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Restaurant Veteran Travis Sealls Doesn’t Labor Under Any Delusions As He Opens His 4th Eatery Labor District Cafe Brings His Touch To BMO Tower Travis Sealls is at it again, and he’s bringing a cafe concept back to downtown that’s reminiscent of the “good old days” of neighbourhood restaurants with daily plate lunches, blue plate specials and comfort foods which many of the so-called “modern” and “fusion” and chain places have seemingly forgotten. Sealls, in case the name doesn’t ring a bell (or the face as that’s him standing at left), made his food entry into downtown with the franchised Pita Pit at Pennsylvania and Washington streets just about five years ago. Next, he came up with his own concept and opened Punch Burger at 137 East Ohio Street. After that he ventured out of downtown to take over and turn around a struggling Pita Pit on the north side of town, and now he’s back downtown with his newest concept, The Labor District Cafe at 135 North Pennsylvania Street in the BMO (First Indiana) Bank Tower at Penn and Ohio on the 2nd floor. The space, operated for some years by Sahm’s Cafe, was just begging for a menu and concept make-over and Sealls told us on a recent tour of the facility that meant a total reinvention for the room and for him when it came to concepts. “I like to call our menu an extended comfort food one with an added lighter side,” he said, adding “I take deep pride that anything and everything is locally sourced. We don’t just call a food service or run out to Restaurant Depot...we locate and work with local firms, mostly in Indiana, for what we are serving here.” Please Continue On Page 20

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Food For Thought Usually you will find a restaurant or three reviewed in this space, but this month the reviewer has some comments he’d like to share and if you make it to the end, you might win a meal out on us. Consider the comments here personal or things you might think, too, but dare not say while dining out. The biggest thing I want to talk about is drinks. No, not the alcoholic kind, but the other kind. The teas, the Cokes, sodas, juices and other odds and ends which restaurants tempt you with when you are handed a menu and assigned a seat. And what I have to say probably won’t thrill too many of my restaurant friends, but should help those who read us regularly. In two words: Don’t order. Make that two other words if you’d prefer: Drink water. If you do skip the cola, coffee, tea or juice, you will be amazed how much you chop off the typical lunch or dinner bill. Depending where you go, those iced teas you can make at home for 12¢ will add anywhere from $1.50 to $4 to your bill. A Pepsi at one downtown spot added $2.99. Juice at another $2.94 (How they got that I will never know as with the tax it doesn’t end up “even”.) Still another spot hit me $1.89 for a small coffee and when I went to get it (all they give you is a cup and the rest is selfserve) they were even out of hazelnut I wanted. I could go on (and on and on...) but the moral here is check that price before you say yes to the seemingly innocent waiter’s request of “Can I get you a drink while you look at the menu?” If you say “just water, please” and then refuse the increasingly common question back “bottled or tap?” you will notice a sometimes sizeable difference in your bill. Add that $2 or $3 a drink times a party of four or six and that savings will add up quick. You can buy a whole box of tea or litre of cola for far less than what’s being charged, even when you consider the restaurant’s overhead, staff wages and what it costs for ice and to wash that glass. By the way, I am not saying never have a soda or tea out, just know that the cost can add up fast, especially at some spots where they quietly do not even list the pricing for anything as simple as a tea, coffee or cola on that menu they hand you. It’s a game, I think, but do not be bashful — it’s your bill. If you can’t locate that tea or soda price on the menu ask the server before you order one and be informed, not surprised. Next, I must comment on the creep in pricing at some restaurants — especially the chains which are not owned locally. We (me, a partner and best friend) complained loudly at Buca di Beppo’s downtown restaurant as the “new” lunch menu they inaugurated a few weeks ago has cut out some of our faves (Example: no pizzas on it, though we were told we could “order one anyway” apparently at dinner pricing though the waitress did not elaborate.) and they raised pricing on other items to levels we find out of line. The fastest example to cite is the add-on green or Caesar salad at lunch, which at the first of the year added 99¢ to the entree bill. It’s now $1.29 which, if I can add and subtract correctly is a 30% increase! I am not saying nor suggesting every restaurant’s menu and everything on ones where I frequent have done this, but I am saying watch out for some sudden price creep (Buca is far from alone) and do what I did: Call for a manager and politely inform him or her that you noticed and are not happy. Before someone calls me and whines about prices for food going up I will say I have noticed this too as I eat home like everyone a lot of the time, but I have not noticed a 30% increase in ANYTHING at my local grocery or the warehouse clubs I frequent. Like the soft drinks, that salad may be best enjoyed at home to cut a bill add-on. Oh, and also to keep our lawyers happy we will say a number of the (mainly chain) restaurants have gone up — from a bit to a lot — on menu items, specials and addons like the salad. It’s just that the numbers were so sudden and glaring at Buca to all of us I decided to mention their increase — an increase a manager told us (when we identified ourselves and our role as a reviewer) we were far from the first to have pointed out to him. Nice to know we ain’t alone. OK, so the above said, what about staff, tipping and restaurants in general. There have been a number of hacked off waiters and waitresses sending notes around on social media where folks, instead of cash, left tracts, Bible quotes or said they were too poor to tip. The posts were flaming against such folks, and this reviewer can agree with a majority (but not all) of the comments service staffs have posted.

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We do not feel any Bible verses, tracts or “faked” money (which is really some religious literature made to look like cash just for cheating waiters) should ever be left for a tip. We also strongly question someone who goes out with only so many dollars in their pocket or left on their credit limit, over-spends on the meal and doesn’t have anything to tip. Staff who bring your food, take care of you and all the rest are sadly and woefully underpaid with management of restaurants expecting your and my tips to bring their pay up to a living wage. When you “run out” of money or leave religious claptrap instead of a tip you are hurting that staffer and his or her family directly. On the other side of the coin, however (and I have said this before and really cranked off some service staff I know, despite its truth) if there’s no or poor service find out why and ask the server or manager what the issue is. It’s not the server’s fault if the kitchen is on the slows or is backed up, though the server should tell the customers he or she is doing his best to get their food out. Said staffer should also talk to a manager about it so he or she can offer a discount or extra salad, dessert or apology. That doesn’t excuse the restaurant, but should make management wake up and take notice that there are issues. Meanwhile, if it IS the server’s fault then do find out the issue. If she or he’s just been on a smoke break or not on the job then do as I do — tell a manager why and leave a smaller (or no) tip. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to resort to this in the past year, but it has happened. “TIP”, by the way, supposedly is an acronym for “To Insure Promptness” though I think that “insure” should be “ensure” disproving this theory. In any case, a tip must be earned by staff. Those who do little or nothing deserve little or nothing. Ask anywhere I frequent and my tip is always 20-30% because as a regular I expect — and I get — good service. That’s because the staff know I am prepared to pay for it. Oh, and if you go out with just enough cash in your pocket to pay the restaurant but

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not enough to tip properly or at all, do the world a favour and stay home, select a cheaper restaurant (one with a drive-thru) or ask a friend or dining partner if he or she can spot you the cash to tip what’s proper. Stiffing the staff not only is poor manners and bad for the person you don’t tip, but if you show your face again they will remember. There are even poor tipper/bad customer websites and trust me, you should keep your face and name off them! OK so next I have a major complaint about the downtown and nearby “fast food” spots. Why is it none of you are fast anymore? The problems vary from inattentive staff to hours not posted correctly and more. Worst to us is crews which do not seem to be paying attention to the customers. Yes, we do know (and sympathise with staff getting $7 or $8 an hour to be there — often at crap times, but hey you did take the jobs and knew the terms going in.) In the past couple months we have seen staff not paying attention to work at White Castle on South Street twice — once with the result being we got cheese on double sliders which we were told were taking longer to prepare as we’d asked for them with no cheese — an error we didn’t discover until we got home to eat. Management was apologetic and sent us a coupon for freebies, but lo and behold, the next visit weeks later (photo below) found the same staff with their fingers up their same er, ah you-knows and for six sliders and a medium fries (with NO changes from the printed menu) the time at the window stretched to nearly 10 minutes. McDonald’s seems to disappoint too — at least the two closest to downtown have lately. The one down south on Madison is closed. I write these words as it’s being entirely reconstructed, but a visit a few days before the closure (and we can only assume the same crew will return when they get a new building) resulted in the dining room being locked at 9.05 p.m. despite a sign on the door stating 11. When we knocked, a staffer shouted through the glass, “I guess you didn’t know, but we were robbed a couple weeks ago so we close the eat-in now at 9!” He turned away when I asked why the door sign still said 11 but a call to HQ brought a return call from a lady identifying herself as “an assistant manager” and saying the change was the owner’s choice as was not changing the signs. Oh, and to make matters worse we got in our car and headed thru the McDonald’s drive-thru there (photo at left) after being refused eatin service and sat and sat and sat with no one ahead of as over 10 minutes passed for one large number five (translate: double quarter pounder and fries with large Coke) were finally handed to us. It appears this McDonald’s is taking some hints on how NOT to serve customers from the one at 16th & Meridian which we’ve panned here before and which, if one checks Foursquare, Yelp or any other review site seems to garner reviews from awful to worse. We hope the new one on Madison, when it opens again will do better, but it’s only fair for fast food to be a bit faster and for the signs on the doors to accurately state the hours. And one last rant on this topic — this time Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken right down from McDonald’s on South Madison. We love to pop in there so were shocked on a recent night to drive up about 9.15 and find all the chairs on the tables and the place appearing shut. We headed for the drive thru and when the lady asked what we wanted we said “to dine in but it appears you are closed!” Her reply was that Harold or Jim or someone (I forgot the name) was doing the floor and had them all up but they were open. We parked and went in, but left because while they were open, aside from a couple booths with too little room there was nowhere to sit. Add insult to injury but the drive-thru (which we returned to) left us hanging almost 10 minutes Please Continue On The Next Page

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More Food For Thought for fast food chicken. Why? Well our first request was mild but when they said “it’s being made” we opted for the spicy which we were told was ready. Sadly, when we got to the window the lady said “I was wrong...we didn’t have either so you had to wait!” Again, folks...fast food should mean fast or did this reviewer get that wrong? Pity here because the folks at our house adore Popeye’s chicken; the mashed potatoes with gravy are wonderful and they do awesome biscuits. They usually do better so hope this was a one-off.

So my contest and question for readers is this: Am I morally obligated to stay and wait it out at a restaurant where I have no reservation or other commitment or can or should I say “see ya another day” and move on if I choose not to wait or forgot to reserve? I’d love to hear what readers think so send a note to ted@midwestword.com and give me your two cents worth. I’ll print the best replies I get, and while an address or name is strictly voluntary, if you wish to divulge your contact info (not for publication), I’ll have my crew pick one person’s response at random and we will send them a $50 gift card to dine out downtown on us. We’ll do the drawing on 15th March so think about it and tell me what you think. Next month I’ll put away my soap box and we’ll be back to our normal reviews so join us then.

That leaves one final topic and your chance to express an opinion and win a meal: I’ve been the butt of several friends’ jokes because I have been known to walk out of a restaurant if the wait time is too long, either because I failed to plan and reserve or they don’t take reservations and I had other things to do with my time. Several buds have told me it’s rude not to wait but I contend that a restaurant is the same as a department store, hardware or any other business with something to sell. If they do not have what you came for, you are not obligated to buy. If a restaurant tells me (as Bru on Mass Ave did one weekday at lunch) I’d be waiting 45 minutes and I say “no thanks...I’ll come another day” then I have no problem with that. I walked out of Broad Ripple’s Mama Carolla’s on a recent Saturday night as I dropped by on a whim. I chose not to wait the hour I was told our table for three would be and went down the street to Marco’s where I was seated in under 15 minutes, which I see as a consumer decision. I have gone back and dined at Bru (I find it good food, great atmosphere, but not as good a burger as Punch Burger and a bit pricier, but that’s a reviewer’s opinion.) and the friendly crew at Mama Carolla’s reminded me that they do not take reservations ever (which I knew) so to avoid the wait to come earlier or pick a weeknight. “We can almost always get you in on a weeknight without a wait,” the smiling lady said as I assured her that we’d return for some of the best Italian in town.

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April Edition Deadline

Tuesday 18th March Papers On Street: Friday 28th March

Up Down Town is published the last week of every month at 110 E. Washington St., Suite 1402, Indianapolis, 46204. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy and fairness, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors. Liability is limited to the cost of said ad. Ads not cancelled by published deadlines will be billed at agreed-upon price. Ads may be edited or rejected for content at the discretion of the publisher. All items appearing in Up Down Town, as well as the name, logos and design are copyright 2014 by BBS, A division of High Speed Delivery Fork Ltd. & Ted Fleischaker and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written approval. Please Read

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Then Recycle!


Standard reviewer B y U p

B i l l

D o w n

E l l i o t t

T o w n

C r i t i c

Writing around the 50th anniversary of the “British invasion” of America by The Beatles it strikes me that another invasion is taking place, this time not by a moptopped pop group but a slew of British-produced or British-themed television series. Britain and America have always enjoyed a special relationship and nowhere is that more true than on television. Hugely popular shows such as Sanford and Son, All in the Family and Three’s Company were all based on British TV series from the Sixties and early Seventies. A formula quickly developed: if it was successful in England, chances are it would be big in America too. It’s a nice idea but unfortunately it hasn’t always worked in practice. More often than not a show that wowed audiences in England just flopped in the USA. Look at the sheer numbers of British television shows that have been “remade” for American audiences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_television_series_ based_on_British_television_series) and note how many have actually been successful. You can almost count them on one hand. A few shows (the ones mentioned above, for example) and others such as The Office have managed to work as American makeovers. Others, like Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous and, more recently, The Inbetweeners and , have been spectacular failures. British reality TV shows introduced Americans to British accents for more than a decade with personalities like Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsey crossing the pond to annoy American audiences in the same way they annoyed British audiences. But it seems that trend is on the wane and there is now a huge market for British drama. BBC America has been a fixture on cable for the past decade or so and has provided a direct portal into the latest British TV series. It has been responsible for the heightened interest in shows such as Dr. Who (which has been around in England since the early Sixties) and spinoffs like Torchwood. Advances in computer technologies and new ways of delivering TV content have also meant an increase in the market for British dramas. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu not only carry British television shows; they are now financing them, too. With traditional networks more and more afraid to risk huge investments on programming that might not even make it to a pilot episode, smaller, independent channels are less afraid to take a chance on them. They have smaller audiences and are not reliant on huge advertisers, often charging reasonable monthly fees for access to content. Even PBS, long considered the poor relation of American television networks, has struck gold — years ago with Are You Being Served, The Vicar of Dibley and Last of The Summer Wine as well as Dame Judi Dench’s As Time Goes By, but recently with Downton Abbey. Created in 2010 by Julian Fellowes, the latter series quickly became a phenomenon. The material couldn’t have seemed less promising. Set in the postEdwardian era on a fictional Yorkshire country estate it depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants against the backcloth of major historical events in the early twentieth century. It has captured the same nerve with American audiences that Brideshead Revisited did almost thirty years earlier. As a Brit, I cannot account for the popularity of Downton Abbey in the USA. Personally, I find the show a little dreary. But with a cast of interestingly developed characters, fleshed out by the cream of British stage and television actors (with a handful of wellknown American actors — Elizabeth McGovern, Shirley MacLaine, Paul Giamatti — thrown in for good measure), Downton Abbey has clearly created a niche that appeals to transatlantic audiences. The popularity in the USA of the BBC-produced Sherlock is less of a mystery. American

audiences are long familiar with Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation. Sherlock Holmes has been a staple of British and Hollywood films for close to a century. Sherlock’s success is largely due to two fabulous lead actors in Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Cumberbatch’s Holmes, while updated to contemporary London, has little of Robert Downey Jr.’s affability or smug sense of humour (from the most recent Hollywood film versions). He is ice-cold and calculating; not particularly attractive qualities. But somehow Cumberbatch manages to create a sympathetic figure. Jonny Lee Miller who plays another updated Sherlock Holmes in Elementary on CBS is also wonderful in the role, managing to maintain an awkward distance while exhibiting emotional depths absent in Cumberbatch’s version of the character. Cumberbatch’s Holmes is counterpointed by Freeman’s wholly human Dr. Watson. He is attached to Holmes not only as a professional working partner but as a friend and companion. At the end of Season Two (I don’t think I am giving too much away here), Holmes fakes his own death. Watson goes into mourning and when Holmes reappears at the beginning of Season Three (in what is meant to be a prank but comes across as a cruel and callous joke), Watson is not just shocked but hurt to the core. The three short series of Sherlock hitherto have mined Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories for plot elements and have managed to translate the characters and the stories to fit into the context of 21st century London seamlessly. The show is cleverly edited to make its 90 minutes seem to breeze by quickly and plots are complex but never convoluted. While it is American produced, I am counting the CW Network’s Reign as part of the British invasion, largely because it deals with a particular time in history before the U.S. existed and because most of the characters speak with British accents (even though a number of the actors are from Canada and Australia as well as the UK) Focusing on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots who lived from 1542-1587, Reign (like Downton Abbey) doesn’t sound very promising on paper. But, you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate this rich, textured drama about a young queen who had aspirations of usurping Elizabeth I to become Queen of England. The series is surprisingly watchable, in equal parts historical drama, political intrigue, and romance. The Catholic Mary, betrothed to the future King of France from the age of five, becomes a pawn in Europe’s post-Reformation religious and political drama. Like her father Henry VIII, Elizabeth was a Protestant, while Europe’s major powers, France and Spain, sought to restore Catholicism to England with Mary as queen. Reign deals with the political machinations behind the scenes at the royal court as France seeks to conquer England, simply by putting a friendly monarch on the throne. Throw in an evil queen (Megan Follows as Catherine de’ Medici) and the clairvoyant Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland) and all bets are off. The series sparkles with a contemporary feel that should seem totally out of synch with the time period. But it works! Dracula is an Anglo-American series that premiered on NBC in October. Boasting an international cast of British, Australian, Irish, and German actors, the show is a gripping and occasionally graphic retelling of the Bram Stoker novel, with the famous count (played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers), posing as an American capitalist in London. He tries to bring down the market in fossil fuels with a new, “clean” version of electricity. Dracula is interesting largely because it paints the lead character in a very sympathetic light. He is not only a romantic figure, but appears to be on the side of decency and goodness in the fight against aristocratic and bourgeois exploitation. So what if he needs human blood to survive and often exacts gory revenge on those who cross him? As portrayed by Rhys Meyers, he is charming and elegant, if often ruthless in his methods. It’s been over thirty years since the British actor and screenwriter, Colin Welland, claimed (on accepting an Oscar for his script for Chariots of Fire in 1981) that “the British are coming!” Britannia may not rule the waves anymore but she certainly has a lot of influence over what we see on our television screens in the USA. As the opening lines of one of the series I mention above goes: “Long may she reign!”

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Labor District Cafe Opens In BMO Tower Continued From The Front Page Those suppliers include big ones like beef from Jasper’s Fischer Farms, bacon from Smoking Goose, chicken and turkey from Orland, Indiana’s Miller’s Amish Poultry but they also extend to smaller details like all the ketchup’s from Red Gold in Elwood, pies from Northern Indiana’s Elkhart Pie Co. and cookies from Scholars Inn Bakehouse in Bloomington. Each meal starts with a bowl of popcorn to snack on while customers are perusing the menu and that’s Cousin Willie’s from Ramsey, Indiana. As we said: no detail is too small to be considered and Sealls notes he is trying to cover the few bases he still has vacant from Indiana-based suppliers so he expects the local list to grow further. But it’s not just the suppliers, but what chef Art Johnson (late of the Marriott Downtown and Buca di Beppo in Greenwood) does with them that differentiates Labour District Cafe from others. “We do everything from scratch here so if you get a turkey manhattan (that’s it at right) it means we bought the turkey from Miller’s and Art and his staff cooked it right here in our kitchen. We make our own biscuits for our breakfast biscuits and gravy and to make the gravy we cook our sausage (from Gutgsell Farms in Southern Indiana) and then make the gravy. When I say we do everything we possibly can right here, I mean that. We are a scratch kitchen and we are as local as we can possibly make it,” Sealls said with a sense of deserved pride.

the discussion stages for the future, but his first concerns are filling his dining rooms at breakfast and lunch. With the quality of food and very fair pricing (three of us ate literally soup to pie for under $45 in the full service side last month) it’s just a matter of time.

In addition to being unequivocally local, Labour District Cafe is also unique in that it has both a full and quick service area, so essentially two restaurants in one.

Of course, Sealls won’t complain if Spring comes a bit early this year and sunshine replaces the snow.

When one hits the door, both choices beckon and both have unique personalities. On the quick service side, orders are placed at a counter and — as the name stresses — getting the customer in, fed and done with quality food is the staff’s goal. Turn the other way at that door and set tables with a host stand and full staff await. Pricing is roughly the same on both sides, as Sealls explained, “on the quick service side we are ala carte so you can get just a sandwich or just a main dish or dessert, whereas on the full service side we tend to offer complete meals, so that sandwich there will come with vegetables or sides. The pricing adds up to the same, but the concepts are different.”

“We opened the very day of the January blizzard and our first month had more snow, cold and Winter than I would have liked. It’s tough to introduce a new place when most of the schools, government and other offices are either shut or on partial staff, but hey, I wanted a slow, soft opening here and we had that courtesy of Mother Nature. Now that it’s behind us we are set for anything,” he added with a grin, before dashing off to check on a food order and getting set to walk down the block to Punch Burger and check on things there.

Breakfast includes everything from those biscuits and gravy to oatmeal, omelets or a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast (or biscuit) and coffee. In keeping with the “choice” ideas, it can be as elaborate or as “grab and go” as the customer wants to make it.

Sealls is the epitome of a busy guy, but not a single detail escapes his or his staff’s eyes which is why he’s not worried — save for the weather — about filling his new restaurant with smiling customers, just as he has done at his other ones downtown and on the north side.

Lunches range from a full meatloaf comfort food delight to an equally-delicious turkey manhattan with mashed potatoes and vegetables. In between there are entree salads (including a full, old-style Chef Salad alongside the “more modern” Cobb and others), chicken fingers (not from a box, but made and breaded by Johnson on site) and soups. For more contemporary tastes, the cafe has a “root vegetable mash” as a side choice and offers a curry egg salad sandwich and spicy Cali Club (on wheatberry bread with the usual ingredients, but spiced up with habanero cheddar and mayo). As the owner noted: contemporary combined with comfort and a lot of added bits in between. Sealls also told us that the menu, as well as the whole restaurant is a work in progress. “We continue to search out and build relationships with suppliers and that means there are still some things we are working on, like ice cream. We have great pies from Elkhart, but still don’t have an ice cream supplier though with our homemade vanilla whipped cream on the pies nobody seems too upset.” Another area where Sealls is reaching out to downtown is in the catering department as Labour District Cafe is making a strong marketing push to not only cater lunches and deliver, but to host meetings, luncheons, dinners and other events for the many corporations which surround the restaurant. With plenty of tables, great food and a very visible and central location, it seems a natural, but he noted it takes awhile to get noticed and sampled so he’s in it for the long haul. At present, Labour District Cafe is open from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. weekdays, which means the staff has plenty of out-of-hours time for hosting events and more. Sealls said everything from special dinners and chefs tables to a possible weekend brunch are in

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Dine Out 24th April Downtown

Mark your calendars for Dining Out for Life, Indy’s largest dining fundraiser, set this year for 24th April. Nearly 40 restaurants in the Indianapolis area will donate 25%, 50% or 100% of their entire day’s sales to fight AIDS in Indianapolis, and it’s as easy as can be for diners. There are no special menus or codes to mention —simply dine out and you can help fight AIDS. Dining Out for Life, an international event taking place in 60 cities on the very same day, raises money for HIV/AIDS organisations, and locally it benefits The Damien Centre, Indiana’s largest and oldest AIDS service organisation, which is proud to celebrate 20 years of Dining Out for Life in Indiana. Proceeds directly benefit the centre’s clients by providing free HIV and STD tests, HIV care coordination and supportive services such as a food pantry, housing and career development programmes. Elisa Rogowski, Damien development director, noted, “In 2013 Dining Out for Life raised more than $80,000 for Damien Centre clients, 94% of whom are living in poverty. The Damien Centre’s services are always free to the community, so fundraisers like Dining Out for Life are critically important to making the mission of The Damien Centre a reality. That mission is to allow persons in Central Indiana affected by HIV/AIDS to move forward each day with dignity, and to lead the fight to prevent the spread of HIV.” So which restaurants will be participating in this year’s event? Check out the still-growing list online at www.diningoutforlife.com or www.damien. org where you’ll also find a map of restaurants. This year’s event will feature a range of downtown restaurants, including many returning favourites as well as new participants. Rogowski noted that Fountain Square’s Red Lion Grog House now has some competition for the top donor spot as the event has gained a second 100% contributor for the first time. “As our returning Champion Restaurant, Red Lion Grog House will again donate 100% of their day’s sales to The Damien Centre. New to the event this year, Champion Restaurant Labor District Cafe, featuring what owner Travis Sealls calls ‘throwback casual comfort food,’ will also be donating 100% of sales,” she noted.

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Red Lion is on Virginia Avenue in Fountain Square, while the Labour District Cafe is located on the 2nd floor of the BMO (First Indiana Bank) Tower at Ohio & Pennsylvania streets downtown. Other returning eateries include Santorini Greek Kitchen, Cerulean, The Greek Islands Restaurant, Punch Burger, Arni’s Indy and South, Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle and Pita Pit downtown. Of those, both Pita Pit and Punch Burger are also owned by Sealls, showing true committment to the cause, Rogowski noted. New participating restaurants include Beefcake Burgers Greenwood, Siam Square, a new Pizza King location downtown, Bru Burger and Mama Irma Peruvian amongst others.

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Dining Out for Life International, hosted by Subaru, collectively raises more than $4 million each year to support local HIV/AIDS programming. Support for this event nationally has grown to over 250,000 diners, thanks in large part to the efforts of Dining Out for Life Spokesman Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s primetime competition series Chopped. Rogowski also said that, “The Damien Centre is proud to have numerous local sponsors for this year’s event, including Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, along with Up Downtown, Printing Partners, WTHR Channel 13, Old National Bank, Talbott Street, Just Pop In!, Indy’s i94 and Indy Pride. Ketel One is the Official Spirits Sponsor of Dining Out for Life.”

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Hackin’ The Net By Ted Fleischaker / Up Down Town Publisher Quick! What time is it? And if you do know (or don’t) what’s that got to do with a computer and tech column? Well, the answer is everything and giving credit where credit is due, we have been struggling with the time on our computers, our phones, iPads, our “atomic clock” and our regular, old watches for awhile now because they all show different times at the same time. So what IS the time? Oh, and about that credit...just when I thought I was the only one having this issue along comes, in The Telegraph, the British national newspaper I read daily on www. pressreader.com (It’s a great paid service with thousands of the world’s newspapers available for computer, iPad and Droid and worth checking out.) where in a column entitled “Time has lost all meaning in the digital age” by Alexander Armstrong I see the same issue raised. In it, Armstrong worries about what will become of “the pips.” No, not the Gladys Knight ones, but those the BBC has been broadcasting for nine decades to signify the precise top of each hour. There are five “beeps” (to use a different word than pips) followed by a longer tone signifying exactly when the top of the hour has been reached. The problem, as we sorted out at our house a few months back and Armstrong discussed in his column, is that with all the different media we have these days, no time signal (pips, beeps, that tone CBS Radio uses to start their hourly news or even the NPR top of the hour indicator) really tells when the clock is straight up at any hour for that matter. The reason is the delivery method, and that can cause quite a discrepancy. Armstrong found out about the problem when he tried listening in Christmas Eve to the annual Lessons & Carols from King’s College Cambridge in every room of his home. He reports he put on the broadcast on a regular FM, his internet radio, his iPhone, a digital (in this country called HD) radio and on his computer only to find that he could not listen in every room of his home simultaneously because his devices were not in synch — off by over a minute from the first to the last to hit the show’s 3 o’clock start. Go on, I know you readers will be looking with some form of incredulity and want to find out if I’m telling the truth, so put down the paper and put on your favourite station on a radio. Then go to www.tunein.com or any of the other iPhone or internet radio station players (WunderRadio is a fave of ours, too) or the station’s website and listen to the same broadcast. You will be amazed at the delay one (likely the internet or phone) receiver has when compared to the on-the-air old fashioned radio. Add in satellite TV audio or SiriusXM options and you add a delay for the signal to go 22,000 to 24,000 miles up and a similar distance back (remember radio waves like light travel at 186,000 miles a second) and there’s another time shift. Try the internet and things are strained through miles of mostly undersea cables if you are listening to an overseas station. There’s a great map showing all the internet cables and their routes which you can find online at www.submarine-cable-map-2014. telegeography.com Give that a look and you’ll find out one of 10 undersea cables could be carrying that BBC or other British show to your computer, travelling under the Atlantic via UK beaches and U.S. terminals, mostly in New York or New Jersey. Is it any wonder those pips or that broadcast gets a bit out of synch along the way?

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The issue gets further complicated when you add in the fact internet TV or radio even works. As my old friend Andy Granger told me when internet radio was in its infancy (and Seattle’s classical KING-FM teamed up with Real Audio to try it). There was no XM or Sirius, much less Netflix or other services delivered via the net, when Andy told me, “There’s no way this should work. Just keep that in mind.” What he was meaning was (and is) that for a symphony or a rock concert or even a talk show to get streamed it has to be split into a gazillion tiny “packets” then sent down the line while the receiving computer picks them out of the literally millions of other items on the internet and puts them back together all in microseconds so Beethoven’s 5th still sounds the same here as it did in Sydney and Katy Perry sounds like she did when broadcast in London. Imagine the fun it would be if you got packets of both intermingled! But back to the time. In the day we had clocks and a few of we brave shortwave radio lovers set ours via WWV, the U.S. government’s time & frequency standards station just outside Fort Collins, Colorado. It still exists and still broadcasts on 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz. If you own a shortwave radio (we still do) you can hear the WWV signals to set your watch. Check out http://www.nist.gov/pml/div688/grp40/wwv.cfm for a complete history of the station and more info. Also you can listen via the net, but be aware of this disclaimer on the WWV website: “Where can I see NIST time on the Internet? The current time is shown on the Internet at www.time.gov - it synchronizes with NIST every ten minutes. There is an accuracy statement based on a measurement of the round-trip network delay. This delay is measured using your computer clock as a timer each time synchronization is made. The site provides a time-of-day service, and it should not be used to measure frequency or time interval, nor should it be used to establish traceability to NIST...” NIST, by the way, stands for the National Institute of Standards & Technology, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. But what does that say or mean? All that tech talk about network delays and synchronization means that what you hear on the shortwave and what you hear online are probably not going to be exactly in synch. The good news is that these will be off by so little most folks will not notice (Or dare we say care?) but they will be off. Add satellite delivery, different radio formats (regular and HD in this country) as well as listening via other devices and what time it is starts to get hazy. Compare the time of that beep on your fave station to the time on your phone (set by the nearest cell tower’s clock which connects to the NIST and the company’s computers which provide the tower’s service) and there is another option to answer the age-old question: What time is it? Is it any wonder that after 90 years those BBC pips are in grave danger? They do have a neat history (which you can read about at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_ Time_Signal) and just like the sound of Big Ben is associated with the BBC will always be as well, so do not look for them to go away. But just as Armstrong said in his Telegraph article a few weeks ago and we discovered at our house, the pips may be historic, but don’t trust them to give you the exact time in this modern era because they don’t. They are still a fun bit of history and if you travel to the UK and tune in on a regular FM or Longwave radio they will still be accurate. Anywhere or via anything else, you probably don’t have time to know about. Besides, for most of us being within a minute or two is good enough to make that beauty shop or dinner appointment and we don’t really care about microseconds. Unless, of course we are trying to listen to the same broadcast via the internet, a radio or live, but we already explained all that.

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 03.14 On The Web At: www.updowntown.net


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