Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Walking Irvington

Amy and I packed Jackson into the stroller this afternoon and took a good long walk, which is one of our favorite things to do. We love being outside when the weather is nice (and sometimes even when it’s not so nice), but the summer was so hot after Jackson was born that we didn’t get the chance to do much walking around. Now that the temperature has finally broken, we’ve been out and about a lot more. We’ve had a couple of long walks around downtown and a week or two ago we walked the Monon Trail from Broad Ripple up to Nora. Today, we walked around Irvington - specifically lower Irvington, south of Washington Street between Audubon and Emerson, drifting south to University Avenue.

For those who don’t know, Irvington is in fact a charming little neighborhood, and the heart and soul of it is winding streets and beautiful old houses. There are parts of Irvington that are sketchy, sure, but there are pockets that are just amazing - and to catch some of those pockets on a cool afternoon with clear blue skies and the fall foliage almost in full flame rivals any other scenic walk you could take around Indianapolis.

We headed out from our house and went over to The Bread Ladies for lunch. This is a little annex of a shop in Greenfield started by two ladies who had some extra bread left over one day and parlayed that into a business. The Irvington location is in the Irving Theatre building and is connected to Lazy Daze Coffee House (more on the food, and on the Jockamo Pizza adventure from last Monday, in a future post). After lunch we got coffee and headed out on our walk.

I wanted to take a look at the little park at Irving Circle, a roundabout at the intersection of Audubon Road and University Avenue. It’s reputed to be haunted, but there were no ghosts in evidence this afternoon - just the fountain surrounded by bricks with people’s names on them and a bust of Washington Irving, the author for whom the town of Irvington was named, facing you as you approach the circle going south along Audubon.

After that, we took Audubon down to Oak Avenue and walked along that until we came to University Avenue. The three pictures that follow were taken on the sidewalk in front of a very purple house that I am pretty sure is on Oak, although I did not make precise note of that while we were out. You can see the purple color on the fence pickets - the house has the same colors going on. It doesn’t look the same in a picture as it did in real life this afternoon, but those leaves on the sidewalk and in the yard were so bright and so orange and so lit by the sunlight that it literally looked as though the yard and sidewalk were on fire.

Then we picked up University, walked past the Guardian Home, and took Downey Avenue down to the Benton House, a beautiful old house that was once the home of Allen R. Benton, the former president of Butler University, which was originally located in Irvington before moving to its current digs north of downtown. The two pictures that follow are of the Benton House.

Next we followed University Avenue all the way out to Emerson and then took Emerson back to our house after stopping to snoop around the empty house where Amy grew up. We didn’t go in or anything - it’s all padlocked anyway - but we did peer in through the windows, and we talked to next-door neighbor Jim who told us about some of the things that the guy who bought the house after Amy’s parents moved did to the place. After that guy was foreclosed on, someone apparently broke in and stole all the copper out of the basement.

Next: Jackson still does not care much for solid food.

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