Saturday, December 31, 2011

"A City's Amorphous Brand Value"

Steven Malanga wasn't writing (specifically) about Indianapolis in his "Cross Country" column in today's Wall Street Journal, but this Indianapolis Observer thinks it rings true.

"The surest sign that taxpayers should be leery of such public investments is that officials have changed their sales pitch. Conventions and meeting centers shouldn't be judged . . . by how many hotel rooms, restaurants and local attractions they help fill."

The "new metric -- a city's amorphous brand value - is little more than a convenient way to ignore the failure of publicly sponsored facilities to live up to exaggerated projections. But as far as city officials are concerned, that failure is nothng that hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars can't fix."

Why do the (Bankers Life) Fieldhouse, (Lucas Oil) Stadium and Georgia Street come readily to mind?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nikon Small World

Tomorrow (31 December) is the last day to see the beauty and complexity of life through the light microscope.

The Nikon Small World exhibit, on display at the Indiana State Museum in White River State Park, Indianapolis, comes down after the museum shuts its doors tomorrow.

What's in the exhibit? The world's best photomicrographers have captured dynamic images that showcase a wide variety of advanced scientific disciplines.ms around the country.

The exhibit has been supported by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis and by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

(Photo of a monofilament spiral forming part of a zipper by Marc Van Hove of Gent, Belgium, won 16th place in the 1987 Nikon Small World competition; courtesy of Nikon Small World)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Countdown to Noon

Counting down to midnight is sooooooooooooo last century on New Year's Eve.

Join the trendy at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis on Saturday (31 December) for the "Countdown to Noon".

Festivities take place around the water clock from 10 a.m. 'til 3 p.m.

Celebrate the final day of 2011 with activities, music with Doctor Noize, and a Water Clock "countdown to noon" that will allow families to experience the excitement of a countdown at a reasonable hour (additional countdowns at 1 and 2 p.m. this year).

To enjoy the noon countdown, arrive at 11 a.m.; space for this event is limited.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Trash Will "Slide" for Two Weeks - NOT!

On holidays without trash collection, a slide schedule is observed. Normal collection days will 'slide' to one day later if the resident's normal collection day falls on or after the holiday.

So, since Christmas is observed today (December 26) and New Year's Day is observed a week from today (January 2), it seems that trash collection is on its "slide schedule" this week and next.

Or, maybe not. Your Indianapolis Observer can find NOTHING on the indy.gov site regarding trash collection schedules when a holiday is observed on a different day than the one on which it occurs.

And, surprise! trash collection is unaffected by Christmas or New Year's this season.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Candlelight Evening on Delaware Street

Victorian holiday atmosphere and architecture, memorable food and pleasant company will prevail as the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site hosts its annual “A Candlelight Evening on Delaware Street,” a holiday dinner tour of historic mansions on the Old Northside of Indianapolis. It begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (28 December).

To start their evening, guests will be greeted at the Italianate-style Harrison Home, 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, for a tour of the President’s mansion plus hors d’oeuvres and warm spiced cider. Carolers will welcome guests with holiday songs in the front parlor.

Harrison was the first President to decorate a Christmas tree in the White House. A replica of the first evergreen tree to grace the White House is displayed at the Harrison Home, decorated with wooden soldiers, hand-blown glass figures, candles and cotton batting. Guests to the event will enjoy the home’s decorations featuring Victorian holiday ornaments, including feather trees and Harrison family toys.

Guests will stroll to their second stop of the evening at the Eden-Talbott House, 1336 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, for a verbal history and tour and a tea bar.

Currently office space for Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, this house was constructed in 1871 as more modest than it appears today. Charlton Eden, a prominent builder and president of the Builders and Manufacturers Association, purchased the property in 1878 and gave it an elegant facade and ornate interior woodwork. The new front portion was built in the Italianate and Second Empire styles. The 800-piece staircase newel post was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Black walnut was used extensively in the ornate arches and carved lions’ heads throughout the home. Eden’s company had constructed similar woodwork in Harrison’s home three years earlier.

Next, guests will hear a verbal history, tour and enjoy a wine reception at The Propylaeum Club’s Carriage House, 150 East 14th Street, Indianapolis.

This structure was the studio and residence of Elmer Taflinger, a well-known sculptor. Previous to this, it was the home of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. This structure also has a Georgian doorway with carved glass above the door.

Guests will then move to the main house where they will tour and enjoy a gourmet plated dinner at The Propylaeum Club, 1410 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis. The dinner menu includes vegetable soup, chicken Florentine, harvest rice and carrot soufflé.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, The Propylaeum Club’s building displays elements of the Romanesque Revival, Neo-Jacobean, and Queen Anne styles in its architecture. Among some of its interesting features are leaded glass doors, Rookwood fireplace tiles, grand staircase, and intricate Italian carvings.

This home was built in 1890 by John Schmidt, a brewer. The dark color of the brick was produced by pressing water out of the brick when it was made.

The Thomas Taggart House, 1331 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, is the last stop on the tour and will feature a brief history and tour of the first floor. Guests will also be treated to coffee and a variety of mini cake truffles and gourmet cupcakes for dessert, courtesy of Vanilla Bean Bakery.

Currently, this building is the national headquarters for Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. This is a Colonial Revival house built in 1913 by Thomas Taggart. Taggart was a U.S. Senator, three times mayor of Indianapolis and founded the Indianapolis parks system. Notice the balustrade balconies on the second level above the first floor window.

Reservations are required for “A Candlelight Evening on Delaware Street” and space is limited. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 317:631-1888 or send an email.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stormy Weather Ahead

AccuWeather reports the week between Christmas and New Year's Day will feature multiple storms across the nation, some with snow, some with rain and many with both.

The pattern will be busy like this past week but with some new twists.

The stormiest sector in the nation will be the Northwest, where systems that were mostly plowing into British Columbia will drive southward. The region will make up for a relative quiet weather pattern during much of December.

As many as six storms will slam into the Northwest from Monday to New Year's Day. That's nearly a storm a day!

Snow levels will vary from storm to storm and during each storm. The pattern will raise the risk of flash flooding in the lower elevations and avalanches in the high country. At least a couple of the storms will bring disruptive snow to the passes.

The upcoming stormy pattern is getting a later start than originally expected with high pressure hanging on during much of this week. However, that is about to change.

Meanwhile, the storms plowing into the Northwest next week have to go somewhere. As a result, the pattern will get (or remain) quite busy as far as storm systems are concerned over much of the balance of the nation.

The storm train will progress southward into at least part of California and the Sierra Nevada. Snow levels will be high in this area during much of the onslaught, but similar to the Northwest, one or more storms could bring slow travel over Donner Pass.

The weather pattern will bring warmer weather to the West in general, but again one or more storms could still deliver snow to Denver.

The situation from the Plains to the East Coast will be quite complicated. At this point, it is impossible to pin down the details for each of the storms as they start rolling from the Northwest.

One storm, which is the same system delivering snow to El Paso Friday, will have to be dealt with as it is ejected from the Southwest during the first part of next week.

That storm will bring drenching rain to Texas this weekend and could bring downpours and possible severe weather to some Southern bowl games early next week.

A lack of consistent cold air will continue to be a problem for snow lovers from the Midwest to the Northeast. The cold air building in over the Christmas weekend will again head out before the next potential storm.

The Texas storm will either lift to the northeast or scoot more eastward. At any rate, it would be mostly rain or nothing for the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. If it takes the more northerly route, it could deliver wet snow to part of the Ohio Valley to the eastern Great Lakes and northern New England Monday night into Tuesday.

After the Texas storm runs its course, the main storm track will be aligned more west to east across the northern half of the nation next week and will allow storms to swiftly cross the country.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

White, Out; Osili, In

Another news flash from IBJ.com: "A Marion County judge has ruled that Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to be a candidate and the office should go to Democrat Vop Osili, his challenger in the 2010 election."

Bankers Life, Conseco No Longer

According to IBJ.com, "The venue long known as Conseco Fieldhouse will take on the moniker of CNO Financial’s most prominent brand: Bankers Life."

You know, the building that The Indianapolis Star thinks was built by the Simons instead of us taxpayers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

So, Indy taxpayers won the battle but lost the war, again.

We got to keep Georgia Street "Georgia Street" -- as named on the original plat. Win.

We gave away "operating rights" to a section of the public thoroughfare to a NGO. Lose!

Say what?

Check out this item, buried in The Indianapolis Star:

In other action Monday, the [City-County] council:
Voted 18-11 to approve a lease of Downtown's revamped Georgia Street, which has a three-block pedestrian mall, to Indianapolis Downtown Inc.


Let's let Indianapolis attorney Paul K. Ogden describe the takeover: "Once again, it appears that we have a city asset taxpayers have spent millions on, only only to find our city leaders want to give it away to a private entity for free. [Indianapolis Downtown Inc.] will manage the place, but apparently will also keep all the profits associated with the venue."

Profits from a city street! What's next? Parking meters? Oh, wait......

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmastime Fun

The annual Yuletide Celebration in the Circle Theatre promises a stellar lineup again this year. Jack Everly joins the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in welcoming sisters Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway for Indiana's greatest holiday tradition including some of Broadway's finest singers and dancers. There are numerous performances between now and December 23.

There's also Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg, Jolly Days at the Children's Museum, Conservatory Crossing (poinsettias and trains!) at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Christmas at the Zoo, Gingerbread Houses at Conner Prairie, Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum and more.

And, of course, don't miss the lights on the Monument!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

You Can't Stay Home Friday Evening!

Of the many options, two are in the Old Northside:

Join more than a dozen Indiana Artisan food and art artisans on 6 to 9 p.m. December 2, 2011, for First Friday at Indiana Landmarks Center. Great food, wine and art will be available in the former Central Avenue United Methodist Church building, 1201 North Central Avenue, Indianapolis.

Or (and?) meander over to the Harrison Center, 1505 North Delaware, Indianapolis, between 6 and 10 p.m. December 2, 2011, an artist reception and open studio night:

In the Harrison Gallery and Hank & Dolly's Gallery - color-themed group show. In the City Gallery - People for Urban Progress. In Gallery No. 2 - Indy Refugee Night. In the Gallery Annex - Ryan Abegglen. In the Underground - Furniture Show by Herron students and recent grads.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Carmel Roundabouts Get Noticed by the Brits

"I mean, it's round, how difficult can it be?"

That's a quote from a hotel desk clerk in a piece about Carmel's roundabouts in the November 19-25, 2011, issue of the Economist, a weekly from London, England.

The magazine says that a "recent out-of-towner was so terrified by the strange formations that he preferred to travel by taxi". (Taxis? Really? In Carmel?)

"What goes around" is a discussion of the Indiana town's use of the typical British intersection, noting that the first one was built in Carmel in 1997. According to the Economist, the Hamilton County 'burb has more than 70 of the estimated 3000 roundabouts in the United States.

(Photo by Lars Sundstrom)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Indiana Author Fair

Check out some 75 Indiana authors and their latest books at the Ninth Annual Holiday Author Fair at the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

It all takes place from noon to 4 p.m. December 3.

Several author presentations are scheduled, including Chef Daniel Orr, who'll discuss Paradise Kitchen (all about Caribbean cooking).

A sampling of other authors and titles: Evie Finds Her Family Tree (Ashley Ransburg), An Endless Sky (Joyce Brinkman and Norbert Krapf), Hoosier Beer (Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris), Scavengers (Dick Cady) and Changing Planet, Changing Health (Dan Ferber (in photo, above left) and Paul R. Epstein).

If you buy your books on site, members of the Butler University Chorale will gift wrap 'em for you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Cherub Returns (Whew!)

Let's let Indianapolis Downtown, Inc., tell the story:

It was 1946. World War II was over and thousands returned home from military service. Among them, Virginia Holmes--a prize-winning commercial artist--came back to Indianapolis and began her job in the advertising department at L.S. Ayres, a Downtown department store. When it came time to compose the 1946 holiday catalog, merchandise was still in short supply, so Holmes created whimsical cherubs to fill the somewhat empty pages. The cherubs captured hearts and began an Indianapolis holiday tradition that continues today.

Customer response to the cherubs was so great, Ayres perpetuated their appearance in its 1947 holiday advertising. It was Ayres’ 75th Anniversary, and that called for a special addition to their holiday celebration plans. Ayres commissioned nationally recognized Indianapolis sculptor and Herron School of Art instructor David Rubins to create a bronze cherub for the store’s landmark clock, located on the outside of their building on the corner of Washington and Meridian streets.

As the story is told, the whimsical Cherub mysteriously appeared atop the clock on Thanksgiving Eve 1947 to keep a watchful eye on the holiday shoppers until Santa took over on Christmas Eve. In the 64 years since, thousands have had the pleasure of seeing the Cherub perched atop the famous clock each holiday season.

The May Department Store Co. purchased L.S. Ayres in 1986 and in 1992, moved the Cherub to its headquarters in St. Louis. There was tremendous public outcry when the Cherub did not appear that holiday season. So May donated the Cherub to the City of Indianapolis and in 1994 Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. became the Cherub’s legal guardian.

So keep an eye out…Thanksgiving is Thursday!

(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rain-Drenched Roadways, Grounded Flights for Thanksgiving Travel

By Alex Sosnowski
Senior Expert Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

State College, Pa. -- 21 November 2011 -- AccuWeather reports an area of heavy rain will produce urban flooding, drenched roadways and grounded flights for Thanksgiving travelers into Wednesday from Arkansas to Ohio to Massachusetts.

A broad area of 1- to 2-inch rainfall is in store from the South Central states and part of the lower Mississippi Valley northward through the Tennessee and Ohio valleys to the central Appalachians, the coastal mid-Atlantic and southern New England prior to Thanksgiving.

Locally heavier amounts near 3 inches are possible within this zone.

Cities impacted by heavy rain and the risk of a period of urban flooding include Little Rock, Ark., St. Louis, Nashville, Tenn., Indianapolis, Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, Morgantown, W.Va., Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Newark, N.J., New York City, Hartford, Conn., Providence, R.I. and Boston.

In some cases, such as in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, there is potential for enough rain in a short period of time to cause flash and small stream flooding.

Motorists traveling through the region spanning I-40 and I-70 in the Midwest through Tuesday and I-80, I-90 and I-95 in the Northeast Tuesday night into Wednesday are urged to have patience, pay attention to the road and exercise caution when venturing on vehicle-clogged, rain-drenched roadways.

Stopping distance greatly increases on wet roadways, and poor visibility from heavy rain, fog and blowing spray increases reaction time.

The rain will exit most of the Midwest late Tuesday night, but will not clear all of the East until Wednesday afternoon and evening. The worst of the rain should depart the I-95 mid-Atlantic during the midday hours Wednesday.

The rain, areas of fog and associated low cloud ceilings will put added pressure on airlines dealing with the heavy volume of holiday traffic.

Flight delays are likely during part of the period through Wednesday for parts of the South, Midwest and Northeast.

Thunderstorms will also play a role in the intensity of the rain and travel delays from Texas to the coastal mid-Atlantic. The storms will focus rainfall over a short period, elevating the flash flooding potential at the local level, and lowering visibility to dangerous levels for those traveling at highway speeds.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fairgrounds Fun

There are two reasons to head to the Indiana State Fairgrounds this weekend.

First (of course) is the 35th anniversary edition of the International Festival, with all the ethnic food, entertainment and cultural displays you can imagine (yes: Indy has a diverse cultural heritage, and it's all on display today and tomorrow in the West Pavilion -- the video shows the Parade of Nations).

Second, there are the cats. You know, those cute kids-in-fur-coats who are good at chasing the mice out of your house. The Cat Fanciers' Association is holding its annual show in the South Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Read all about its special event: the feline agility competition in The New York Times. (Yeah, The Indianapolis Star missed yet another local story.)

For one $3 "facility access fee", you can park at the fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, to see both events. Try the cats first ($6 for adults) and then finish up at the International Festival ($10 for adults) where you can assemble a fabulous feast from the various food booths and settle down (perhaps with a glass of wine or beer) to watch some more great entertainment.

(Photo courtesy of Indy's International Festival)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Indy's International Festival

The 35th Anniversary International Festival takes place in the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1200 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, 18-20 November.

Hosted by the all-volunteer Nationalities Council of Indiana, the 2011 festival showcases the state’s ethnic diversity, celebrates our unique ethnic traditions, and encourages cultural exchange.

Hours are 2 to 9 p.m. 18 November, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 19 November and noon to 6 p.m. 20 November. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $6 for children.

(There are special hours for student groups on 17 and 18 November.)

Featured are exhibits from the 50+ ethnic groups represented in Central Indiana. Highlights of the festival include authentic foods from 20+ ethnic vendors; continuous ethnic music and dance by local and national performing groups; Culture Booths hosted by volunteers often in traditional dress; artisans demonstrating unique cultural crafts; a Naturalization Ceremony to welcome the newest Americans, and an International Marketplace offering gifts from around the world.

Follow the festival on Facebook or find out more on the festival website.

(Photo courtesy of Indy's International Festival)

Friday, November 4, 2011

DST Ending for 2011

Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed tomorrow night.

Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Native American Heritage Month

Did you know November is Native American Heritage Month?

Of course there are a wealth of events happening at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (see the schedule here).

But, you can also check out the following events taking place at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis:

Native American Beading Workshop: A Cultural Art Form, noon-2 p.m. 9 November in CE148

Reel Injun-On the Trail of the Hollywood Injun (part of the Multicultural Film & Discuss Series, 6-8 p.m. 9 November in Lilly Auditorium

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Universe is Flux

John Teramoto, curator of Asian art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, will talk about the work of Tawara Yūsaku at 7 p.m. 10 November in the IMA's Toby Theater, 4000 North Michigan Road, Indianapolis.

The first large-scale exhibition of 77 works by the contemporary Japanese artist (mostly ink on paper) opens the next day, and will be on display through at the IMA through 1 April 2012.

Tawara Yūsaku (1932-2004) was a contemporary Japanese artist who created unique, amazingly energized images based on his belief that all existence is composed of the impermanent bunching together of vibrating waves of energy—what he termed “hadō” (ha-doh; literally wave-movement). Working primarily in ink on paper and strongly influenced by Buddhist thought, Tawara’s paintings are constructed from countless strokes and dots, imparting to the works an intensity of content that fills them with monumental energy.

(Image, courtesy of IMA: Tawara Yūsaku, Japanese, (1932-2004), Chikau (I Vow), 12.6-6, 1993, ink on paper; 10 5/8 x 8 5/8 in. Collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Martha Delzell Memorial Fund)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Costumerie

"Costumerie", new paintings by Harrison Center studio artist and curator, Kyle Ragsdale, will be premiered Friday (4 November) during a 6 to 9 p.m. reception in the center, 1505 North Delaware, Indianapolis.

In the Harrison Gallery - Ragsdale's new work explores recently rediscovered themes left behind in 20 year old drawings. Many are large and epic, like scenes from an opera or lavish period movie, the subjects clad in costumes from a variety of eras. Help to set the scene and come in costume. The work hangs through 25 November.

In Gallery No. 2 - American Senior Communities presents Memories in the Making art show and sale to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

In the City Gallery - Check out new work by St. Clair Place resident and HCA studio artist, Kathryn Dart.

In Hank & Dolly's Gallery - Continuous, a Gallery Show - illustrations by Herron School of Art + Design students.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Election Day on Delaware Street Circa 1888

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will re-create a different type of political campaign -- one conducted on the front-porch of Harrison’s Delaware Street home. Join us for "Election Day: LIVE from Delaware Street" on 8 November.

Benjamin Harrison (pictured) won the nomination of the Republican Party with a series of more than 80 front-porch campaign speeches. Visit the home where those speeches were made, and stand in the spot where Harrison officially accepted the nomination of the Republican Party on a live re-enactment tour that will transport you back to the year 1888.

Visitors will see the excitement building as Harrison’s family and household staff gear up for the run for President. Actors portraying General Harrison, his wife Caroline Harrison, the butler, cook and seamstress will greet guests as they tour from room to room of the house at 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

Tours for "Election Day: LIVE from Delaware Street" run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. 8 November, beginning every half hour at the front door. Adult tickets are $10; children ages 5-17 are $5.

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, a 16-room Italianate style house, was constructed by Harrison in 1874 and is a National Historical Landmark recognized by the United States Department of the Interior. The non-profit organization is dedicated to increasing public understanding of, appreciation for, and participation in the American system of self government through the life stories, arts and culture of an American President.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Exodus Refugee Immigration Marks 30 Years

Indy’s largest refugee resettlement program is celebrating its 30th anniversary. From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday (4 November) you can view the handicrafts of local refugee artisans and participate in the First Friday Art Gallery Tour at Exodus Refugee Immigration, 1125 Brookside Avenue, Indianapolis.

Admission is free, but, as Provocate.org notes, Exodus always welcomes donations of cash or in-kind contributions.

Please let Laurie Cuellar know you're coming by email or call 317:921-0836 by Tuesday (1 November).

Exodus is an independent, non-sectarian 501c3 not for profit agency based in Indianapolis. It's part of a network of affiliates that work with Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program and Episcopal Migration Ministries in the resettlement of refugees from all over the world representing many faiths, cultures and languages.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From Verizon Wireless to Klipsch

Outdoor amphitheater Verizon Wireless Center in Noblesville will be renamed Klipsch Music Center under a new sponsorship agreement between speaker manufacturer Klipsch Group Inc. and venue owner Live Nation Entertainment, reports IBJ.com.

Terms of the agreement, effective today (27 October), were not disclosed. Company officials are scheduled to make an official announcement about the sponsorship later this morning at the amphitheater.

The 24,000-capacity concert venue, which opened in 1989 as Deer Creek Music Center, became Verizon Wireless Center in 2001 under a sponsorship agreement that expired this year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spirit & Place: The Body

The 16th annual Spirit & Place Festival set for 4 through 13 November celebrates the body.

From choreography and dance to visual art and tattoos, this year's 45 events offer experiences in celebration of the 2011 theme.

Some highlights:

Explore the movement of bodies @Work @Rest @Play as Butler University dancers perform over the lunch hour 4 and 5 November.

Take in a thought-provoking discussion at Deep Ink: Tattoo Legend Lyle Tuttle at the Indianapolis Museum of Art 5 November.

The leading global dance institution and ballet company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, joins Downtown at the Madame Walker Theatre 10 November.

Humor intertwines with passion at Theatre on the Square’s performance of Birth, a play that examines the miracle of childbirth and the power of motherhood 8 November.

Step up in style at these events by donating a new pair of children's athletic shoes (sizes 10-4) to support the work of Samaritan's Feet in Indianapolis and beyond.

The Spirit & Place Festival is a civic celebration engaging upwards of 20,000 people throughout central Indiana in dozens of programs presented by more than 100 organizations. Its mission is to promote community engagement, appreciation for diversity, public imagination and creative collaboration among arts, humanities and religion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Children's Museum Announces Top Toys for 2011

Each fall, The Children’s Museum Store invites kids to test out the newest toys and vote on their favorites for the upcoming holiday season.

The 2011 winners are (in no particular order):

• Darda Fireball Climb - pictured (Ages 4+)
The World’s Fastest Motorized Cars! This race car and track set is completely kid powered! No batteries or electricity required. Just wind the car and watch it zip through the loops and twists!

• Flying Turtle (Ages 3-12)
The best toy for active play, kids have a blast zipping around on the flying turtle! But since it is entirely kid powered, they get a ton of great exercise at the same time!

• Playmobil Pirates Prison w/Ship (Ages 4+)
This fun Pirate themed set from Playmobil includes large pirate ship, small row boat, island, prison, and all the people and accessories you need to create an amazing imaginary world.

• Water Wizard (Ages 3+)
The water wizard lets you draw and create over and over again using only water! As the screen dries the images disappear leaving it ready for another amazing creation.

• Laser Pegs 3D Lite Board (Ages 7+)
This is the Ultimate Laser Pegs Kit - the world's only lighted construction set! The 3D Lite Board gives you 40 power connectors on one board so you can build anything you can imagine.

• Barbie “Jam with Me” Rock Star Guitar (Ages 3+)
Jam with Barbie with this toy electric guitar. Connect your MP3 player to jam along with your own tunes, take the guitar challenge and play along with Barbie, or just freeplay to create your own awesome songs!

• OgoBild Pod (Ages 6+)
A brilliant combination of active and constructive play. Ogo Bild Pods lets your child build giant structures like bouncing balls and forts.

• Perplexus Original (Ages 6+)
Perplexus Original is a bendy, trendy, can’t put it down challenge! With plenty of twists, turns, and barriers between start and finish, this puzzle ball will leave you perplexed!

• FyrFlyz (Ages 8+)
Create amazing light shows by spinning, swinging and twirling your FyrFlyz.

• Barbie Giant Activity Floor Pad (Ages 3+)
This complete activity set includes crayons, marker, paints, paintbrush, scissors and glue stick along with 40 fun fashion activities!

Adults in need of holiday gift ideas for the children in their lives can make purchases from the Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved list and The Museum Store holiday toy catalog both in the store or online. Shipping is available for both in-store and online purchases and gift wrapping is available.

(Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Indianapolis)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Life and Death in 19th Century Indiana

"Reflections on Life and Death in 19th Century Indiana" is the topic for the fall presentation of the Forensic Science Lecture Series to be held from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Wednesday (26 October) in the Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 Vermont Street Indianapolis.

Dr. John Langdon, professor of biology and associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Indianapolis, will speak on how cemeteries and related documents help reconstruct the facts of life (and death) for pioneer families and their descendents.

And, yes, his lecture is open to the public free of charge.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Interfaith Luncheon

The annual interfaith luncheon sponsored by the Muslim Alliance of Indiana takes place at noon 28 October in the Indianapolis Hilton Hotel, 120 West Market Street, Indianapolis.

For further information please Kat Lai or Charlie Wiles.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Oral History of Irvington

The launch of a new digital collection featuring an oral history of the Irvington neighborhood will highlight the 10th anniversary celebration of the Irvington Branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 5625 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, set for 5 November.


Visitors can hear interviews of Irvington residents recorded from the late 1970′s through the mid 1980′s, conducted as part of an Indiana State Library-sponsored oral history project, and view written transcripts of the interviews that have been digitized and added to the library's online digital collection.

Throughout the afternoon, individuals can participate in a current oral history activity by recording a 15-minute interview with a family member, friend or neighbor at the "Hear a Story" station. Staff from Big Car will record the interviews and produce a CD copy to take home.

Lectures on the value of oral histories will be presented by David G. Vanderstel, Ph.D., a Marion County historian and assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (11 a.m.), and Steve Haller, Senior Director of Collections & Library at the Indiana Historical Society. (1 p.m.).

From 1 – 4 p.m., book sales and signings by Bookmamas Book Shop will feature local authors William Gulde (Irvington in 1910: A Year in the Life of an Indianapolis Neighborhood), Julie Young (Historic Irvington), Christine Johnson (Nocturne: A Claire de Lune Novel) and Sherri Wood Emmons (Prayers and Lies).

(And, a tip of the hat to Provocate.org for alerting this Indianapolis Observer about the event.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Anderson Trading Indy for Dallas

Maxwell Anderson is stepping down as director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art to lead the Dallas Museum of Art, reports IBJ.com.

Anderson, 55, will be leaving 31 December.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CNBC: The 10 Emptiest US Cities

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

Rental vacancy rate: 13.5%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 5.2%

The capital of Indiana is also one of the emptiest major cities in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau. The 5.2 percent home vacancy rate in Indianapolis ranks it fifth in the country, while the 13.5 percent rental vacancy rate places it 10th. With these levels, the city is more vacant than nearly every other major U.S. metro area. [Emphasis added]

Yes, folks, we're worse off than Detroit (it's #8). Check out the whole story here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Indy "500" Winner Dies in Crash

Dan Wheldon, a racecar driver from England who won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for the second time last May, died yesterday in a fiery 15-car accident early in a 300-mile IndyCar Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, reports the New York Times.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Indy’s National Food Day Event

Bet you didn't even know there WAS a National Food Day, eh? Well, check out the celebration of same set for 7 p.m. 24 October in Earth House, 237 North East Street, Indianapolis.

Promised are delicious food and great conversation at a community potluck that includes dishes prepared by representatives of various community gardens and urban farms in Indianapolis.

At 7:30, panelists will discuss a diverse array of food issues, including food culture, social justice, nutrition, and extending the growing season with hoop houses and cold frames.

There's more at the Facebook page of the Indianapolis Food, Farm & Family Coalition.

(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Food, Farm & Family Coalition)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Walk Indianapolis


Local architects and tourism officials have combined forces to create self-guided walking tours of downtown Indianapolis, highlighting buildings of architectural and cultural significance, reports IBJ.com

Titled Walk Indianapolis, the effort is a joint project of The American Institute of Architects Indianapolis, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and urban analyst Aaron Renn.

There are two tours: Monuments & Memorials, focusing on the city’s many war memorials and public buildings of architectural importance; and Downtown Venues, highlighting sports venues such as Victory Field and Conseco Fieldhouse, and significant structures in White River State Park.

Detailed information about the tours is available online. Audio tours are available for download from the website, through the Visit Indy app, or via iTunes.

Walk Indianapolis began more than two years ago as the brainchild of Renn, writer of the Urbanophile blog, who wanted to spotlight the city’s war memorials, reports IBJ.com.

He partnered with the ICVA and local architects to create the monuments tour. AIA Indianapolis joined the effort after planning to produce a walking tour of the city for Super Bowl XLVI visitors this winter.

(Photo courtesy of Walk Indianapolis)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Carrie Newcomer in Indy Saturday

According to Provocate, Quaker-Hoosier music legend Carrie Newcomer (pictured) will release her new CD Everything Is Everywhere and perform live to benefit the Interfaith Hunger Initiative at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (15 October) in Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis.

The new release features Carrie’s collaboration with Indian sarod players Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, who will be joining Carrie on stage for the show, as well as Grammy-nominated percussionist Jim Brock and Gary Walters.

Tickets are $20 at the door.

All profits from the Everything Is Everywhere project will go to the Interfaith Hunger Initiative, an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization bringing together two dozen faith communities in the Indianapolis area who work together to end child and family hunger. IHI work to create a system of access to food through pantries in central Indiana and schools in foreign countries, feeding and supporting thousands of children and families.

(Photo courtesy of Carrie Newcomer)

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Making Indiana Home"

The next session in the Indiana Town Hall series, "Making Indiana Home", takes place 10 November in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street,Indianapolis. Admission is free.

A reception from 6 to 7 p.m.includes an information fair and tours of "You Are There 1950: Making a Jewish Home", followed by the 7 p.m. panel conversation.

The panel will highlight the stories of displaced persons and refugees who have made Indiana their home after fleeing from persecution. Representatives from the National Council of Jewish Women, Catholic Charities and The Immigrant Welcome Center will discuss the work their organizations have done and continue to do in serving those who are striving to make a new life.

This is a Spirit & Place Festival event co-presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.

(Photo courtesy of "You are There 1950: Making a Jewish Home")

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yemeni Journalists to Visit IUPUI

Five women's rights advocates and journalists from Yemen will discuss international human rights law education, research and advocacy for women's right to freedom of expression and political participation with Prof. George Edwards at 2 p.m. 11 October in room 351 (Faculty Lounge) of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring the Yemeni women's visit under its International Visitor Leadership project on "Young Leaders: The U.S. Political Process." Faculty, students, staff and members of the public are welcome.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fight Night Indianapolis

"Vintage Vegas Fight Night" takes place 5 November in the Conrad Indianapolis, 50 West Washington Street, Indianapolis.

It begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails, a silent auction and Vegas games, and continues with dinner, a live auction, boxing exhibition and dancing. Requested attire? Sinatra-esque!

Sponsored by the Christamore House Guild, the event showcases the Christamore House Boxing Program. Proceeds benefit the various programs of Christamore House, a multi-service center in Indy's Haughville neighborhood. Last year's event raised $95,000.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Indy Baroque

The next performances during the 2011-12 season of IndyBaroque Music take place 7-10 October featuring the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra performing "Back Project VI". John Abberger is conductor.

First up is 7:30 p.m. 7 October in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, followed by 1 p.m. 8 October in the Athenaeum, 1 p.m. 9 October in Marian University, (time tba) 9 October in St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Columbus, and 7:30 p.m. 10 October in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis.

For tickets and information, go online or call 317:808-2224.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Victorian Villains" on the Old Northside


Are you ready for a crash course in criminal science investigation as well as an opportunity to study some of the most nefarious villains of the Victorian era?

Later this month, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site presents Victorian Theater by Candlelight’s "Victorian Villains" by resident playwright James Trofatter.

As part of this progressive play, a modern day "Dr. Watson" guides guests through the home of the 23rd President of the United States, where nefarious criminals such as Lizzie Borden, Sweeney Todd, H.H. Holmes, Jack the Ripper and others have briefly taken up residence. Learn more about their dastardly deeds and atrocious acts as you progress from room to room of this historic mansion.

"Victorian Villains" takes place 14, 15, 21, 22 and 23 October. Performances begin every half hour starting at 6 p.m. with the last performance beginning at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and starting at 3:30 p.m. with the final performance beginning at 6 p.m. on the last day, a Sunday. Adult ticket prices are $10 and students ages 6 to 11 are $5. Reservations are required; call 317:631-1888.

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, a 16-room Italianate style house, was constructed by Harrison in 1874.

(Image courtesy of Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Youth and Social Justice

The first session in this fall's Indiana Town Hall Series, "Youth and Social Justice", takes place 6 October in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

It begins at 6 p.m. with a reception and information fair, followed at 7 p.m. by the panel conversation.

Sheila Seuss Kennedy, professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, will discuss the historic nature of social justice in American democracy.

A conversation-focused panel featuring local youth and youth organizations will then examine what social justice means in today’s world. This moderated discussion will be led by Dr. David Craig, IUPUI Religious Studies, and will feature student-activists with the Latino Youth Collective as well as representatives from the Marion County Commission on Youth and other organizations.

Admission is free.

Future sessions are 10 November and 1 December.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Private Philanthropy in China

Peter F. Geithner, an expert on Chinese philanthropy, will lead a discussion on “The Growth of Private Philanthropy in China” from 3 to 4:3 p.m. Monday (3 October) in Room 309 of the Campus Center at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

He will be joined by two Chinese scholars currently visiting the Center on Philanthropy at I.U.: Li Li of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and Lu Bo of the Beijing Vantone Foundation.

Geithner is an advisor to the Asia Center at Harvard University and a consultant to the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium, Rockefeller Foundation, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and other organizations. He serves on the boards of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, the China Center for Economic Research (Peking University), the Center for the Advanced Study of India (University of Pennsylvania), Clemente (Holdings) Asia, Inc., and the Institute of Current World Affairs.

(Flag © 2011 ScientiaWeb)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Al Unser Jr. arrested for DWI

OK, it didn't happen in Indy, but Unser certainly is a well-known name 'round these parts.

According to KRQE.com: "Al Unser Jr, a retired American race car driver and two time Indianapolis 500 winner, was arrested early Thursday morning.

"Around 3 a.m., officials say Unser, 49, was in his white 2011 Chevrolet Suburban and racing another car going westbound on Paseo del Norte in Albuquerque. Deputies say they clocked both vehicles on radar going over 100 miles per hour. The posted speed limit in that particular stretch is around 60 mph."

"He has been charged with reckless driving, aggravated DWI and racing upon a highway."

"Unser is a member of the famous Albuquerque Unser racing family. His father Al Unser Sr. won back-to-back wins at the Indianapolis 500 in 1970 and 1971. He also took the checkered flag at Indy in 1978 and 1987.

"His uncle Bobby won at Indianapolis in 1968, 1975 and 1981. Al Unser Jr. himself won the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1994," KRQE.com notes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indiana Authors Award

Celebrate writers from the Hoosier state on 29 October at the Central Library, 40 East St. Clair Street, Indianapolis.

During the day, you can meet a host of Indiana authors, including the 2011 Indiana Authors Award honorees. You can purchase their books and get them signed, listen to author talks and attend workshops for writers and book lovers of all ages.

National winner for 2011 is Margaret McMullan (pictured), and the 2011 regional winner is Helen Frost.

This event -- which is free and open to the public -- is presented by the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation in partnership with the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library and the Writers' Center of Indiana.

In the evening, the winners and finalists of the award will be fêted. To purchase a ticket for the dinner, also to be held at the Central Library, go online or call 317:275-4700.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Could Mitch Have Made It?

That's the question discussed on Slate.com today.

Read this assessment of our governor via his newly-released book here, in an article by John Dickerson.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gridiron, Resurrected

When's the last time you broke bread with your Hoosier political pals -- and then watched in shocked awe as they were raked over the coals by their peers?

Just a guess, but it might have been at the last Indiana Gridiron event a few years ago.

Well, the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute is bringing back the fabled dinner in all its glory.

The laughs. The cheap shots. And plenty of cheap shots, too. Because it's been far too long since we got together and senselessly mocked Indiana's political elite.

Mark your calendars for Feb. 22, 2012, and make a special note: "Second best event of the year."

This site will be up and running soon, so check back often for more information about tickets, tables and, of course, our lineup of helpless victims, er, featured speakers.

We guarantee you'll have so much fun you might just wind up offering someone your iPad or explaining yourself to a police officer in a gas station parking lot.

(And, a tip of the hat to Jennifer Wagner for reporting the good news in her column in the "Forefront" section of the Indianapolis Business Journal!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Doesn't Cavanaugh Hall Have Windows?


Did you ever take a class in Cavanaugh Hall at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis?

Join the fun at the Cavanaugh Hall 40th Anniversary Reunion and Open House from 4:30-6:30 p.m. tomorrow (23 September).

Learn about Cavanaugh's construction and much more at the event featuring a six-story exhibit, "Cavanaugh Hall: 40 Years of Impact," light appetizers, and remarks by Dean William Blomquist at 6 p.m.

Retired faculty and staff, alumni, students, and the campus community are invited.

(Photo courtesy of IUPUI)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taste of Germany Comes to Indy

For more on the event -- and to buy tickets -- go online.


.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fiesta Time

The 31st annual Fiesta takes place on the American Legion Mall downtown from noon until 11 p.m. Saturday (17 September).

First held in 1980, Fiesta become the largest Latino Festival in the state of Indiana, attracting 30,000 people to the event annually.

It's sponsored by La Plaza, whose mission is to serve, empower and integrate the central Indiana Latino community.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Plowman Guilty On Both Charges

Read more on Advance Indiana, which has done a great job covering the trial from opening statements to verdict.

The report on today's verdict is here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sangam 2011 is Saturday

Get a glimpse of the breadth and depth of Indian culture in Indiana during "Sangam: Crossroads of Culture 2011", set for Saturday (17 September) in the Pike Performing Arts Center, 6701 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis.

At 4:30 p.m., an Indian culture program begins, including some seven examples of dance from the Indian subcontinent. Tickets are $5 per person.

After the entertainment, an Indian dinner will be available for purchase.

The event is sponsored by Lilly India Network and the India Association of Indianapolis.

Your Indianapolis Observer's favorite dancer, Madhusmita Bora, will perform the Sattriya form of Indian dance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Georgia Street

Amazing sometimes how out of touch "city leadership" can be.

Case in point: the proposed renaming of Georgia Street.

This Indianapolis Observer -- and thousands of Indy residents -- are wondering just why this is necessary/important/desirable.

It was named Georgia Street when the city was platted almost two hundred years ago -- and we should change it, why? Because we're gonna host a Super Bowl?

Paul K. Ogden has a nice discussion of the decision on his blog, where he notes that the discussion became so rancorous that The Indianapolis Star had to disable comments.

Don't let 'em get away with it, folks. Save Georgia Street from disappearing! Contact the mayor and tell him what you think: contact form here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Indy Irish Fest This Weekend

From Irish breed dogs to Irish brews to Irish dancing -- it's all gonna be in Military Park, downtown Indianapolis, next weekend at the 16th annual Indy Irish Fest.

It starts Friday (16 September) with an early bird special: get through the gates between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., and there's no admission charge. The fest runs through Sunday (18 September).

For a complete listing of entertainment, go online.

(Photo courtesy of Indy Irish Fest)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dress Code: Western Wear

A "Hoe Down and Wild West Casino" is set for 7 p.m. to midnight 24 September to benefit the Children's TherAplay Foundation.

There'll be a silent auction, martini saloon, casino, music by Blonde Sonja and (wow!) a mechanical bull-riding contest.

Tickets are $100 per person.

It all takes place at TherAplay, 9919 Towne Road, Carmel, a nonprofit, outpatient rehabilitation clinic for kids with special needs using hippotherapy.

Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. Hippotherapy literally means "treatment with the help of the horse" from the Greek word, "hippos" meaning horse.

Specially trained physical and occupational therapists use this treatment for clients with movement dysfunction. In Hippotherapy, the movement of the horse influences the client. The client is positioned on the horse and actively responds to his movement. The therapist directs the movement of the horse; analyzes the client's responses, and adjusts the treatment accordingly. This strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oktoberfest in German Park

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a Weekend in Indy!

Don't plan to be home this weekend. There's far too much going on in our favorite Heartland city.

German Oktoberfest, Indianapolis, is today through Sunday: details here.

Greek Fest, Carmel, is Friday and Saturday. details here.

Penrod, Indianapolis' nicest afternoon, is Saturday: details here.

French Market, Indianapolis, is Saturday: details here. (yes, the photo is from the French Market!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Emigration from Bavaria to the USA

Many thousands of people from Germany emigrated to the United States of America in the 19th century. Dr. Ekkehard Hübschmann, an ethnologist and genealogist from Harsdorf, Germany, will discuss the reasons and the methods during a presentation a 7 p.m. Thursday (8 September) in the Max Kade Room of the Athenæum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis.

His lecture describes the official process of emigration from Franconia (Kingdom of Bavaria): getting a birth certificate from the local church or synagogue, applying for an emigration permit and passport. The lecture also describes the conditions aboard the sailing ships.

The event is open to the public at no charge. It's sponsored by the Max Kade German-American Center. For questions, email Dr. Daniel Nützel or call 317:274-2300.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trash Collection Delayed by Holiday

There's no curbside recycling, residential or heavy trash collection today.

All residential trash, heavy trash and curbside recycling routes will run one day behind for the entire week. Monday routes will be serviced on Tuesday, 6 September; Tuesday routes will be serviced on Wednesday, 7 September, and so on. Friday routes will be serviced on Saturday, 10 September.

All services will return to normal schedules next Monday, 12 September.

For more information, call the Mayor’s Action Center, 317:327-4622.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

An Evening with Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux (pictured, at left) will speak at 7 p.m. 26 September in Room 450 of the Campus Center at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, 420 University Boulevard, Indianapolis.

He's the author of The Tao of Travel, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, The Old Patagonia Express, A Dead Hand, The Mosquito Coast and more, including your Indianapolis Observer's favorite, The Pillars of Hercules.

There's no admission charge.

His appearance is part of the Efroymson Lectures on International Art, Culture and Heritage.

(Photo by William Furniss, courtesy of Lyceum Agency)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Steve Goldsmith Arrested for Domestic Violence

According to IBJ.com, former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith says he stepped down as deputy mayor of New York City early last month because he was arrested over a domestic violence incident involving his (second) wife, Margaret.

The former Indy mayor spent two days in jail, according to the report.

UPDATE:
Here is a link to the New York Times story.

"C-1 stated to S-1 "Your [sic] not going to do this to me again, I'm calling the police." Excerpted from the DC police report.

Note that C-1 [Margaret] called the police because this incident wasn't the first.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

State Fair Settlement?

"The state of Indiana is set to forgo costly and lengthy litigation and instead pay the maximum $5 million in damages allowed by law to victims of the Indiana State Fair concert stage collapse," reports IBJ.com.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ooey, Gooey and Creepy Crawly

Chicago-based artist Paul Nudd is known for using “gross” and “subversive” subject matter (think ooey gooey and creepy crawly) and turning it into a work of art, notes John Clark of Provocate.org.

Playful, grotesque and beautiful all at once, the artist's work pushes the Chicago imagists into the 21st Century.

Nudd, who is part of the group show Multiple Propositions in the main galleries of the Herron School of Art at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis through 15 September, will lecture on his art and inspiration at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (31 August) in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall, 735 West New York Street, Indianapolis.

(Image by Paul Nudd)

Monday, August 29, 2011

17th Annual Studio Showcase

The 17th annual Studio Showcase is set for mid-October by a co-operative of more than 30 Central Indiana artisans whose work includes textiles, jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting, glass and wood.

The three-day sale of one-of-a-kind items will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. 13 October, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 14 October and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 15 October at 5914 Stafford Way, Indianapolis.

(Photo of jewelry by Tatyana Fedorikhina)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Giuseppi Verdi Choir to Perform in Indy

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy with members and friends of the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (31 August).

The Giuseppi Verdi Choir performs "Concerto del 150°" in the Cook Theater at the Landmarks Center, 1210 Central Avenue, Indianapolis. Tickets are $15.

The choir, from Mantova, Italy, is making its first tour of the United States with stops in Indy and New York City.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Greek Festival

It's still tagged "Indy" although it now takes place in Carmel.

Yes, the 38th annual Indianapolis Greek Festival will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. September 9 and noon to 10 p.m. September 10 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 3500 West 106th Street, Carmel.

Greek cuisine, cooking demonstrations, a cultural bazaar, traditional Greek folk dancing, church tours and children's activities are all highlights of this annual Hellenic festival.

Featured food includes souvlaki, lamb, gyros, Greek fries, saganaki, spanakopita, calamari, dolmades, mese, greek salad, loukoumades, baklava, diples, koulourakia, melomakarana, kataifl and galaktoboureko.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"A World of Difference"

The fourth annual "A World of Difference: an International Parade & Taste the Difference" begins at 10 a.m. Saturday (27 August) in Indy's international marketplace, the Lafayette Square Area.

The event includes a parade, informational fair, restaurant taste event and performances. More than 40 various cultural organizations will be participating in the event.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Marian University Honors Michael A. Evans

The first new medical school in Indiana in over a century will be named for Michael A. Evans, Marian University announced today. In 2010, Dr. Evans made a gift and pledge of $48 million to Marian to kick off the creation of the school.

Evans (pictured) is a former Army Ranger who overcame lift-threatening injuries suffered in Vietnam to become a noted scientist. In 1990, he founded AIT Laboratories, where he remains president and CEO. Evans has a doctorate in toxicology from the Indiana University School of Medicine, a postdoctoral fellowship with the National Toxicology Center at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and numerous fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization.

Marian University will name the new building on campus housing the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the School of Nursing in his honor. The Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences, set to open in the fall of 2013, is being designed by Indianapolis architects Schmidt and Associates and BSA LifeStructures.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Super" for Whom?

"It is simply unconscionable to be spending tens of millions of dollars to put on a party for the nation's richest people while the common people are sinking by the day under the pressure of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," notes Advance Indiana.

This Indianapolis Observer agrees. $1 million or more of Indy tax dollars to provide heated pavement and sidewalks for Georgia Street? Outdoor concerts? Sidewalk cafés? In February?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Did You Know Indy Has "Catalog Houses"?

"Some Assembly Required" is a day of lectures by experts and tour of mail-order and pattern book homes in Indy taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1 October in the Parish Center of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, 5333 East Washington Street, Indianapolis.

The lectures cover a variety of catalog and pattern book home manufacturers, including Sears Roebuck, Gustav Stickley, Lustron and the Architectural Guild of Indianapolis. Topics include Paul Diebold’s overview of catalog and pattern book houses, with clues to identification. Diebold is an architectural historian and author of Greater Irvington.

The tour goes inside three homes:

• Brian and Emily Mack, 59 North Hawthorne Lane -- a 1906 pattern book house from Gustav Stickley’s magazine The Craftsman

• Patrick Irby, 310 North Ridgeview Drive -- “The Osborn” model sold by Sears Roebuck

• William Gulde, 269 South Audubon Road -- a restored early 20th Century home featuring Craftsman details such as an inglenook and fieldstone porch.

It's sponsored by Indiana Landmarks and Sherwin-Williams; the cost of $45 per person includes lunch and the tour. To make a reservation, call 317:639-4534 or 800:450-4534, or email Suzanne Stanis, Indiana Landmarks’ Director of Heritage Education.

"The Easy Stories"

In most businesses there's the tendency to go for the low-hanging fruit instead of the hard stuff.

The Indianapolis Star is still covering the State Fair tragedy as front-page news instead of spending investigative resources on the stories that have more far-reaching consequence for many, many more central Indiana residents.

Advance Indiana, for example, spotlights this one: "At Monday night's council meeting, [Ryan] Vaughn [City-County Council President] announced that the council will no longer permit public comment on council appointees because he claimed people who voluntarily served on city boards and commissions were becoming difficult to find because of scrutiny they were receiving from some community activists."

The City-Council "will no longer permit public comment on council appointees"? Wait a minute! What?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Indy's Fav

Of course, we all know that Peyton Manning is the most popular male athlete, but it's nice that others say so, too.

The latest? The 15-28 August 20011 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek says, "The Indianapolis Colts QB is the most popular athlete in the U.S. His trick, other than wining games: Making fun of his jock/doofus persona, à la his commercials for Sony."

(Photo courtesy of PeytonManning.com)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

State Fair Closed Today

After last night's tragedy, investigators are combing the area of the Indiana State Fairgrounds where a wind coming before a thunderstorm knocked over a stage setup.

Five people died and at least 40 more were injured around 9 p.m. yesterday.

The fair is closed today, but is expected to reopen tomorrow.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hinkle Misstep Goes Viral

Yep. Whatever happened between the state legislator and the hustler...the story has now hit the national news.

Phil Hinkle, father of the "In God We Trust" license plate and staunch anti-gay proponent has been caught with his metaphorical pants down in an upscale Indy hotel room with an 18-year-old man in search of a "sugga daddy". Oh, my!

Check out this version on the Huffington Post: here.

UPDATE:
Interesting sidebar on why Hinkle was in the J.W. Marriott to begin with, courtesy of Gary R. Welsh: Hinkle at Wedding Reception.

UPDATE 2:
It seems that the "misstep" is being swept under the rug, reports Advance Indiana: "The word on the street is that IMPD is not investigating the incidence as a crime by request from higher ups; instead, party leaders are being given time to convince Hinkle to quietly resign his seat and just allow the incident to fade away."

Friday, August 12, 2011

India Day Celebration

Join the festivities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday (14 August) celebrating India Independence Day.

There's a parade plus entertainment, all around Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.

Sponsors are the India Association of Indianapolis, Indianapolis-Hyderabad Sister Cities Committee and the City of Indianapolis.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Brownsburg vs. Speedway?

"Is Brownsburg rivaling Speedway as the auto racing epicenter in central Indiana?" That's the question posed by Anthony Schoettle, sports reporter for the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Seems that the Hendricks County town has annexed Indianapolis Raceway Park (currently known as Lucas Oil Raceway), just over the border from Marion County at Clermont. "Brownsburg officials said they’ll work with the track to develop the surrounding land, possibly into other racing-related ventures," he reports.

Read more about it here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's Fair Time!

Germany is the featured country at this year's Indiana State Fair.

Drop by the International Pavilion (just west of the grandstand and across from the coliseum) and check out Indiana's ties with Deutschland -- and get a pretzel or a pastry from Café Heidelberg while you're at it!

Oh, yeah: there's lots more to do at the fair. But you already know that, right? It runs through 21 August.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gen Con Indy Has Begun

Gen Con Indy, now in its 41st year, is the longest running, best attended, gaming convention in the world.

If you're a gamer, you gotta get downtown and get lost in a phantasm of art exhibits. Stare at jaw-dropping costumes, or better yet, wear one of your own. Meet the movers and the shakers in the gaming industry. Check out the newest games and get a sneak peek at the latest editions.

Centered on the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, it runs through Sunday (7 August).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bound: A Book Art Exhibit

The artist reception for Bound: a book arts exhibit takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday (5 August) in the Harrison Center, 1505 North Delaware, Indianapolis.

Admission is free.

This year's exhibit (the fourth annual) will feature work by Christian Arrecis, Sarah Brooks, Ryan Collier, Talia Halliday, Paola Hurtado, David Johnson, Sarojini Johnson, Tasha Lewis, Will Lutz, Emily Schorn, Doug Travis, Sharon Turrini, Emily Vance and Eric Walton as well as a sampling from the Herron Art Library's permanent collection.

Returning to present are Bill and Vicki Stewart of Vamp & Tramp Booksellers, LLC.

Also this year, attendees will be encouraged to bring books to donate for reuse or recycling.

The Harrison Center and the Herron Art Library of the University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis are sponsoring the opening. The work hangs through 26 August.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Willkommen to Germany

Take a trip overseas without the jetlag or expense by making your way to the Indiana State Fair and its new “Willkommen to Germany” interactive exhibit.

Created in partnership with Indiana German organizations, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the International Center of Indianapolis, this exhibit presents both traditional and contemporary Germany through a variety of fun displays and activities to demonstrate the close ties the country has with Indiana.

“Indiana is steeped in German heritage. Almost 40 percent of all Indiana residents have a German ancestry, and the German influence runs rife through all aspects of Hoosier life,” said Martin Baier, Vice President of the International Center. “A number of Indiana cities have formed long-term relationships with sister cities in Germany.”

Located in the International Pavilion, also known as the Grand Hall, the 8,000 square foot interactive experience is designed to appeal to a broad range of visitors, educating each one on the diverse and unique industries, cultural activities and authentic performances from Germany.

The Indiana State Fair (and the Willkommen to Germany pavilion) opens Friday (5 August) and runs through 21 August at the fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Playboy and the Ponzi Scheme

Yes, our very own playboy: Timothy S. Durham is profiled in the 1-7 August 2011 issue of Bloomberg Business Week as "The Madoff of the Midwest". Reporter Annie Lowrey outlines Durham's "epic midlife crisis".

A couple of snippets:

"In many respects, Durham embodied the bounties -- and hubris -- of the pre-recession age. The money seemed limitless, the parties got bigger, and Durham's profile rose."

"Durham could play the rich guy, but he wasn't very good at making money."

It's definitely worth a read, if only to see how many well-known Indy names are named.