John and I just renewed our lease for our lovely little home in SoBro, aka South Broad Ripple. To be more specific, we are in the Keystone-Monon neighborhood, a smaller subset of SoBro, which I recognize thanks to my Neighborhoods of Indianapolis poster AND the neighborhood newsletter that was kindly dropped in our mailbox the day after we moved in.
Sadly there is little information about SoBro on the web, but I did find one website (http://sobroindy.blogspot.com/) with an explanation of the boundaries:
Precise boundaries of the area are disputed, but generally: the northern boundary is Kessler Avenue, the western is (conservatively) Meridian St. or (wildly disputed) Butler University bordering the Rocky Ripple neighborhood. Southern boundary is (conservatively) 46th St. and (not so widely-disputed) 38th St. The Eastern boundary is Keystone Avenue or, perhaps, as far east as Allisonville Rd.
I tend to think along the same lines – East to Keystone, North to Kessler, West to College and South to 52nd. South of 52nd is really the State Fairgrounds neighborhood but hey, I’m not here to dispute…
To be clear, this post is not about hating on other neighborhoods, though in my head I do compare our current home to our experiences living near 86th and Michigan. We landed there when we moved to Indy mostly because the rent was cheap, the apartments were clean and we were OK with the area. After three years of being NW-siders, we found that we drove to Broad Ripple so often that we might as well live near the area that we play in.
Coming from a one bedroom apartment with a small upstairs balcony that held two adults and two 80-pound dogs, our new SoBro location came with two bedrooms, an unfinished basement, hardwood floors, a kitchen with windows, a fenced in backyard with French doors that lead out onto a deck, all for only a little more a month than what we were already paying. It made perfect sense for where we were with our lives and it was all an upgrade from where we came from.
So before you jump on me for loving my neighborhood more than yours, leave a comment telling me why you love YOUR neighborhood! Each one has it’s unique perks and quirks!
41 Reasons Why I Love Living in SoBro
1. There is more back yard space in SoBro than Broad Ripple, as houses are spaced out a little more, giving the dogs more room to play
2. It’s quiet, except for the sounds of Little League Baseball or dogs barking (in their backyards)
3. It’s quiet in that unless you live on 54th or 52nd, there’s little traffic noise and you aren’t bothered with the hustle and bustle of too many restaurants or bars in one spot
4. (It’s quiet, repeat and repeat)
5. The Indiana State Fair and fairgrounds are less than two miles south and easily accessible via the Monon Trail or by driving, which means I’ll have a short commute for Indy Fuel games and all of the other wonderful happenings at the fairgrounds
6. Close access to the Monon Trail, which is my main source of transportation in warm months and gets me to Broad Ripple or downtown quickly
7. Brews and burgers at Twenty Tap or Fat Dan’s Deli cannot be beat
8. Locally Grown Gardens and Fresh Market offer accessible groceries that I can walk/bike to
10. More Yats
11. Always get more bread at Yats
12. My block is friendly and has started a crime watch group with the police department, which has helped us get to know each other more
13. Close approximatey to Glendale, which means I’m only a few miles from Target and the Glendale Library Branch
14. Landmark Theaters, also in Glendale, is hardly ever busy, even on opening nights (and quiet)
15. We can enjoy backyard cookouts with friends and family during warm months, which we couldn’t do in our previous apartment or in neighborhoods where the front yard is larger than the back yard
16. It is so dog friendly that 5 minutes doesn’t go by without seeing someone walking along the street with their pups, probably because of the back yards
17. My local post office is called Bacon Swamp. How cool is that?
18. Canterbury Park is always hoppin’ in the summer with sand volleyball and a playground right off of the Monon Trail
19. There’s a new brewery moving in behind Mama Carolla’s
20. But Upland’s tap room is only a hop, skip and a jump away
21. Mmmm beer.
22. There’s a balance of rental and owned properties, which provides a diverse mix of younger/older folks
23. Indy Hostel has so many concerts and entertainment options in the summer, along with yoga classes and conversations with people who have traveled to Indianapolis from all over
24. Free air for your bicycle on the Monon Trail at 52nd (though if you spot this elsewhere, please let me know!)
25. I’m super duper close to the restaurant I frequent most in Indianapolis – Sahm’s Place
26. Grabbing vinyl at LUNA Music or VIBES Music before, during and after Record Store Day
27. Bicycle Exchange has refurbished and new bicycles and promotes bike safety in Indianapolis (and they’ll air up your tires in a jiffy for you)
28. Beautiful art along the Monon Trail, mostly through SoBro and a little south
29. Brunch at Good Morning Mama’s is a must, especially when you can sit outside
30. Houses are all so unique and full of character. My purple door stands amongst homes with bright colors and 50s/60s architecture. Each house looks different from the next.
31. The Mousetrap on Thursday nights for free electronic music with a crowd of regulars who greet you with hugs, beer and smiles (also jazz on Tuesdays, bluegrass and jam bands on the weekends, delicious pork tenderloins and their famous stew)
32. Fried chicken at Mississippi Belle. It’s a must (but cash only).
33. Vegan and vegetarian fare at Taste Cafe and Marketplace or SoBro Cafe, both with patios
34. Bungalow style homes are perfect for John and I at this point in our lives. It’s just the right amount of space without feeling the need to fill it with “stuff.”
35. I’m just a quick bike ride away from Kincaid’s Meat Market, where I spend far too much money on duck breasts and other meat treats
36. I can get downtown via the Subaru in less than 20 minutes by hopping onto Keystone and then Fall Creek.
37. Keystone Avenue is a street that moves people so much better than Michigan Avenue (thanks to three lanes both ways).
38. Mo and Johnny’s has us coffee fiends covered with their cozy coffee house and restaurant that’s open early and late.
39. The Speak Easy, a lovely co-working space, is often busy with events and happenings (and is also right off the Monon trail)
40. Newcomers Delicia and La Mulita bring spicy new vibes to the restaurant scene
41. Super easy access to the Broad Ripple Farmers Market, which starts Saturday, May 3!
Phew. Give me forever and I’ll come up with many more ideas, but this is just a small way for me to say thank you to the neighborhood I love so dearly. I really hope it encourages you to get out and explore your dwelling!