Social media is amazing for connecting with other bloggers and influencers and sharing ideas. Even better when you get a chance to meet these people in real life. Through my blog and social media work I’ve met many interesting and creative individuals from all over the country with unique perspectives on the cities in which they live. Cue my new blog series, Local’s Guide To… Each month I’ll chat with a new local expert about where they call home and the places you must check out when you visit. First up is the..
Local’s Guide to Indianapolis with Raina Regan
I first met Raina at the National Preservation Conference in Indy back in 2013. I was brand new to the Midwest and she instantly introduced herself at a social media meetup during the conference and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
How long have you lived in Indy? What do you do here?
I moved to Indy almost six years ago after graduating from Ball State. Although I moved here without a job, I lucked out and landed my first job less than a month later. Currently, I work for Indiana Landmarks as a Community Preservation Specialist advocating for preservation in Central Indiana. I’m also involved with our local instagram community, @igersindy, and a young preservationists group, Preserve Greater Indy.
What makes Indy unique?
Everyone needs a weekend getaway every now and then… If you follow me on Instagram (emsontheroad) or snapchat (emsontheroad), it’s likely you saw me running around Cincinnati recently with Ryan and our good friends Celia and Toby. We spent most of the weekend exploring the Over the Rhine neighborhood checking out breweries, the market and other historic buildings, but the highlight of the weekend was our hotel, 21c Cincinnati.
If you remember from my visit to the 21c in Louisville, the concept of this hotel group is quite unique: integrating contemporary art into everyday life while reusing historic buildings. Their properties create such unique juxtaposition seen in the careful preservation of the distinguished exterior and the modern mix of minimal furniture and colorful art on the interior. The art galleries are the main attraction and are open 24-7 and free. Genius.
The 21c Hotel in Cincy was originally home to the swanky Metropole Hotel that was completed in 1912 with an addition in 1924. The hotel fell into decline in the 1970s and in 2011 the 21c brand stepped in to breathe life back into this historic hotel. The Neoclassical building is still a gorgeous red terracotta, standing tall in the heart of downtown Cincinnati and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Via Cincinnati Views
No visit to San Francisco is complete without exploring Haight Ashbury.
After the Gold Rush, wealthy San Franciscans made their home in the Upper Haight building ornate Victorian homes in the hills. The neighborhood went into decline during the Great Depression and continued through the World Wars. In the 1950s the California Division of Highways had planned to extend freeways across San Francisco destroying many neighborhoods including Haight Ashbury. Due to extreme opposition these plans were squashed which ultimately saved many of the cities’ historic neighborhoods. READ MORE
I’m finally feel like I’m back in the swing of things after a much needed vacation to the West Coast. Ryan and I started our trip in San Francisco visiting some old friends we hadn’t seen in years. It went by way too fast, as good trips always do, but we had a blast just catching up and checking out some of their favorite bars and restaurants.
We’re notorious procrastinators so it wasn’t too surprising to anyone that we barely slept before our 5am flight because we were up all night packing and getting things ready for our gracious dog sitter. We landed in the early afternoon we headed straight to Arezmendi for a few slices of their daily pizza, then to their apartment for a quick nap. BTW – If you’ve never been to this employee owned bakery in the Inner Sunset – you must go! It is out of this world.
The Botanical Gardens are the perfect escape in the middle of the city.
Still groggy from the trip we decided to explore Golden Gate Park and spent the afternoon meandering around the Botanical Gardens. Everything in the park closed around 5pm so we made our way to a neighborhood bar for a few beers and waited for our friends. Walking out of the park I saw signs for the Little Shamrock, a pub with a sign saying it was 120 years old… We had to go in. READ MORE
After a beer filled weekend in Asheville, North Carolina I continued south to visit some friends and drink some fantastic southern beer in Athens, Georgia. Even in the middle of summer, there is always something happening in the Classic City.
via creature comforts
Art and preservation often cross paths; last weekend I found them happily intertwined at the 21c Hotel in downtown Louisville.
Photo: Ryan Hines
I have found my preservation people up here in the Midwest! I’m now involved with a new historic preservation organization – Preserve Greater Indy. The mission: to connect, engage, educate, and empower advocates of preservation throughout Central Indiana. READ MORE
I’m currently sitting in my office looking out of my window staring at mounds of powdery snow piling up. As I sit here bundled willing the snow to melt and the sun to shine, I’m daydreaming about warmer days to come, specifically sunny days to come on my trip to Charleston, South Carolina for The Southern C Summit! Since most of us in the US have been pretty chilly lately, I thought I’d share one of my favorite spots to soak up the sun and color of Charleston.
Buildings need love too. In honor of Valentine’s Day, this past Saturday I joined a group of preservation enthusiasts, professionals, and students to heart bomb a couple of buildings that were in need of a hug.
The idea behind these “heart bombs” is to raise awareness of the potential for vacant buildings while making advocacy visible and accessible. And sometimes they’re a loving send off for buildings that have lost their battle. READ MORE
I’m not a bourbon drinker; however, when you visit a friend in Bourbon country… when in Rome. A couple of weeks ago, I visited the oldest working bourbon distillery in the United States, Woodford Reserve, a National Historic Landmark. READ MORE