Indy Like a Local
Who is Kimberly?
Owner of Manayunk Calligraphy. You can find her work at Anthropologie.
Q. How did you get started in calligraphy?
I have a background in art, but I didn’t learn calligraphy until I was getting ready for my own wedding. Once the wedding was over, I wasn’t done with calligraphy – I loved it!
Q. What places or people in Indy inspire your work?
I’m a coffee shop junkie. I get some of my best ideas sipping cold brew while being surrounded by creative discussions and conversations. I live in Irvington, and my favorite place to work is 10 Johnson Ave. The coffee is amazing, the people are phenomenal, they have rotating art exhibits by local artists, and they have a chalkboard where folks can share their drawings and ideas. Plus, I have dreams about their pistachio muffins. I also love the Monon Coffee Company (the Lavender White Zombie is my jam).
Q. Can we see any of your work on a larger scale anywhere in Indy?
The murals I do are mostly in private homes, but you can find some large-scale versions of my artwork at Pure Barre downtown. It was a super fun project, and you won’t have any trouble seeing it when you walk in!
Q. Your website mentions the White Wall Rebellion, an effort to “rid the world of blank, empty walls.” Is there a space in the city that you'd love to get your hands on, whether it’s a white wall or otherwise?
I am a big fan of fitness classes (yoga, spinning, barre, Pilates, etc.), and fitness studios tend to have big blank walls. Every time I am in a new class, all I can think of is all the cool stuff we could do with those walls. Encouraging messages, inspirational quotes, mottos, etc. Pure Barre is a great example of this in action!
Q. Let’s say you’re hosting friends and family from out of town. Where would you take them?
We moved here from Philadelphia two years ago, and we love when our East Coast friends come to visit! My favorite spot is downtown. Mass Ave, the Monon, the Cultural Trail – there’s so much to see and do! If our visitors have kids, The Children’s Museum is at the top of our list. Honestly, I have just as much (if not more) fun going through all the exhibits as the kids.
Q. What are your go-to restaurants and why?
I love Jockamo’s in Irvington. Best. Pizza. Ever. Thai Chicken is one of my faves! I am also a huge fan of the food truck scene in Indy. Pierogi Love Indy has the best pierogis I’ve ever had.
Q. Do you have any favorite local boutiques or independent shops, and what makes them your favorite?
Homespun on Mass Ave is one of my faves! Most everything is made by local artists, and you can find lots of things in there that you can’t find anywhere else. Oliver’s Twist in Carmel has the best selection of stationery and gifts. Another super cool store that is unique to Indy is Agrarian. It’s a homestead supply and general store. I’m not a homesteader, but I love their local food items, farmhouse-style gifts, plant starts, and gardening supplies, and they teach great workshops. And if you are a homesteader, they have everything you need to start beekeeping or raising chickens. Pretty cool, huh?
Q. What must-attend events are on your calendar each year?
Number 1: Irvington Halloween Festival. There is nothing like it. They have events all October leading up to the festival, and the actual festival is legit my favorite day of the year. Dig IN is also a must-attend event. So much delicious food and beer.
Q. If you’re in need of some fresh air, what outdoor places do you tend to visit?
Ellenberger Park in Irvington is our go-to – they have a great farmers market in warmer weather. Of course, the Monon is great for a run or a bike ride. And if we have a whole afternoon to spare, we’ll head to the Indianapolis Zoo.
Q. What spots in Indy do you check out for a nightcap?
A. For cocktails Ball & Biscuit. For beer, Black Acre!
Q. What are your hidden gems, places that you think fly under the radar in Indy?
I think the whole neighborhood of Irvington! We get lots of attention around Halloween (and for good reason!), but it’s great all year round. Very walkable; new shops and restaurants opening every day. Plus, it’s the home of the best beer (Black Acre) and the best pizza (Jockamo’s) and ice cream (Wyliepalooza) in Indy. Am I biased? Maybe. But I don’t think so.
Q. Pretend you have one day to spend however you'd like in Indy. What do you do, eat, and see?
It would definitely start with coffee and a pistachio muffin from 10 Johnson Ave. We’d then take a trip to the zoo in the morning when the animals are up and at ‘em. Take a stroll and do a little shopping on Mass Ave. Walk on the Monon. Finish it up in the Irv with beers from Black Acre.