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Between IndySpectatorKA+AIndyHubPattern, and all of our Indy-building endeavors, we’ve become (& continue to be) quite smitten with our hometown city. As we gradually (& oftentimes brashly) navigate our personal, professional and creative evolution, we’ve decided that a month abroad may be the perfect next step.

Now, to be clear(-er), this month abroad is not merely a loosely thought-out, semantically-manipulated way of saying “We’re taking a monthlong vacation.” On the contrary, we plan to explore and research and soak up as many valuable experiences in France as our 4-week stint allows.

As we meander through Paris’ coworking spaces, fashion incubators, tech accelerators and universities, we hope to bring back a few new tools that may help us to better be a part of guiding and participating in Indy’s urban growth.

We don’t presume to be urban design mavens or community crafting experts… but, we do believe in Indy’s ability to utilize both its past, present & future successes (and missteps) in such a way that will keep our city moving forward (with one eye on the past). Our daily involvement with various Indy organizations and individuals has equipped us to embark on this expedition with at least a smidgen of perspective regarding the ins-&-outs of our city.

We’re born & raised Hoosiers, and couldn’t be more proud of how Indy has become the creative space we’d always wished for, and we can’t wait to see its future permutations. (And of course, we relish the opportunity to be a part of actualizing what’s to come – for ourselves, our community, and our beloved city!)

We’ll be working out of an apartment on Rue Charlot (in the Marais district) from 20 March to 18 April, and will be posting observations, questions, curiosities, critiques, and ideas that we think may help move Indy towards…

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Pictures, Play

Pictures from the Past Week

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Experience, Fashion, News, Pattern, Tech, Work / Life

Posts From Indy

◙ On Monday, Erika Smith wrote an Indy Star column in response to (the response to) that Worst Dressed City “study” by Movoto: “Benjamin and Janneane Blevins were in one of the most fashionable cities in the world when they got the bad news about their hometown of Indianapolis… But the truth is, fashion is becoming a serious business in Indianapolis — especially for a growing number of young professionals such as the Blevins. The couple, heavy into business, technology and urban issues, helped found the local fashion magazine, Pattern. They’re currently in Paris — the one in France, not Illinois — on a fashion-fact-finding mission.”

“When I first heard about the list, I was pretty ambivalent,” Benjamin wrote. “We’re not known for anything regarding fashion — and that includes being known for so-called bad fashion.”

“We aren’t interested in getting a Gucci next to every Starbucks or a Versace inside each Downtown hotel lobby,” Benjamin said. “… Pattern wants local designers to be able to sustain their businesses and build viable, long-term brands. We don’t want everyone to suddenly start sporting Luxe fur coats or (name your exotic animal)-skinned boots.”

“We believe that fashion can help Indianapolis in a way that benefits the city aesthetically and economically. And we believe that the combination of those two is a potent force.”

So, should we compete with Chicago or NY or LA? No. Should we shrug, and sit around competing with our past? No. We’re trying to see what’s next – and the horizon is full of opportunities for homegrown upstarts like Indy to beat Chicago and the Coasts to the punch. (What that “punch” is, I’m not sure. But it’s on tip of everyone’s tongue, and it’s coming faster than ever.)

◙ Tuesday’s We Are City [BRIEFING] had a lovely bit about our stay in Paris as temporary Hoosier expats: Retrouver Paris! “Hoosiers Janneane and Benjamin Blevins, who have their hands in some of Indy’s coolest orgs and businesses including PATTERNIndyHubIndySpectator, and KA+A, are living in Paris for a month and proving it with a blog.”

“And while they live and work, they’re taking an amateur urbanist’s eye to it all.”

We Are City“As we meander through Paris’ coworking spaces, fashion incubators, tech accelerators and universities, we hope to bring back a few new tools that may help us to better be a part of guiding and participating in Indy’s urban growth,” write the Blevins on their about page. / tag: Paris / MH

Subscribe to We Are City’s biweekly [BRIEFING] here. And be sure to keep your eye on this month’s [IMPORT] (Oliver Blank) and last month’s (James Reeves) and their Bureau of Manufactured History project.

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News

News Roundup: Paris

The Unnamed Eco-Mowing Ewes

◙ New lawnmowers have been purchased for the 19th Arrondisement: four black sheep (specifically, Breton Ouessants). In lieu of gas-powered riding mowing machines, the city of Paris decided to send in “eco-grazers” to help maintain a half-acre patch of grass. Overseen by the Ferme de Paris, these 2-foot-tall ewes will munch away, and the city has plans to expand the (relatively inexpensive: $335) project into other spaces in need of mowing.

◙ The Louvre has named a new director, hired from within the museum’s current staff. Jean-Luc Martinez will begin on April 15. As with many of the country’s arts organizations, the pick was made by President Hollande and will serve a three-year term. Of related interest: read this article on the Louvre’s financial troubles and their use of crowdsourcing (or as they called it, “participatory financing”), raising over $650k. But because the museum’s budget is closer to $350 million, so the impact of the fund drive is as-of-yet uncertain… Oh, and while we’re reading about utilizing the crowd: check out this French scientist who is crowdsourcing biomedical pet data.

Proposed Mosque in Bussy Saint-Georges

◙ Laïcité is getting a few tosses & turns in France. Secularism has long been the de-facto foundation of French law, but has been increasingly codified into law (with various bans on religious clothing and symbols being passed in 2004, 2008 and 2011). One of the most significant (and controversial) laws was recently overturned by the upper French court in Paris: a woman in Chanteloup has won the right to wear her head scarf to work. While we’re talking laïcité, we should probably mention the new “Esplanade of the Religions” in Bussy Saint-Georges, France. The mayor describes it as “a laboratory for interfaith dialogue” …But, because the public funding of religion is illegal, they have yet to get any money. One Algerian Muslim described it simply: “We’re living this laïcité problem.”

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Cafe, Fashion, Pictures, Play, Work / Life

Week 2 Pictorial Peek

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Fashion, Play, Startup, Tech, Work / Life, Young Professionals

As We Embark…

Between IndySpectator, KA+A, IndyHubPattern, and all of our Indy-building endeavors, we’ve become (& continue to be) quite smitten with our hometown city. As we gradually (& oftentimes brashly) navigate our personal, professional and creative evolution, we’ve decided that a month abroad may be the perfect next step.

Now, to be clear(-er), this month abroad is not merely a loosely thought-out, semantically-manipulated way of saying “We’re taking a monthlong vacation.” On the contrary, we plan to explore and research and soak up as many valuable experiences in France as our 4-week stint allows.

As we meander through Paris’ coworking spaces, fashion incubators, tech accelerators and universities, we hope to bring back a few new tools that may help us to better be a part of guiding and participating in Indy’s urban growth.

Indpls Paris Map horizontal

We don’t presume to be urban design mavens or community crafting experts… but, we do believe in Indy’s ability to utilize both its past, present & future successes (and missteps) in such a way that will keep our city moving forward (with one eye on the past). Our daily involvement with various Indy organizations and individuals has equipped us to embark on this expedition with at least a smidgen of perspective regarding the ins-&-outs of our city.

We’re born & raised Hoosiers, and couldn’t be more proud of how Indy has become the creative space we’d always wished for, and we can’t wait to see its future permutations. (And of course, we relish the opportunity to be a part of actualizing what’s to come – for ourselves, our community, and our beloved city!)

We’ll be working out of an apartment on Rue Charlot (in the Marais district) from 20 March to 18 April, and will be posting observations, questions, curiosities, critiques, and ideas that we think may help move Indy towards…

– Benjamin and Janneane Blevins

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