Operation My Indy: Martindale-Brightwood

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! 

My journeys around the great city of Indianapolis continued this week in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood, where we held the Great Indy Cleanup earlier this month. I am delighted to learn fun facts about each of the different neighborhoods I visit—about the people who used to live there a century ago, and those that live there now. I love discovering the bright new spots to dine in each of the corners of the city I visit, and also to drop by KIB pocket parks and tree plantings. It helps me better understand the important role KIB plays throughout Indy to make it a more beautiful place to live, work and play. 

I am also learning about the euphemisms that people who own Airbnbs use to describe their homes. For example, one of my stays a few weeks ago was on the “lower level.” I thought that meant the ground floor, but of course it was a (admittedly clean and airy) basement apartment. This week, I stayed in a bungalow “minutes from downtown.” I learned the hard way that meant that I-70 was just a block away. The highway noise was impressive, to say the least.  

So, dear readers, while I am still greatly enjoying this experiment to fully discover Indy, be careful about your own picks when you book an Airbnb.  My recommendation is to use a “superhost,” as they tend to be very responsive, and have highly maintained properties. Also, since Airbnb won’t tell you the exact location until you have booked a property, pay close attention to the general area where you are staying. It might be a stone’s throw from the highway, if you’re not careful.  





This week, I greatly enjoyed visiting Festiva, a slightly upscale Mexican restaurant off 16th Street. I sat in a three-season room with blankets draped over the chair backs in case people got chilly. I asked for recommendations from the server, and he shared that while he never grew up loving fish, that he’s now a huge fan in large part because of the fish tacos at Festiva. That felt like a great recommendation, and I wasn’t disappointed. I quickly demolished the three tacos, along with yummy sides that came on the plate. I only wish I had room for dessert, as the folks at the table next to me were sharing a delicious looking chocolate number. 

I also dropped by one of KIB’s older pocket parks, Heritage Community Garden, at 2415 N. Rural St. There were some remnants of a summer urban garden, with a few ripe tomatoes still on the vine. I also enjoyed looking at the rain barrels, set up to catch rain from the roof of a covered patio to use for watering the garden on dry summer days. Rain barrels are great ways to capture and store water that would normally run off your roof and into the sewers. They collect natural water to water your garden, saving you money on your monthly water bill! That water can also be there for you when the rain doesn’t fall, like during the dry September we just shared.  The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has a great article on rain barrels and the Marion County Soil and Water Management District has an article. At KIB, we spend a lot of time and resources watering the young trees that we plant around the city to ensure that they are robust and hearty. Look for our KIB logo as we drive that truck around town! 

Next week, I will be in Broad Ripple, and will also give an update on our big annual fundraiser, THRIVE, held on the top floor of Salesforce Tower. If you would like to make a contribution to help us with our year-end fundraising goals, please do so at www.kibi.org/donate. Every dollar helps us pick up one pound of litter. Every $100 helps us plant a tree. Please join us, because #BeautifulNeedsYou.

Jeremy’s Neighborhood Recommendations


Fish tacos at Festiva


Research rain barrels and install one at your house



Please join us in our work to make Indianapolis the best it can be, with vibrant public places and neighborhoods. Find out more at kibi.org!