Artsy vs Diversity

Artsy vs Diversity


Walking through the streets of Broad Ripple, wanderers can find anything from a small French bakery with cake fit for a queen to vinyl shops crammed with old treasures. Junior Francesca Smith is one of these wanderers and has been one for far longer than most CHS students. A former resident of Indianapolis, Smith often went to the artsy Indy neighborhood after school and developed an early love for the culture she found there.

“It was just a convenient, nice place to go. It’s kind of  like a bigger version of downtown Carmel. It’s within driving distance and there’s lots of fun things to do there and it’s really culturally diverse,” Smith  said.

On Smith’s instagram page, a picture from a visit to The Cake Bake Shop is posted, contributing to the recent explosion of social media posts among CHS students from visits to Broad Ripple. As Smith describes it, going to Broad Ripple has become “the new artsy thing to do” in the trending hipster culture.

According to Visit Indy, Broad Ripple is number six on the Top Ten Shopping Destinations of Indianapolis just above Carmel’s Arts and Design District. Like many CHS students however, while Carmel offers it’s own Arts and Design District, Smith said she prefers Broad Ripple because of it’s unique variety of businesses and positive atmosphere.

“In Carmel, I feel like we kind of get trapped in a bubble and there’s not really as much to do in Carmel whereas in Indy, you’re so close to downtown,” Smith said. “You get the full variety of things you don’t necessarily get in Carmel because Carmel’s a certain demographic whereas Broad Ripple is more inclusive.”

One of Smith’s favorite new eateries, The Cake Bake Shop, is also one of the specific attractions of a large number CHS students who venture to Broad Ripple. It offers a wide range of desserts from lemon bars to a decadent, massive three layer cakes and a lunch menu including soups, quiche and sandwiches. Opened in November of 2014 by confectioner Gwendolyn Rogers, this bakery has drawn the attention of many with its special atmosphere.

“I always wanted The Cake Bake Shop to be in an adorable cottage, I couldn’t have found a more perfect place,” Rogers said via email. “It is a wonderful location for a small business because we have the luxury of being between the Carmel/Fishers area and Downtown. I also love the community, everyone has been friendly and excited about the shop since I began construction.”

Junior Adie Yost recounted her trip to The Cake Bake Shop with her grandma who was visiting from out of town.

“It’s kind of a special place to go, like maybe you don’t go all that often but if someone comes into town or you want to go somewhere a little different, I feel like Broad Ripple is the place to go, “ Yost said.

Yost and Smith also expressed their love of other shops in Broad Ripple such as Vintage Vogue and Pataya ; both clothing stores, Indy CD & Vinyl; a record and CD store, Magic Bus; a quirky shop full of odds and ends, and restaurants including the three story Chipotle and Taste.

“I chose to build The Cake Bake Shop in Broad Ripple because it is near where my husband grew up and where we wanted to send our children to school,” Rogers said.

“I believe The Cake Bake Shop fits perfectly into Broad Ripples cheerful, interesting, and eclectic vibe. The shop is completely unique in the city, and our customers have said over and over that there is no other place like it.”

Yost agreed with Smith and Rogers that Broad Ripple’s one-of-a-kind character is what sets it apart from Carmel.

“There’s different types of shops, you can kind of get a little of everything,” Yost said.

Smith also emphasized the positive influence Broad Ripple has had on her as a whole and how it has shown her the flaws in Carmel living.

“I think the biggest problem in Carmel is that there’s no one place where everyone goes. There’s so many things you can do and you can easily fall into things that aren’t good,” Smith said.”But when you go to Broad Ripple, there’s tons of fun and engaging things to do that aren’t physically harmful to you.”

As CHS students are discovering, the welcoming, eclectic feel of this little village tucked away in Indianapolis is one that resonates with most everyone who goes there and businesses there are thrilled to serve all who come in their doors.

“Everyone who comes into The Cake Bake Shop has one thing in common, they are all looking for fantastic desserts,” Rogers said. “We welcome everyone, and everyone comes!”