In a post that would probably best be found on a tweet (if I had an account setup), I will call attention to something I thought was cool this morning. I met with P.U.P. this morning and Hubbard & Cravens in Broad Ripple. On the counter, there was a sign pitching the daily specials. They were selling "Harmoni El Salvador" coffee with proceeds from the sale going to support the "Harmoni Midtown Innitiative" Of course, I bought some!
If you have a chance, go check out the Harmoni vision. It's worth the time spent. Community activism at it's best.
This weekend was indeed a BUSY weekend in the Ailes household. My wife and I did our share of charitable, and family oriented activities in Indianapolis. You KNOW that I had my camera along for the ride the whole time.
Friday night started with my wife and I journeying out to 54th & The Monon Shops area to visit the grand opening of the Forrest Formsa Fine Art gallery. My wife said she thought that he had a studio at the Stutz artist warehouse downtown, but this new opening must be telling of how his artwork is selling. He had a mix of contemporary impressionistic abstract painting and impressionistic landscapes. He had a nice mix of paintings covering every wall of the place, a table of wine, and snacks and the most important thing, a gallery full of people.
Now, my experience of First Friday is limited to the Mass Ave area since my wife was the gallery co-ordinator at Dean Johnson design for 2 and a half years. We spent a lot of time there on Fridays. And it was always busy. The biggest thing I missed about it, was that we didnt get out to see what else the city had to offer. She resigned this past summer to pursue her own art work and it has given us an opportunity to get out and be observers for a change. So back to what I was saying. Formsma's gallery was pretty full. The entire area seemed pretty busy. Kevin @ Urban Indy recently gushed about the resurgence of this area. Where once only existed the reputable Mama Caralla's, now sports a fresh food market (even through the winter), Zest a new restaurant, and a few other place. The shopping strip is full as is often the case with the parking lot. This is a PRIME example of practical re-use of existing structures.
We went to the Fresh Market afterward for some groceries, and then we went to a new pizza joint in the Glendale Shopping Center area. It is called Monical's Pizza and so far mark's our second visit to the establishment. I have wondered how well this place would survive in its location. It is located on the east side of the Macy's building where I would call a low visibility area to the Target shoppers (who there are NO shortage of). I was pleas to see that there was a good crowd! The pan pizza they serve is delicious! It reminds me of Pizza Hut from years ago. The tasty crust and unique cheese. Somewhere along the line, pizza Hut changed and lost me, but Monical's has established itself on my radar. We journeyed back home where we spent the evening working on my wife's annual Dog Calendar. We are supporting locally this year by doing 100% ourselves. haha
Saturday morning, we journeyed to the 3 Dog Bakery along the strip in the Broad Ripple Village. My wife had been tabbed for the 3rd year to photograph dogs with Santa Clause for ARPO (Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership). In 3 hours we managed to raise over $500 for the cause. After a breather and freshening up back at home, we went downtown to pick up more ink for our iPF5100 printer at Roberts Camera Shop. We enjoyed some chowder at Claddagh's Irish pub. The Omni Hotel is located in this area, as is Union Station. I kept looking at the Omni out the window of the pub studying the architecture of the building. I have no idea about this place, and wasn't a resident of Indy when it was built, but it looks a LOT like a modern facade scabbed onto the side of a classical looking building. Its not terribly executed, but it is still noticeable when looking at the tops of the two structures side by side. They just don't build em like they used to. That is for sure.
My wife's two nieces were skating at Pan Am Plaza so we walked over there to watch them. This place has come under a lot of visibility lately with the sale of the property. Lots of talking heads have pegged this areas a prime redevelopment block in downtown Indy. Its proximity to the new Convention Center make it a prized catch. This week, the Indianapolis Ice announced that they will be constructing a new 4 rink facility at a yet unnamed location. It's assumed that the IWSA will relocate to wherever this is, leaving Pan Am open for redevelopment. It remains to be seen what happens. Talking to the brother in law, he said its kind of a wait and see type of deal. I had asked him if they had told the parents what to expect.
He told me that they get nervous that the skating is going to close up shop, only to be extended at the last minute. Hopefully, this obviously thriving way of life will continue for Indianapolis.
Sunday, we spent the morning catching up before hosting some friends to watch the a$$ whipping of the Titans by the Colts.
As you can see, this town has a TON of things to offer. Every day brings a new surprise to my life. Whether its chasing down info on the proposed commuter rail and learning about parts of town I didn't know, or attending a new social event it seems there is ALWAYS something new about Indianapolis that is entertaining me!
I can say that I am sincerely looking forward to Christmas Vacation this year as I will have a couple weeks away from my office
This is one of the best parts of my work day. When I get to gush about some of the photos I have taken recently. A small respite from corporate bullshit. This weekend was Thanksgiving vacation and in my quest to cover things Indianapolis, my wife and I ventured out of the house with cameras in hand. We actually brought our dogs along as well for some photos, so we didnt get into too much trouble. In my soon to come 4 part series covering the possible NE corridor commuter rail line, we journeyed downtown. I wanted to familiarize myself with the old Union Station, a possible destination for the downtown offloading of said commuter line. I DID manage to get a lot of photos above, and from inside of, Union Station but will save those for a later post. For the time being, I leave you with a view from the 8th floor of the Union Station Parking Garage located on Meridian Street just south of the bars, and Roberts Camera store. This was shot through a glass window, and on a cloudy day so its not a brilliant photo, but it does show off how awesome Indianapolis can be if you open your eyes to look once in a while. The view from up there is inspiring, and its only a short elevator, or 8 flight ascent up the stairs, away. See ya soon
Today, Sarah Palin will be in Noblesville at the Borders bookstore located in the Hamilton Town Center complex. My co-workers and I chose to go to QDoba today for lunch and I would be remiss to have not brought my camera along to capture the scene unfolding just down the sidewalk from where we hold our weekly ritual of devouring tasty chicken burritos at one of America's BEST Mexican chain restaraunts. Local media outlets reported that people were camping in their car the night before. She is scheduled to sign at 7pm tonight yet when we were there at noon, there was quite a line... and many news media folks reporting as well. People have been here since last night having reportedly slept in their cars to get an opportunity to be one of the lucky few to get a ticket in to meet Palin and have their copy of her new book signed.
The weather is cold, and its overcast with burts of rain or drizzle at times... But that doesnt seem to be stopping people. This same scene is unfolding everywhere she appears on this tour. She was in Michigan yesterday which had to bare witness to the same throng of people coming out.
Noblesville, Indiana is located to the northeast of Indianapolis in the suburb of Hamilton County. Hamilton County is a republican stronghold in this area, and one reason why it was chosen as a stopping point on her tour. The spot for this, as stated earlier, is the Hamilton Town Center complex; a recently completed outdoor style commercial development. Its located in the same area as my prior posts about the bridge construction.
Of note, the Cupcake Camper was parked down the sidewalk as well. My co-workers and I joked that they were another entrepreneur trying to cash in on the amount of people. Can't blame them for that. Upon further questioning, they will be a fixture of the area. According to their website (located here) they intend to call this a permanent home. They couldnt have picked a better time to put themselves on the map as thousands of people will see them today.
.... or what I call the return of an internet legend. I will not ramble on too much on this post except to say this dude made quite a splash around the turn of the year in the eyes of Indianapolis Development watchers. His site was offline for a while for reasons you may be able to figure out after visiting it. It recently came back online with all the old posts restored, and new ones added. So, I say welcome back.
The photo in this post is used by permission from http://www.nopromiseofsafety.com
Go check out his site. It will keep you busy for hours appreciating the photos.
Let me tell you guys (the sparse few actually reading...) My wife gets out and about. She is connected in the art world and while maybe not the most famous person in Indianap0lis, is pulled in many directions. As a result, I get to cover a lot of ground, and meet a lot of people. Lots of times, we are going someplace that I have never even heard of. This past weekend, was one of those. She was recently featured as the painter on the wall at the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe (which I wrote about last week). So Friday, we journeyed out of our Broad Ripple home to the the IDADA First Friday in the Mass Ave area. We made a stop by invitiation, to the Circle City Industrial Complex home to many studios of note including Wug Laku (who you may have heard of). We journeyed through there for a bit, then hit up the Wine Shoppe and had some cheese, bread, wine and root beer! Great place. The wine shopped was PACKED! We had to steal a spot next to what looked like a couple on a date, but it was the only place save for the sidewalk to sit. It was nice to see so many people out in these supposed bad economic times. I guess some people are still getting out.
Saturday, we managed to get out again. Her father has been heavily involved with the USS Indianapolis memorial efforts over the years. Recently, he took part in helping to create a replica of the radio room found on the sunken ship. I know from conversation that he personally has travelled as far as NYC, Pennsylvania, and to the south (I think Alabama) to retrieve mostly donated antique radio gear to use for the setup. My wife's grandmother even donated an ages old typewriter for the exhibit. This past week, it finally opened to the public. We stopped in Saturday afternoon so my wife could take some photos to give to her father and the rest of the volunteers. They recreated a masterpiece! If this sort of history is up your alley, its worth stopping in at the World War Memorial in downtown Indy. If you enter from the Michigan Street entrance, go through the lobby and hang a left. Its in a small room down the hall there and worth looking at. It even has the smell of an old place. My brother in law, who spent 4 years on a submarine, said it even smelled quite a bit like that. They even have a fan recirculating air that he said is 100% pin point for something like this.
The point is I keep up a lot on what is going on in my city, and yet this weekend was drug out to the Circle City Industrial Complex on Brookside Ave, the World War memorial and the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe. All places I dont normally frequent, or had even KNOWN about in the case of the CCIC. Get out and see your town. There are all kinds of neat things waiting to be discovered.
First off, I have to pass along some thanks to the Urban Indy blog (see my links) about this. I frequent the area in which this blog post is about, yet did not know what was going on. I noticed for a few weeks that there was a lot of excavation at the intersection of College Ave, and Fall Creek Parkway. We are talking along the bank of the Fall Creek Waterway. I did not know what was going on. I guessed some kind of development, but it didnt seem logical to put an above ground structure here.
Flash forward to last week, and I was browsing Urban Indy's blog and saw this fact sheet about a "Green Infrastructure Pilot Project". This cuts to the core of the problem which is this.
Indianapolis’ combined sewer system in the old city limits is more than 100 years old and was designed to carry both sewage and storm water in the same pipe. As little as a quarter-inch of rain can overload the combined sewers, causing raw sewage to overflow into nearby streams, including Fall Creek.
In addition, storm water picks up and carries pollutants as it runs off of rooftops, parking lots, streets, lawns and other surfaces. These pollutants can end up flowing directly into our waterways.
To help reduce raw sewage overflows and improve the water quality of Fall Creek, DPW will partially separate combined sewers near the College Avenue and Fall Creek Parkway area. Nine existing storm drains will be redirected to a new storm sewer pipe. The storm drains and storm sewer pipe will collect storm water runof and carry it to a bioretention cell, where it will be treated through a natural system of plants, soil and stone before being released into Fall Creek.
My wife and I stopped there on our way home Sunday and I shot some pictures. It really doesnt look like much to be honest. It almost resembles a playground except in place of all the swing sets and slides, are trees and other shrubery and gravel.
Hopefully, this project works out just as they have planned, and cleaner water drains into Fall Creek. This is worthy of keeping an eye on, and I know I will be checking around for information on it from time to time.
So, we did go to Brown County this weekend. And, some engagement pics on the campus of Butler University which is also very beautiful. I havent had a chance to even pull those off the memory card yet, so I will post those later this week.
Until then, I will post this. I took it over about a 20 minute period at the Arts Garden in Circle Center mall downtown Indianapolis. It was about 30 images, all of which I couldnt use in the final output. It was a free panoramic app so I cannot compain too much. But it was a lot of fun.
Stay tuned, I will have fall color pics soon! And they do NOT dissappoint!
This will be my first post, and a humbling one at the same time. I was invited by my band mate, Chris, to come and shoot some photos for his wife's Roller Derby team, the Circle City Socialites. I obviously accepted since Im anxious to shoot anything with a camera and this seems as fun as anything else currently available. I went last night to a practice to see what I was getting myself into. I brought one of my wife's good lenses, a 28-70 f2.8 and kept it fixed to the D90. I used a 20-35 f2.8 wide angle, but it doesnt seem suited for on track action.
That said, what I experienced, was a challenging event! The lighting sucks. The skaters move fast, and I found that auto focus doesnt work very quickly when they are coming at ya down a straight stretch. Im only posting one photo here I took from last night. It was one that I took in RAW and bumped some of the fill light in Lightroom. I hope I can call this a base line and that I will only improve. I get to attend my first real match on Halloween night where the girls will be facing off as Pirates and Ninjas! This should be exciting.
One helpful person on the sidelines was one of the derby girl's husband. He shoots for the Indianapolis Star and had some good pointers on shooting properly. After seeing what he has done, it appears I have a steep curve to catch up to. So in the true theme of this page, I will hopefully show a pgroession as I learn something next time. Thanks for tuning in.
On a message board that I frequent for one of my favorite bands, there is a photographer on there from Southern California. He sadly admitted that he has never been able to experience a full autumn color change season being that he lives there.
On my way to school last night, which I obviously had my camera because I carry it everywhere, I took a couple of photos. The change isnt in 100% full swing here, but its definitely started. So I snapped a few.
This is of course, more lead up to this weekend's trip south to the hills of Indiana's Brown County. I checked the weather again today, and it still looks to be a fantastic day for it! Mid 50's and sunny. So I am excited.
Anyway, Ive inclued a couple of the photos that I took last night. It was overcast, but that didnt stop me from taking a couple. Enjoy!