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Future Tomatoes

Posted on July 20th, 2016 by Richard. Categories: Nature


It’s that time of year finally. I can hardly wait after a winter and spring with nothing but “store bought” tomatoes. These are growing in my garden now along with several varieties of herbs and peppers. There are already some tomatoes that are about the size of baseballs and lots smaller too. I’m trying a new kind this year called Heirloom.They just looked very interesting with purples, greens and reds. So that will be fun to have those in a few weeks.

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Open Air Tour

Posted on July 19th, 2016 by Richard. Categories: Downtown


If you feel like doing something a bit out of the ordinary, and a little romantic and fun, this may be just for you. Take a slow cruise in one of the horse drawn carriages for a ride through the central downtown area. Can you imagine… a moon lit summer evening, a comfortable seat in your regal looking carriage and the soft clip clop sound as your horse walks along.

I have always been a bit curious about the carriages so when I happened to be downtown one day on foot, I talked with a carriage driver named Sky who works for Yellow Rose Carriages. Both he and his horse Riley were taking a short break near the Monument while waiting for their next fare. It doesn’t take much to tell that Sky has a genuine love and enthusiasm for what he does. Which is great because it’s a full time job for him. I always admire anyone who is working at something they love to do.

And if you watch Riley, he’s a natural at working the crowd… sort of the strong silent type… a really gentle animal. I studied Riley for a while from a short distance as people came up to him and he always brought out a smile from everyone. Sky told me about the lodging and care that Riley gets on a daily basis. It’s extensive. I know some people that don’t have it that good. He said Riley really enjoyed pulling the carriage and also it was good exercise for him. He’s a draft horse and helped him to stay in shape. It was sort of spooky though. Some of the time I was looking at Riley, I found myself having to resist the urge to ask him  “Are you the Key Master”? I guess I have seen the movie Ghostbusters too many times.

As long as the weather permits, the carriages are available about every day of the year from mid-evening to 11 or 12 o’clock at night, with extended hours on the weekends.

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Yesterday Today

Posted on July 17th, 2016 by Richard. Categories: Cuisine & Restaurants


Even if it’s not Sunday…there’s one place that serves a Sunday-style family dinner every day. Hollyhock Hill is one of those places that just never changes. The building, the decor, the menu…hasn’t essentially changed since they opened more than 75 years ago. They don’t have to. Their customers love it just the way it is. You can’t argue with the logic. If it isn’t broken, you don’t need to fix it.

If you are looking for fancy, upscale modern decor, then this is not the place. You feel much like you are entering someones home, and sitting down to eat in their dining room. If it’s exotic cuisine you are interested in, it’s not here either. They are famous especially for their traditional fried chicken dinners, including a big platters of chicken, bowls of mashed potatoes and vegetables and all the trimmings that everyone passes around the table just like you would at Grandmas house.

There really isn’t another restaurant like this one in the Indy area that I know of. One of few places left where you can have yesterday today. Located at 8110 N. College Ave.


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Move-in Ready

Posted on July 15th, 2016 by Richard. Categories: Historic Homes/Buildings

oldfields-lilly house
I was just thinking for a moment and wondering what it would feel like to have actually lived in a home like this. It’s beyond comprehension really the kind of lifestyle that would be. If someone said “Congratulations… you are the 10 millionth visitor to the museum, and you win the Grand Prize… an all expense paid stay in this house for a month”. What a blast that would be to move in for a little while. Besides roaming around and kicking your feet up any of the 22 rooms inside, and strolling around the 26 acres of gardens and pathways around it, imagine the baseball game you could have with a group of your friends, or practicing your iron shots on the front lawn.

As if you didn’t know already… this is Oldfields Mansion, the previous home of J. K. Lilly, which is adjacent to the Indianapolis Museum of Art on west 38th Street.  Nice place huh?

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Posted on July 14th, 2016 by Richard. Categories: Architecture & Design, Downtown, Public Buildings & Sites

Ever had a need to use any of the services in any of the departments located in the Indiana State Government Center? The complex is located between the old State House and White River State Park on the north side of Washington Street. Since Indianapolis is the seat of our state government, we have all the official departments and bureaus at our fingertips. I had a need to visit the BMV there recently which prompted this photo. This was taken about 11:00am there…and the place was humming. There are several entrances off of this corridor. People coming and going like you wouldn’t believe. When I saw this straight shot down the veranda though the photographer in me had to have it. I liked the angles and shadows. So I waited..and waited..and waited…and finally for one split second there was no one there.

I’m not sure an architect would call this a veranda? There might be a different term for it on a large building. But if something like this were on a home I would call it a veranda. That’s a feature though that very few homes have now days. Verandas are a very close cousin to porches, and a fine line between the two sometimes. A lot of the older homes especially that were built before air conditioning was invented, have verandas…or full-length porches. It was so hot inside sometimes in the summer, people sat outside where it was cooler, shaded by the veranda roof, with a chance to catch a stray breeze or two. Probably why in those days people actually talked to their neighbors more as they walked down the street. Now people jump on Facebook or Twitter to communicate. Maybe they should bring verandas back on homes? Face to face is always better. Some of us would say “that sounds great” but still have our laptops or Blackberry on the veranda with us too. And, picture this Government Center veranda with a bunch of Adirondack chairs and rockers. Everyone could get their business done inside and then sit a while, talk and get to know each other.