Someday Margaret and I will move back to Indianapolis from Zionsville. Not only do I miss the city, but I also don’t enjoy the suburban lifestyle. But when we go, we will absolutely miss being just a few minutes away from Zionsville’s charming downtown, with its shops and restaurants.

We will also miss events like the Brick Street Market. It’s an annual thing, except that (I think) it was skipped last year thanks to the pandemic. But this year, with vaccinations on the rise, they held it. We’re fully vaccinated, so we went. I had Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 in, and my 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A lens on, my Pentax KM, so I brought it along.

Several blocks of downtown are closed for the market, and vendors set up booths. Some of the vendors are local, most of the rest come from around the state, and a few come from surrounding states to hawk their (mostly) handmade wares.

Brick Street Fair
Brick Street Fair

It’s called the Brick Street Market because Zionsville’s Main Street is paved in brick. It’s hard to see in these photos, but the the center section of the street is a different color brick from the outer sections, because that’s where the streetcar tracks used to run and when they were removed I guess they couldn’t find matching brick.

The Friendly
Kettle korn

I moved in close to capture some of the more interesting products for sale.

Oh my gourd
Block birdhouse
Tie dye
Toy car

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13 responses to “Brick Street Market”

  1. davisr66 Avatar

    Jim, The company I worked for around the turn of the century did the repaving with the bricks during my time there. As marketing director, I took many photos of the work in process and enjoyed a few lunches at the Friendly Tavern. If memory serves me right, I believe the different colored bricks delineate the parking areas. Take a look next time you’re in downtown Zionsville and see if that’s what it looks like. All of the bricks and the concrete curbs are relatively new, c. 2000.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I had no idea the bricks were so new! I did some digging just now and found a 1960s photo of the main street in rough condition. It appears to be paved in brick, but patched with asphalt.

      How strange that they used different colored bricks to mark driving vs. parking. I wouldn’t have guessed that.

  2. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Ditto on suburban living. Never grew up in the ‘burbs, and always grew up in cities where there was a bus route at maximum, two blocks away, and you didn’t need to get in a car to buy a soda and newspaper. Even my current neighborhood in Milwaukee is walkable to the baseball stadium where the Brewers play, one block from a bus that runs from the far west suburbs, to downtown, past Marquette U. and then up along the lakefront to the University of Milwaukee. Passes my corner every 20 minutes. Two blocks from a park with winter ice skating, and a summer beer garden. When I had jury duty, I just rode the bus, at my age, a dollar a ride; why pay for downtown parking? I grew up riding the EL in Chicago, and loved it. I know people raised in the ‘burbs that expected their parents to take them everywhere, and won’t ride mass transit today!

    I will say I had some problems with the sociology of Zionsville when I lived there, but the key was actually living downtown. I just lived a block away from the main drag, on the direct north side, and I loved coming home at night and just walking around town, maybe stopping at the Friendly for a drink, and not getting in my car to do anything. Most of my friends who were also raised in the city, kind of agree that we value living in a city, but would also like living directly in a small town (and some of them now do); it’s living in the suburbs, on blocks that look like they were squeezed out of mold, and zero commercial retail except maybe a gas station, that creeps us out. I miss downtown Zionsville, tho!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      If Margaret and I were willing to afford a house in the Village, that’s where we’d go and that’s that. But even a 900 sf house costs $400k there. No thanks. Back to Indy we will go. But as you know, public transit is not really a thing there unless you live in the core old city.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        Yes about the Zionsville cost…my “professional” salary in Indianapolis was the same as it was in Milwaukee 20 years before. When I got down there, I might have just been able to afford to buy in the section of Irvington I liked, by the time I left 4 years later…Nope. Then my fall-back position was Little Flower. I would have been screwed if I bought instead of rented, but I neither felt good about the company, nor anything else. Turns out I was right about the company, within 2 years of “letting me go” before I could get any programs through, they fired literally half the company to stay afloat, I value my “BS Meter” honed from years of working in Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco!

        I know you’re another Irvington fan, but I always suggest Little Flower for a look; there were Eli Lilly people moving in there by the time I left, that couldn’t afford the Woodruff Place houses.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          After looking long and hard at Irvington, we’ve decided to pass. For me, it’s primarily about wanting a move-in-ready house, and many of the houses in Irvington need work. For Margaret, she was repelled by the political signs (BLM, love is love, and all that) in all the yards. Even when we agree with the sentiments, we don’t want politics to be a litmus test for our inclusion in a neighborhood. And we are both concerned about crime there. We are looking at the Northwestside now, where I used to live before I moved to Zionsville.

        2. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          I had no problem with the politics in Irvington, they were refreshing compared to most of Indianapolis and Indiana, BUT absolutely have to agree with the house quality and crime!

          I had a few people working for me that lived in Irvington, and one of them rented a house that wouldn’t have been legal to rent in Milwaukee, it was in such poor condition, and the landlord wouldn’t fix anything, they kept all the records, and then they moved out mid-lease as unlivable, and the landlord had the nerve to come after them! It’s a different world in Indy, not like the German craftsmen of Milwaukee and Chicago…I always tell people there’s a reason Angie’s List started in Indianapolis! Irvington had a lot of marginal houses that needed work, for too much!

          Another Irvingtonite at my work, had a boyfriend who was out for a walk in the evening that got robbed and beat to a pulp, within a block of the main drag.. If you’re making an large investment you’re just able to afford in the first years, you sure as hell don’t want to buy in an area like that, on one hand it could go one way and you could have a nice asset, on the other, you could lose your investment!

          I also liked living in Pike near Eagle Creek, and knew a few people that had bought around the north side of the little airport and loved it!

  3. David Winskill Avatar
    David Winskill

    Greetings from a cloudy London. Here is some info on our Brick Lane Market!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      How fun! If ever I’m in London, I’ll look it up.

  4. Paul Hoppe Photography Avatar

    I am happy you got to enjoy the market…I like them as well.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This one is one day a year, and we look forward to it each year.

  5. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    I have actually been to Indianapolis once many years ago! Although, despite spending about half my life in large cities, I think it is safe to say that I am more of a small town sort of guy. We have a small farmers market here where I buy my produce, as I like to support small businesses and to know where my food has come from. Great pics!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Zionsville is a small town, but it’s also a suburb of Indianapolis, so it doesn’t have the typical Indiana small town feel. There’s a part of me that would like to move back to Terre Haute (pop. 60,000) or South Bend (pop. 110,000) — some big-city amenities, but few big-city problems.

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