Love Living Locally

Welcome to Love Living Locally! I’m so excited for you to join me on my exploration of everything local in Bloomington.  My goal is to explore all the wonderful events, businesses, restaurants, bars, galleries, art, and as many other facets of Bloomington that give Bloomington its unique personality. 

September is a busy month.  School is in full swing. Fall wedding season.  Holiday season looming. Cramming in all those activities we were going to do this summer but haven’t.  I myself have something every single weekend. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. And that’s without trying. However some of Bloomington’s best events happen in September. Luckily my best friend visited this weekend so I was able to show her the best of it! LuAnn has visited me two times in Bloomington: the day I quit IU and the day I graduated (and if you have been here during graduation weekend you know it is NOT the time to experience the best of Bloomington). She is long overdue for an authentic Bloomington weekend.

Here were a few choices to show a friend the best of Bloomington 🙂

Friday: First Friday Gallery Walk, Birthday shopping & Anniversary Party at Gather

For me the main priority was the Gather : handmade shoppe Anniversary Party during the First Friday Gallery Walk.  I had to go it alone since Lu didn’t arrive until after 10pm. The Gallery Walk provides a great way to introduce yourself to Bloomington Galleries.  Art galleries intimidated me until Allyson (from Gather) asked me to go with her to a Gallery Walk a few years ago. All kinds of people attend the Gallery Walk: seasoned artists, students, families. What a blast! I finally understood that I didn’t have to like or “understand” every piece; I could learn about the artists’ motivations and inspiration and develop my own opinions about what I saw.

Great art is always better with great food. Talia (Gather’s proprietor) decided to go above and beyond normal Gallery Walk snacks.  Zeitgeist Organic Creamery ice cream samples. Lucky Guy Bakery brownie samples. Absolute elation fails to define my excitement we now carry both in Gather. While stuffing my face, I was delighted to meet some of the fantastic Gather : handmade shoppe makers. I was also able to do a little birthday shopping. Great time with great people and great food.

Saturday: Breakfast, coffee, & groceries at Farmer’s Market, more coffee at The Pourhouse Cafe, Fourth Street Festival of Arts and Crafts, Lunch at The Tap, tasting at Butler Winery, dinner at Upland

We took the chance to sight see downtown Bloomington so we walked from the Fourth Street Parking Garage to the Farmer’s Market via the B Line. The Farmer’s Market is a must for anyone in or near Bloomington. I feel it’s one of the best in the state. (Full disclosure I may be biased.) I will be writing about the perfect Saturday morning in subsequent posts, but for anyone visiting Bloomington make sure to go.  After our breakfast and coffee, we headed over the Fourth Street Festival of Arts and Crafts.  A Labor Day tradition, the Fourth Street Festival has been running since 1977.  According to their website, it has been named one of the top 100 art fairs in the country.  I love seeing the beautifully creative work from people around the country.  Paintings, jewelry, ceramics, glass…you name it’s there. If you haven’t been, put it on the list for next year! 

Sadly I missed the Garlic Fest due to plans for later in the day.  So much to do and too little time. We enjoyed visiting local establishments The Pourhouse Cafe, Pretty Little Greek, The Tap, Butler Winery, and Upland, and Hopscotch Coffee. All and all it was a fantastic weekend!


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