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Old 04-25-2010, 04:41 PM
 
8 posts, read 38,595 times
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This is probably going to seem like a really unfair thread, but da truth is da truth. I live in Bisbee, AZ. It's a pretty good fit for me - affordable, radical, artistic, loads of hills and gardens and gorgeous scenery, big outdoor spaces, nice weather with almost no winter, many things in walking distance, short traffic-less commute, historic old buildings (no franchise businesses allowed within the city limits), loads of hiking trails, farmer's market is walking distance, and I can have a decent sized garden, chickens and a composting toilet. I don't do kids and I don't do church and I think lawns are a form of contagious idiocy, so that fact that they're short on all three is actually a plus. The town is small and the houses close together, but I've got a place just outside of it with lots of land. The only thing missing for me in Bisbee is a little more rain for gardening, bike paths, and ethnic restaurants, and that I haven't retrofitted my crappy-but-marvelous 100 year old house to be 100% off-grid and energy-free yet.

My husband is getting a job in Indy, on E. 56th Street (DFAS building). Like I said, this isn't a fair thread, but I'm SO bummed I'm almost considering a separation from my hubby rather than my town. I don't want to go in destined to fail, but my impression of Indianapolis is a conservative flat gray place with lousy weather, chain restaurants and absolutely zero interest in sustainable living. If that's the case, I can't think of a place in the country less suited to me. ...Ok. Before I got married I used to live on 20 acres of desert off-grid in a straw bale house, and that *was* a little too far away from civilization. A little.

I know I won't find Bisbee in Indy, and I realize that Bloomington would be a better fit, but it's too far. Any suggestions on neighborhoods I might consider or ways to get pumped about this move? It would be good if the commute was 40 minutes or less. ... am I asking for a miracle?

ETA: I also do ceramic arts, and there's a great program for it at the local community college here. A similar opportunity for artistic expression could go a long way to making me feel at home ... but I do mean "serious" art. I'm originally from NYC, country-crafty isn't my thing at all, as you might guess.

Last edited by bisbonian; 04-25-2010 at 05:28 PM..
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:46 PM
 
Location: San Diego
1,759 posts, read 2,916,371 times
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Well I can say that you are right when you say people here do not care about sustainable living (although we should). There are a lot of chain restaurants in Indianapolis, but there are also a lot of local restaurants too. As for conservative, Arizona just passed one of the most racist laws I have ever heard of, so I don't think Indiana will be much worse. Plus Indianapolis is about the most democratic place in Indiana, so it's not bad. If you didn't want to live in the city, the Village of West Clay in Carmel has houses close together with very small yards. The neighborhood is supposed to feel like a small town. There are some nice neighborhoods in Indianapolis around 52nd and Illinois (I think), Broad Ripple, Meridian/Kessler, Geist, and the Northwest side.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 34,707,038 times
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Bisbee sounds like a utopian place! And I'll go ahead and say this, you are being unfair and also a bit unrealistic. How many Bisbees are there in the US, period?? And you do have a wee bit of nerve talking about conservatism considering the anti-immigration bill that your governor just signed. Indiana, in spite of it's own conservative rep, wouldn't do such a stupid thing.

Ok, whew, stepping off the soap box.

Here's a link to Indiana Green Living, hopefully it will give you some tips:
Indiana Living Green

Please please please ... don't come to Indiana with this attitude. You will be completely miserable and it will be your fault, not ours and not Indiana's.

I think you may want to look into Broad Ripple or even downtown Indy.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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Thanks! Bisbee is basically the antithesis of Arizona - we're all aghast at that new law and definitely a dot of blue in a sea of red, and some people refer to us as the "gay and lesbian capital of Arizona". (I'm not specifically looking for a "gay neighborhood" but the tolerance that comes with accepting differences is a must). Any idea if these areas you're talking about are older neighborhoods, or newer developments? No HOA and not looking at a sea of endless lookalike crackerboxes (prevalent in some areas of AZ but not here), is also important to me.

As far as there not being a lot of Bisbees, I know! I spent two years in a van, looking for my personal utopia. Nothing else is going to compare, but I really do want to try to find something to love about Indy. - thanks for the link, too.

ETA: I know, I love Bisbee and brag on it, but there are drawbacks; it can be hot, or cold, or windy and dry, and it is a SMALL town. Gotta drive 45 minutes for any sort of "standard" stuff like a Walmart or movie theatre, gotta drive 2 hours for a Trader Joe's or Thai food. Not perfect ... but pretty good.

ETA again: The monon trail certainly looks like a bright spot! I'd love to be able to be car-free in Indy (at least in summer), that would be another big plus.

Last edited by bisbonian; 04-25-2010 at 06:56 PM..
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 34,707,038 times
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too bad your husband couldn't have found a job closer to Chicago because this place is screaming out your name:

Tryon Farm :: A Unique Conservation Community
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:02 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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If you could give us some kind of price range it would help. I mentioned the Village of West Clay in Carmel, but it is expensive. Carmel is also very Republican, but more for the money than social issues. Broad Ripple really sounds like it could be the closest thing to what you are looking for. The Monon Trail is also in Broad Ripple. It is an area with a lot of local restaurants, bars, and stores.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:38 PM
 
8 posts, read 38,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domergurl View Post
too bad your husband couldn't have found a job closer to Chicago because this place is screaming out your name:

Tryon Farm :: A Unique Conservation Community
Oh it certainly is. Hubby actually lived in MC a long long time ago (family is the reason for returning to IN), but there don't seem to be government jobs in the area.

Broad Ripple definitely has the sort of culture I'd like ... I guess I'll have to come and see, as I'm definitely a raising chickens sort of chick, even though I like my funk as well. Maybe I could bike there.

ETA: they say the only thing stupider than a poor republican is a rich democrat, so I guess I'm pretty darn stupid.

Honestly we'd like to keep it under $200K as we want to pay cash, and we don't want a house that's larger than about 1600 sq., but we do need a yard and a "serious" garage.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 34,707,038 times
Reputation: 7936
ok ... here's where I think you may need to make hard choices. I'm not entirely sure you are going to be able to "have it all" like you do now. If you want to be able to walk to places, you are probably going to have to give up on the notion of a "serious garage" and a house less than 200K, and the chickens too. What it sounds like to me, and I may be wrong, but I think you guys need to find a place out on the back 40, which you can do and still be within a reasonable car or bike ride. I guess you need to decide which is more important.

Now, if you are willing to bump up your price ... I'd suggest you look for a nice home in the heart of Zionsville. There are some lovely rehabbed smallish homes that are within walking distance to shops, etc.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:16 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 12,413,680 times
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Wow. Lots to consider here.

My very first thought (when I read the part about you leaving your DH over this move) was: is there any way you can keep your place in AZ???

Indy has a wonderful and easy-to-navigate new airport. Indiana's low low cost of living makes it possible for many folks to keep "winter homes". In fact my neighbor up the block spends half the year in AZ . If you guys split up you'll be footing the bill for two residences anyhow, so I think this may be something to explore.

I agree with both suggestions for Zionsville or Broadripple. I hope some of the other Indy peeps stop in later to fill you in on other neighborhoods (Fountain Square, Mass Ave etc etc). You may have to give up the chickens (? not sure about Indy's livestock laws) but you'll gain the biking instead.

For art classes you'l want to check out Home - Indianapolis Art Center

Yes it's "serious art". Some very good ceramicists there.

You'll be happy to know that the director of the IMA is a transplanted New Yorker as well. Indianapolis Museum of Art | Modern, African & Fine Art, Gardens

I had one other very very far out of the box idea. Is there any way DH could negotiate for a 3 or 4 day workweek? Perhaps with some telecommuting? If that was any sort of possibility then Bloomington, or even Brown County would suddenly be on your radar. I've had two friends live in Brown County in off-the-grid straw-bale houses. That's what made me think of you.

Good luck with your decisions!
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 34,707,038 times
Reputation: 7936
Yea, second Brown County if you could swing it!!! When you come house hunting ... try to find time to drive down and check it out.
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