Author Archives: akcrone

Village News, mid-April: (Chinese!) Community Dinner, Tunnel Project news, weekend work party

Big news in the Village this week. First of all, new housemate Evan, who works as an airline steward for United Airlines flying in and out of China, agreed to take the lead for Wednesday’s Community Dinner, and decided that the main dish would be “twice-cooked pork.” Here are some notes I found on the kitchen table, written partly in Chinese!

When the day came, he called in a Chinese friend and they made the delicious dish, which took quite a while and everybody loved it. “That’s good,” he confided afterwards. “Sometimes when I make it for Americans they don’t eat it!”

At the dinner, our first patio party of 2017, and during which I totally forgot to take pictures, we heard from two city employees:  Sean, of the Sustainability Department, and Beth, of the Planning and Transportation Department, about the city’s decision to create a mural for all 2800 feet (both sides) of the long tunnel under the bypass at the end of 7th Street (not much more than a stone’s throw from here). Here’s the official invitation sent out to artists.




April 7, 2017

For more information, please contact:

Sean Starowitz, Assistant Director of Economic & Sustainable Development for the Arts,, 812-349-3534

Call to Artists: Mural Project on 7th Street Underpass

Bloomington, Ind. – The City of Bloomington Planning and Transportation Department, in collaboration with the City’s Economic & Sustainable Development Department, is issuing a call for artist qualifications for a mural to be located at the 7th Street underpass.

Mural Details:

  • The goal of the mural is to provide an innovative and strong work of public art to the residents of Bloomington, IN.

  • The mural is to be painted on concrete – see images


  • The artist will be expected to engage neighborhood residents in the installation of the mural.

  • The mural space is approximately 2,300 sq.ft. Detailed measurements provided upon request.

  • There is no application fee.

  • Proposal deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5th, 2017.


Artist will receive $2,500. This amount includes all artist fees, material and equipment purchases to complete the mural. Payment will be upon completion.

Completion Date: All work must be completed prior to June 30th, 2017.


The written proposal contact information:

  • Full name

  • Address

  • Telephone number

  • Email address

  • Illustrations of the proposed mural. Submissions must contain between 1 and 5 sketches or digital renderings of the proposed mural. These are not final renderings, as a public process will have to take place.

A description of the proposed work. Please include the following descriptions:

  • An artist statement describing mural experience and interest in the project.

  • A description of the concepts in the proposed mural.

Support materials/previous work:

  • Proposals should be accompanied by 5 to 10 images of previous work.

  • Resume – maximum 2 pages

  • Files should be submitted in a .pdf format and will be acknowledged upon receipt.


The artist will be selected by a panel consisting of staff from the Planning and Transportation Department, a member from the Green Acres Neighborhood Association, members of the Bloomington Arts Commission, and City staff.

Submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 5th. Artists will be notified about the selection by Friday, May 12th. Send electronic submissions to with subject line stating RFQ – 7th Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Sean Starowitz at 812-349-3534.


Green Acres Villager Mariella has agreed to be our neighborhood rep on the Tunnel Project committee. YES!

Mariella has been planning a move from one house into the house adjacent (it’s bigger) for some time. And I’ve been telling her to let us know, because there are plenty of people who would offer to help. So she did! Yesterday puppy Shadow and I walked over to her house (about a block and a half away) with housemate Dan, and met up with Mariella, her kids, Katarina and Brian. Eva and her kids were due to come as well. I moved all her plants, transfered coats from front closet of first house to second house, and unpacked her dishes.

Others did the “heavy lifting.”

Then we celebrated with beer, wine, and chips.

“This morning, son Colin brought over a pizza for lunch, and stayed for an hour of more heavy lifting. (He also fixed a basement window that somehow got stuck open.) Rebecca was also going to help at some point today. I forgot to take pictures this morning.

Oh and one more note: Mariella told me that Evan walked over with a blanket and leftovers for her from the Wednesday dinner late that same night, since she had just returned from a work trip,  exhausted, hungry, and with no blankets for her new bed.

What’s a village without sharing and caring?



Good News for the “Healing Our Borders” initial project — and more

It’s so wonderful when local good news crowds out the craziness that infects our larger world.

Two years ago, we conceived the idea of a project to “Heal our Borders” after the widening of the Bypass at the eastern edge of our neighborhood took out perhaps 100 trees. The project was ambitious, consisting of five signs at various entrances of Green Acres, a tiny park in the area where the tunnel under the Bypass on 7th street connects our neighborhood to the one to the east of the Bypass, and a project to create murals on the tunnel itself.

The first part of the project, though strenuous, came off without a hitch — until one of the signs was stolen! And now returned. Which accounts for the “good news.”

Good News Finale for Green Acres Sign Saga

The City is now constructing the second part by first of all extending a path from 7th Street to the tunnel (to compliment the path from 8th to the tunnel). And the third part, painting a mural inside the tunnel is about to commence.

So yes, after two years the City has now decided to respond to our request to design and paint a mural inside the tunnel that connects the eastern edge of our neighborhood to the Park Ridge Neighborhood on the other side of the Bypass. Very exciting.

We will gather at our weekly Community Dinner here next Wednesday to meet with Seth and Beth from the City and discuss possible design ideas and artistic possibilities, plus various ways neighbors can get involved in the project.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos from this past Wednesday’s meal,


a few more from the Wednesday before that, taken by Brie’s mom Cindy,




and several more from yesterday evening, after Dan-de-lion Dan (on right) and new housemate Evan (and old friend of both Dan and Logan (on guitar above) collected dandelions for dandelion wine. (Brie has moved out for now, to live up north with her parents for awhile.)



April 5 Community Dinner: RAINBOW RAINBOW RAINBOW!!

So. I was walking the path between our Overhill house and our original DeKist house early Wednesday evening, bringing food for our weekly Community Dinner, when I realized  . . . hmmm. Hey! It’s raining — and the sun’s out! WHERE’S THE RAINBOW? I looked around, and there it was, horizon to horizon across the eastern sky. I ran in and yelled RAINBOW RAINBOW RAINBOW! — and those who were gathering for dinner ran outside. YES!

BTW: from what I heard (of course I went to bed before 9 p.m.), the evening wore on past midnight, thanks to Logan’s guitar and singing, with over two dozen people altogether. So much food that we had to use two counters to hold it all.


PHOTOS Green Acres Village: Equinox Ceremony and Celebration!

And yes, our celebration was two days late, the actual Spring Equinox (when day and night are of equal length, day ascending) occurred on Monday, March 20.

We started an hour earlier than usual. Actually, we started earlier than that, when Helen, a newcomer and new permaculture graduate, arrived 20 minutes early, closely followed by maybe a dozen other people, many of whom are first-timers! All together there were upwards of 40 people participating in last night’s celebration,

including around ten children from two to sixteen, and a number of folks from other neighborhood associations, two of whom had come to our Green Acres Village presentation at the local library on February 7. (BTW: podmate Logan has now established a youtube channel for GAV, so that show will soon be up there.)

Before dinner, we trouped over to the new (third, still empty) house and sat in a circle on the beautiful big new/old oriental rug that housemate Brie had purchased from Good Will and then hauled home (on foot!). Village member Mariella presided over the ceremony, introducing us to the way Andean villagers in her native Peru honor the Earth and her gifts at Spring Equinox. Each of us made a tiny bundle with various Earth offerings (seeds, shells, leaves, twigs), all of which represent her gifts that we actually hold inside us. Our instructions are to either burn or bury our bundle. I’m going to bury mine, and so savor  its slow decomposition. I do need to balance my usual tendency to burn, fast, through any encounter with the wild, the divine or the mundane!

I took no pictures during this wonderful ceremony that felt spirited, joyful, and marvelously energizing.

Meanwhile, the kids were all over the place, inside and outside, playing the way wild children do, with both abandon and full expression. So wonderful, to have children drum up Earth’s new spring energy for us older folks who tend towards stasis, habits, routines . . . all good, and all needing their own kind of balance.

Remember, a meditation on balance is key at the Equinox. Let us learn to balance and integrate the two poles of all oppositions, starting with day and night.

The food was, as usual, extraordinary —

— including two curries with rice, all sorts of veggies and chicken, and, the piece de resistance: persimmon pudding, with lemon sauce and whipped cream, “The way my grandma used to make it!” says Sydney, who came to us again, after a long absence. Here she is with my son Colin, of the Garden Tower Project, who attended for the very first time. (Also, he was here to pick up puppy Shadow during my coming four-day trip to Madison Wisconsin.)

I discovered that Sydney and Colin are old friends. Had no idea! Wonder what they talked about.







Mid-March Photo Essay: Community Dinner — plus acrobatics!

You just never know what will go on at one of our Wednesday Community Dinners. This past Wednesday, we enjoyed a more intimate dinner, during which a number of females got together talk about, guess what? RELATIONSHIPS with men. I noticed that the men present tended to congregate in the other room! Wow just like dinners in old-fashioned social settings, where after dinner the men retired to the den to smoke cigars and the women to the kitchen to gossip and do dishes. Well, in this case, everybody does dishes, nobody smokes cigars, and I’d like to think our talk was a bit more elevated than “gossip.” More like “consciousness-raising,” what we newly self-ordained feminists used to do in the late ’60s. Helping each other understand our processes as we go through various experiences.

One pic from the table. Sorry, my hand tremor sometimes produces out-of-focus pics!

Next, while the adults were eating, Mariella’s youngsters Asiri and her brother Juakim were preparing a performance in the room west of the kitchen (the men were in the room east). Finally, Asiri told me to get the adults in there in five minutes. Okay.

So here goes. First, the kids show off, then the adults. Who woulda thunk it?


In case you can’t tell, Asiri is driving Juakim forward, holding on to his legs.

Next, Asiri rides on top of Juakim . . .

Then their mom, Mariella, decided she’d hunker down on her hands and arms . . .

Hard to tell what’s happening here, either. Sorry! But it inspired Juakim to do it too.

Well, then, it really got wild. First Briana . . .

Then yours truly, who aspired to a cartwheel . . .

Then Aron. Wow!

And finally, Dan, a Virgo, and the only acrobat to exhibit perfect form, despite puppy Shadow trying to lick his face.