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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Kathleen AngeloneKathleen 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, and Little Women are my favorite five books.

What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, or view in the neighborhood?

I love Irving Circle. They’re such a community thing. I attend the concerts when I can, but I’m usually at the store on those days. Sometimes I’m too tired to walk over there after a long day.

If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?

I would organize a great big parade with floats of everybody marching down Washington Street like Mardi Gras. The witches would be doing their thing, the library would come out with their carts doing a choreographed dance, people would be dressed up, and everyone would be happy for the day.  

What’s your connection to IDO?

I am a member of the Irvington Business Association.


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The 43rd Annual Benton House Tour of Homes 49 N Sheridanis 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 antiques, art, or just comfy furniture; or have an interesting or unknown history. Regardless of whether your home has unique nooks or the same features as nearly every house on the block, it’s interesting to someone.

“I don’t want anyone in that room.”

Then close the door! I had child gates in the doors of the two rooms where family members asked that I not let people in them; people could see, but not go in. Others have simply shut the door.

As you can see, having your home on the tour is pretty laid back. Whatever you feel comfortable with is what people experience. All profits from the home tour go to the upkeep and maintenance of the Benton House, which is an Irvington landmark that was built in 1873 and is now restored and open to the public. The Tour of Homes is our largest fundraiser and helps us sponsor community events and maintain the home and property. Help us by showcasing your home. Contact Elizabeth Wissel by phone at 317-572-8584 or by e-mail at bentonhousehometour@gmail.com.


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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 Zollner

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rickIf 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 provide live music, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., outside at 10 Johnson Avenue, as well as their Electric Breakfast.  Affordable Hi-Fi  will offer special deals on their Music Hall turntables at both Irvington Vinyl and across the street at Guitar Town.

Sales on all special releases are first come-first served, in keeping with the RSD contract. The  contract also requires that no record sell for more than 20% over list price.

Over the years and with the internet changing how consumers get their information, Rick has learned, “Customers know more than you do about what they love.” He stands ready to serve as a facilitator in getting those things into your hands!

How long have you lived and/or worked here in Irvington?

I moved to the Irvington area in 2010 and now live in Community Heights. Previously, I lived in Bosart Brown.

What do you do for fun?

I work a lot. I play the bass and guitar. I watch TV. I ride my bike to work.

What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?

Irvington is beautiful everywhere you go. My bike ride is basically to and from the shop. I love Ellenberger and ride through it a lot.

If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?

Fix the Coal Yard. It’s not for me to say that I would do something that somebody else hasn’t tried, but I know that’s a concern in the neighborhood.

What’s your connection to IDO?

I’m a member of the Irvington Business Association, which is in partnership with Irvington Development Organization.


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Irvington is known for its engaged volunteer paint traffic s cand 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 community!


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