This month the IDO October Newsletter highlights our Irvington Youth Voice Series, where neighbor Ria Rebein reflects on memories of growing up in Irvington with her two best friends, Lydia Egan and Alex Ruschman. Through our interview questions these young ladies provide insight on life in Irvington as young adults.
Irvington Youth Voice: Growing Up as Irvington Girls
By Ria Rebein
Irvington. The place we call home. This neighborhood, nestled into the east side of the city of Indianapolis, has been the stomping grounds for my two best friends and me since before we can remember.
As toddlers we were pushed in strollers down Pleasant Run Parkway, we splashed in Ellenberger Park’s Pool, and as ten-year-olds we relished in the freedom of finally being able to ride our bikes down to Lazy Daze Coffee House without parental supervision.
Now, as teenagers in our final years of high school and initial years of college, we have found ourselves looking to move to different places reaching out into the wider world. We cannot do this, however, without bringing that little bit of Irvington with us: that artsy-fartsy, adventure-seeking, ghost-hunting, diverse, community-centric east side pride that makes us truly Irvington girls. No matter where or how far we go, Irvington will always be our beloved home.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ria: I’m seventeen years old and I’m a senior at Scecina High School. I play volleyball, I’m on student council, and I help run my school’s Key Club. I’ve lived in Irvington since I was a baby. y family moved here from St. Louis when my dad got a job as a professor at IUPUI.
Lydia: I’ve lived in Irvington my whole life, so 18 years. I attended Little Flower grade school and Scecina Memorial High School. I am now living in Muncie, IN and attending Ball State University.
Alex: I go to North Central High School and I’ve lived in Irvington for 16 years.
What do you like to do for fun?
Ria: For fun I play volleyball, draw and write, hang out with friends and family, and get involved in as many school activities as possible.
Lydia: I like to run and act for fun. I also enjoy reading books and spending time with my friends.
Alex: For fun I like to draw pretty much anything. I take art classes at school and enjoy using just about any medium. I also play flute for my band and practice quite a bit at home. In my free time I hang out with my friends, Ria and Lydia, who both live on my street.
What are your top three favorite places in Irvington and why?
Ria: My favorite places in Irvington are Wyliepalooza, Ellenberger Park, and the Benton House. Wylie employs several of my friends and has phenomenal ice cream, so you’ll often find a gaggle of Scecina kids hanging out there. Ellenberger Park holds so many happy memories for me from my childhood and it’s still a great place to play some frisbee in the summer. I live right by Pleasant Run Golf Course, and I’ll admit I often break the rules by sledding or walking my dogs there. When I was little I actually thought that the golf course was my own property and the golfers were the intruders!
Lydia: My top three places in Irvington: Starbucks because that’s where my friends and I always meet up. It’s filled with memories. I also love Wylie’s because they have great ice cream and it’s so close. Food Truck Thursdays are also my favorite part of Irvington; I always look forward to those in the summer.
Alex: My favorite three places would be “downtown Irvington,” Ellenberger Park, and the golf course. My friends and I nicknamed the central area on Washington Street with all of the shops “downtown Irvington,” and it’s one of my favorite places to go because there are several things to do and almost all of the shops are family-owned small businesses. I have many memories from my childhood of Ellenberger Park camps, softball, sledding, and swimming. Ellenberger also holds the Irvington Farmers Market, which is a good way for people to sell what they’ve made and bring the community together. I love the golf course because my friends and I live right near it and love to take walks on it after all the golfers have gone home. In the winter it’s also a place where we like to sled.
If you were the Mayor of Irvington, what is one of the first things you would do?
Ria: The first thing I would do as Mayor of Irvington would be to install several blue emergency pole/station things around Irvington so that younger people feel safer walking at night. I’d also like to decrease the pollution in Pleasant Run Creek.
Lydia: The first thing I would do as Mayor would be to have more events. We have the Halloween festival, but it would be cool to have more things like that.
Alex: If I were Mayor of Irvington I would want to create an overarching sign that would say something like “Historic Irvington” and have it placed over Washington Street somewhere near the shops because we don’t really have much of a sign in Irvington. I would also work to renovate some of the shops that don’t have anything in them or are currently run down to attract more small businesses which would improve our community even more.
To read more of the October newsletter click here
About Irvington Development Organization
Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses.