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Sunday, December 4, 2022

May / June 2022

Evansville Living

Scoop of Success

The bold blue trailer, easily recognizable to Evansville residents as the JB’s Barnyard ice cream truck, had been parked Downtown for only 20 minutes when a line began to form. While owners Briley and Jared Simpkins were visiting for an interview with Evansville Living, the young couple still served customers with the same contagious positivity that’s become a benchmark of their brand.

A New Direction

Next time your travels take you beyond the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, head to the Delmar neighborhood for some of the finest contemporary crafts in America. There, the nonprofit Craft Alliance is in its sixth decade giving local, regional, and national artisans a place to learn and showcase their crafts. Whether ceramics, glass, textiles, or jewelry, Craft Alliance celebrates it all.

Cruise Control

Relaunched in 2021 after a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Upgrade Bike Share program is a cheap and healthy way to traverse the River City for business or pleasure. Painted white and decorated with logos from program sponsors such as Welborn Baptist Foundation, the bikes are adult-sized, so young riders may need their own wheels for a family outing. Each has a built-in bell, handle-bar breaks, and space to secure a backpack-sized item on the front of the bike.

All in the Family

The lifespan of a car often tops out at about 20 years, so it may come as a surprise to see a gleaming 60-year-old auto effortlessly cruising the streets. For Tom Petersen, the longevity of his 1960 Buick Electra 225 is about preserving an automobile of the past and staying connected to family. The first-generation Electra was purchased by Petersen’s grandfather in 1981 and passed down to his father. After his father died in 2021, Petersen wanted to keep the car in the family and shipped it last summer from his parents’ Clear Lake, Wisconsin, home to the Tri-State.

Pensive Primates

Acclaimed photographer Mark Edward Harris visited the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo while on a media tour in 2014. He was taking pictures through a thick glass wall when Azy, the dominant male of the resident orangutans, motioned Harris to turn his camera around. Azy wanted to see himself on the viewing screen. Unlike other animal species, orangutans can identify their own reflections.

Most Beautiful Homes

From historic abodes to modern fare, beautiful homes are plentiful in the River City. Our neighborhoods abound with distinctive residences featuring custom designs and magnificent details, and, as we’ve discovered, each has a unique story. From the rolling hills of the West Side to Water Street in neighboring Newburgh, we hope you enjoy Evansville Living’s 2022 list of Most Beautiful Homes.

Photos with Feeling

For Michele Gates, photography is more than a hobby. She takes striking, detailed photos of nature, which has brought her peace and spurred her to create a simple message: You Matter. Six years ago, Gates began using photography to cope with loss. In December 2014, her grandfather passed away from cancer. A year later, she got divorced. In 2016 and 2017, she lost her grandmother and an aunt.

‘For Gifting and Gracious Living’

Opie & Eleanor’s is a treasure trove of decor, clothing and accessories, original artwork, and more gifts. The 1,500-square-foot shop at 3033 W. Maryland St. is tucked away from Evansville’s main thoroughfares but holds weight as one of the city’s most popular boutiques.

Whimsy and Wonder

Painters often are pictured standing at an easel, working in a studio on a piece that’s been meticulously planned. For interior design muralist Anita Roll, this isn’t quite the case. Her success largely can be attributed to her ability to adapt and lean into the spontaneous nature of her trade, and her willingness to let creativity take control.

Whirl of a World

A simple scan of Rare Bird Uncommon Gifts’ store at 2605 Lincoln Ave., and you’ll find plenty of curious items. But among the hundreds of home accessories, candles, and jewelry is perhaps the shop’s most fascinating product. Rare Bird’s MOVA Globes are fixed acrylic spheres containing an inner moving globe suspended in a thin layer of oil. The globes rotate on their own using any available light to activate without batteries or cords.

Craftsman Cool

Back on the market after a diligent renovation, 2015 E. Blackford Avenue is a modern oasis wrapped in classic packaging. “The home has been 100 percent redone,” says Jayson Munoz, owner of Munoz Properties and the commercial industrial roofing company Commercial Coatings. “That house is done exactly how I would live in it.”

Berry Refreshing

It’s patio season in Evansville, and at COMFORT by the Cross-Eyed Cricket, that means a generous serving of fruity cocktails under clear skies. COMFORT’s blackberry margarita is a refreshing blend of tart and sweet, perfect for a summer afternoon sip on the Main Street restaurant’s front patio. Veteran bartender and server Savannah Kujawa originally created the blackberry margarita as a special, noticing the abundance of blackberries in the kitchen going unused for COMFORT’s fresh-cut fruit side.

All Decked Out

The Landing General Manager Sean Swank says he doesn’t have to go outside to know when the sun is setting. When customers stray to one of the riverside restaurant’s several decks to catch a glimpse of the sun falling below the banks of the Ohio River, it’s a signal to him that the night has just begun.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

What once was an inconspicuous gallery hidden on Evansville’s far East Side is now a neighborhood art space closer to the city’s center. Twymon Art’s new location at 1015 Lincoln Ave. opened March 25, but owner Billy Twymon has envisioned it for almost a year. “As soon as I saw it, I was like, ‘This would make an ideal art space,’” he says. “My hope is that especially some of the younger artists are aware that they have a spot in their own neighborhood they can come to now.”


Discover Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula

If you visited one of the 423 parks in the National Park System last year, you were in good company. Outdoor spaces provide safe options for people of all ages to commune with nature after months of staying at home due to COVID-19 precautions. Olympic National Park in Washington state, which ranks among the top 10 most visited U.S. national parks, is one I had the opportunity to explore last October during the height of autumn color.

Creating Lasting Solutions

Nearly every chair in the gallery of Room 301 in the Civic Center Complex was filled, and an overflow crowd had gathered in the hall outside. The people assembled weren’t seeking a tax decrease or lobbying for better roads. Instead, when the Evansville City Council voted to approve a six-figure reallocation of city money to help fund mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities, the crowd cheered.


Making a Difference

With five dollars, big ideas, and bigger hearts, Resurrection Catholic School’s first grade class has turned an assignment into advocacy. First grade teacher Jennifer Schmitz began this project in 2011, inspired by that year’s Diocesan theme: “Make a difference, it all begins with a single step.” She gave $5 of her own money to each of her 17 students who turned $85 into $797, most choosing to launch fundraising campaigns for chosen organizations.

Stocked to Serve

As schools closed to in-person instruction in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students were left without a reliable supply of meals. Food insecurity — already a problem in Vanderburgh County where, according to Feeding America, 14.5 percent of the population identified as food insecure in 2018 — was only exacerbated as families struggled to feed everyone at their table.

Anatomy of a Dish

Berry Blend

If you can take your eyes off the flaky doughnuts on display at Parlor Doughnuts at 301 N. Green River Road, you’ll notice an enticing menu of healthy, coastal-influenced dishes. The star of these is the acai bowl, a vegan dish that will remind you more of a decadent dessert than a super food-filled meal.

Online Exclusives

5 Tips for Shopping the Annual Alvord Boulevard Sale

June is here, and with it comes a favorite, yet somehow obscure, event on Evansville’s East Side: The annual Alvord Boulevard yard sale. Stretching 10 blocks of South Alvord from Harper Elementary School to Washington Avenue, boulevard residents stage the sale on the first Saturday in June, and it is a favorite among area scavengers. Shoppers can peruse standard yard sale wares such as dishes, small kitchen appliances, and books, but you can also score antique furniture and other cool finds from the many unique homes along one of the city’s most beautiful streets.

Events to Take Pride In

Evansville celebrates its LGBTQIA+ community the month of June with festivals, a parade, and Pride events at baseball games and amusement parks.

Remembering Robin Lawrence

Robin Lawrence, a Newburgh, Indiana, resident, died peacefully in her home on Thursday, May 19, after battling anal and rectal cancer for almost four years.

Calves and Laughs

From live music and historic tales to spring markets, plant sales, and bull riding, there’s something fun for everyone this weekend in and around the River City. 2022 Spring Funk in the City 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 21 Haynie’s Corner Arts District, corner of Adams and Washington avenues

Custom Creations

A wealth of craft beer flows from the taps of River City breweries, and what better way to show your appreciation than to raise a glass of their custom crafts during American Craft Beer Week? Through Saturday, enjoy these fresh suds from brewing companies in and around Evansville.