Archive for the ‘my hometown’ Category

Perhaps 5,000 Hoosiers gathered at Conner Prairie’s amphitheatre on Saturday night, July 23, for an evening of Billy Joel’s and Elton John’s music as the sun descended, set, and disappeared.

‘Magical’ is too light a word for it. (more…)

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It wouldn’t be good to resist the Autumn light that makes it easier than normal to get out on the bike and onto the Monon Trail. In a few weeks, Winter will have us scavenging for motivation like junk-yard raccoons. Today tosses the thing in front of us like a juicy sirloin. Don’t waste the moment, I tell myself.

After a month of travel and bad sleep, the belly fills up the Lycra biker’s shirt a bit more amply than in the heat of summer. Dressing up like a biker in form-fit color is one of the few acceptable spaces for a man of conventional preferences to strike out in just this way. But there are lots of other splashes of yellows and blues on bikers of all ages, many shapes, and both genders on the Monon this afternoon. I’m in good company. (more…)


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They built this house, on what must have been Indianapolis’ far north side, in 1930. Peace in Europe was, fleetingly, twelve years old. Men who had clung to the trenches’ muddy, bloody edge were deciding whether to talk about that to their ten-year-old boys.

An economic shattering so profound that it can still be called the Great Depression was using up its second page on a nation’s hungry calendar. Improbably, the land just across 64th Street had been donated by John and Evaline Holliday fourteen years earlier to the State of Indiana on its one hundredth birthday. I reckon the proximity of Holliday Park contributes a third to the value of my home. (more…)

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Something there is about an urban gem.

The architectural delight hidden among blight, the greenery ensconced in gray, the unanticipated lung—as it is described in Latin American Spanish—of a green space where one least expects it brings a quiet satisfaction to the attentive city-dweller.

So it is that Holliday Park, an enchanting jewel half-rustic, half-refined, just across the street from my home adds such luster to life’s rhythms. There I run my dogs along well-manicured and forested paths. There on a Sunday afternoon hundreds of city-dwellers speaking various languages congregate for family picnics and church pitch-ins in a bodacious display of urban civility. Multiply hewed children play together without marking their differences on a high-quality playground funded in part by local residents who band together as the Friends of Holliday Park. (more…)

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The most memorable dining experience of my life took place in Londrina, Brazil, among a party of twenty friends at one of that South American country’s famed churrascarías. The longing for a repeat performance has lingered in a modest, back-stage sort of way ever since.

With First Son home from his Seattle university, it seemed just the moment. Our party of four first sought out the somewhat budget-priced Brazilian Grill on the Circle City’s north side. FInding only indications that the Grill had gone out of business, I did what any self-respecting, red-meat-craving male with a car full of passengers would have done in my place: turned the Passat’s nose in the direction of downtown’s Fogo de Chao and pushed the pedal. (more…)

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The Aaron Pelsue Band has become a fortunate fixture on the Indianapolis worship music scene. From its `home stadium’ at the Circle City’s East 91st Street Christian Church, the band has developed a dedicated following among Christian worshippers who appreciate—in addition to some rockin’ music—the band’s ability to play alternating lead and supporting roles in that spectrum of Christian experience that unites biblical instruction to the emotional expression of corporate worship. As an occasional visitor to East 91st Street Christian Church, this reviewer is a card-carrying member of TABP’s enthusiasts.

Though this live CD provides a glimpse of the energy TAPB brings to live worship, it undersells the bands other strengths. Unimpressively mixed, the album fronts Pelsue’s voice at the expense of the band’s broader sound. This is, of course, an occupational hazard of both live and debut albums. At points on TAPB LIVE, the band seems to have reaped the downside of these twin liabilities. (more…)

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owls in the mix

Returning from vacation in Montana to our more humble, flatland environs, my wife and I were greeted in the semidarkness by the sweeping, silent sight of a large owl departing a branch of one of the evergreens that separate our front yard from Holliday Park, just across the street.

On the list of my tiltings at windmills appears the placement of two owl boxes a pair of years ago. A smaller one awaits Screech Owls in our backyard. A much larger one, placed at risk of life and limb in the mentioned front-yard tree, invites tenants of the Barred Owl variety. Except for quizzical squirrels, these two aviary condos have stood empty, significantly driving down the occupancy stats of my coterie of birdhouses. Only the wrens have kept my numbers from plunging below respectable range. (more…)

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Twenty years ago, one of the early-evening joys of coming home to our little house on the southeast side of San José, Costa Rica, with the coffee fields gracing the hills across the river like tightly-braided hair on a handsome head, were the swallows.

Something about that cool, clear hour of the day brought them into close-order, cartwheeling, exuberant view as they plucked insects from the air and entertained my admiring eyes.

I have always missed the swallows. (more…)

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My early mornings and occasional other moments in our family’s life on Indianapolis’ north side have been punctuated for about a year by noisy chewing. Apparently, this toothy romp takes place in crawl spaces and attics.

Squirrels have been the main suspects, so I’ve been consulting the half-hopeless writings of blogs and web pages where strategies against these relentless foes are mounted, critiqued, and abandoned. (more…)

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new(ish) visitors

This Memorial Day weekend has provided the time and energy for a major restock of my bird supplies.

The result has been some new visitors:

A Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker has made brief, resplendent visits for seed and peanuts. He’s stayed long enough for this novice birdwatcher to mark the distinction between him and his suspected alternative identity, the Redheaded Woodpecker. (more…)

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