mother graduated from Warren Central, her family helped to establish German Church at East Washington Street and German Church Road (named after this church), and the congregation is currently building their new church on land donated to them by her uncle. After touring the world and establishing herself as an attorney, Kathleen moved to Irvington to open her own law practice. Once her children entered high school, she became an attorney for the Indiana DOR. After she bought the store, she worked as a classroom assistant in IPS to give herself more time to start the bookstore. Why would she leave her legal career to buy a bookstore, especially in an age of so much digital reading? As a child, Kathleen’s mother would take her to the library but would only ever buy books for her brother, not her. When her mother was dying, she asked her why. Kathleen’s mother told her she had always read as a child and didn’t need encouragement. While this thought made perfect sense once shared, it was never something that occurred to her. Kathleen then used her inheritance to buy a bookstore. She shared, “Opportunity came along, and I did it. Then I had to figure out how to make it work.” She compared the experience to a jigsaw puzzle; she made all the pieces fit together. ABANDONED! After traveling alone in Germany for a month as a sophomore in college, Kathleen planned to meet up with a friend who was carrying her ticket to Russia. The friend left the country without her, which she would find out later. Despite her name being on their list, she was not permitted to board. After this travel-weary 19-year-old exhausted her persuasive skills to no avail, she found a spot on the floor and started crying. Thanks to two guardian angels in business suits, she could board and make it to her next leg of the trip. WHAT’S HAPPENING? Whether you want to chat about faraway countries, Kathleen’s upcoming trips, or the newest paperback, she is sure to entertain and educate you! She can be found at the Irvington Farmers Markets at Ellenberger Park this summer. She has plans to meet Stephen King this month. Kids can win prizes with this summer’s Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt, while supporting our local businesses. Watch for upcoming book signings and other fun events on her Facebook page! How long have you lived and/or worked in Irvington? I moved to Irvington in 1977 and haven’t left. I have owned Bookmamas since 2007. What do you do for fun? I read, go to museums, walk, swim, and spend time with friends.  Historical fiction is my favorite genre. Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Crime and Punishment, Fahrenheit 451,...

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Celebrate 25 Years of Concerts in Irving Circle Park

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog, Events, Irvington News | 0 comments

This summer, join Friends of Irving Circle in celebrating 25 years of summer concerts in the park. All concerts are free of charge and family friendly. Irving Circle Park, one of historic Irvington’s most treasured landmarks, is located where South Audubon Road meets East University Avenue. The bands play from 7 to 9 p.m. while neighbors serve brats, hot dogs, and popcorn. Bring cash for concessions, and folding chairs or blankets to spread out under any of the park’s many shade trees. Audio Dinner: 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 3; folk rock, acoustic, and blues Blue Alchemy: 7-9 p.m., Saturday, July 8; rock The Roundups: 7-9 p.m.,  Saturday, August 5; vintage western swing, hillbilly/rockabilly, and honky tonk Lightweights XL: 7-9 p.m., Saturday, September 9; rock Friends of Irving Circle is a nonprofit organization established by neighborhood volunteers who care for the park and host events throughout the year. New volunteers are welcome, and many volunteer opportunities are suitable for youth. If you would like to help out, contact Sue Beecher at sue.beecher@hotmail.com. Thank you to the following sponsors who support the park and make these free summer concerts possible: Glenroy Construction, Irvington Community Council, Irvington Garden Club, Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, Irvington Wellness Center,  The Butler Inn, TACS, Inc., Bookmamas,  Jack and Jill Antique Mall, George Thomas Florist, Kemba Credit Union, Central Ace Hardware, and Indy Parks...

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Showcase Your House on the Home Tour to Support Irvington Landmarks

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, Events, Irvington News | 0 comments

The 43rd Annual Benton House Tour of Homes is on Sunday, September 17th 2017, and the Home Tour Committee is now recruiting homeowners to showcase their homes. Consider participating, even if you’re unsure about it. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the tour? Benton House board member and past tour participant Lisa Watson shares her story. “My house isn’t ready. Maybe next year.” “I don’t want people riffling through my things.” “There isn’t anything special about my house.” These are all things I have heard and possibly even said about participating in the Benton House Tour of Homes. I moved to Irvington in September of 2011 and went on my first tour that month. It was quite simply amazing on a few levels. People volunteering to open their homes up to let strangers walk through?! Now, a few years later, I know that there is no such thing as a stranger in Irvington. In the spring of 2013, I was asked to be on the home tour and I just wasn’t ready. I said, “There is so much I want to do to the house first.” I had DREAMS! Redo this room, and that one, and that one too! The Home Tour Committee received the “maybe next year” that they so often hear. The following spring, I was asked again. You know what? I hadn’t done any of the things I had wanted to do, but this time, I said yes. I had a lot to do. I didn’t really have to, but I wanted to. What committing to the September date did was challenge me to get some of those wish list things done. I replaced a window with French doors and had some landscaping done. The days leading up to the event were filled with dusting, cleaning, excitement, and a little anxiety. “What if no one likes my home?,” I worried. The weather on the day of the tour was perfect. Slight breeze, warm but not too hot, humidity was low. Let’s get this thing going! Friends were in place and knew a bit about my house, if there were questions asked. And then they came. A couple hundred people walked through my home. I met so many lovely neighbors. It was so worth it. I’d do it again in a minute! Here are some of the questions (excuses) I have heard for reasons not to be on the home tour: “My house isn’t ready. Maybe next year.”or “We are in the middle of renovating, but haven’t finished the work.” Homes in transition are often exactly what people like to see. Being able to see the history evolving – sometimes down to the studs – people love seeing it all! The thing to remember is, this is a home tour, so personality and a lived-in feel is wanted; it shouldn’t feel staged. “I don’t want people riffling through my things.” They don’t; they won’t. The people on the tour are extremely respectful and appreciative of the fact that you’ve opened your home. And volunteers keep a watchful eye as they guide visitors and answer questions. “There isn’t anything special about my house.” I doubt that. Your statement is invalid! Home tour houses can be large or small; professionally decorated or DIY; filled with...

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IDO Survey Yields Great Feedback

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Neighborhoods | 0 comments

IDO Survey Yields Great Feedback

We received a lot of helpful feedback in response to the survey about our newsletter. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete it. We’ve compiled a spreadsheet containing all responses and we’re working to incorporate these ideas in future editions of the newsletter. Here are some of the survey results. Which of the items below would you like to see more of in the newsletter? 38% New business updates 20% Neighbor spotlights 18% Local business events 14% IDO updates 10% Construction updates Do you have a story, group, or event you want us to include in our newsletter? Focus on sustainability issues Benton House Downey Avenue Food Pantry New Irvington welcome sign Irvington green space and restoration Exodus Refugee Center Irvington CSA Do you have someone you would like to suggest for our neighbor spotlight? Steve Barnett Sue Beecher Dave from World of Vapor JauNae Hanger Sue Kennedy Ed Myers Jenny Skehan The Sponsel Family Heidi Unger Sara...

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April Neighbor Spotlight: Rick Wilkerson

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, Irvington News | 0 comments

April Neighbor Spotlight: Rick Wilkerson

If you consider yourself a vinyl aficionado, you have likely met Rick Wilkerson. He owns and operates Irvington Vinyl, which shares a storefront with Bookmamas at 9 Johnson Ave.  (See a message from Rick on YouTube.) BUSINESS OWNER Along with two partners, Rick started his first record store, Missing Link Records, in 1994 in Broad Ripple, but it closed in 2008. He ventured into the antique business with another partner in 2012 with Irvington Vintage, at the corner of Audubon Road and Bonna Avenue. That changed focus, names, and location to become Irvington Vinyl, in 2014, where he offers both used records and new releases. Rick says, “Business is still growing, and people are still finding us.” He sees his customer base drawing primarily from the east and southeast sectors of the city, with some sales generated online. Rick also owns TimeChange Records. He archives older Indiana music on vinyl and CD. Through TimeChange, he either reissues the music or releases it for the first time. He’s currently working with a friend from Last Four Digits to release their music. As if he has nothing else to keep him busy, Rick is also heavily involved in the Indiana Music and Entertainment Museum. The IMEM displays Indiana music, broadcasting and film artifacts and is looking for funding so they can open a public bricks-and-mortar space. He keeps an eye open for valuable Hoosier gems to put on display in the museum. “STREAMING IS KILLING DOWNLOADING” CD sales used to dominate the market, but their share is plummeting and is now less than 20% of music sales. Vinyl has reached about 6% of sales, up from less than 1%, but people largely pay for streaming now rather than downloading digital files. Rick says most young consumers don’t care to own their music like generations past, mostly because they can listen to anything they want through streaming. A small percentage of people, though, still want to own their physical music, and this keeps both vinyl and CDs alive. INDUSTRY INSIDER INFO Currently only a handful of record pressing plants remain in the U.S., with old equipment “being held together with chewing gum and shoe strings.” The industry is slowly starting to see new production of equipment, according to Rick. SOME “DID YOU KNOW?” POINTS The cost of releasing a vinyl LP is three to four times higher than the cost of releasing a CD. In 2007, 1.3 million records sold. In 2015, record sales soared to 11.9 million. Vinyl LPs from the late 1980s to early 1990s (including original Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam LPs) are valuable due to their scarcity and demand. RECORD STORE DAY In 2008, a few record store owners introduced Record Store Day (RSD) in an effort to reverse the downward record sales trend. The response was minimal for the first year. There were 15 to 20 special releases. This year, on Saturday, April 22, Irvington Vinyl will open at 8 a.m. and offer 400 to 500 special releases just for this day. Many will be limited editions from artists in high demand and will sell quickly and then go out of print. The line stretches around the block, and Rick has to bring in extra staff for that day. In conjunction with RSD, State Street Pub will...

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Calling All Civic-Minded Irvingtonians

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, Irvington News, Neighborhoods | 0 comments

Calling All Civic-Minded Irvingtonians

Irvington is known for its engaged and active neighbors. If you’ve ever wondered how you too can have all that fun you hear about on Facebook and give back to this community we love so dearly, now’s your chance. All the Irvington organizations are hosting a “job fair” for volunteer positions with our respective groups. At this one-day event, you can talk with representatives from neighborhood groups and choose the opportunities that best suit your interests, talents, and availability. And there will be snacks. Volunteer opportunities will include everything from neighborhood cleanups to planning gala events, simple one-time tasks to board memberships. Need some community service hours before graduating? Come on down. Want  extracurricular responsibilities to polish up that resume? We’ve got you covered. Want to meet new neighbors? No better way. Feel the need to contribute in a meaningful way to a cause you hold dear? There will be plenty to choose from. On Sunday, April 23, you’re invited to attend Volunteer Irv at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, 5350 University Avenue, from 2-6 p.m. You can meet representatives of the various committees and learn about the different volunteer activities each has to offer. This is an opportunity to get involved and have an impact on your...

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Trees Do Grow in Irvington

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News | 0 comments

Trees Do Grow in Irvington

If you’ve ever walked along Washington Street between Emerson and Ritter Avenues on a hot, sunny day, you know there aren’t many trees to shade the sidewalks in that stretch of Irvington. On either side of Washington, we’re known for our leafy canopy. Not so much along our main corridor. That won’t be the case a few years from now, as Phase II of the Washington Corridor Streetscape project is implemented. Almost 50 volunteers showed up on a Saturday morning this March, with staff from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) to plant 40 trees along two Irvington streets. The tree planting on Washington Street started near Hawthorne Lane and extended west to East Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive, and the Spencer Avenue ran south from East Washington Street into the residential area.  KIB’s Youth Tree Team will keep them watered for the next few years to allow them to get established.    We’d like to extend a  Great Big Thank You to the organizations and individuals who contributed time, labor, and resources to this project. Thank you, KIB, for donating the trees, coordinating the planting, and training the volunteers on the finer points of tree planting. (There’s really more to it than just digging a hole! Check out this informative video.) Thank you, Hart Bakery, for donating the yumdillyicious donuts that kept everybody going. And thank you to the good people from both within and outside of the neighborhood who spent their Saturday morning helping beautify our...

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Public Art Commission Work for Local Artists

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Public Art Commission Work for Local Artists

Each day, thousands of people drive, walk, and ride East Washington Street (the Historic National Road) and along the way see historic buildings and houses, a revitalized streetscape — with plants, trees, and new lamp posts — and a smattering of public art in the mix. Irvington Development Organization would like to hire an artist who will paint the traffic signal box at the corner of East Washington Street and Emerson Avenue, next to a green space called Brown’s Corner Park. The ideal candidate will create an original piece of art that contributes to the character of the neighborhood and quality of life for those who live, work, and pass through here. Some background info For those who don’t know, a traffic signal box is the large metal box, mounted on concrete, that contains a traffic signal’s controls. In 2012, nonprofit arts organization Foundation East commissioned the first round of traffic signal box murals in Irvington along East Washington Street. In 2013, the remainder of the traffic boxes throughout Irvington were painted through a second commission by Foundation East. Since then, neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis have painted traffic signal boxes. The signal box at Washington Street and Emerson Avenue was damaged and replaced in 2015. Irvington Development Organization (IDO) is making this blank replacement box available for repainting. Submission details and timeline Designs must be submitted by May 1, 2017 for consideration in the competition. The winning design will be announced by May 12. The artist will have until June 30 , 2017 to complete the painting and clear coating of the traffic box. The selected artist will receive: $1,200 cash stipend, from which the artist will be responsible for purchasing all materials, including high-quality outdoor paint and clear coat protectant. An opportunity to display original works in an exhibition at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, which houses Irvington Historical Society exhibits and a rotating schedule of art. Artists should consider the following criteria for selection. The design should reflect the character of the neighborhood. The design must wrap all five sides of the traffic signal box. One or a combination of Irvington’s branding color scheme should be included. Pantone colors: PMS 582, 228, 1595, and 130; Cool Gray 11; and Cool Gray 8. The selected artist must be available to lay out and paint the design on site by June 30, 2017. Preference will be given to eastside artists. Preference will be given to artists who have competed in a juried art show. Dimensions of the traffic signal box panels: Roof: 44″ x 28″ Street-facing panel: 44″ x 56″ Sidewalk-facing panel: 44″ x 56″ Sides (2): 22″ x 55-56″ (The roof is slanted.) We also ask that the artist include on the box a credit to the project’s generous sponsor, the Frank N. Owings Family Foundation. Submissions and questions should be directed to IDO at...

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Irvington CSA: Get in on the Local Dirt!

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, Irvington News | 0 comments

Irvington CSA: Get in on the Local Dirt!

Irvington CSA members benefit from fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit—and community fellowship too. You can be part of it. Here’s how! Irvington Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is getting ready to kick off its 12th season! A CSA is a partnership between farmers and a local community. The farmers supply the community with fresh, local produce throughout the summer growing season, and the community supports the farmer by pre-paying.  Farmers gain economic security for environmentally friendly farming, while CSA shareholders know where their food comes from and how it was grown. Our 35+ annual crops are farmed by Levi Fisher and family in Montezuma, Indiana. The Fisher family does not use synthetic chemicals on the soil or plants. They practice good land stewardship, sustainable farming methods and respect for biodiversity on the farm. Their produce is delivered to Irvington for families to pick up every week for 25 weeks beginning in May. Each share is designed for a family that likes to cook or couples or individuals who eat a lot of vegetables. A full share’s value is about $25 per week. (A typical share is shown in two of the photos above.) Our produce includes vegetables (asparagus, carrots, kale, salad mix, potatoes, sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, and zucchini, to name a few). We also get fruits like strawberries, blackberries, watermelon and cantaloupe. At first, shares are smaller—mostly lettuce, asparagus and berries. But as the weather warms, your share basket will overflow with corn, tomatoes, peppers and other veggies. Each week’s share gives you a chance to sample Indiana-grown vegetables. The CSA is run entirely by volunteers, none of whom receive compensation for their services. Only our farmer and driver are compensated. This means our shareholders get great value at a reasonable price, while supporting sustainable agriculture. Want to learn more? Join us at this year’s meet-and-greet with our CSA farmer, Levi Fisher, on Monday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Irvington Branch Indianapolis Public Library (5625 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46219).  Learn about Levi’s farm practices, the produce he’s growing and his predictions for the season.  We’ll also share information about Irvington CSA and answer questions. Come meet Levi, your fellow CSA members and the CSA Coordinating Committee.  Feel free to invite family, friends or co-workers who might be interested in being a part of Irvington CSA this year. This year’s share price is $550 for 25 weeks. Members who pay by April 15 get a $20 discount, for a total share price of $530. Transportation is an additional fee, estimated at $100 (to be finalized in May and due in June). Deliveries are expected to begin mid-May and continue for 25 weeks. Want more info? Contact us at irvingtonagriculture@gmail.com and check us out at www.irvingtoncsa.com. And don’t forget to like Irvington CSA on...

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