On 11th and College, this place is now the best (and most expensive) restaurant in
town. They still seem to be advertising as a "Wine and Dessert Bar", but don't be fooled like I
was. They have fantastic salads and appetizers for $6, and entrees for $12-25. Excellent! Park in
the back, entrance is on 11th St.
Anyetsang's Little Tibet
A reincarnation of the Tibetan restaurants which used to be here -- the Anyetsang family are
working very long hours to provide both real Tibetan meals as well as Indian and Thai dishes.
In the middle of the restaurant block of 4th street.
The Runcible Spoon
This venerable coffee shop, with a great patio area, porches, and cozy indoor seating changed owners in 2003. Matthew O'Neill has maintained all the old favorite faire, but also makes gourmet food for dinners, teaches cooking at a couple of schools around town, and hosts poetry readings and Irish music on Tuesday nights. The bookshelves are crammed with great reading material, with an emphasis on things Irish. Located in the 400 block of East 6th Street.
Le Petit Cafe
On the north side of 6th Street, two blocks west of the courthouse, next door to the Encore. Good french food, limited "chef's choice" menu, and Patrick will come sit at your table and get to know you while he takes your order. A cultural staple.
The Uplands Brewery
Excellent beer brewed on location, decent pub food, and atrocious acoustics. But I like this place on 11th Street between College and Rodgers.
The deli at the east Third Street location near K-Mart has some good food
surprises for you, and you can shop for organic and local produce to fix your own food.
The Scholars Inn Bakehouse
Used to be my favorite place for breakfast on weekends. The food is good, if overpriced, and they bake out of the ordinary breads and goodies in a two-storey imported french brick oven (hence the name).
My girlfriend and I were the first customers in the door the day they opened. (The people working there now don't know that.) Now owned by the Scholars Inn and expanded to include a bagel-deli.
This place is now a Bloomington classic, close to the corner of Kirkwood and Walnut. Food is excellent, an upscale cajun sort of specialization, but don't think that doesn't mean you can't get pasta, steak, great salads, excellent desserts... Be
prepared to wait 30 minutes on a Sunday morning in the Fall. In 2012 they doubled in size and now have a great new bar seating area.
The Lotus World Music Festival -- "world music", meaning all kinds of music from all kinds of places.
What a great thing to have happen in this little town!
(Named after local bluegrass/folk musician Lotus Dickey).
Local musician and poet, and all around good person. Carrie and her husband Robert not only play benefits for local causes as they are needed, but created the annual SoupBowl Benefit for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. Carrie definitely adds to the Bloomington Folk scene. I miss
Metamora, though. Here're a few web sites
on her. And I've see articles on Carrie at Sojourners Online.
Speaking of Metamora, Grey Larsen still lives and works here in Bloomington. Grey does recording, mastering, producing, and playing. On Tuesdays around 7pm you can
usually find him at the Runcible Spoon playing irish music with friends. Bring your instrument and join in the session if you know the tunes!
Still speaking of Metamora, Malcolm still live here in town. He composes, directs choirs, tours with his small group "Ooodoo", and runs Ooolation Summer Camps (singing, dancing, body percussion, and art) for youth and adults in beautiful settings like Brown County, islands off the coast of Maine, Mono Lake and Redwood Valley in California.
Moira's not really "local" any more... boo hoo. She's gone on to Southern California, where she has been singing solo and with several groups such as Kitka. The two local groups she created, Vida (her quartet) and Terra (her young womens ensemble) are no longer, except in recordings. Contact Moira if you missed out on those days. Many of the alumni have gone on to artistic endeavors elsewhere. Moira also leads youth camps in Vermont and works with Malcolm and with the Village Harmony/Northern Harmony folks at camps and on tours.
Bloomington is rich in old-time, celtic, contradance, clogging, and other folk styles of playing, singing, and dancing. You can catch most of the people I've listed above at the Farmers Market in the warm months.
Another a cappella group that used to be here -- these five
folks did a mixture of pop, traditional, and original pieces, and were a lot
of fun to watch. Sadly for us, though good for them, several of the members are off
to new academic careers.
town, even a little southwest of the Starlight
Drive-in is the best thing anywhere around here! Cedar Bluffs, a Nature
Conservancy property has a limestone bluff carved between two creek
beds... with an 80 foot drop to Clear Creek, the view and the feel of the
place are unbeatable. As Ferris Buehler might say "If you can possibly
go there, I highly recommend it." Please leave it as clean or
cleaner than you find it.
West and a little South of
town (about 300 yards south of the map point) , the city had a reservoir. Around the turn of the 20th century, leaks, size, and distance began to make
it clear that this location was inadequate to the needs of Bloomington and IU. Recently the City made the land into
a great walking park. Hard to find, but worth it!
Follow Dunn Street or Fee Lane straight north across the
bypass, and you will run into one end or the other of Lake Griffy.
Recently decommissioned as a municipal water supply, the reservoir can be
used for canoeing, fishing, skating in winter, or (illegally)
skinny-dipping. It's surrounded by woods, and has several hiking
trails. I don't particularly enjoy southern Indiana woodlands, but if
you do, you'll like Griffy. It's within biking or even walking distance,
but either route features a steep hill to climb back to town. You can
also follow the road past lower Cascades park (old 37) and reach the lake.
When threatened by IU development of a new golf course, a big part of the community gathered
for a benefit in defense of Lake Griffy
Just north of the new park (the Miller-Showers park) between College and Walnut north of 17th street, there's a
road/turn-about between the two halves of Walnut and College avenues. Take that road west
instead of turning onto (or staying on) Walnut, and then follow the road as it heads north. Soon you're
winding through one of Bloomington's most beautiful but least used parks.
With the possible exception of the Cherry Bowl near
Traverse City Michigan, the Starlite Drive-in theater southwest of
Bloomington on old 37 is the greatest drive-in I know. At the
beginning of the season, they play good films, then it degenerates to
summer teen fare for a while, then gets good again. They even used to
show the dancing hot dogs and goodies mountain during intermission.
Indiana University: This is a college town. IU's presence is a significant factor in the cultural, political, and gustatory life here.
Here are the IU Bloomington Events calendars, so you can see if there are any goings-on that might interest you. In particular, you might check the Arts and Entertainment calendar. There's an overwhelming number of concerts, plays, art exhibitions, dances, etc. in this town.
The September Lotus World Music Festival -- "world music", meaning all kinds of music from all kinds of places.
What a great thing to have happen in this little town! (named after local bluegrass/folk musician Lotus Dickey, in case you were wondering)