I arrived in Broad Ripple (Hoppe, “A Terrible Thing to Waste,” Jan. 11-18) by chance rather than by choice, and sight unseen, 21 and a half years ago. My personal history does not bear on this argument. What does bear, though, is that after two years of renting, I bought a house just six blocks away from the rental and have called Broad Ripple home since.
What Kosene and Kosene (further) propose in terms of condominium development in this area is yet another travesty destined to be visited upon a travesty already accomplished (the out-of-nowhere suffocating development in the environs of the Art Center; the disappearance — overnight it seemed — of Roses and Lollipops and its accompanying large lot; the glop of condos on Westfield surrounding Winston “Lake” and across the street from it). Not all of this can be dropped on K&K’s doorstep. But they have surely been, shall we say, a key player in radical negative change.
Broad Ripple is, in fact, “unique.” And unique is a fairly rare commodity these days. I could regale you with pages of concrete examples of what constitutes that uniqueness (and would be more than happy to), but I would like to think that you have a fairly good idea about all of this already, and without my own descriptions. I am not the only voice by any means.
You might be interested to know that when I flew out at Thanksgiving to visit my mother in California, I hooked up with a fellow from the same flight while we both were waiting for a shuttle at LAX. He, too, a transplanted Californian, has come to love Indiana. When I told him where I live, he pronounced Broad Ripple “Indiana’s answer to Sausalito.”
Save places like this. Spare them from bottom-line entities like Kosene and Kosene. As it has already proven all too well, Kosene and Kosene has no interest whatsoever, none, in preserving Broad Ripple’s standing on the unfortunately way-too-short list of unique places to live, not only in Indianapolis or Indiana, but anywhere. Are those dollars really worth that much?
If I wanted to live in a pinky-beige cookie cutter house in a treeless, faceless “burb” in Fishers or Avon, I would go there. My staying in Broad Ripple by choice should not make me prey to who and what are, at base, uninterested, yet hugely influential corporate parties.
Something could and should be done to stop this.