Operation My Indy: Fletcher Place
I am delighted to serve as the new president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, an organization we both love. Since I am new to Indy, part of my journey to explore the city involves staying at Airbnbs in different neighborhoods. As I share my thoughts and experiences, I hope that you will provide your own suggestions!
Something happened to me at dinner my first week in town: true Hoosier hospitality. I was having dinner at the amazing restaurant Bluebeard with KIB board member, Shelby Swango of WSP. There was a big party next to us, with several tables pushed together, and we kept getting jostled as members of the party tried to squeeze by our table. It was a minor inconvenience, and they were having lots of fun. After a moment, one of the people at the table leaned over, and said “sorry we’ve been such a nuisance. I’ve picked up your bill for you. It’s the least we can do.” I can say that has never happened to me in any other city!
My first Airbnb was in the Fletcher Place neighborhood on Fletcher Ave., near KIB’s office in Fountain Square. Fletcher Place seems to be emblematic of much of the area. There is a mixture of older, well-kept, smaller homes tight against modern new construction, and a few homes in disrepair that look ready to be renovated by the Good Bones crew on HGTV.
I’m a total foodie and love checking out new places to eat. My first stop was the restaurant row along Virginia Ave. Even though it was late on a Sunday, I popped into Three Carrots (which was still hopping) and enjoyed a delicious vegan Korean BBQ rice bowl. Over the course of the week, I also hit up Wildwood for some amazing farm-to-table delights, enjoyed Mexican fare at La Margarita, and had the good fortune to end the week at Bluebeard. I got to meet the owner, Tom Battista, who in addition to building sets for Jimmy Buffett, is also a KIB Adopt-A-Block captain!
During my first weeks in Indy, I am also getting to know leaders around the city. I attended a live recording of the Drink Culture podcast at the Lo-Fi Lounge. Speaker Brian Payne, with the Central Indiana Community Foundation, shared CICF’s efforts to make Indy a more equitable, inclusive city. KIB’s mission calls for us to engage diverse communities, so I was deeply interested to learn how other organizations are building equity and inclusion. This is an important part of KIB’s work that we will continue to emphasize in the months and years ahead.
Of course, I also stopped by the Merrill Street Pocket Park that KIB installed along Virginia Ave. In the evening, I passed by people sitting on the integrated sculpture, enjoying the late summer flowers as the butterflies and bees gathered nectar. It was clearly a great spot to gather and enjoy a little nature among the hustle of Virginia Ave.
Jeremy’s Neighborhood Recommendations
WHAT TO EAT
Vegan Korean BBQ rice bowl from Three Carrots
WHAT TO DO
Hangout at the Merrill Street Pocket Park
ROAD TRIPPING TIP
If you drive 12+ hours from Connecticut to Indianapolis, a stop in Pennsylvania for Hershey’s Chocolate World Tour is a must. Bonus, it makes you very popular at the office on Monday morning!