#194: Pay Your Remembrances

More than half a million veterans live in Indiana -- equivalent to one out of every 13 citizens.  Accordingly, Memorial Day here inspires three local parades, countless family celebrations, and this year,  a monument dedication at the Military Honor Park, located near the South Bend airport. 

While I consider Memorial Day the first (un)official day of summer and celebrate my day off with a great cookout, I fully support the purpose behind this federal holiday--a day set aside to remind us to remember, to think about those hundreds of thousand men and women who have served our country--and I am pleased that South Bend commemorates the day with such dignity.

While the last Monday of May is specially marked as a day of remembrance, it does not have to be the only day to set aside a moment to reflect on lives devoted in service to the United States.  You can find war memorials at many local places, such as:
  • Vietnam War Memorial, Howard Park
  • Firemen Memorial, Seitz Park
  • Soldier's Memorial (built in 1884 to commemorate Civil War veterans), Battell Park
  • Veteran's Memorial Park (next to the Twyckenham Bridge off Northside Drive)
Furthermore, our commemoration of past lives should not be restricted to only those who served in the armed forces -- there are a multitude of men and women who had a positive influence on history and whose final resting place is South Bend.  Take a leisurely stroll through a nearby cemetery, and you will encounter a number of intriguing characters:
  • The first Hoosier Catholic priest is buried in the Notre Dame log chapel.  
  • Schuyler Colfax, 17th Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant, is buried in the City Cemetery on Colfax Ave.
  • Stan Coveleski, Hall of Fame Major League Baseball player, is buried at the Saint Joseph Cemetery off Western Ave.
  • Knute Rockne is buried in Highland Cemetery off Portage.
  • Co-founder of Studebaker Company, Clement Studebaker, is buried in Riverview Cemetary, near Highland Cemetary, off Portage.
Interested in learning more?  The Northern Indiana Center for History offers guided tours of area cemeteries.  Call 574-235-9664 for more information, and the next tour will be June 9th, of Highland Cemetery.  Ticket prices for adults are $2. 

#193: Trio's Jazz Club

I visited Trio's for the first time last week and it soon became apparent that not visiting sooner was an enormous oversight. The restaurant, located conveniently downtown on Michigan, is comfortably elegant; what they call "upscale casual dining". We visited during the lunch hour and were impressed with the menu (I would recommend the New Orleans Cobb Salad) and the attentive service.

Of course, I haven't yet mentioned the most unique aspect of Trio's. It's a jazz club and features live music four nights a week. The aforementioned menu is also inspired by the cuisine of well-known American jazz cities. I was, unfortunately, not present for a jazz group but the setup of the restaurant is designed to be acoustically conducive for the frequent music sessions. I could easily imagine spending a pleasant evening with friends or family eating and listening to live music.  Notably, this makes Trio's an ideal place for private parties or banquets and they offer extensive accommodations for such requests. South Bend already contains several interesting and varied music venues, and Trio's adds yet another musical possibility.

Location: 129 North Michigan
Website (with hours and menu): http://www.triossb.com/

To get a sense of the jazz music featured at Trio's, listen to one of their recent performers here.

#192: Camellia Cosmetics

In honor of Michiana Fashion Week, we're highlighting Camellia Cosmetics today, a locally owned business with area locations, one in Eddy Street Commons and at Heritage Square in Granger.  To celebrate, they have hosted events at their stores as well as offering special discounts on their goods and services.  Tomorrow, they will honor any of the week's specials, so ladies of South Bend, before your hot dates for the evening, swing by the store beforehand to receive tips on how to get a celebrity look or lessons on how to do a smokey eye.  Call 574-387-4929 (Eddy St.) or 574-243-1730 (Heritage Square) to set a time for your free 20-minute consultation. 

For me, an offering is worth its weight in gold : no matter how clearly fashion magazines spells it out, I usually end up looking like someone from a musical who celebrated a successful dress rehearsal a bit too hard at Tapped Out II.  Professional instruction is needed to deviate from standard make-up.  While I have not received any of their salon services, my experience interacting with their staff has always been positive.  Once, while waiting for a friend at Eddy Street, I walked in to kill time browsing and walked out with a handful of samples to address my dry skin issues.  The salespeople here are friendly and knowledgeable -- they really understand the high quality merchandise.  The products would be found in Hollywood or the Hills, but their sales style is all Hoosier.  And I'm sure
Eddy Street location

It's hard to walk away without learning about a new skincare product or trying out some new make-up. And since this week (while supplies last) you receive a free Camellia lip gloss with any $30 purchase, take that a reason to walk away with more than samples.  

And fans of OPI Shatter (aka the nail polish right now/best topcoat ever): they have the newest summer brights in stock.

Where: 7135 Heritage Square Drive, Suite. 308  or 1251 North Eddy Street
When:  10:00 am - 8:00 pm (M-Sat.); noon - 5:00 pm (Sun.)
Website: http://www.camelliacosmetics.com/index.html

#191: Tri-Way Drive-In Theatre

Over the next month, expect a steady course of posts highlighting some of our favorite ways to take advantage of summer in South Bend.  Feel free to send us suggestions about your most beloved places to post about!

Indulge in your sense of nostalgia by heading south to Plymouth, where the Tri-Way Drive-In Theatre keeps this embodiment of Americana alive.

The heyday of drive-in's are over -- no bustling lot full of rowdy teenagers you'll find here -- but here at Tri-Way, it's not hard to imagine it being otherwise.  The concession stand still sells cotton candy, buckets of popcorn, and root beer floats --nothing fancy here-- and double features are the norm, not the exception.  Kids can entertain themselves on the swings underneath the big screen until it gets dark enough to turn the projector on. 

Even though you may feel like you're living in a past time, all the features are first run.  Instead of heading to the local theater in town to see the latest flick, try taking a drive down to Plymouth when the weather's nice.  For a place that's only 30 minutes away, I was surprised at how far away from South Bend I felt and how timeless I feel American summers can be.

When: Check here for the schedule.  Open seven days a week, shows start at nightfall.
Where: 4400 N. Michigan Road, Plymouth (Yes, the same Michigan that runs through downtown -- just take it south for about thirty minutes!)
Cost: $8 per person for the double feature
Tip: Haven't been before?  Check out their etiquette guide beforehand. (eg. It costs money to bring in outside food and drink -- and they will check your trunk, so no ridin' dirty!)

#190: River Park Parade

Summer's right around the Bend!  Tomorrow morning is the River Park Parade, a time to celebrate this colorful neighborhood -- home to the zoo, IUSB, Allie's, Bryan's Piano Barr (d. 2010), to name a few. 

This area was once had a government independent from South Bend, and only in 1911 did it become incorporated into the larger town.  IUSB professor Jack Detzler called River Park "the most important annexation for all of South Bend."
Photo taken from Devon Haupt's Flickr
 So I feel, in context of its backstory, River Park is to South Bend the way Texas is to the United States.  And Texas is known for its pride in its heritage, its community, and its pomp.  Along the same lines, the John Adams High School Marching Band will lead the way from IUSB, and in last years, more than 1,000 spectator have come out to line the route along Mishawaka Avenue.  All are encouraged to join in the parade, and there's a decorating contest for kids for who can deck out their bike, stroller, or wagon the best.
Photo taken from Devon Haupt's Flickr
When: 10 am - 12 pm
Where: The parade begins at IUSB and continues on Mishawaka Ave. heading east toward Logan Street.
Read here to learn more about the history of River Park.

#189: (Continuing to) Bike the Bend

Sunday was the official "Bike the Bend" event, and you may noticed the signs and cones dotting the streets all around town.  However, events promoting biking the town continue all week, and South Bend is rolling out the red carpet for its cyclists and giving you little room to make excuses.

And speaking of red carpet, tomorrow morning, Tuesday, you will find a pancake breakfast outside of LaSalle Grill from 7:00 -9:00 am -- free for anyone who rides up on a bike.  They will have a special are roped off on Colfax Ave. for this event.   The VIP appeal of receiving a free (organic) breakfast from LaSalle is incentive enough to show up to work a bit sweaty.

If you work downtown, that concern doesn't need to be an issue -- Memorial Health Center is offering free access to its showers for the week. 

Biking to work can be intimidating -- when driving, I'm not 100% comfortable passing cyclists on the road and I wonder how they safe they feel -- so on Wednesday, South Bend and Notre Dame police have partnered together for a bike safety presentation.  They'll give tips on general bike afety and free maps of bike lanes in the area.  This event will occur at the ND Downtown office at 217 N. Michigan St.  from 6:00-7:00 pm.

Get your competitive juices flowing by participating in the corporate challenge.  It's a free contest between area organizations, and anyone can set up a team to compete for these bragging rights.  Check the website for further details about how to join/register a team and log your miles.

Even your kids can get in on the movement.  Several schools are hosting special events on Thursday, and there will be safety presentations (and helmet giveaways) at five different local elementary schools.

Learn more on their website: http://www.michianabiketowork.org/.  On there, you can even calculate the gas you'll save by biking!

#188: Bike the Bend

In just two short years, Bike the Bend has become a revered South Bend tradition. I had to double-check that this was, indeed, only the 2nd year of the now-annual event since it has settled so quickly and naturally into the rhythm of the community. Of course I'm doing Bike the Bend. Aren't you?

Maybe this is because of the rather ingeniously simple concept behind the event. Bike the Bend is, at its heart, a well-organized group bike ride through South Bend (and parts of Mishawaka). The ride officially begins at 6:30am and continues through 11:30 am, but they encourage you to jump on at any time and any point in the route. The route itself winds by such South Bend favorites as St. Pat's Park, the Farmer's Market, the IUSB, Notre Dame, and Bethel College campuses, and many more parks, neighborhoods, and local spots (find a route map here). After you finish whatever portion of the ride you have chosen to complete, head over to the Post-Ride Festival at Potawatomi Park featuring local musicians and DJ's, food booths, and more. If you know you're going to get hungry before your ride, visit the pancake breakfast at St. Pat's, free with a registration wristband.

Hopefully some of you have registered before now, but you can also register tomorrow on the day of the ride for $30 at any of the designated SAG stations along the route (see the map link above). Cycling is an increasingly popular urban sport and provides a energy-efficient (and fun!) way to access the community.  South Bend was just awarded the national honor of being a Bicycle-Friendly Community (one of only 158 in the country), and this event encapsulates all that this type of bike culture has to offer our community.

All of the necessary information about the event can be found here.

#187: Sweet Street Caramel and Coffee Cafe

Yes, I'm recommending that you go to the mall. Many times (at least for me) the mall can be overwhelming, and here at 365 South Bend we prefer to frequent those places, if at all possible, with a local bent. But tucked away amid some of the bigger-ticket stores is a South Bend gem. Sweet Street (the shortened version of its longer official name) maintains a small storefront in the University Park Mall as well as a regular stall at the South Bend Farmer's Market. Either location will get you what came for. Which is....

Dozens of gourmet coffee flavors (in bean or ground form). Specialty popcorns. Outrageous caramel apples. Homemade granola. And so much more. When I visit the Farmer's Market, it's been a weekly tradition for several years running now to get an Irish Creme latte from Sweet Street. I've only recently, within the past year, started getting my ground coffee from here as well. I've picked it up at the Market or in UP Mall, but the overwhelming variety of options remains the same. They roast the coffee daily, and offer flavors ranging from traditional Colombian to Baked Apple Pie (yes, really). If you can't make it to either location, you're even able to order your coffee and other items online.

Just some really cool-looking caramel apples
Whenever seasonal holidays roll around, Sweet Street is among the first (and best) to celebrate. They offer holiday versions of all of their signature items, check out the Holiday Candy Apple to see what I mean, and they are always ready with gift-baskets for special occasions.  I've spoken several times with the incredibly friendly owner, and it's easy to see why her store(s) are such pleasant places to visit and then visit again.

Location: South Bend Farmer's Market and University Park Mall (near the Food Court)
Website: http://www.sweetstreetinc.com/
Tip: I don't know, everything is delicious!

#186: Allie's Cafe

Ahh yes, another diner. But really who's complaining? Certainly not me; I've found myself (more than once) googling "brunch in South Bend" just to make sure that I haven't missed any. And, well, Allie's is certainly not one to miss. Located on Mishawaka Ave. just down the street from the IUSB campus and across the road from the now-defunct but well-loved Bryan's Piano Barr, the Cafe is a staple of the River Park neighborhood.

When we stopped in last Sunday a little after noon, the place was bustling. Families, in front-row church finery, mingled with college students who had possibly just rolled out of bed.  Retirees on a leisurely weekend brunch mingled with those undefinable but ubiquitous "regulars". We had to wait several minutes to get a table (or rather booth, thank you very much), but as we did, we admired the eclectic, homey decor (showcased below).

Yes, we considered the bottom option.
After we were seated, we took an even longer time poring over the menu. The breakfast options are extensive with several specials that caught our eye. Our waitress recommended the "German Breakfast", with a secret sauce, as one of the absolute best, and, after ordering, I think we would agree. The rest of the menu showcases what one might call "comfort food" for both breakfast and lunch. I'd recommend visiting during their peak hours, for people-watching alone, but Allie's does offer (and is well-known for) their catering services as well.

Location: 2323 Mishawaka Ave.
Hours: Tues-Sat, 6:00am-3:00pm     Sun, 6:00am-2:00pm
Website (with menu): http://www.alliescafe.com/index.html

#185: Howard Park Fiesta de Cinco de Mayo

It seems that whenever a holiday falls mid-week, South Bend will celebrate it on a Saturday, preferably at a park, and most likely with music, food, possibly a parade, and probably a contest between parents about whose child is the cutest.  (See St. Patrick's Day and its Lil' Leprechaun Contest.)

Cinco de Mayo is no different, and although you can predict most of the day's activities, that doesn't take away from the excitement and reason to celebrate this Mexican holiday.  At 10 am, there is a parade beginning at St. Francis Street.  It ends at Howard Park, where several local Hispanic food and craft vendors will be peddling their delicious/delightful wares.  Polish, Mexican and Country Western bands will all take the stage at some point.  And yes, there is a "Little Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant".

On the more unusual side of the spectrum, other events include a jalepeno and watermelon eating contest (4:30 pm), balet folklorico (2:00 pm), a performance by the Potawatomi Indians (1:30 pm), and a salsa contest (4:30 pm).  Also, neighbors, heads up: there is a grito [shouting] contest at 12:15pm, which guarantees to be quite the display of vocal cords in the American Indian tradition.

Where: Howard Park
When: 10 am - 6:30 pm
For more information: call 574-340-6959 or check the Facebook page here

#184: Friends of the Library Book Sale

It's First Friday's folks (for some reason, sometimes I imagine that being said in the style of an old-school radio announcer). Theme of the month: All About Art. Check out the official FF's website for all of the events.  After quickly glancing through all of the options, tomorrow I'm going to try and make it to Junk Evolution's Junk Prom (!), the Handy Pottery event at the SB Chocolate Cafe, Idle Hours Sidewalk Sale, and, of course, the Original Art Rain Barrel Auction at the South Bend Museum of Art. It's going to be a long, fun night.

I'm also, however, going to somehow make time to hit up the Friends of the St. Joseph County Library Book Sale. You all know we're fans of the library, and, well, these people are too.  Members of this organization donate both their time and their funds to ensure that the library can continue to operate at full capacity. One of their many activities consists of sponsoring a monthly (and sometimes bi-monthly) book sale of all of the unused, unnecessary, or overstocked books and DVD's from the library's collection.

Last month's haul
When I first walked in the door of their building (at the southern end of Michigan St.) for last month's booksale, I thought I had entered some sort of literary Candyland. The warehouse-esque interior holds shelves upon shelves of hardcover and paperback books. But wait for the best part, none of them cost more than $1.00 (DVD's, including really recent releases, all cost only $3.00). No, I'm not kidding. Books available range from the newest Danielle Steel publication, to poetry anthologies, to travel and cooking books, to Presidential biographies, to...well, the list could go on and on. I guarantee you can find a book you like, and, at this price, take the time to find several.

For a list of the sale dates, hours, and book prices, go here.

To join the Friends organization, fill out this form and send it in to the library.

#183: Inspire Me!

Even though it's located right next door to one of my favorite shops in South Bend, I'd never stopped into Inspire Me! I only knew it was a boutique clothing store and not much else. I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the store; which is, really, a pretty, yellow, turreted house. Before I get too far, I should note, that Inspire Me! is decidedly a feminine boutique so just a heads up to our male readers. Since the store is located in a multi-story house, the layout is non-traditional. Rooms that that were once clearly living areas, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. are now filled, in all of their nooks and crannies, with clothing racks, artwork, and jewelry. The owner has curated an impressive selection of well-known and more-obscure brands that I guarantee you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else in the county. The clothing has been described as "upscale" but even so, I found a range of price-points.

Today, I was particularly interested in their offerings outside of clothes and found a wide variety of affordable, unique jewelry, knick-knacks for the house, cards, small paintings, and more. In my opinion, boutiques, in their ability to define their own aesthetic through the items they choose to feature, are more fun than other stores because of the potential for discovery. You just don't know quite what you might find.

Location: 528 East Colfax
Hours: Tues-Fri    10:00am-6:00pm
Website: http://www.inspiremeonline.com/index.php
Tip: There's a Granger location as well!

#182: Barnaby's

I'd hazard a guess that four out of five South Bend residents have eaten Barnaby's pizza at some point in their lives.  And yes, it's a great place to order pizza and sandwiches from, but more than that, like many other locally-owned pizza places in the area, it's an institution.  On any given night, you might spy a soccer team celebrating the end of the season, college students grabbing a cheap and filling meal, and a 80th birthday party for one of the men at the top of the senior bowling league.  I can't overstate the role Barnaby's seems to play in those daily celebrations of "the good life".

In fact, I dined at Barnaby's on the night that I replaced the address I had memorized in Kindergarten with a new one that read South Bend, IN on the third line.  On that moving day, all I wanted was some good food, fast, and a large, cold beverage.

Barnaby's did not disappoint.  The pizza is prepared South Bend-style: deep, square-cut slices (similar in depth to Chicago deep dish but with cheese aligned East Coast style) with a dense, doughy crust.  And the drinks?  For my moving partner and I, frosted mugs of root beer and beer each set us back less than $10.  If you want "pizza and beer", look no further.   The dim lighting, low ceiling, and dark wooden booths make it easy to relax and take it easy here.

Indeed, the decor legitimizes the full name featured on the sign outside: "Barnaby's Family Inn", a nod to the history of the place.  Spyridon Stratigos (owner of the old Stratigon Grille downtown...and cameo in Hoosiers and Rudy) built his family home on this site, and in 1969, his son George converted it to the Barnaby's we know now.  His son, John, has continued to own and operate the family business.

Where: 713 E. Jefferson Blvd. (across from Marigold's and Just Goods!)
When: Monday-Thursday, 11 am - 10 pm; Friday - Saturday, 11 am - 11 pm; Sunday 3 pm - 10pm
Call: 574-288-4981
Website: http://www.southbendbarnabys.com/
Tip: It's not a "sit-down" restaurant.  Fill out a paper slip with your food order and place it at the counter.  You'll need to pick it up when your order is called.  All drink orders are taken from a different counter on the far left.
Tip: For Mishawaka residents, you might want to check out the Barnaby's on Grape Road.  Although not owned by the original family, it does feature the same menu.

#181: Kate's Garden and the Mishawaka Riverwalk

Some things are too nice not to share. Today was one of them. The sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, it was the first day of May, I'd just eaten brunch (really my favorite meal) at Allie's Cafe (post to come later!), and a friend (and, yes, fellow blogger) and I spontaneously decided to spend the early part of the afternoon exploring this small park on Lincolnway as it heads into Mishawaka.

It's tulip season!
It really was the perfect way to spend an afternoon in South Bend (or I suppose, the greater Michiana area), and I'll let some pictures do most of the rest of the talking. I want to quickly, though, note the history of the park. It was named after Catherine "Kate" Kosanovich, a well-known and well-loved Mishawaka community leader, and it contains an "Educators" sculpture by Tuck Langland, a local artist in residence, coincidentally, at Fire Arts. The park connects to the Mishawaka Riverwalk system which meanders pleasantly alongside the currently-overflowing St. Joe River. There were a variety of families, dogs, joggers, runners, strollers, children, parents, and others taking advantage of both the walk and the park. And on a day like today, I can only hope that you joined them.

Blogger cameo!
The "Educators" Sculpture
One of the many flowering trees

A section of the Riverwalk

For more info about the garden and the Riverwalk system go here.