Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v13n25)
Round the Ripple - by Bill Malcolm
posted: Dec. 16, 2016
The year is almost over and what a year it has been. We look back this column.
Farewell to our State Representative Christina Hale
Farewell to our state rep, Christina Hale, who gave up our seat to run for Lieutenant Governor. While she did not win, we know we will see her again. Hale is a go-getter and the only Hispanic in the Legislature.
Welcome to new State Senator, John Ruckelhaus who replaced our RFRA author who decided not to seek re-election. Let's hope both focus on moving our great state forward, not on partisan, lifestyle issues.
Too many vacancies in the Ripple
While the year saw 2 new apartment complexes begin construction and another one announced, there are still too many vacant storefronts in the Ripple.
Rumor has it that the 3 boarded store fronts on Broad Ripple Avenue have been rented.
The former Broad Ripple Steak House is also apparently under new owners.
Still, as of today, there are too many commercial vacancies in high profile areas.
The good news: our apartment rents and housing are now a bargain compared to downtown.
Too much algae on the White River
This summer marked low flows and algae blooms on the White River. That produced unsightly water conditions with a green algae coating along much of the river banks.
Does anyone ride the bus?
I love transit and hope it is expanded including the new Red Line bus rapid transit up College Avenue.
This year the IndyGo bus routes serving the Ripple are being revamped.
The #17 no longer is split between Kessler Avenue and Broad Ripple Avenue.
The #18 now goes to Butler and proceeds downtown instead of going down Pennsylvania.
I rode the #18 the other day to and from the new and wonderful Julia Carson Transit Center and proceeded north on Illinois before diverting to Butler University then back to Illinois before turning up Westfield to the Ripple. In a word, while I like Butler University, it adds 15 minutes to the trip. You can drive downtown in 20 minutes. It took me over an hour to get home on the bus. Worse, there were few passengers on the bus and no one got off or got on at Butler and very few going to Broad Ripple at all.
Next time I will take the #17. I love transit but the folks backing transit expansion need to take it now.
We have great service from the Ripple to downtown. Plus no parking worries.
Why I love the Ripple
I live on the Monon Trail and ride my bike everywhere. The great shops. The Monon Coffee Company (and their great Stars sandwiches). Hubbard and Cravens coffee (the best). The many places to get your hair cut including the new place next to Hubbard and Cravens, HairQuarters, and more. The fresh juices at Ezras. The baked goods at Rene's. The ice cream at BRICS. The great restaurants. The micro-breweries including my favorites, Thr3e Wise Men and Hopcat. The convenience (doctors, dentists, and more). The nearby LA Fitness. Nearby shopping in Nora, Glendale, Keystone at the Crossing. Plus we are only 20 minutes north of downtown (and 20 minutes south of Carmel). We have it all!
Year in Review
We've had a great year in the Ripple.
Congrats to retiring BRVA President Kent Springer who tells me he will still be very active in the BRVA and in BR community affairs. He has done an incredible job for the Village.
Going forward, we need to recognize that BR is not the hot spot it once was.
We are competing with the downtown as the very competitive Fountain Square. But we have a lot they don't: the very nice Monon Trail, Holliday Park, the 2 art museums, and more.
However, we need to diversify. I love a cocktail as much as the next person, but the Village needs to be a diverse, 24-hour community, not just a bar hangout on the weekends for the post-Butler crowd.
The new apartment complex/health foods store may help.
Mark your calendars
December 16, 2016 - Reception and winter art show, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center
December 17, 2016 - 10 a.m. Winter Art Sale at the Indianapolis Art Center
December 22, 2016 - Winter Solstice event at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sing along with carolers, watch blocks of ice transform into sculptures, and more.
Through Dec 31, 2016 - Student art work and Insider Art at the Indianapolis Art Center
Through December 31, 2016 - See Kal Unnasch's tree of toys at Lilly House
Happy Holidays to all Ripplians!
Bill Malcolm also writes a travel column in The Midwest Eagle and is a reporter for All Aboard Indiana (as a volunteer for both). He advocates for fair and affordable utility rates for a national association based in Washington, D.C. He welcomes reader feedback and story ideas. Send to Bill@BroadRippleGazette.com