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Up Downtown

April 2014

Downtown Gets National Top 10 Rank For Livability Welcome to the 3rd most livable downtown in America! The best downtowns instill a sense of pride in their cities. They must maintain a high level of energy and give all city residents a reason to come visit. With this in mind, has named Indianapolis a Top 10 Best Downtown for 2014. Why? Because the judges said Downtown Indianapolis offers a diverse array of local architecture, art lifestyles and things to do. It unites residents from all walks of life by providing places to connect. For their list of downtowns, editors said they looked at data including improvement in retail and office vacancy rates, the number of people moving into the area, income growth, unemployment, the ratio of people who live and work downtown, and the overall livability of the city. “Considerable weight was given to population growth and the ratio of residents to jobs in a downtown area. Urban centre experts suggest these are the most telling signs of how a downtown is doing,” they noted, adding, “numbers alone though can’t tell you what makes a downtown great. One must see the skylines, hear the street sounds and talk to people who’ve been there, so our editors also considered input from our well-traveled staff. “Having a great downtown is about more than just having a great main street,” Matt Carmichael, editor said. “A downtown should have a cultural and retail focal point, like a main Please Continue On Page Five

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What Does An Award-Winning Downtown Look Like? Like This!!! Continued From The Front Page street, but it has to expand beyond that, providing a solid core for the entire community.” He went on to add, “Living in downtown Indianapolis puts people within walking distance to restaurants, entertainment districts, professional sports venues and parks. More than 50 new projects are slated to be completed in downtown Indianapolis by 2017. Residents gather throughout the year on downtown streets to listen to live music, eat and celebrate at annual events.” Organisers cited events from Fringe to Pride, and from Heartland Film Festival to the Strawberry Festival.

The Top 10 In Order Were:

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Food For Thought If you’ve had one for awhile in your area this won’t be news, but downtown Indianapolis recently got its first branch of Firehouse Subs at 47 South Illinois Street (the former spot where Einstein Bros. Bagels used to be before they moved to Market Street) and this writer is shocked that they were not as busy as the proverbial house afire when we went in for lunch recently. We actually did find them that good and better than the competition in a downtown neighbourhood which had two Quizno’s (till they both folded), has umpteen (and we think) mediocre Subways, an “OK” Penn Street, plus a Jimmy John’s and Potbelly, though the latter is not, strictly speaking a “sub shop” in the same vein. The fact is, in this reviewer’s experience, they figured out how to do it right at Firehouse and they seem to be carrying on the tradition as they expand. For those reading outside downtown Indy, there are suburban stores here, and there’s one in Louisville, a bunch in Southwest Ohio, plus Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Muncie, Lexington, the Region and elsewhere, but for we downtown dwellers this is new stuff. And good stuff it is so we definitely have not been “hosed”. We had the New York Steamer (a photo is at right) which, quoting from the menu, is “Corned beef brisket, pastrami, melted provolone, mustard, mayo and Italian dressing.” Keep in mind that in downtown Indianapolis ANYTHING with corned beef or pastrami gets held in pretty high regard at our house because, after all, we are the birthplace and home to one of the last remaining Shapiro’s Delicatessens. In fact, the original is just a few blocks from downtown’s Firehouse Subs on South Meridian Street and has been there since 1905. I hate to say this as I knew the founder’s son, Mort Shapiro, personally and Brian, his son who now owns it and carries on the family name as well, but we liked our New York Steamer as well or better than the last corned beef and pastrami we had at Shapiro’s. And at $7.89 the pricing was about a third less. It may not have the Shapiro homemade rye with its oh-so-great crust, but we liked the bread almost as well...and for the money we felt it a better value. We also liked the mix of mustard, mayo and Italian dressing which made what is sometimes a bone dry sandwich a really mouth-wateringly moist treat. Those dining with us had a turkey and cranberry sub with some of what he called “awesome” cranberry spread (and the whole thing comes in at 495 calories if you happen to be watching yours) and the other had a large sweet and spicy meatball sub which looked like something I’d like, but I honestly forgot to ask quick enough to try even a single bite before it was scarfed up! That alone says something for it as the person ordering it has his photo next to the words “picky eater” in the dictionary. We all three opted for the combo platters which included chips and a soft drink (more on that in a second) and the bill for three came in at $31 exactly — again a good percentage less than our last foray at Shapiro’s and still very high quality and quality which bests anything I have found at Penn Station and certainly better than the (I feel) oft-tasteless stuff Subway hands across their counters. The restaurant itself is also interesting because we were told they have a crew of painters who visit each location and do the “art” for the walls prior to its opening. That means the downtown location featured Indianapolis firefighters, the Monument, the Circle and more from here in downtown. Oh, and about those drinks... They have one of those Coke machines where you can mix this and that, but my recommendation is that you skip the traditionals and go for one drink no other similar machine has — their very own Firehouse Cherry Limeade, complete with a tray of fresh sliced limes on offer to squeeze into your drink and add some flavour and real fruitiness. We would go back if only for this unique tasting drink, but the food is way worth return visits as well. Checking the Firehouse website, it says drinks are varied by location, so we hope the one by you (if you are not downtown) offers the Limeade. With Spring, Summer and hot days on the way, all we can say is Yum! Next, a follow-up to last month’s column in which we asked what readers thought of my and my friends’ argument as to should we stay or go if we went to a restaurant without a reservation and were told the wait would be longer than we wished to

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endure. In that column we said some friends were unhappy with us for walking out of Bru on Mass. Ave. after saying “no thanks” to such a long wait because they felt once we walked in (even with no reservations, on a whim) we were obligated to wait things out. I, on the other hand, noted that I feel a restaurant is no different than anywhere else one shops and if they do not have what you need or want and offer it in a timely manner you are not obligated to stay. We heard from a number of you out and about in person and some in e-mails too. Among them: —I do not think you are obligated to stay. As stated it is your choice. This happened to my husband and myself about a year ago. We went to the Olive Garden at 146th and I-69 in Fishers. We knew we would probably have to wait. No problem. Our choice. They gave us one of those vibrating light things and said it would be about 25 minutes. Well, 25 minutes came and went and at 45 minutes I politely (and trust me I can be anything but polite) went back up to the hostess and asked about how much longer. She said about 30 minutes. I asked why they did not give an accurate time estimate and she said they guessed. Had we had an accurate estimate of time my husband and I would possibly have made a different choice. Anyway, we decided to go across the street to Houlihans and see how long a wait they had. By this time we figured everyone had a wait. We took the vibrating thing and got

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At:

—Depending on the situation the reaction can be one of two (with a 3rd alternative): 1.) If you are a walk-up and the wait is to long for you then you always have the option of “nicely” saying “thank you” and moving on to another choice. If you have said “yes put my name on the list” and the wait is longer than quoted again “nicely” saying “take my name off” and moving on would be appropriate. It never would be appropriate when you have requested placing your name on a list to be rude/hostile even if you think the information as to time you were given was to keep you waiting and drink overpriced beer or non-alcoholic beverages. Above all you should ask for your name to be removed from the list when leaving and tell the host why you are leaving. 2.) If you have made a reservation and when you show up you are told it will be more than 10 or 15 minutes (itself possibly too long) then again “nicely” saying “What happened to my reservation time?” would be appropriate, hoping for an acceptable answer. Do you leave if the answer is not acceptable? Good luck on that choice. 3. Use the new “non-reservation” and call ahead. —Ted, you must be joking, right? If you made a reservation at a restaurant and were on time for said reservation, you SHOULD leave after perhaps 15 minutes max. Let the host (hostess), manager, or better yet, the owner know why you are leaving. If they are smart, they sould offer you a drink or appetiser on the house. If no reservation is made (or accepted), it is one’s prerogative to take their business (and money) elsewhere in the event of a seating delay. —David W. Miller. So our conclusion? There’s no 100% sure “right” answer but only one person (who spoke with us out so did not send a printable note) said our friends were right and we should stay regardless. Of course a couple pals also told us that they’ve seen us be lessthan-cordial no matter how hard we try, causing us to re-read what Jerry said above. We try to always be nice, but we will try harder should the need arise. Meanwhile we will check Open Table first and call restaurants we can’t find there to cut down on everyone’s frustrations! Oh, and, as promised we will send a $50 gift card to Deb as our contest winner! Congrats Deb and happy dining...on us!

in our car and went to Houlihans. We figured whoever could seat us first would get our business. They said “10 to 15 minute wait” and in 10 minutes we were seated and had our water. We finally took the vibrating thingy back last month...” (Unsigned but too hilarious not to print!) —Gee Ted... Read your article, but am I obliged to respond? Not! Guess I’m on your team because I have never felt any obligation to “wait it out”. The acceptable wait time for me is largely determined by my level of hunger and the impact the wait has on the rest of my evening. And yes, this strategy has been known to backfire, leaving one restaurant for another that has an even longer wait. Being a downtown dweller, I would say we eat out about once or twice a week. I would like to know if anyone can trump my latest wait experience. I get that Bluebeard, Thunderbird, Black market etc. etc. like to think they are so different. But they are simply part of the current trend. Lots of wood, exposed brick and a communal table — how uniquely the same. Can’t be sure, but when you apply to wait at these trendy chains I think you have to check the box for appropriate number of tattoos and piercings you have to be considered for hire. So back to my wait story... Over the holidays, during the polar vortex about 18 below I stopped in Bluebeard for a cocktail. The bar was full and I was told would be an undetermined wait time. They suggested we buy our cocktails and take them outside to the patio because they had a heater! I was like “Are you on meth”? so I say it is up to the consumer always and has absolutely nothing to do with moral obligation. —Peace, Deb.

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At: Page 9

More Food For Thought Now that Spring is here and Summer surely is not too far behind, I wanted to give you a quick trip idea and one which will take you under 100 miles round-trip and transport you back 100-plus years. Head south down I-65 from downtown and visit Columbus, Indiana, the home of a recently-remodelled and expanded Zaharakos — a place where we love to go and whose website very accurately states, “Zaharakos has been serving sodas, sundaes, and smiles since 1900.” The good news is that after some years of falling into disrepair under different owners, a couple years back it was bought, expanded, cleaned up and, best of all, the collection of antique musical machines (including a 1909 Welte Orchestrion) came back, much to the delight of we “regulars.” Think of the ice cream parlours that your mom may have told you about — or maybe grandma or grandpa. This place is classic. Also classic is the menu. A recent visit with friends from Canada brought smiles all around as everyone got to sit in genuine wire-backed soda fountain chairs, enjoy the mechanical music and eat from a menu that would have been familiar to folks at the St. Louis World’s Fair or Chicago’s Century of Progress in 1933. The menu is not for the seekers of current “modern cuisine” because it’s in keeping with the decor and like everything else is firmly rooted in soda fountain fare. This means that while there’s a salad or three (one with chicken was on the menu) the place leans heavily to burgers, fries, onion rings and the like. And while their “dinner burger” is OK, we found it to be overcooked and rather dry for $7.49. Another at the table did the place’s famous GOM Cheese-brr-grr which is actually closer to a barbecue / sloppy joe than a burger, but hey, it’s a local tradition and they sell a blue gazillion of them, so maybe it’s something whose charm we just missed. But let’s be totally honest here — a soda fountain is where one comes for sodas (and ice cream, shakes, malts and sundaes) not to look after one’s cholesterol or even to eat burgers or fries...and in that area Zaharakos not only shines, but they sparkle with the best ice cream dishes at very reasonable prices to be found anywhere. The choices on

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the dessert menu seem endless (as will your waistline if you pick too many) but hey, this is special and it is not something you do every day so go on and splurge — at least a bit!

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At:

We will confess to liking the sundaes best and we usually can find room (even after the main course) for a two-scooper. If you only have room for one scoop (or even a dish of ice cream) the two words Nike made famous apply: Do It! Flavours change a bit, but Butter Pecan, Cookies ‘n Cream, Dreamsicle and Mint Chocolate Chip join the perennial Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry here. Toppings also are wide-ranging, from the best Hot Fudge we have had anywhere to Peanut Butter, Marshmallow and Caramel. There’s also a choice of toppings — from sprinkles and Mint Chocolate Chips to Pecans, Peanuts and Cherries. The best part of the desserts is the price: That single scoop sundae with your pick of a sauce, whipped cream and cherry will set you back just $2.99 and our fave double comes in very fairly priced at $4.49. Sundaes somehow not your thing? They have floats, malts, milkshakes and anything and everything you can recall hearing the older generation tell you they went to a soda fountain for...and it’s all just as fairly priced as the sundaes. That’s a photo of my two scooper with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream at right and posting it on Facebook brought me a barrage of complaints from friends who said I failed to invite them along. Yes, it really is that good! After lunch leave a few minutes to check out Zaharakos small but fun museum. It’s free and features all manner of antiques — from Seeburg 1925 music machines to additional soda fountains with gleaming knobs and spigots. There’s even an antique Alka Seltzer display and a fair share of signs and advertising memorabelia from as far back as 1900. There’s a small gift shop to tempt, too, including CDs of some of the music machines’ tunes (Did we mention they play at intervals or if you ask your waitress?) and they have items with Zaharako’s logo on them ranging from heavy ceramic coffee mugs to aprons for the cook at your house. Amazingly, the take-home items are as fairly priced as the ice cream so you can bring home a few gifts, too. Zaharakos is located in downtown Columbus, so check the area’s architecture and the newly-remodelled Commons shops across the street, not to mention the Crump Theatre and Visitor’s Centre (complete with a Chihuly original) plus the other things which make Columbus special. Besides, after all that ice cream you might just need to do a bit of walking!

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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

Alan Partridge and Ron Burgundy are fictional media personalities cut from the same dishevelled cloth. Created by comedian and actor Steve Coogan, Alan Partridge appeared on British television in the 1990s in Knowing Me, Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge. In the first series, Partridge is a self-absorbed television talk show host, while in the second he is a lowly radio DJ who longs to get back into the big time. Ron Burgundy, a character developed by former Saturday Night Live alumnus and A-list Hollywood actor, Will Ferrell, is a television newsman whose burning ambition is to become a prime-time network anchor. The British Partridge and American Burgundy are transatlantic alter egos: self-centred narcissists driven by a need be the centre of attention. In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and Alan Partridge, Will Ferrell and Steve Coogan resurrect characters who have become cult figures in their respective countries. Both films hark back to an earlier age. Anchorman 2 is set in the permed, moustachioed, and polyester-suited 1970s, while the protagonist in Alan Partridge would be more at home in the same decade than in the present. Burgundy is an overconfident, chauvinistic and self-obsessed peacock; Partridge is insecure, superficial, and socially awkward but self-deluded enough to think he is a media superstar. Both are insensitive buffoons capable of heart-stopping social gaffes. When it was released in 2004, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was one of the most successful comedies of the year. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opened in December and was so successful that the filmmakers decided to release a longer, uncut, R-rated version of the film. Freed from the constraints of PG language, the uncut version runs amok linguistically. With no nudity and only a little cartoon violence, the super-sized R-rated Anchorman 2 manages to circumnavigate political correctness and civility with a boldness that frequently borders on bad taste. Picking up several years from where the original left off, Anchorman 2 finds Burgundy (Ferrell) and his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) as successful news co-anchors at a top TV network in New York City. Anticipating promotion to the six o’clock news, Burgundy is summarily fired for being incompetent while his wife is given the coveted prime-time spot.

Burgundy’s weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell) stands in front of a blank green weather board during GNN’s launch and asks, “Where’s the map?” Ron points to a monitor on which a weather map is projected onto the matte screen. Wearing green trousers, Brick is convinced that he has lost his legs. Later, introducing a feature story on crack cocaine, Burgundy and his team smoke some crack on air as their desperate technical crew try to pull the plug on them. In Alan Partridge, the eponymous DJ manages to lock himself out of the radio station during hostage negotiations. Climbing back into the building through an open window, Alan gets his trousers snagged on the window latch, losing not only his trousers but his boxers as well. Locked outside the building once again, he is told to raise his hands by an armed policeman who thinks he might be the gunman. Partridge faces a dilemma: expose himself or find a way to hide his modesty. An expert in poor choices, his solution is side-splittingly funny. Later on, having been taken hostage himself on the radio station’s touring bus, Alan and Pat pass the time hosting a travelling radio show denouncing the station’s new owners. Pat finally learns that it is Alan who got him fired from the station and Alan locks himself in the bus’s toilet. Breaking down the door, Alan appears to have escaped in the most unlikely of places — down the toilet. The ensuing conversation between Pat and Alan has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Both Anchorman 2 and Alan Partridge make some pointed social commentary about the increasingly monopolistic nature of the media world, and how content and presentation have taken a backseat to branding and ratings. But these are side issues. Both films will be remembered for the funny scenes rather than the social criticism. When the comedy works, both films are hilarious. Even at their cringe-worthy worst, they are more entertaining than the usually comedy fare. ________________________ The Indiana University Theatre in Bloomington, Ind., will present three brand new plays during a mini-festival of works by current M.F.A. playwriting candidates, from 28 March through 5 April. Now in its second year, At First Sight will include three fulllength plays: The Art of Bowing by Nathan Davis, Lacy and Ashley Live in a Trailer Now by Kelly Lusk and Trigger Warning, by Iris Dauterman. Lacy and Ashley Live in a Trailer Now focuses on a lesbian couple whose long-standing relationship is brought to a breaking point by an old friend who moves into their small abode. Lacy and Ashley have been planning to get out of the trailer they’ve been occupying for several years when their high school friend, Jimmy, returns to their stomping grounds to rekindle their friendship. His presence and baggage add stress to their lives, but provide the doting Kevin with a hopeful future. The four end up devising a new plan that will help everyone get what they want. But the question remains: do we ever really know what we want? IU Professor Dale McFadden directs Lacy and Ashley Live in a Trailer Now. Performing are sophomore Todd Aulwurm (Kevin), junior Joe Cadiff (Jimmy), senior Courtney Lucien (Lacy) and third-year M.F.A. actor Andrea Mellos (Ashley).

After an unsuccessful spell at San Diego’s Sea World and a botched suicide attempt, Burgundy accepts a job with Global News Network, the world’s “first 24 hour news network.” He reassembles his old news team from the first Anchorman film and prepares for GNN’s official launch. Alan Partridge’s career has progressed little since his days as a DJ at Radio Norwich. Now hosting a show called “Mid-Morning Matters” on North Norfolk Digital radio, Partridge learns that the station has been bought by a multinational media conglomerate and is to be renamed “Shape.” After he gets fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) sacked, his newly unemployed colleague goes on a rampage with a shotgun, taking the station’s staff hostage. As Pat’s only “friend,” Alan is recruited by the police to act as a negotiator during the siege. In both films, the humour is irreverent, sophomorically crude and politically incorrect. Occasionally, the verbal and physical gags miss the target completely but when they hit, there are moments of true hilarity.

May Edition Deadline

Tuesday 15th April Papers On Street: Friday 25th April

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.

In Anchorman 2, for example, Burgundy finds his old team’s sports reporter, Champ Kind (David Koechner), running a less-than-successful fried chicken franchise called Whammy! Burgundy holds up a piece of fried chicken to find it is actually a deep fried bat (wings and all).

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Please Read

Phone: 317/725.8840 e-mail:

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Then Recycle!

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The Damien Center is a proud United Way agency.

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Don’t Forget To Dine Out 24th April! Mark your calendars for Dining Out for Life, Downtown’s largest dining fundraiser, coming up 24th April. As of presstime for this issue of Up Downtown, 45 restaurants in the Metro Indianapolis area were set to donate 25%, 50% or even 100% of their day’s sales to fight AIDS — and many of them are downtown. 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, is actually taking place in 60 cities 24th April and raises money for HIV/AIDS organisations in each. In Indianapolis 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. The event directly benefits clients by providing free HIV and STD tests, HIV Care Coordination, and supportive services such as their food pantry, housing, and career development programmes. In 2013 Dining Out for Life raised more than $80,000 for Damien Centre clients, 94% of whom are living in poverty. Elisa Rogowski, Development Director of the Centre, told Up Downtown, “The Damien Centre’s services are always free to the community, so fundraisers like Dining Out for Life are critically important to making the Centre’s mission a reality. That mission is to assist 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 ad in this issue of Up Downtown or look up all of the restaurants on a growing list online at or www.damien. org where there’s also a map of restaurants. This year’s event will feature a wide range including many returning favourites as well as new participants. “As our returning Champion Restaurant, Red Lion Grog House in Fountain Square will again donate 100% of their day’s sales to The Damien Centre. New to the event this year is downtown’s Champion Restaurant Labor District Café, featuring ‘throwback casual comfort food,’ which will also be donating 100% of sales,” Rogowski noted.

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Other returning eateries include Santorini Greek Kitchen, Metro, Adobo Grill, Punch Burger, Pita Pit Downtown and The Greek Islands. New participating restaurants include a new Pizza King location downtown, Mass Ave.’s Bru Burger and Mama Irma Peruvian. 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. Allen will be joined by Pam Grier, actress, advocate and author of the memoir Foxy—My Life In Three Acts, as well as Daisy Martinez from the Food Network’s ¡Viva Daisy! The Damien Centre noted that they are proud to have numerous local sponsors for this year’s event, including Gold Sponsors Hoosier Park Racing and Casino and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino; Silver Sponsor Indy Pride; Bronze Sponsors Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, Just Pop In! and Old National Bank; Media Sponsors include Up Downtown, Printing Partners, WTHR Channel 13, Entercom Indianapolis, Indy’s i94, 104.5 WJJK and NUVO; Spirits Sponsor is Ketel One.Visit for ongoing updates.

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Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At: Page 23

ATTENTION: Indianapolis has issued a Dragnado Warning for 8pm, April 10th! Be advised to seek shelter at Talbott Street, cocktail recommended. A lipstick & glitter Watch is also in effect. Join us for an evening of amateur drag provided by Pride of Indy Band members. All procedes to support Pride of Indy Bands BROUGHT TO YOU BY:


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Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At:

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FREE FUn in Downtown inDY find the full list of 20 free things to do at

workout wednesdays on Georgia Street feeling a mid-week slump? Pack your gym bag and ditch the boring treadmill for a free weekly noon workout on the boardwalk. All fitness levels welcome!

Unwind with local wine and free tastings Visit easley Winery for a free winery tour on saturday or Sunday beginning at noon, or visit Sun King Brewery for a tasting session Thursday through Saturday.

Discover new local art Browse local art at more than 25 Downtown studios at monthly First Friday Gallery Walks. Be inspired on a selfguided tour at harrison center for the arts.

Walk, jog or bike a connected Downtown take a stroll along the 1.5-mile central canal or the 8-mile Cultural Trail. Discover historic churches and some of the city’s best contemporary architecture.

Give your wallet a break. Downtown Indianapolis offers many fun opportunities at everyone’s favorite price point – FREE! Follow us on social media for Downtown news, events, dining and more.

UpDownTown_April.indd 1

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At: Page 25 3/11/2014 1:32:15 PM

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Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At:

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At: Page 27


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Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At:

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Hackin’ The Net By Ted Fleischaker / Up Down Town Publisher Several different topics this month, starting with a question: Is there ever a time not to be connected? If so, when? The question comes to mind as a few weeks ago, in early March, the 5th annual National Day Of Unplugging took place ( and for the first time, two of the three of us living at our house participated. Truth is, the day was uneventful, aside from a friend who called on my land line three times to be sure I was OK as I was not answering his texts, despite telling him for three days prior what I was up to. The premise for the day is easy: we are all so connected everywhere 24/7 that a national group called Reboot ( came up with the idea to get us to actually relax...or to try speaking face-to-face...or to make time for a project or two we have put off because there never seems to be enough time for everything — time we often “waste” on extra texts, Facebook or Tweeting. The “day” picked is actually 24 hours, but following in the Jewish tradition, it’s a Friday night and Saturday — sundown to sundown — which in our part of the world was about 6.45 Friday evening until the same time the next. As the hour grew near to actually switch off I will confess some second thoughts, but I did pull the plugs. I turned off my iPhone, iPad and computer. Goal of the day is not to disappear from the world or have the world disappear from us, but to be just a bit less connected to allow time for other things like face-to-face meetings and family. At our house that meant starting with a relaxing phone-free dinner. We do have a land line which stayed plugged in as it was mobile devices the day suggested we refrain from, though we had only five calls the whole 24 hours on the land line and three were from that worried friend. After dinner we met the challenge of “entertainment” by watching a bit of off-theair TV with our old antenna — we don’t have satellite or cable and usually watch streaming Hulu, Netflix or TV from our Slingbox in the UK, all off limits this day — and then we showered and went to bed with the radio on the local public station. It made for an early night and a surprisingly relaxing one. Next morning, instead of breakfast in the home office in front of a screen, we pulled out the breakfast table and shared conversation over our cereal, grapefruit and toast, followed by one of us trotting off to work while the other spent a couple hours getting papers ready for the CPA and taxes — something we’d been putting off for weeks. After a bite of lunch, there was time for a snooze while listening to Saturday at the Metropolitan Opera on the old fashioned radio and just enough hours left to pick up a book we’d started months before but never found time to finish. It was amazing how quickly 6.45 came around and, when we booted back up, how many friends had texted and left us messages during our off-the-grid time — most of them positive. One did say “Good you are doing this, so there will be more bandwidth for me!” but that wag was a definite exception. A few were texting at mid-day, amazed that we were not giving in and we’d been able to “make it” for a whole 24 hours. And most of the rest were pretty evenly split between complimentary and envious that we’d done it, finished and did not fall off the face of the earth or die from being out of constant touch for a whole day. Will we be doing this again before next year? Yes, probably, because it was fun, interesting and exciting to take part in a national effort, but it also was sorta nice not to be “in demand” for a whole day. Will we do it every week or too often? Likely not because there’s a lot to be said for the net and the connections we take for granted. At least twice during that Friday dinner I reached for the phone to “Google” a topic we were discussing only to find no phone where it usually “lives”. And the next day I

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realised I didn’t know what opera the Met was doing (and unable to go to their site to find out) so I just turned on my radio. And I had to consult a cookbook on paper for a recipe I’d planned to make that night, too. But we got through. It was fun and in many ways reminded me of the days when we did not have laptops, tablets, computers or cellphones...when long distance from land lines was $8 or $10 for three minutes and when we actually used pens, paper and wrote letters. If their content was vital, we’d spring for 35¢ and send them “Special Delivery” (which has not existed since 1997 in the U.S. — a fact we know because we “Googled it”) or we’d just wait a few days until they arrived for the then cheap price of 7¢. Early day “technology” I and many friends practiced was sending “living letters” . That’s when we’d sit in front of a cassette recorder mic and “tell” our friends Keith or George (or mom or grandma) whatever we wanted in our own voices, then pack up the tape and mail it to them. It still didn’t arrive for a few days, but in some ways was more personal than typing on a paper or writing a post card. Anyway, you don’t have to wait until next March to unplug and if you didn’t take part in the national day this year, you can declare your own day (or partial day) of unplugging anytime you wish. Just be sure to let your friends know you won’t be available so they won’t worry if you do not immediately text or Facebook back. In some ways it’ll be a novelty and in others it will seem like a lot of effort, but it will give you (guaranteed) a new appreciation for or loathing of how connected we’ve all become. That I promise! On another topic... To update or not to update: That is the question. What I mean by that is the almost continuous barrage of apps, operating system “bug fixes” and just changes to everything from our mobile phones to our computers, Xboxes, PlayStations and more which seem to be coming at us from all sides almost daily. Should you update? A recent iPhone and iPad update to OS (Operating System) 7.1 brought a lot of calls from friends asking “Should I do it?” and “Do I need to do it?” My answer to all was a single word: Yes. Of course there are updates and there are updates and not all of them are anymore alike than saying a shoe is a shoe, when you can have anything from a sneaker to a soccer boot to a golf cleat. Some updates are to add features to this or that app or programme. Others are for security or to close a “hole” which could allow someone access to your information. Still others are to incorporate new information or change something you might not use, but others count on — like a recently released update to, amongst other things, fix an issue in Mandarin Chinese. It’s a language I do not use nor speak, but apparently the app using it was wrong or crashing, so the author made some fixes and issued an update. Of course, the most vital updates are those pointing to security breaches. A recent one fixed iPad and iPhone issues which Apple discovered. Others are less obvious, but still, important. So what to do to update? First and foremost, a tech at a local shop screamed this when we asked his advice: “Back up your device!” It doesn’t matter if that back up is to your computer, the “cloud” or an external drive. Back up. Save those 23,962 photos you love to show and all 29 hits by Billy & The Bing Bongs you work out to. Backing up means you will be certain your device can be restored once you have updated. Once you have backed up, plug in. If you have a phone, pad or laptop, plug it in to the wall charger so it won’t run out of power during the update and resetting procedure. It’s amazing how obvious this sounds but it’s not something any of us think about. To avoid a mess (think half an update when the battery dies) plug in then follow the directions given. Usually your phone, pad or computer will pop up a screen asking you to agree to their terms of use (Does anybody REALLY read all that?) and then clicking “OK”. After that, the device usually takes over for you and does the updates. Be warned that some updates take a lot of data space, like the recent iPhone one to OS 7.1 which even on our fast WiFi was well over an hour to download, then there was time to allow the phone to go through its updating restarts. That means don’t start an update 10 minutes before you dash out the door or will be needing your device. And one more tip from someone who’s had this happen: Use the old app or system till you get back home if you are heading out for a trip where you will be depending upon the computer, pad or phone. You might not have the latest OS or the super newest app, but if your phone/pad/computer is operating correctly, then leave it be until you get back to home base. Then do the update so that if something doesn’t work quite right, you’ll be better able to get repairs or restores (from that back-up, remember?) made easily. So there’s our advice: Stay up-to-date or eventually those “old” apps will not function and may crash the phone, pad or computer. That’s aggravating, possibly a security danger and definitely not something any of us wish to endure, especially since they always (100% always) quit when we most need them. Guaranteed!

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At:

Other Points of Interest: 1.) Drugstore / Chemist : CVS (2 locations) 2.) BARcelona Tapas 3.) 110 East Washington Condos / Adobo Grill 4.) 501 On Madison Apartment Flats 5.) 1 North Penn / Pita Pit 6.) Punch Burger 7.) JW Marriott Hotel 8.) Cosmopolitan On The Canal 9.) Carson Pirie Scott & Co. 10.) Hoosier Park Winner’s Circle 11.) Stars Cafe 12.) English Ivy's 13.) Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steak House 14.) Federal Express 15.) Mass Ave. Toys, SubZero & Arts A Poppin’ 16.) All Star Tire & Auto 17.) O'Malia Food Market & Fusek's Hardware 18.) Downtown Olly’s 19.) TJ Maxx & The Block Apartments

Canal North Basin



8 16 15


2 1 1




20 19 10 5 3 9





Historic Fountain Square

Up Downtown / Indianapolis 04.14 On The Web At: Page 31

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Up down town april 2014  
Up down town april 2014  

Up down town april 2014