Taking Steps towards Residential Living in Downtown South Bend…Groceries!

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With the recent opening of the Purple Porch Coop and Café on Hill Street in downtown South Bend at 123 N. Hill St., our city has made major progress towards the goal of having a workable and very livable downtown.   As of late February, the once member-only food coop has opened a daily grocery store (Monday – Saturday 7 am – 7 pm) open to all to shop.  You can still join as a member-owner and participate in the Wednesday local-only food pick up (5-7 pm).

Additionally Café Max offers a breakfast and lunch menu daily with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

El Paraiso

At 425 S. Main St. in South Bend, the other end of downtown from the Purple Porch is the El Paraiso Grocery and Restaurant. one of the first supermarket/taquerias in Northern Indiana (now with 4 stores around the region). While providing  the products and services of other mainstream supermarkets, they offer a  strong mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh U.S.D.A choice meats, combined with extensive imported products, and a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican food.  Open daily 8 am – 9 pm.

South Bend’s State Theater Reinvented


One of my saddest moments driving through a small city is when the sight of a now-abandoned classic movie theatre comes into view. Once a destination and even iconic center of a town, now the lights are out, the marquee is blank, and there are few if any people nearby. So that’s why I am so happy to see South Bend’s State theater reviving and repurposing.  After attending an Ignite Michiana event at Notre Dame (where presenters do quick energetic presentations about new South Bend initiatives and projects), we were introduced to Drew Elegante, the manager and a major force behind the State’s new activities.  state Bazaar   A monthly vintage bazaar, weekly classic films, special community parties are just a few of the events recently occurring.  Additionally they sponsored a “hula hoop contest” to benefit St. Margaret’s House on during last week’s Downtown First Friday.

The recent and upcoming classic films (Wednesdays at 7pm for just $3) in the month of February have had, of course, a bit of a “romance” theme. This week was Roman Holiday (Audrey Hepburn), and next week they will show Funny Girl (Barbara Streisand).

State Wednesday films  And of course, as are all of these old movie palaces, the space is a theater too so you can catch new bands and concerts along with the dance parties (note the “Very Bloody Valentine’s Party” benefitting the American Heart Association this Friday night! and a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday night)

Getting Ready for Summer Camps in South Bend?

As the snowflakes float down on this cold January day, it seems a bit silly to think about planning summer camps — kind of like when we see the bathing suits displayed in the department stores right after Christmas.

But what a great way way to cure cabin fever by discovering all the possible summer experiences offered in this area. The South Bend Parks and Recreation folks offer the Michiana Camp Fair held Saturday, February 22 from 10am-1pm in the Century Center in downtown South Bend. Whether you are looking for some cool new experiences for your kids, a first overnight camp experience, or even more extended summer child child care, you are sure to learn about lots of options.
(Click on the link to get more information about the fair and other programs offered by South Bend Parks and Recreation)

Selected Seasonal Music around Michiana


NDGlee1. Notre Dame Glee Club Christmas:    The Notre Dame Glee Club presents its annual Christmas Concerts to benefit the South Bend Center for the Homeless and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. Family friendly, all ages are welcome.  (Dec 14th, 2:30pm, 6pm, and 8:30pm at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, ND )




2. South Bend Chamber Singers“Christmas at Loretto” :  Featuring favorite past commissioned works and carol arrangements and the world premiere of a new work by American composer Susan LaBarr  (Sunday Dec. 22, 7:30 pm at St. Mary’s College, Church of Loretto)




3. South Bend Symphony OrchestraHome for the Holidays - Annual Holiday Pops concerts:  Soprano Juliet Petrus will join the Maestro Tsung Yeh and the South Bend Symphony presenting pieces by Jerry Lackey, Irving Berlin and John Rutter along with some of your Holiday Favorites. (Saturday, December 21st at 8pm and Sunday, December 22nd at 3pm) 

Mark Fenton’s Walk through South Bend


As part of the GreenTown: Michiana Conference held in South Bend in early October, Mark Fenton – advocate for creating walkable communities and host of PBS’s “America’s Walking” — led a walking “audit” through downtown South Bend.

Best Picks for a Lake Michigan Beach Day trip


This gallery contains 3 photos.

Even as the summer winds down, who doesn’t want to squeeze in just “one more trip to the beach” before heading back to the classrooms of school and campus. Here are a few of my favorites, along with ideas for … Continue reading

The Young Company of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival


One of my family’s recently discovered FAVORITE SUMMER ACTIVITIES is sitting on the lawn of one of our local parks watching live theater – and it’s FREE!  Every summer as Notre Dame Shakespeare  prepares its main stage performance of one of Shakespeare’s great plays (this summer is Richard III), a talented group of college students from ND, St. Mary’s, and other universities around the country, are performing an additional Shakespeare play, often a comedy,  throughout the Michiana area in some of our lovelies parks.

This summer’s Young Company production, The Comedy of Errors, begins this Sunday up in Stevensville. MI and continues each weekend throughout a variety of outdoor venues.  My favorite spots have been Wellfield Botanic Garden in Elkhart, Dewey Park in Three Oaks, and of course the ND Main Building Quad.  See the website with all locations and dates.

Remember too that this is fantastic for kids!  These excellent actors have been trained to make Shakespearean language accessible to everyone with wonderful physical (even slapstick at times) comedy.  Bring a blanket, some snacks or a picnic supper and have a wonderful experience with the Bard!

Summer Restaurant Week – Downtown South Bend

Beginning June 24th, check out all the downtown restaurants with special menus and big discounts. It’s a great chance to check out some of the downtown restaurants you haven’t tried yet or to revisit a favorite.
Click on the image to go to the official web page with the list of participating establishments.

Capture rest week

This Weekend is National Open House Weekend!

The 2013 REALTOR® Nationwide Open House, the largest-ever international open house campaign, will be held on April 20 and 21. Below is some open house information from our annual profile of home buyers and sellers:OH Capture1
■Repeat buyers are more likely to find their home from an open house than first-time buyers and repeat buyers use open houses more frequently.
■Mid-income buyers, those with income between $55,000 and $75,000, are most likely to find their home through an open house compared to other incomes. However, as income increases the use of open houses actually increases as well. So higher income buyers are walking into open houses, but not finding their home through them.
■Older buyers, 65 years and older, are more likely to find their home through an open house than other age groups. As age increases the likelihood of using open houses as a search tool increases—45% of buyers aged 45 to 64 used open houses, compared to only 28% of buyers aged 18 to 24.
■Buyers in the South are most likely to find a home through an open house compared to other regions.
■Buyers of new homes use open houses much more frequently than buyers of previously-owned homes.
■Married couples and unmarried couples are more likely to walk through open houses than single buyers.
■Buyers whose primary language in the home is not English are more likely to use open houses—44% of buyers whose primary language is English use open houses, compared to 59% who use a language other than English in the home. Similarly, buyers who were not born in the U.S. are more likely to use open houses as a search tool—43% of those who were born in the U.S. use open houses compared to 57% of those who were not born in the U.S.

If you are looking for some open houses to see this weekend, check out Cressy & Everett’s open house listing.

Do you know about the Purple Porch Co-op??

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Yes, South Bend has its very own Food Co-op.  The Purple Porch Co-op has quietly been growing with online ordering, and food pick ups at the Lang Lab on High St. But now a small storefront on Hill Street in downtown South Bend is slated to be the new full time location of a food co-op market and cafe.

Having reached a goal of 300 new member-owners, the organizers have started the next steps of financing, designing and building the new store with hopes for opening in the summer of 2013.

Check out their web page for news of the project, online food ordering (any one can order without becoming a member), recipes, and more.