Photo by Megan Fernandez
Bed-headed couples and young families are flocking to the brand-new location of Amelia’s Bread in Windsor Park, which, unlike the original Fletcher Place boulangerie, has seating. But not much. The few indoor chairs and smattering of patio tables fill up fast. Plan B: Get your Tinker Coffee and croissant cinnamon roll to go and stroll around the lovely, leafy neighborhoods of Windsor Park and Springdale. Wear some walking shoes and follow this course.
First, go out the back door of Amelia’s Bread (1637 Nowland Ave.) and see the antique elevator in the back yard. The owners are mulling over how to use it—perhaps for reserved seating. Meanwhile, you can take a selfie with pretty ironwork.
Then pop over to the newly opened Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie (1258 Windsor St.) next door. During brunch hours, ask nicely and the staff will usually let you poke your head into an empty theater, which are small enough to rent for a group screening of an independent flick.
Across the street, study the architectural details of the Spades Public Library (1801 Nowland Ave.), one of two Andrew Carnegie libraries still operating in Indianapolis. The charming Arts and Crafts building is 109 year old.
Double back to the other side of Amelia’s to check out Stomping Ground (1625 Nowland Ave.), a gardening-and-gift boutique in a sweet blue bungalow. You can shop for the trendiest houseplants, craft-cocktail kits, puzzles, jewelry, and other fun items by makers. Leave your new monstera there to continue your walking tour and pick it up when you circle back to your car.
Then put the address for Chinquapin Oak Park (2319 Nowland Ave.) into your GPS, but no matter what route it gives you, start off walking east on 12th Street behind Stomping Ground. You’ll amble through the old residential area in transition, which is nice way of saying that some houses look great and some are dilapidated. The destination is a pocket park dedicated to a giant tree believed to be about 300 years old, predating the founding of Indianapolis by over 150 years. Interpretative signs around the much-loved Nowland Oak, recently saved from removal, discuss the neighborhood’s history. There’s a similar old tree a couple blocks east, on Temple—follow acorns painted on the sidewalk to find it.
To return to your car, follow Brookside Parkway along the edge of Spades Park (1800 Nowland Ave.) Across the street from Amelia’s, you’ll see a rusty column with a glass finial. It’s a sculpture on the Spades Park art trail, and there’s a map of the other locations on the back side of the column, if you want to continue wandering. If not, go back to Amelia’s for a city loaf and locally sourced gourmet provisions, then drive away via Jefferson Street north of 12th Street, where you’ll see some of the renovated and new homes that are putting Windsor Park and Springdale back on the urban-Indy map.