Boycott the North Side

That’s it! I’m so done with traveling to the north side for everything from coffee to movies. From now on, I do everything south of Washington street. If I can’t find the services I need on the south side, then I don’t need those services. Period.

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29 Comments

Filed under Boycott the North Side, The way the world works

29 responses to “Boycott the North Side

  1. Why? What have we on the north side done to offend you?

  2. It’s not that I find the north side or anyone on the north side especially offensive. Rather, I’m frustrated that so many people perceive Indy as having all these really great services, when in reality many of those services can only be found on the north side of Indianapolis. For example, the north side has several choices for organic/health food markets. I know of none on the south side.

    Those of us who live on the south side don’t enjoy the same amenities as those who live on the north side. I’m simply stating that I’m choosing to stop patronizing businesses on the north side of Indy. I’ll forego the service if I can’t find an equivalent provider on the south side.

  3. Katie

    I agree! I don’t find all northsiders offensive (although I am no doubt opening myself up to criticism by saying this but I do detest the “30 thousand dollar millionaire” types that seem to mostly reside in Fishers, Carmel etc. – you know, the people that driver Hummers/H3s but make their kids eat cheap mac and cheese and not because the kids want to). I now live on the southside. My gripe with the northside pertains to a matter of convenience and the urban sprawl issue. Indy’s northside is a perfect example of how NOT to do city and urban planning. Poor urban planning on the northside and now you have strip malls, Wal-Marts and whatnot all over the place, new housing developments with cheaply built homes that will be in terrible shape in another 10 years, no more nature and heinous traffic problems that will only get worse as more stuff is crammed in. I lived at 82nd and Allisonville for a period of time and something as simple as getting gas or running to the grocery becomes a 30 minute errand because of the configuration of the roads and volume of retailers in such a small area. Not to mention the public transportation issue on the northside – don’t even get me started on that.

  4. Tim

    And what the southside is some utopia without cheaply built homes, suburban sprawl, or strip malls. And I wasn’t aware that the southside had a thriving puclic transportation system.

    I am not saying the northside is the best planned area, but what makes the planning on the southside better? Say what you want about Carmel and Fishers but at least they are trying to be progressive in their planning. Take a look at what Carmel is doing with the City Center and requiring more higher quality housing standards and density. Also, all buildings in the core of Carmel have to be up to the sidewalk with parking in the back. They are trying to create a real neighborhood feeling

  5. I think the southside has an image problem (along with the east and west sides, although their problems are a bit different). To me, that’s where the planning failure really shows. I think the southside is laid out very well, and actually, I’ve found the public transportation on the southside to be much easier to use than the northside. I’ve been able to plan my trip downtown via IndyGo from all my southside residences. I can’t say the same about the northside.

    I’ve known several people who live or have lived downtown who complain that they have to go all the way to Nora to go to Target. There’s a Target on US 31 about five miles south of downtown. And there’s a Kmart about 3 miles south of downtown on Madison Avenue. Either of these stores are a straight shot down Penn. You’re there in about five minutes. And while you’re there, you have your choice of Penn Station, MCL, Taco Bell, and almost any other fast food place you can imagine. There’s a Pizza Hut and Steak and Ale just past that. None of these are my first dining choices, either. But the fact that folks from the downtown and inner city areas are willing to travel to the northside is why we don’t have better choices. It’s why SuperValu has a Save A Lot on Madison Avenue and a Sunflower Market on Broad Ripple Avenue. The demographics are here to support these kinds of stores and restaurants on the south side, IF we start keeping our dollars on the south side.

  6. Melody

    I think what Vanessa was getting at was that she’s tired of the South side getting looked over when people talk about what’s cool to do in Indianapolis AND when new busineses set up shop in town. There’s this perception that everyone on the South side is a tasteless hick. In actuality, there are plenty of us on the South side who are interested in being able to shop for whole foods, eat in independent restaurants, and patronize indie films.

    The South side is often passed over because everyone assumes there isn’t anything cool down there anyway. Actually, there are great neighborhoods, like Garfield Park, restaurants, like Santorini’s, Amici’s, Maria’s Pizza, and Sir Walter’s, an independent theater (Key Cinema), and fantastic city parks that host a wide variety and volume of civic and cultural events on any given Saturday, such as Garfield, Brookside, and Christian, already on the South side. They’re just not well-publicized. One could make the argument that this is because there isn’t the kind of money on the south side as there is on the north side, but that’s not necessarily the case either. The South side is traditionally more working-class, but those people have plenty of money. If you haven’t noticed, Target and Starbucks are just as crowded in Southport as they are in Castleton. It would be nice if some trendy urbanites occasionally traveled south of Washington Street to see what else Indy really has to offer. Heck, it would be nice if many of them traveled south of Broad Ripple.

    Another big problem is that both South siders and North siders are all guilty of forgetting Indianapolis proper. The North side of Indianapolis is not Carmel, Zionsville and Fishers, and the South side of Indianapolis is not Greenwood, Franklin, and Shelbyville.

  7. My site is all about trying to find cool things to do and independent businesses to support in Indianapolis, all over Indianapolis. So tell me about cool places on the South side that I can check out. I live on the North side so that’s where I do most of my exploring but I’m open to learning about cool things all over the city. Truthfully I’ve just never had a lot of recommendations for cool shops or restaurants on the South side. Nobody has ever really mentioned them.

  8. Katie

    Sorry – I always leave out context in my blog posts in the effort to be brief. There is NO place in Indy has a thriving public transportation system, however my car was out of commission for over a week when I lived on the north side I wanted to try and use public transportation and IndyGo does not even have routes north of 79th! There is one that runs up on 82nd but ever so briefly. IndyGo pretty much does not serve the northside at all but there are several routes in the downtown and southside areas. Perhaps also I should clarify that “my” southside is the near southside, not necessarily Greenwood and Southport which I will admit have sprawl issues rivaling Carmel and Fishers. Tim I recommend on the sprawl issue you check out “The Limitless City: A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate”. It would take me hours to compose an entry describing how the near southside around Garfield Park and then other areas like Fountain Square, Mass Ave. and Irvington for example are communites that are not sprawl-based but that the northside is. It’s all about zoning laws, not cramming too much stuff in one area via strip malls. There are pockets in the northside that are built as effective communities like Broadripple but overall the 82nd St. and surrounding areas completely violate all rules of healthy urban planning which leads to unhealthy lifesyles, traffic jams and pollution. Intersections that are too wide create traffic jams and create environments where people cannot walk or ride bicycles. The U.S. has the highest obesity and heart disease rates because no one walks anywhere anymore because they can’t – would you want to try crossing the street at 82nd and Allisonville? Packing too many of the same kinds of retailers in strip malls in a finite area creates sprawl. For example look at 96th St. Do we really need a Wal-Mart, Sams Club, Marsh and Meijer all within 2 miles? No. Look in Carmel up on 31 and 131st with the Target, Wal-Mart, Marsh and thousand other superstore-like retailers crammed into that small space. Urban sprawl contributes to the degredation of community and unhealthy lifestyles. No sense of community can exist if everyone is in the car all the time. But if you look at Mass Ave, or Garfield Park or Irvintgon. You can walk, talk to your neighbors, get out of your car, foster a sense of community and get some exercise while out are at it. The streets are not too wide. I used to live at 54th and College and the traffic at that intersection is far less bad than up on 82nd and Allisonville. Why? Thousands of people aren’t rushing to get to the nearest Wal-Mart. Not as many cars adding smog to the air. You have a good point on the new Carmel development Tim but that is only one small part of a huge space and I would argue it’s too little too late. The damage to the suburban areas of this city has been done. 90% of Carmel is sprawl. Other major cities have been more diligent about preventing sprawl. I have a friend getting a degree in urban planning so I have an interest in the field. I should be more mellow about this, not saying the southside rocks and the northside sucks but based on my personal values, I choose to live where I do. It just depends on the person I suppose.

  9. Katie

    Hi, Michelle:

    Here are come cool near and far southside places I like:

    Fountain Square:
    Mass Ave Knitting
    Santorini’s
    Deano’s Vino
    Shelbi Street Cafe (Rooftop Dining also in good weather, food by Shelbi St. Cafe)
    Fountain Diner
    Radio Radio

    Greenwood:
    Atlanta Bread Company
    Oaken Barrel Brewery

    Garfield Park:
    The Garf
    Maria’s Pizza

    Other southside places:
    Eat at Joes (I think this is Beech Grove)
    The Icehouse
    Working Man’s Tavern (best burgers in city some would say)

    Southeast:
    El Sol

    Tons of places in Irvington. And I am sure I am missing places in Greenwood.

  10. Katie raises some interesting points. All this makes me think about the reasons why we bought a house on the near southside in the first place. We love the sidewalks and the park. We wanted a walking lifestyle, and we knew we could have it down here. We wanted neighbors and a sense of community. We have all this and more. We love it here.

    Now that we’re settled into our house and neighborhood, Mel and I both feel left out. Every Indy-related blog or Web site that I visit goes on and on about the amenities on the north side. All I’m saying is, what about us? Don’t leave us out. We have a wonderful lifestyle about three miles south of Downtown. As Katie says, we have a concert venue in our backyard (the McAllister Center at Garfield Park). We have our own neighborhood 4th of July concert and fireworks show that rivals the Downtown show. Katie and Mel have mentioned a few of the local indie businesses in the area. We have a good thing on the south side, but it can be better. And that’s why I want to keep as many of my dollars south of Washington street as possible.

    FYI – Working Man’s Friend does have the best burgers. They’re on the near West side in Stringtown. El Sol is on the near East side. And let’s not forget about Sisters on Madison Avenue.

  11. Thanks for the recommendations Katie. A lot of them will go on Consuming Indy’s “checkout soon” list.

    I live on the northside because my partner works at St. Vincent and with her crazy hours we try to live as close to the hospital as possible (and she absolutely hates commuting). I mention this because I think to a certain degree Katie’s right about people living in their own bubbles up here. For the first couple years we lived here we didn’t make it any further south than Broad Ripple unless it was a really special occasion. Not because we like everything so much up here (strip malls, chain restaurants, etc) but because we didn’t know where else to go and figured that all of Indianapolis resembles Broad Ripple and the north side (small pocket of neighborhoods with a ton of sprawl and strip malls). Coming from Louisville, which is full of neighborhoods and an incredible dining scene it was a shock to come here and have people (co-workers, neighbors, etc) recommend an expensive dinner in a strip mall or “O’Charley’s” as the best restaurant for dinner (I’m not exaggerating, that happened more than once). Eventually we started finding places around the northside, Carmel and Broad Ripple but it took time and it was really a trial and error campaign. That’s what inspired me to start Consuming Indy. There is a lot more cool stuff going on here and a lot more cool shops and restaurants to support than most people realize. I want to keep finding cool stuff all over the city and help others find them as well. So again, thank you for the recommendations.

    What do most people consider the dividing lines between northside/southside/etc?

  12. Melody

    I think the dividing line between the north side and the south side is Market Street. That’s the street that runs East/West through the Circle. Others say Washington (U.S. 40) is the true dividing line. Some people say I-70. I think most Northsiders think that the South side begins at Southport Road and that everything between South Street and Southport Road is the ghetto (Unfortunately lots of Greenwoodians would agree.); whereas most southsiders seem to think that the North side begins at 82nd Street and everything between North Street and 62nd Street is the ghetto. A lot of them know Broad Ripple but not Nora, Meridian-Kessler, or Meridian Hills, and anyone who lives in Fishers, Carmel, or Geist is a snob. I’ve heard also folks who live in Fishers and Carmel profess that Castleton is too “rough” for their tastes; downtown Indy is too dangerous to go to at any time of the day or night; and Southport and Beech Grove might as well be in another state.

  13. Joe

    The traffic is really bad. The people are stuck up. The roads are poorly designed. The Wal-Mart plazas are growing by the day and it’s just getting more and more cramped. The gas can be pretty high.

    All of that being said, for my purposes living on the Northside is pretty good. I guess I should qualify that I live just inside the 465 loop and not out in Fishers or Carmel. But I live pretty close to some great eateries and shops, like Some Guys, Greek Tony’s, King Chef, and Greeks Pizza. PF Changs and World Market. Taylor’s Bakery, Famous Jack’s, and The Party Tree (the best place for Pez probably in the entire state). And there is no way I could live without Trader Joe’s, which is only about five minutes away. I am also about 10 minutes away from probably the city’s best movie theater and library, both at Glendale and so I guess technically on the Northside.

    (The west side also has a TJ’s, a Just Wingin’ It, Mug & Bun, a nice new plaza in Trader’s Point, a big dog park, and a high concentration of Australian Shepherds, so mad props are due there)

    I like going up to Carmel or Noblesville, but I don’t necessarily spend all my dollars north of the 70. I can also dig going down to Greenwood. The best mall in town is there (or, specifically, one of the best stores, the Hollywood Store), and the Southport Antique Mall is pretty nice. Just Wingin’ It and the Kerasotes down on Madison are also two of my favorite locations. Fountain Square is cool too.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s all good, and that if you like going to a particular place, you should just go to that place and not get hung up on which side of town you’re on. And it’s definitely nice to read about other places. It sounds like I need to try out Working Man’s Friend one of these days. A good burger joint is hard to find in this town.

  14. Joe,

    You are correct that there are great places all over Indy. You mentioned several that are right in your back yard. When you don’t have those great places close, you have to travel. And it seems like we spend our entire weekend traveling. We go to Greenwood to see our parents, and then it’s up to Castleton to hit Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Taj of India. That’s a lot of driving in a weekend.

    I’d like to go to Trader Joe’s once a week, but I don’t have that luxury. In fact, I don’t have the luxury of going to any kind of whole foods store on a regular basis because they’re all located on the north side (with the exception of Georgetown Market on the West side). I don’t mind driving to get to a good indie restaurant or shop, but we often find ourselves looking for excuses to hit the northside just so we can visit the places we don’t have down here. I’m tired of all the running around.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want the sprawl that I see on the north side. I hate the traffic and the big parking lots and the whole scene. But, I think there’s room on Madison Avenue or Shelby Street for a whole foods grocer and a few indie restaurants and shops.

  15. Katie

    Hey Michelle – I am a fellow Louisivillan! I grew up in the Highlands and had grown used to that neighborhood experience. I totally agree with you, it was hard coming to what seemed to be a cookie-cutter city after living for 18 years with the river city’s charm. It’s all about finding the great places to go in Indy – so kudos for your website for doing just that.

    And I totally agree with Vanessa – Dave and I love Garfield Park – we both “did time” on the northside as well as lived in Broadripple and we moved here for all the reasons we are all talking about after looking in Broadripple and Irvington. The sidewalks rock, I’ve yet to meet a non-neighborly neighbor, the Shelby libary has some great programs, the park is n amazing jewel with the ampitheater, sunken gardens, conservatory and the new art center. And a new commercial venture is going in on the corner of Shelbby and Southern – I can’t wait to see what it is, walk to it and patronize it. I want to live in a community, not in a place with a bunch of houses that all look alike and no one takes walks because there are no sidewalks.

  16. We lived in the Highlands too Katie. So yes you can absolutely understand my culture shock.

  17. Katie

    I happend to notice the Indianapolis Monthly in the grocery store this weekend – the cover article was naming the 12 neighborhoods in Indy to watch/on the rise and I was very pleased to see Garfield Park on that list, along with Irvington and several other cool neighborhoods. The website has not caught up with the April issue yet but the article is good and I typically avoid that magazine for it’s excessive advertising and north-side slant. Looks like I am eating my words this month!

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  19. Michael

    I live in Brookside Park just east of Mass Ave . and I’m in the middle of it all . I love it .

  20. Hey, I stumbled upon your blog by accident while looking for some cool places to meet some friends in Indy. I am having trouble finding anything like Louisville has with 4th Street Live. Indy needs a centralized location with a lot of goings on instead of stuff being sprawled out all over the place. I live in Bloomington and we have the college bars, so Broad Ripple doesn’t really do it for me either. The members of The Tipsy Turtle get together frequently and we are always looking for cool places to meet.

    Stop in and say hi.

    http://www.tipsyturtle.net

  21. I was born and raised in Louisville. I live in Indy now but my family is still there so I, by defualt, am there frequently. Frankly, I find 4th Street Live irritating beyond belief and I have been there several times with my nephew. Perhaps if I were a 24 year old guy looking to grind on(and eventually pick up)girls, drink bad beer and play Golden Tee I’d feel differently and don’t take that personally. In any case, I think Louisville has way more character as a city than Indy but 4th Street Live has nothing to do with character. Check out Fountain Square or Mass Ave in Indy if you want an interesting night out.

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  23. Timo

    A good business plan will make you more money on the North side than it will on the South side. (if not, let me know!) Also, a lot of these homes being built south west east north are only good for ten years at most anyway.

  24. Timo

    oh-ps, broadripple is better than kirkwood(sometimes, unless we are in the ncaa champ game), ripple is a melding of college kids, art, music, good food, and more. You haven’t explored it yet, huh. You compare ‘lib’B-town to Indy? IU is fun as hell but there are so many different places in Indy because it is bigger. Don’t move to NY because you might have to go to different places sometimes, and isn’t that the fun of it?!

  25. Amy

    Well, two years have passed on this post… still no HFS/whole foods places south, right?

    I live in Irvington and love it, but DANG I have to plan trips to Whole Foods and TJs. I did discover that the Kroger at 10th & Shadeland has a great natural foods section with some really odd stuff you can’t find in other places, so that’s something. And there’s a new sushi place at 10th & Shadeland too! Everybody go there before they go out of business.

    What I wouldn’t give for Indian and Thai and Mediterranean food down this way.

  26. anna

    I’m not sure if anyone is looking at this thread anymore, but I stumbled across it accidentally. We recently moved to the south side of Indy (Southport area) from TN, and I had no idea until after we got here that there is such a dichotomy between the north and south sides. My husband grew up in a small town north of Indy, so neither one of us was all that familiar with the south side. He’s teaching at The University of Indianapolis, and we were looking to keep his commute short while also finding a solid public school system for our kids.
    I have to admit that I’m not in love with the whole Southport-Franklin-Greenwood area. However, a lot of the neighborhoods we might be interested in are in IPS school district. So far we’ve not heard very good things about IPS. I was wondering if anyone could provide any feedback on IPS/school systems in general, especially on the near and far south side. Thanks!

  27. Pam

    Boy everyone has a choice where to live. But this is ridiculous to have a website banning people where to shop. I have most of my family on the southside however I have always lived on the Northside for the last 20 years in Fishers and now last 11 years in Carmel. I love the NorthSide and yes there is alot of good restaraunts everywhere in the city. I personally like all the variety in my area and I am close within 10 minutes to Noblesville, Fishers, Zionsville and Castleton so living on the East Side of Carmel is the Perfect location for me. Takes only 30 minutes to downtown. However I do not have a website banning the Southside. My family wants to come visit and eat lunch or dinner on Northside, however I am always up to going on their side of town anytime, I feel they always want to try out a new restaraunt that we have because they do not offer it on southside. That is not are fault. have a good day and our community if friendly and I do not feed my kids mac-n-cheese whoever wrote that is ridiculous also. Pam

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