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Evansville
Thursday, June 30, 2022

January / February 2021

Features

From Rags to Riches

For 30 years, the home at 805 E. Chandler Ave. sat vacant along historic Bayard Park. Nature reclaimed the yard, a large catalpa tree grew inside the chimney, and the original roof decayed, leaving a 4-foot-wide hole straight into the basement. But when Tammy Harber, Indianapolis native and owner of Opie’s Doggie Playcare and Salon, happened to drive by in 2016, she knew she had to own it.

Holding Down the Home Front

It was a time of undeniable change. The allies of the U.S. in Europe were at war with the Axis powers. The country continued to reel from a devastating economic crash in the form of the Great Depression. Many wondered if we too would go to war and what that would look like. The answer came on Dec. 7, 1941, when the base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was attacked by Japanese warplanes. More than 2,400 servicemen and civilians perished in the attack and on Dec. 8, 1941, the U.S. officially declared war on Japan.

Center of Attention

Finding His Voice

Sam Mitchell used to be standoffish. He wasn’t much of a public speaker either. But that changed two years ago with the launch of his podcast Autism Rocks and Rolls. Sam, a senior at Eastern Greene High School near Bloomfield, Indiana, wanted to create a platform that people from all walks of life can enjoy. Some episodes include interviews with high-profile people on the autism spectrum, diving into topics they struggle with. Others are simply for entertainment purposes.

Arts and Events

Blessed Be Thy Beats

Each Sunday, Father Claude Burns carefully dresses in his traditional Catholic robes, grabs his Bible, and steps in front of the congregation at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Newburgh, Indiana, to deliver what he hopes is an inspiring message to help the members grow in their faith. But Burns uses more than just his spoken word at the pulpit to connect listeners to Christianity — he combines his two loves of God and hip hop as a Catholic rapper.

Home and Garden

Home Retreat

A quiet brick ranch on the city’s East Side, this home at 7420 Wren Drive is packed with value. With an amazing park-like setting, the 3,299-square-foot home features a backyard oasis with an inground pool just off the sunroom. “This East Side home is a retreat inside and out with the beautiful pool and huge sunroom —perfect space for entertaining,” says Mary McCarthy, a broker associate at FC Tucker Emge.

Family Ties

The last time architect Rick Guina saw his cousin, Idea Home owner Maricel Reyes, was 15 years ago, when she and her husband Hubert were living in California. Guina had just started his own architecture firm in Irvine when Maricel approached him about possibly designing her home in the future.

Entertainment

Below Deck

Living history — a term you’ve heard but may never have experienced. When my feet made contact with the cold metal Top Deck of the USS LST-325, I began to truly understand how the past can thrive in the present and breathe new life into the future. Located at 610 N.W. Riverside Drive, the LST-325 offers one-hour tours of the Top Deck, Troop Berthing, Tank Deck, and six other sections. Trekking through the chambers of the ship, I felt as if I’d fallen into a time capsule.

Chew On This

About the Magazine

A Staggering Effort

I have rewritten the opening of this letter, at least in my mind, a dozen times — more than in any letter before. Should I say, “Goodbye, 2020 — we are sick of you in the most awful, literal way?” Should I say, “Hello, 2021; just turning the calendar makes us feel better?” My comments on 2020’s pandemic and racial, social, and political strife would not add to the ongoing conversation. Then, as this issue was in final production, the Jan. 7, 2021, headline of the Wall Street Journal read “Mob Storms Capitol.”

Art Talk

Up and Coming

Sitting on an overturned white crate in the studio space of his Downtown apartment, artist Drew Cooper reflects on the path that led to his show at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana from Jan. 15 to Feb 12. While this was his first solo gallery, Cooper already had made a name for himself across the world, moving to Miami in 2016 and Los Angeles in 2017 before returning to Evansville in December 2019.

Good Living

A Silver Lining

Deaconess President Dr. James Porter addressed media and hospital personnel on Dec. 16, 2020, as a small white cart carrying the newly created vaccine rolled in front of the crowd. “These are people seeing COVID patients on the frontline every day and we thank them and are very excited to see them receive this historic vaccine,” he says. “We hope people look to these examples and know the vaccine is a better option [than COVID].”

Building Community

Described as a “food desert” with little to no access to food sources, the Tepe Park neighborhood will see a transformation over the next year with the opening of a community kitchen at the site of the former Bedford Tavern at the corner of Bedford and Madison Avenues. Bedford Collab, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a sustainable food source, is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity with grants from Republic Services and CenterPoint Energy to renovate the building at 1201 S. Bedford Ave.

Departments

Clearing Connections

Your brain is hardwired to make connections. And it’s really good at doing it.

Obituaries 2020

With each passing year, we mourn and celebrate the lives lost of members of the community who made a difference in their places of work, to civic organizations, and to their families and others. This year, those losses were felt more keenly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We pored through death records and obituaries to find notable men and women who helped shape the Tri-State through their contributions.

Home Style

Daring Decor

Corkscrew Curiosities — at 120 N. Elm St., Henderson, KY — overflows with peculiar and intriguing items from the past. But the richest history inside the antique store (a cozy cubicle inside The Elm Consignment shop) is the story of Corkscrew itself. From 1978 to 1991 Anna Jane Stanley, who passed away in 2016, owned Corkscrew Deli at the corner of Main and First Streets in Henderson. While Stanley was proud of her business, she shared her true passion with her family, especially her granddaughters and owners of Corkscrew Curiosities, Jasmine Elzy and Kyla Ford.

Dining

The Next Chapter

Amy Word was certain the universe was showing her a sign. During the summer of 2019, while in talks to sell her restaurant Dapper Pig in Haynie’s Corner, she was mulling over the thought of opening another venture along Franklin Street where her well-established tavern and music bar Lamasco was thriving. It was then Andy Davidson, former owner of the Tin Man Brewery called her. While the main Tin Man Brewery building was purchased, the smaller building at 1418 W Franklin St. (former home of PG restaurant) was up for grabs. Davidson asked Word if she was interested in it.

Bringing in the Dough

When Chef Dontae Hines opened his first restaurant at the site of the former Highland Pizza, he decided to return to what jumpstarted his culinary career — pizza. Dontae’s Highland Pizza Parlor, located at 6669 Kratzville Road, is dishing out traditional pizzeria cuisine like cheese bread, soups, salads, strombolis, paninis, and popular handmade pizzas using freshly prepared meats and produce.

Scary Good Food

Unlike traditional Mexican fare, Ghost Quesadilla in Newburgh, Indiana offers a unique blend of Southwest flavors that will spook the conventional taste right out of your mouth. Opened in March 2020, Ghost Quesadilla owner Ryan London was itching to get back into the restaurant business after many years running a marketing company but was unsure of what concept he wanted to utilize. It didn’t take him much time to figure out what kind of restaurant he wanted to open.

Candy Land

Like a real-life Willy Wonka, Mike Schmitt can be found dipping marshmallows into vats of chocolate and infusing caramels with wacky flavors in the kitchen of Sweet Schmitt’s Candy. Located at 422 North Main St., the local favorite was a result of Mike and his wife DeAnn’s life-long passion and curiosity.

Final Detail

A ‘Bosse Babe’ Remembers

Growing up in Evansville has such great memories for me. I was born here and lived here most of my life. Thinking of highlights of my childhood brings many things to mind — getting ice chips from the ice delivery trucks in the hot, humid summers; my mother buying from a fresh produce wagon that would come down our street.

Curb Appeal

Golden Ginkgoes

There’s a special type of beauty in a ginkgo tree during the fall. The fanned green leaves turn a vibrant, eye-catching yellow before they cover the ground in all their splendor. Along Southeast Second Street in the Historic Riverside District, the home of David and Christina Brown — built in 1871 by John Iglehart (of Iglehart & Taylor Attorneys and Counselors) — compliments the lush yellow fall color with its pale blue paint and stunning Italiante architecture.

Collectibles

Crafting Character

The building at 662 S. Green River Road, home to the Nance family and Nance Galleries since 1958, contains a pristine world of color, art, and antiques inside. Some amazing gems are hidden among the exquisite items and local goods for sale.

Online Exclusives

Land of Lincoln

It’s been more than 200 years since Abraham Lincoln spent his youth in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After all that time, we are still fascinated with the man who was the 16th president of the U.S.

G is for Greenway

Evansville has many beautiful landscapes and trails, and one of the most ambitious projects over the past two decades in the city has been construction of the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, an effort by community leaders to further compliment the area’s environmental allure.

Food for the Soul

In a year of historic moments, it seems the weather of winter 2021 wants to make its own mark in the history books with record-lows and snow and ice storms across the Tri-State as well as across the country. As residents hunker down in their homes with blankets, heaters, and hopefully no plans that involve driving on the treacherous roads, I got to thinking of my favorite winter treat — soup!

Presidential Visits

Historically, Indiana hasn’t been known to attract top political candidates, largely because our primary election date falls late in the race (May 3) and a fairly small amount of electoral votes (11). Despite this, Evansville has actually hosted quite a few Presidents over its more than 200-year history. Even though President’s Day was yesterday, let’s take a look back at some of the nation’s leaders who have visited the River City.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

Mardi Gras — the annual celebration in February filled with costumes, beads, and revelry before Ash Wednesday and “Fat Tuesday” is an appropriate name for this day simply for all the delicious food you can take in before Lent! If you’re looking for some traditional dishes for your own Mardi Gras plans, look no further than these local spots and “let the good times roll!”

Treacherous Waters

January and February have historically been bad months for weather in Tri-State and no, we’re not just talking about ice storms. For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we remember the Great Flood of 1937 that surged through the streets of Evansville in what became one of the worst natural disasters in the city’s history. In late January 1937, after more than a week of downpours, and even an ice storm and snow, the Ohio River peaked at 53.74 feet – almost 19 feet above the flood line.

The Flavors of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, Evansville! This weekend it’s all about love. Whether you celebrate a romantic evening with your partner or snuggle with your favorite furry friend for a night of rom-coms, one thing is for sure — you have to eat! Enjoy the holiday in style, with a full belly, by taking in these local Valentine’s specials for dine-in and takeout.

Escape to Amazonia!

Tired of the freezing rain and snow this week? Looking to get out of the cold and have some fun? Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden has just the thing for you! Escape the winter weather and travel to South America for the zoo’s Orchid Escape. Stroll through a tropical jungle filled with blooming orchids, waterfalls, and exotic animals. This annual breathtaking display utilizes hundreds of the flowers in artistically arrangements planted throughout the Amazonia exhibit.

Long Live the Log Inn

When it comes to lists, we know our readers can’t get enough of them — from Evansville Living’s annual “Best of the City” feature in the September/October issue to online restaurant reviews. The Daily Meal, a digital publication, recently combined one of its popular lists with the River City’s other favorite subject — food.

Sustainable Shopping

Last week on Feb. 2, Sixth and Zero held the grand opening of its new location at 425 Main St. Locally-owned by Mary Allen, the shop offers eco-friendly, ethically, and sustainably sourced goods, as well as homemade soaps and body products. “We had a great opening week,” says Allen. “I’m excited to be a part of Downtown. It seems like a really nice collaborative spirit of copromoting and wanting everyone to succeed.”

City of Art

The Tri-State boasts countless talented artists in clay making, painting, photography, and other mediums. Lucky for you, their fabulous works of art can be found at several galleries across the region both virtually and in-person. We’ve gathered a list of some of the current must-visit exhibitions from around the area. And for those who don’t feel comfortable visiting these shows in person, we’ve included a link to each virtual exhibition.

F is for Fall Festival

Of all the Evansville traditions and celebrations, one event rises above the rest as the River City’s most notable annual attraction. The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival began in 1921 when a group of West Side businessmen formed an organization that would handle the duties of putting together a festival to promote and support Evansville.

A Tragic Accident

The date was Feb. 6, 1992. Guests at the Drury Inn (now a Comfort Inn and Suites) at 3901 U.S. 41 N. were preparing for a full day in the city. But at roughly 9:53 a.m., the unthinkable occurred. A C-130B plummeted from the sky landing on the backside of Jojo’s restaurant, now a Denny’s restaurant, sending a raging inferno into the Drury.

Indulgent Preview

It was hard not to be thrilled by the delicious smells in the air as I sat at a table in Executive Chef George Sidaros’ kitchen at the Old National Events Plaza. Greeting me with as much enthusiasm as I had about trying his dishes, Chef Sidaros was ready to present me with a behind-the-scenes preview of the menu he has prepared for the upcoming Dinner on the Bridge event Feb. 13.

Shaping Our History

The month of February marks Black History Month, a nationwide commemoration of the notable contributions Black people have made in shaping the history of the United States. While this federally recognized month is familiar to many, most are unaware of how it came about, who started it, and why it is in February. Pay tribute to Black history by uncovering the origins of this national, cultural celebration. Black History Month traces back to 1926 with Carter G. Woodson, a son of former slaves who is considered the “Father of Black History.”

Touchdown Trays

This year, Super Bowl Sunday just won’t be the same. A limited number of fans will be at the stadium along will a limited number of friends and family at your Super Bowl party. You might not be able to share your signature Buffalo Chicken Dip or Pigs in a Blanket with party guests, but you can still enjoy the big game by grabbing food from these local restaurants. Celebrate the nation’s biggest sporting event as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with barbecue from Bandana’s Bar-B-Q and a Cuban sandwich from Siciliano Subs.

Turn a Page

The skies in Evansville lately have been filled with dark or heavy gray clouds, alluding to some sort of cold precipitation in our future. The biting wind that comes off the Ohio River doesn’t exactly produce thoughts of warmth either. During these early, chilly months as we try to patiently wait for spring to bloom again in the Tri-State, curling up with a good book seems like the perfect way to avoid the winter blues. Need a new read? Here’s a list of the books currently housing our bookmarks or taking up residence on our nightstands.

E is for Entertainment

When it comes to entertainment, Evansville sure knows how to have a good time. From sports and nature trails to performing arts, the Tri-State offers enjoyable entertainment for all ages. Though the pandemic has prevented many of these venues and organizations from showcasing their full talents, you can still find ways to enjoy the some of the city’s lively attractions.

Day Drinkin’

Happy February, Evansville! Or should we say happy four layers of pants, three parkas, two pairs of gloves, and a giant fuzzy hat season? It may be cold outside, but when we closed our eyes and took a sip of the newest draft on tap at Myriad Brewing Company (101 S.E. First St.) we were transported to the warm, sunny days of summer we miss so much.

The Belly of the Beast

In the January/February issue of Evansville Living, we toured the USS LST-325 at 610 N.W. Riverside Drive to give you the inside scoop on what lies inside the warship and how to prepare for the tour. But part of our journey took us on a path the average attendee won’t be able to see.

A Day of Remembrance

Seventy-three seconds. In that short amount of time after the Challenger space shuttle lifted from the ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, the shuttle broke apart in an explosion that killed all seven crew members on board, including a high school teacher.

A Hoosier Sacrifice

The World Wars have a special connection to Evansville. Thousands of ammunitions, LSTs, and P-47 Thunderbolt planes were manufactured in the city during World War II (read more about the war effort in the Jan/Feb issue of Evansville Living

Fry-Day!

French fries — wedges, curly, crisp, long, short, loaded — it doesn’t matter how you “fry up” this staple snack, the Tri-State, and staff of Evansville Living, can’t seem to get enough. Whether you like to dip your fries or munch on other potato-based variants, Evansville offers a diverse range of fries for foodies and picky eaters alike. Munch on our top styles of fry below and be sure to swing by any local eatery to enjoy some for yourself!

Ready, Set, Go!

If you’ve already forgotten your New Year’s Resolution, now is the time to get back on track! The YMCA indoor triathlon offers a unique spin on the traditional triathlon. This Sunday beginning at 5 a.m., participants will compete based on distance completed within an allotted time frame, racing against athletes of all ages and overall placement. COVID-19 precautions will be taken during this event.

Through the Generations

Anna Jean Stanley’s passion for antiques left a lasting legacy for her granddaughters, cousins Jasmine Elzy and Kyla Ford, owners of Corkscrew Curiosities in Henderson, Kentucky. It may have been her knack for perusing garage sales that gave them the tools to open their quirky antique shop, Corkscrew Curiosities, featured in the January/February issue of Evansville Living. But it was Stanley’s own local business that gave them their inspiration.

Second Helpings

Our “Chew on This” food news section included in each issue of Evansville Living has gone digital! The same week our magazine hits newsstands and mailboxes across the country, we’ll pick the month’s top dining stories from print and serve them up here. Check out the most delicious details from January/February 2021 below!

D is for Development

What’s one thing that’s changed the most in the city of Evansville over the last five years? Development! It seems like each week we get the news of a project moving forward or a new one in the works. This week, we take a look at four new or in-process projects in Evansville you might not know the details of.

Divine Design

Churches have long been a premier attraction of any city, with their remarkable architecture inside and out captivating the gaze of their congregation and abroad. In the 2018 March/April issue of Evansville Living, we casted a light on 10 of Evansville’s historic churches all still serving a congregation. Though these churches are closed to entry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we picked out five of these community centers of faith that made us marvel at their lavish architecture and history.

Five Fun Facts of Easterseals

Since Easterseals Rehabilitation Center opened on Bellemeade Avenue in 1957, it has been home to many unique special events and traditions, all benefiting the lives of local people with disabilities. This year, the organization is marking its 75th anniversary — to commemorate, we asked for five facts you may not know about Easterseals’ long history of contributions to the community!

Our Favorite Downtown Lunch Spots

Working Downtown has its perks. We get a great view of the Ohio River, are close to many amazing local businesses, and at midday, we have several dining spots to choose from. We’re in love with the Evansville’s local eateries, so our staff rounded up our favorite can’t-miss lunch spots in Downtown. And you don’t have to work Downtown to grab some of the delicious dishes at one of these restaurants — come to Main Street for lunch on the river on warmer days!

History in the Making

Yesterday, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and first African American and South Asian American to hold the office. While this ceremony was historic for many reasons, inaugurations always have been an important part of democracy and peaceful transfers of power in the U.S. Political offices in Evansville are no exception to this rule.

See Rock City!

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for an outdoor weekend getaway. Stocked with masks, negative COVID-19 tests, and no less than four layers of sweaters and coats each, my friends and I explored Chattanooga’s premiere destination for tourists looking for safe, outdoor activities all year round. At the top of Lookout Mountain, a famous Chattanooga hiking spot split between Georgia and Tennessee, Rock City Gardens is a 4,100-foot trail filled with views and attractions for guests of every age.

Continuing the Dream

Although Martin Luther King Jr. Day was yesterday, you can still celebrate the civil rights icon with a week of virtual learning events through the University of Southern Indiana. These events honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King are all free and available to the public for viewing and participation.

205 Years and Counting

While the world said Happy New Year on Jan. 1, 2021, we also are saying happy birthday to the state of Indiana. It was 205 years ago when a seemingly random series of events, including a famous war, led to the creation of our home state. In 1811, the Indiana Territory was ready for statehood. Represented in Congress by Jonathan Jennings — a New Jersey native who traveled to Indiana via the Ohio River — since 1809, the territory began the petition process for statehood.

C is for Campus

Home to roughly 118,580 people, Evansville is the third largest city in Indiana behind Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. Despite being mid-sized and much smaller in population than most other major Midwest cities, Evansville houses not one, not two, but four major institutions of higher education. From a prestigious, private liberal arts university to the newly-added collaborative medical center Downtown, the River City has a campus to accommodate any and all types of students.

Pesto Perfect

Parlor Doughnuts and Proper Coffee is well known locally for its layered doughnuts, roasted coffee blends, and other breakfast delicacies. But what recently caught our attention was the spinach pesto breakfast sandwich.

Five Favorite Features

After more than a decade, I soon will be leaving my role as Creative Director with Tucker Publishing Group for a new adventure in food media. While I’m excited for the future, these last days are filled with bittersweet moments as I reflect on the many accomplishments, opportunities, and connections I’ve made by working on stories for Evansville Living magazine. Remember that time I turned a cake into a cover?

Pizza the Pie

Pepperoni, sausage, and cheese — Oh my! Pizza Week has come to Evansville! Evansville Pizza Week, coinciding with National Pizza Week from Jan. 10 to Jan. 16, is a local dining event supported by several area businesses, including State Farm Insurance and CarX. To grab yourself a slice, head to one of these participating locations: Bar Louie 7700 Eagle Crest Blvd.

Birds of a Feather

The weather in Indiana is unpredictable in the winter and so are the birds that travel throughout the Hoosier state. Most commonly, you can find year-round residents like cardinals, blue jays, house sparrows, finches, and woodpeckers, but other sightings change depending on the fluctuating warmth of the Indiana sun in the early part of the year. Grab your binoculars and see if you can spot these winged, winter creatures!

Winter Blast from the Past

Bundled up in coats, gloves, and scarfs, Evansvillians across the city may be grumbling about the cold chill that’s settled in River City in the last few weeks. But with no winter weather advisories so far and even less considerable snowfall, this winter has been milder than most. And things could be a lot worse — 103 years ago our ancestors were in the worst snowstorm in Evansville history.