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Diverse Corners

One of the more interesting and exciting aspects to city living is noticing a place where people from disparate backgrounds can gather in close geographic proximity. This happens often downtown, of course. However, there are two corners that I have visited recently where this dichotomy has been quite noticeable.

The first is 38th and Illinois. I was there last weekend for a friend’s baby shower and concert at the Melody Inn (one of the best concert venues in town). Across the street is a store-front church. The church was hosting a party attended by many young men and women, which I believes speaks to the lack of actual entertainment venues available to minorities in the inner city. The Urbanophile speaks on race relations much more eloquently than I can, so I will leave my commentary on the issue there.

The second is 49th and College. The corner has been targeted as the next College Avenue node to become revitalized. I visited the new Upland Tasting Room, which is a unique concept that discourages over-consumption and lingering, because the space is minuscule. After the sampling, I crossed the street to eat at Just Wing-N It, located in an old KFC. The restaurant, along with the Bottle Shop and barber across the street, are the last hangouts for minorities on the corner. I certainly hope that if the corner is “the next College Avenue node” that the current residents and patrons will continue to feel welcome.

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7 Responses to “ “Diverse Corners”

  1. Curt says:

    Kevin, you must live close by because Upland and Wingin It are both within walking distance of my house. I havent made it into Upland yet, but intend to soon.

  2. Kevin says:

    Yes, I'm a bit north of there. I used to live on College Avenue close to 50th Street for almost two years.

  3. Erin says:

    There's also an Indonesian restuarant opening at 49th and College, on the north side of 49th just east of College. And just a short trot to 46th and College to get one of those awesome fresh Philadelphian pretzels, 3 for $2.

  4. Kevin says:

    I haven't seen much going on at the Indonesian place lately.

    The pretzel place is great. I've been several times already.

  5. Mark says:

    Also at 49th and college next to the barber shop, or in the old barber shop location is Recess Indy. [ recessindy.com ] It's another dining concept (under construction) from the Chef who worked at Elements and I the H20Sushi. He always has amazing food. Unfortunately, City Dogs Bakery or whatever was behind Paw Patch has moved to the old Vi Walker Silver store next to movie gallery at 52nd and College.

    any updates on the Mixed Use Proposal that is slated for 49th and College on the Northwest all the way to 50th?

  6. Kevin says:

    Yes, I'm certainly looking forward to the opening of Recess.

    I haven't heard much about the large proposal across the street, and I don't know who has heard anything recently. Perhaps this webpage is a good place to find out?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, from what I've heard (thru the rest. industry friends) Recess is well on it's way for a sometime in DEC opening. Chef Greg Hardesty is a great chef and opened the fine dining spots H2O and Elements. But Recess will be his first restaurant where he feels he can do whatever he wants, so the concept will be more casual and quite flexible I hear. A retail market on one side and casual bar/restaurant on the other where the menu may change daily or weekly….whatever he feels! I hear the interior is going to be left somewhat spare to highlight the 'oldness' of the building while adding some modern hints that can transform the space, such as a movable panel which will give the space a totally different feel at night vs. daytime. Food and service will be very approachable to say the least, so it's a good start for the Indy dining scene to be more casual without compensating quality.

    It sounds like an up-dated version of a typical ethnic eatery with grocery attached with no limitations on the food.

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