Sunday, November 7, 2010

#56: Arts Cafe

Again with the misnomers!  "Arts Cafe", an annual community open house hosted by the Near Northwest Neighborhood, Inc. (NNN), is more of a lively all-ages festival than a laidback artists gathering.  Now in its eigth year, this event is a great way to catch a glimpse into a neighborhood that has a lot of character.

The motivation behind this event is to showcase some restored homes that are for sale (at great prices -- even I could afford the mortgage. I thought seriously about buying a house...for about two minutes), so there were about a half-dozen homes that you could enter and look around.  Each one was different, but beautiful wood floors and window frames and unexpected nooks seemed to be common features.

Looking at these different homes was fun enough itself, but in addition, there were booths set up in different homes with local vendors selling everything from cookies to knit caps.  You never knew what you would find when you entered a house.

Also, on the street, there was a two stages with live music, and pop-up tents for non-profits and businesses were scattered throughout.  Many organizations in South Bend, and NNN in particular, support community groups and historic preservation.  Paradoxically, this appreciation for the past keeps the city vibrant and full of things to discover, especially when there's pressure to have in town the big-name chains that can be found anywhere.  There may not be a Cheesecake Factory in the area, but trust me, it ain't got nothing on Miss Brittney Jennings's $1.50 pumpkin-and-cream-cheese cupcake.

When: Sunday, 10 am - 5pm
Where : Stop by Cushing Street and Lindsey St. first, where the NNN tent with a map to the house tour

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