Street Savvy: Butler-Tarkington

Where to go before Bulldogs games and Clowes concerts

The Secret Ingredient keeps clothing racks jam-packed with sharp basics and trendy pieces alike in Butler-Tarkington, and it’s a great place for affordable statement accessories. We’re surprised no stores have copied its fun Auction Sale—when shoppers can write their bids on price tags. The next one happens in January. 5631 N. Illinois St., 317-253-6632,
2. Entertain
Charles Mayer & Company maintains its focus on fashion-inspired tableware from labels like Versace and Hermes (although the luxurious baby and gift sections hold their own). Owner Claudia Sharp mixes and matches textures, so pay special attention to the artful vignettes. 5629 N. Illinois St., 317-257-2900,
3. View
Most names featured in Eckert & Ross Fine Art’s basement gallery have been deemed the “best living Indiana artists” (qualifications include winning a best-of-show at the Hoosier Salon). Upstairs, it’s not uncommon to find a painting that was recently on display at the IMA. 5627 N. Illinois St., 317-255-4561,
4. Read
At Kids Ink bookstore, children’s authors often read a recent work to a group of eager ears. For little ones ages 2 to 5, there’s a story hour every other Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 5619 N. Illinois St., 317-255-2598,
5. Experiment
Of the city’s six Flying Cupcake locations, the original, on Illinois Street, serves the most vegan and gluten-free options. The healthy alternatives seem a bit more tempting a few bites into the Old Ball and Chain, a version of wedding cake. 5617 N. Illinois St., 317-396-2696,
6. Dine
Headed to Clowes Memorial Hall? Oh Yumm! Bistro serves the best pre-show light dinner in the neighborhood. The menu of small plates can seem a bit unfocused, but the options with Southern flair (such as fried green tomatoes seared to a crisp and layered with pesto and sweet grilled corn) are a good bet. 5615 N. Illinois St., 317-251-5656,
7. Browse
When in need of a mood-lifter, the cheerful merchandise at Be: The Boutique does the trick. If you swoon over M.G. Tates in The Fashion Mall, you’ll love this independent’s dense selection of fun homethings, gifts, and accessories with modern verve. 5607 N. Illinois St., 317-257-3826,

1214-WordontheStreet“In our neighborhood, the houses and people are diverse—so our holiday decorations are all diverse, too. My favorite spots are just off of the cross streets around Butler, like Buckingham and 44th.” —Shirley Mullin, Butler-Tark resident & Kids Ink owner

8. Order
Open in the same location for 93 years, Kincaid’s Meat Market is now run by a third-generation Rollins (Dave), who knows the orders of regulars—many walk to the store for fresh prime rib roast, steaks, or made-in-house turduckens around the holidays. 5605 N. Illinois St., 317255-5497,
9. Play
“I am not lost; I live here” has become an inside joke among Rocky Ripple residents, who are used to cars turning around in their driveways. You’ll know locals by the canoes and exercise mats they carry while walking to the White Pine Wilderness Academy. Classes at the center teach outdoor survival skills, yoga, and no-weight strength and body training year-round. 841 W. 53rd St., 317-774-6360,
10. Cheer
Butler basketball will look different for fans at Hinkle Fieldhouse. A $36 million renovation has revealed once-painted brick, widened hallways, replaced seats, and added a digital scoreboard. Seating capacity is down by 900, so buy spots early. Season-ticketholders claim many of the floor seats and show up to most games, so the best seat can usually be had at the box office in advance. Residents near the arena charge for driveway parking, the most convenient option until the new garage opens next season. 510 W. 49th St., 317-940-9375,
11. Sweat
Close to a third of Butler’s Health and Recreation Complex members are nearby homeowners. Why share the space with students? For a six-lane pool, an indoor track, a sauna, a spa, massage rooms, dance studios, basketball courts, and strength and cardio machines. $590 per year for Butler alumni, $685 non-alums; 530 W. 49th St., 317-940-4472,
12. Attend
Running three decades, the Butler Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker at Clowes Memorial Hall features choreographers who have been with the show for years. The sets and costumes change annually for a fresh take. Dec. 4–7, $21.50 and up; 4602 Sunset Ave., 317-940-6444,