Tag Archives: mass ave

In the Middle of…Indiana and Other Things

Photo copyright Paul D’Andrea

It’s been twenty years and two months since my family unit moved to Indianapolis from Illinois. Since then, I’ve moved seven times more. The first place was on the very edge of Indy, almost in the country. It was safe and comfortable, and everyone looked like me. Gazing towards the city, I would wonder what went on down there. Driving downtown required a map and nerves of steel. My sweaty-palmed self would grip the steering wheel, craning my neck in advance of every intersection, willing myself to see around corners. I didn’t want to end up on the wrong street! The downtown of 1992 was a far cry from what you see today.
In subsequent moves over two decades, I circled the city, drawing ever closer to it’s center. Like a moth to the flame.  Got familiar with the museums, and even helped build one. Visited many downtown restaurants and a couple of hot spots. Took Yoga classes and attended (and hosted) dozens of art gallery openings. Became active in the arts community.  Soon, I was a mile from the downtown Mile. That’s not a typo. Our downtown is wrapped by four streets, North, South East and West Streets. This Mile Square defines the downtown area.

Dominick Sansone sculpture, photo copyright Paul D’Andrea

I can’t say exactly when I started dreaming of living right smack in the middle of the Circle City. Unthinkable during the day, dreams bring unprecedented possibilities. I envisioned an apartment on Mass Ave., on the top floor of a building, with a parking space of my own. Light and bright. I started putting out feelers. Let me tell you, it’s not easy finding an affordable apartment in this city.  But recently, someone returned a call from the week before. Things happened quickly after that.
So, here I am. Twenty two years and two months later, settling into the apartment of my dreams.  From my balcony, I see fall colors blazing on the trees beyond, and feel the energy of people going places in cars and on foot. This is my new home.  Here is where I have met, and will continue to meet, people who most certainly (and refreshingly) do not look just like me.  Here is where I’ll finish the second half of my book, on a folding table in a nook in my living area. Here is where I’ll lay my head tonight, on a four-poster bed, given to me by my loving family back in Illinois.
As a middle child, I always wanted to be right in the middle of everything. Now, it’s official. I think I’ll stick around for awhile.

Indianapolis sunset collage, copyright Nancy Lee

Find Me at Arts A Poppin'!

Thanks to my lovely and dear friend, Krista Bermeo of Krista Bermeo Studios, I was recently introduced to the owners of Arts A Poppin, a great, funky find in the heart of the Mass Ave Arts District. After a brief and torrid meeting with owner Jill Kinsinger and her sister, Lorri Potter, I became their newest jewelry artisan. Besides carrying some of my existing line of work, the store is also carrying a new line of lightweight, heavily hammered jewelry made from recycled aluminum and 14 karat gold-fill called “Matrix.” It includes wide cuff bracelets, matching earrings and pendants. Our relationship may be new but all indications point to the beginning of something special. The duo of Jill Kinsinger and Lorri Potter both have the love for Art. They also enjoy supporting other artists so they joined forces of Art and Business – hence Arts A Poppin’. Here is a partial description, directly from their website:

With 98% of our product made in the USA and more than 170 local, regional and national artists represented in our shop you are sure to find that special gift for you or that special someone in your life. We take pride in providing quality handcrafted items that are unique, whimsical or just plan funky for everyone to enjoy. We offer recycled/repurposed items from billboard vinyl bags to clocks and jewelry made from antique artifacts. Let’s not forget the yard art made from just plain old junk tools and parts.

That fits well with my handmade work and my mission. But wait, there’s more! There is a classroom area in the lower level of the store, and I’ve been invited to teach there.  The classes will be kept simple and straightforward, and will probably begin in July.  This classroom area happens to be right next door to my friend Krista’s studio, so you may see her at work on her delicious handmade art glass jewelry designs as well.
I’m excited, of course, about expanding my presence in Indianapolis. The greatest part about it, though, is that this feels right. I hope you Indianapolitains who are reading this will stop in soon to see what’s shaking at Arts A Poppin’!
425 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–7p.m.
Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sun. 12 noon–5 p.m.

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