art opening for show of photos by jeremy hogan @ sweet hickory. 6-10p.


Jeremy Hogan is a local photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker whose documentary work often appears in the Herald Times but has appeared in other publications nationwide.   For years he has existed at the periphery of youth culture and counter culture and many of his photos document these movements, scenes, and communities.

The show at Sweet Hickory will feature photographs of protests and photos depicting life in Bloomington.  The show opens December 17, 2006 with an event from 6-10pm.  The show will run daily until January 19th.  Sweet Hickory is located at 317 E 3rd St. in downtown Bloomington.  For more info, contact Ryan at 812.369.5284.

media coverage of ladyman’s closing

I guess I’m still trying to figure out my feelings about all of this. I’m collecting a list of articles about Ladyman’s to make it easier for people like me, fairly recent Bloomington transplants who have only a recent history with the diner, understand the history of the place and what its closing represents as part of the changes happening in Bloomington. I think the media coverage is also useful for helping to identify the people in our community responsible for those changes, or at least those who can make decisions about what gets closed, what gets built, how it’s funded, and how much community input is taken into account in the decisions made.

So far, I’m thinking that if there’s one thing that’s good about Ladyman’s closing at its long-time location and not reopening, it’s that the closing drives home the point that things that take a long time to build, that are really, truly, important to a community, are not so resilient and easily replaced. It’s incredibly sad, that something that took nearly 50 years to build into what it was will be replaced by something that will take only a few months. It’s also sad that something that brought people together across lines of generations, race, and class will be replaced by something that is used by and relevent to only a small group of people. Ladyman’s as a convergence of Bloomingtonians from all walks of life is an idea that I’ve been talking about for a long time to friends, but when I looked around the restaurant this past Sunday, I saw how true that really was. With the diner gone, I find it very difficult to think of many other spaces that offer such a meeting point for the community at large.

I was talking to my friend Chris the other night and he was mentioning the keynote speech at this past year’s bioneers conference and how it discussed the idea of designating and protecting places of importance to a community. I asked my friend Will, who recently studied historic restoration of houses, what gave places some kind of protection as historic places. He said that it usually had to do with some historic event happening there, some famous person living there, or the structure being architecturally relevent. It’s so frustrating that there is some precedence to protecting places around these criteria, but not protecting places that bring a community together and that are part of so many people’s personal histories.

I really like the idea of making new development take as long as the things it replaces.  I would feel much better about Finelight having it’s corporate headquarters and a supporting parking garage if it took 49 years to achieve those things.  I look at all the new businesses that have gone in around Smallwood Plaza and 10th and College and other things in the downtown area, and even in the 3 years that I’ve lived in Bloomington, I’ve seen so many things come and go.  Do we really want the physical and commercial reality of our community to be so fleeting and unsubstantial?
Good-bye Ladyman’s
by Steven Higgs
Bloomington Alternative December 3, 2006

Cafe’s closing brings end to cook’s 49-year career
By Kasey Hawrysz
Indiana Daily Student Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Update: J.J. Perry, news editor at the Herald Times sent me the following links to the HT’s coverage of the Ladyman’s closing. He also has authored a blog post, Covering Ladyman’s final weekend, that contains additional links to information about Ladyman’s closing.

Ladyman Family Gathers to Say Farewell
Herald Times December 11, 2006

Last Meal at Ladymans
Herald Times December 11, 2006

Ladyman’s menus: 1957 vs. 2006
Herald Times December 12, 2006

VIDEO: Cook Jack Covert: A Ladyman’s Legend
Herald Times December 8, 2006

SLIDESHOW: Five decades of Ladyman’s
Herald Times

Read our readers’ memories of Ladyman’s
Herald Times December 4, 2006

Ladyman’s guestbook
Herald Times December 8, 2006

SUBMIT: Share your favorite Ladyman’s memories and well wishes here
Herald Times

Woman Reports Zombie Attack

Mary posted this via MySpace regarding this past week’s zombie parade:

From The Herald-Times, Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Woman Reports Zombie Attack

Land Rover slimed with purple goo in front of Smallwood

By James Boyd

One woman’s car was covered with a purple gooey substance Monday night in an apparent zombie attack.

According to Bloomington police reports – yes, real police reports – a 20-year-old woman said she was in her Land Rover in the 400 block of North College Avenue just after 11 p.m., when a “group of zombies tried to attack her in the vehicle,” which was parked right in front of the Smallwood apartment complex.

The zombies covered part of the Land Rover in some type of purple goo, the report said.

She said the zombies put the unknown substance all over the car.

The group of ghouls then left the area.

She called 911 to report the incident, fearful that the purple substance would damage the paint on her vehicle, the report said.

Bloomington police officer Amy Romoser responded and managed to find approximately 36 people dressed as zombies, some of whom were covered in a purple substance.

However, the victim was unable to identify the specific zombies that vandalized her vehicle.

A damage estimate to the Land Rover was not available

Update: Birch has posted a flickr set of photos from the zombie parade.

Update: Another flickr set from the zombie parade.

more on development

So I was ranting in the lobby at Bullwinkles, and the person I was talking to said, “If it wasn’t for IU, Bloomington would be another Spencer”.  This is completely true.  The same thing that makes Bloomington a frustrating place in the years since I’ve moved here is also what has made it pretty sweet in the first place.  It’s hard to reconcile my feelings with that reality, and the only way that I can make sense of it is to think in terms of wasted potential.  It seems too defeatist for me to adopt a personal “at least it’s not Spencer” standpoint – I’d rather think that Bloomington could be (can be?) a really exceptional place instead of a resignedly, marginally better place.

As I was riding to work today, I passed a storefront that will be the new home of Roadworthy Guitar and Amp whose exisiting storefront will be displaced by the new Finelight offices.  The move-in date was listed as some time in October and it terrifies me a little of all that could happen in my abscence.

bloomington development

The Von Lee Theater on Kirkwood Ave. in Bloomington is getting turned into an upscale bar/restaurant, maybe some offices. With a lot of development, I think there’s always this horrified idle speculation that feels like an urban legend when it comes to understanding what it is that’s being developed. For a long time, there was this black plastic tarp covering the fence, and this was the first time that I noticed the tarp gone and could see how little of the structure was still intact. It literally stopped me in my tracks as I was riding my bike down Kirkwood.

Here is a photo of the Von Lee in earlier days:

Von Lee Theater

And more recently when it stood closed for years:

Vacant Von Lee Theater

I guess, at some level, I’m not anti-development. I understand that people want places where they can meet and share and interact and this is why people go to the mall even though the mall sucks and this is why people in my rural hometown really do hang out at Wal-Mart. What is sad, is that you have something like a movie theater which is a space that is pretty universally interesting, I mean, everyone likes movies right? And then its turned into a space, like an upscale restaurant that is relevent and accessible and interesting to much fewer people.

Last night, Ryan made the argument that at least downtown development is better than sprawl, but what I see is that downtowns in towns like Bloomington are ceasing to be the focal point, the shared physical space, for the entire community, and starting to be this theme park for only one part of population, be it yuppies or students. The spaces that are shared by everyone end up being the malls and the strip malls and the sprawl and the big boxes and the sad thing is that the way they’re constructed, or entirely mediated by commerce means that the potential for people’s interactions when they’re sharing that space are so much more limited.

Ladyman's Cafe

As I was riding to my job, I ran into Jeremy Hogan outside of Ladyman’s Cafe. He was waiting to take some photos of Baron Hill who was having a pre-election community meet and greet at the diner this afternoon. And it was so disheartening because it all seemed so fake. The downtown diner is still appealing to politicians as this icon of street-level democracy, and there is some reality to that, to the convergence of college students and retirees each having their own debates over cups of coffee. But in the case of Ladymans, that space is being destroyed, disappeared. So I find it hard to believe that democracy can exist when we don’t even allow the spaces that we exploit as the image of democracy to exist.

On a similar stream of consciousness, I got an e-mail from Mylo Roze that included a bunch of articles about anti-homeless policies and crackdowns around the country, and he predicted the rise of similar sentiments and actions in Bton:

These articles (below) are relevant to Bloomington in that there are Food not Bombs food dispensing operations in town & also cook-out services by churches in People’s Park & other parks, surely to become more of an issue as Bloomington is gentrified & urbanized.
Also, once the new building is finished where the Von Lee theater stood (next to People’s Park) issues may arise.
Maybe it should be addressed pre-emptively, to be allowed by statute, as a preventative measure.
There has already been a purging of homeless people from the I.U. campus & the new bldg. replacing the Von Lee will house I.U. offices. There is a general tendency among the well-off to segregate the poor, remove the homeless from public view (& therefore tourists) & assume that existing agencies are adequately addressing such issues & that all homeless people are addicts or mentally ill. Note the authorities quotes about determining who is homeless & charging charities with misdemeanors.

Recycling Volunteer Needed for downtown Soup Kitchen

Reposting from Milo Rose:

The Shalom Community Center (on 4th & Washington) needs a secondary person to pick up recycling as the amount has become cumbersome for the older woman who presently picks it & food leftovers up on Fridays & since Shalom staff are being more diligent about recycling, particularly in the kitchen.
Wednesdays after the food pantry (over @ 5:PM) would be preferable as there is a lot of cardboard that often gets dumpstered/not recycled. There are also usually a couple bags of large food cans & plastic jugs/jars. I prepare (sort & bag/box up) the recycling for Ms. Ferguson on Fridays & can show any volunteer where the containers are around the Shalom Ctr. or try to have everything outside ready for pick-up.
Pam Kinnaman, the Volunteer Coordinator, would also like any volunteers to go thru their basic orientation. I’ll CC her on this (see email above). The items are placed on a concrete landing by the dumpster just off the alley on the North side of the First United Methodist Church (the basement of which houses the Soup Kitchen open 8-9:30 & Noon-1:30).
The main resource center, which is open from 9-4 on weekdays, is just West/across the street near the bus station, on the right-up the ramp, on the correspondent alleyway.
Your help will greatly help the likelihood of the continuance of the recycling program @ the Shalom Ctr. They cannot afford the $400 a year for the MCSWMD to pick it up.
U may contact me, Mylo Roze @ or call or email Pam Kinnaman (Vol Coor): 334~5728,
Thanx greatly,
Mylo Roze

Manion Companion Guest Set

I’m going to be playing records on my friends Corinna and Riley’s radio show, The Manion Companion, on Bloomington’s community radio station WFHB. The show is from 11p-1a eastern standard time. You can liten in Bton at 91.3 and 98.1 FM or stream it on the web.


Update: Here’s my playlist.

  • This is My Fist – Stoy of Reconversion from I Don’t Want to Startle You but They Are Going to Kill Most of Us (Left Off the Dial)
  • Zounds – Demystification from The Curse of Zounds + Singles (Broken Rekids)
  • Soophie Nun Squad – Maybe You Heard from Soophie Nun Squad/Abe Froman LP (Harlan)
  • Your Heard Breaks – New Ocean Waves from New Ocean Waves (Plan-It-X/Masa)
  • Red Monkey – Bike Song from Difficult is Easy (Slampt)

This is what I would have played had I had the time:

  • Gene Pitney – I’m Going to Be Strong from I’m Going to be Strong (Stateside)
  • Ballast – Resign Yourself from Numb Again 7″ (Self-released)
  • Chumbawamba – The Diggers’ Song from English Rebel Songs (Agit-prop)
  • The Good Good – Redefine from S/T (Harlan)
  • The Gibbons – Kindergarten Class from Gibbons/North Lincoln 7″ (Salinas)

Bloomington event promotion list

All Events

  • Bloomington Alternative,
  • Herald-Times: The Scene (weekly supplement),
  • Bloomington’s Cultureweek (monthly),, 334-7743
  • The Ryder (monthly),, 339-2002.
  • WFHB: or fill out form at
  • WFIU: Fill out form at
  • Let’s Go! calendar (
  • PIX Message Board:
  • Boxcar Books website, MySpace, and Mailing List
  • IDS Happenings: Fill out form at
  • Bloomington Vibe:

Cultural Events

Volunteering Events has a more comprehensive, but not always relevent list of central Indiana media contacts.