Thursday, September 04, 2003

One last Ripple Blog.

Last spring, the Indianapolis Star published a long special section about the Broad Ripple district. Some of it was the sort of folderol you often find in newspapers -- the neighborhood is oh so neighborly, just like a country village, etc. But I was able to extract some good quotes:

" 'Indianapolis doesn’t have a lot of neighborhoods with identifiable character, but Broad Ripple is one of them,' said Bob Wilch, an Indianapolis city planner."

"Residents can’t even agree on its borders. The Broad Ripple Village Association defines the village boundaries as White River to the north, Meridian Street to the west, Kessler Boulevard to the south and Evanston Avenue to the east. However, many residents who live numerous blocks outside that area consider themselves Broad Ripple residents. It's a title they want, say local real estate agents." [This is "realtor creep," a process by which a desirable neighborhood name leaks into surrounding areas.]

"How Broad Ripple became a village is a question often asked of Elaine Zuckerman, the village association’s administrative coordinator. She isn't much help, saying, 'It just happened. Broad Ripple is just an unusual place that somebody can’t really create or plan.' "

"In Broad Ripple, socialization is a significant byproduct of the business being done, from the assortment of restaurants and coffeehouses to the trendy boutiques and specialty shops. Even the local McDonald’s jolts the senses once inside, where a pastry counter and gourmet coffee bar seem the most astonishing additions -- until you round the corner to the piano lounge. As part of that evolutionary upswing, the area's commercial diversity is evidenced, in part, by the growing number of professional offices in what had been homes in the mixed-use zone north of the canal. In some instances, the entrepreneurs selling mental, physical, legal and architectural services make those new offices their homes as well."

"In the back of the narrow bar, the square dance floor is jammed with sweaty 20-somethings dancing to the booming music. The DJ gets on the mike for a birthday shout-out; then it's quickly back to the booming bass. Seated at the end of the bar is Russell Quarles. Sipping on his drink, Quarles gives his explanation of why most of the people in the bar are there. 'People come to Broad Ripple for two reasons,' he said. 'To get drunk and to get laid.' "


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