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Aldi renovation April 20, 2017

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, north.
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The Aldi I shop at on 53rd & Keystone shut down April 15 for an extensive remodel. They wanted to add another 20 feet to the side of the store to fit more freezer facilities. Part of the remodel includes a temporary shutdown. They’ve been open for a while, and while it smelled like wet cardboard, at least I could still get my groceries. I went there one last time before they shut everything down, and the place was ransacked. The freezers were blocked off, and everything that wasn’t frozen food was ransacked! At least I still got my apple juice. The renovation will be complete May 25, which seems like a long way away. I may shift over to the new Broad Ripple Fresh Thyme (with a bit of Wal-Mart to bat cleanup) in the interim, but at least the Aldi staff was nice enough to hand out coupons- $10 off a $40 purchase during the closure, valid at four other Aldi stores: 96th & Hague, 84th & Michigan, 46th & Lafayette, and Washington & Arlington. All those stores are a bit out of the way for me, but it’s nice to know they care enough to help customers with the inconvenience! I eagerly await Memorial Day Weekend when the new store is fully renovated.

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Shopping at Castleton Square November 24, 2014

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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Castleton Square Mall (12) - Copy Castleton Square Mall (1) - Copy

Castleton Square is the mall servicing the middle class for the north side of Indianapolis. It’s located off 82nd street, just east of Allisonville Road. In the front, where L.S. Ayres once was, is a “lifestyle section” with H&M, an AMC movie theater, Johnny Rockets, Kay Jewelers, Houlihan’s, a Forever 21 (where Borders once stood), and a newly-opened McAllister’s Deli. Admittedly, I mainly went to this mall for Borders, and I shop more at Greenwood Park Mall now. However, there are still a few things I like here. There’s an FYE and a Hot Topic, which offer a wide range of music, DVDs, pop culture accessories, and clothes. I also like to go to the Aeropostale here, even though they tend to run out of my size more than any other location does. I notice that most of the stores here are women’s clothing stores, and their own directory listing supports this. In other malls, other stores make up more of the inline directory. The feature where I think Castleton Square surpasses other malls is the food court. There’s not a restaurant in this mall where I wouldn’t eat. They have a Maki of Japan and Asian Chao for Japanese and Chinese, respectively, as well as a Charley’s Steakery, Chick-Fil-A, Dairy Queen, and a Friday’s. There’s more, but those are the main attractions for me. There’s also a play area for the kids in the middle of the food court. Castleton Square Mall is also considered the largest mall in Indianapolis. While I definitely could not waste a whole afternoon here, it makes for a nice trip every so often for a delicious meal and other various shops.

A little activity, a little shopping and a little dining, Indy style September 25, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in miscellaneous, north, south.
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As featured on the IndyStory Project!

When it comes to Indianapolis, quite a few options exist for leisure time, in shopping, dining and activities. However, were I to pick just one of each, then I would pick Greenwood Park Mall, Sapporo and Greatimes, respectively.

Greenwood Park Mall (12)

What I love about Greenwood Park Mall is that not all of its stores are women’s clothing. While Castleton Square has more square footage, it has fewer stores with an emphasis on women’s clothing stores (and its own directory supports me in this). Greenwood Park Mall has more stores, albeit smaller, with a wider variety of stores. I also find younger people of both sexes frequenting this mall more, as opposed to the older women at Castleton Square.

Old Navy- Greenwood Park Mall (12)

Therefore, the environment is more appealing. Also, the employees are wonderfully friendly, outgoing, cheerful, helpful and thoughtful. I’d like to think they’re naturally this way, but maybe they’re just really good at their jobs. Either way, I approve of the employees and staff at all the stores. As far as what to do in Greenwood Park Mall, I visit Old Navy, Aeropostale, Blondie’s Cookies, and Maggie Moo’s. Greenwood Park Mall is the last mall in the Indy area to have an Old Navy, and it is my favorite store. I can find a lot of things for under $20, especially on the clearance rack. The same goes for Aeropostale, although its sales are less frequent and less generous.

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Maggie Moo’s has a moderate selection of ice cream with approximately 16 flavors, but its flavors are rich and creamy. A small ice cream in a waffle cone costs $3.20. And Blondie’s has the “rich and creamy” cookie equivalent. They charge by weight, but non-iced cookies cost $1.40-1.60 each and iced cookies cost about $2.20 each. Best of all, they have frequent user cards, so after eight visits, the ninth will be free. There are several more restaurants and shops inside the mall, but those four are the ones I frequent.

Sapporo (8)

Sapporo is across Indianapolis on the north side, off east 82nd street and Knue Road in Castleton. This former Old Country Buffet was convincingly converted into a Japanese steakhouse. Servers put on quite the show thoroughly cooking your food and making it delicious. It’s quite apparent they take great pleasure in their job and approach it with genuine enthusiasm. The food itself is remarkably delicious, covered in soy sauce, lemon juice, and teriyaki sauce. Best of all, two sauces, ginger and mustard, are provided, and the ginger sauce will give both chicken and shrimp a kick in flavor while keeping it sweet. A wide variety of entrees is offered, including chicken, steak, shrimp and scallops, and each entree comes with white or fried rice, though the fried rice costs an extra $2.50.

Aeropostale- Greenwood Park Mall (3)

I get it every time though, because I have yet to find rice with the same hibachi flavor as Sapporo’s fried rice. There is also a bowl of soup that is flavored with mushrooms and onions that tastes somewhat like chicken. I find it zesty and savorable. The only caution I can give is that dinner can be between $18 and $30 for one person, so Sapporo is best used for special occasions and not weekly dinners. It’s worth the price to go there once in a while though.

Greatimes (5)

Greatimes markets itself as a “family fun park”, so it’s suitable for all ages. Though at 24 years old, I still visit once in a while for the thrill of go-karts, bumper boats and miniature golf. Tickets are required for said rides, though there is a discount if you buy multiple tickets. On the inside are a whole bunch of arcade games, including skee ball, air hockey, motorcycling, zombie hunting, Pac-Man, basketball and more.

There’s also a pizza place with sodas, a redemption counter in the center to get prizes from tickets, and a few party rooms for birthday parties. For smaller children, a bounce house and indoor playground is located on the first floor behind a wall of arcade games. Children can have fun with the arcade games and playground, but even older kids and teenagers can enjoy the outdoor activities.

Word to the wise: there is a height requirement for the outdoor activities and they are seasonal, so they close at some point in the fall and reopen the following spring, so don’t come here in the dead of winter expecting go-karts and miniature golf. However, when all attractions are in season, my friends and I can easily amuse ourselves here for a few hours.

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All in all, while there are several options for activities, dining, and shopping in Indianapolis, I’ve chosen to focus on these three favorite places of mine. Don’t let my article discourage you, however- there’s a whole city to explore.

Why I wear Old Navy & Aeropostale March 5, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in east, north.
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People who know me also know I am VERY specific about where I shop. I get underwear and socks from Wal-Mart and shoes from Payless. I pick those places for those items because I destroy them thoroughly and frequently. Anything else, however, I buy exclusively at Old Navy and Aeropostale. Generally speaking, I get T-shirts, shorts, polos, and fleeces from Aeropostale, and I get hoodies, polos, shorts, khakis, hats, gloves, coats, and fleeces from Old Navy. Aeropostale- Washington Square Mall While the clothes there ARE trendy, casual, and stylish, and I look wonderful in them, those points are just an added bonus. I have two main reasons for shopping exclusively at Old Navy and Aeropostale. First off, I have a rule with clothes: not more than $10 for a T-shirt and not more than $20 for anything else. Old Navy & Aeropostale clothes work with this rule and they frequently have generous sales.
Old Navy- Traders Point (6) Secondly, the clothes there are so soft and comfortable that they do NOT aggravate my eczema spots. In the spring, summer, and early fall, it really doesn’t matter much, but from mid-October to mid-March, I can totally tell what kind of clothes my skin is wearing by how my skin reacts. I don’t really go for pricey places like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle, or North Face, and I don’t go for places like H&M that aren’t casual. And don’t get me started on Goodwill. That place is a good idea in theory, but they rarely have what I want in the clothes department! My favorite Old Navy and Aeropostale are the Old Navy at Traders Point and the Aeropostale at Washington Square Mall. Good stuff!

I destroy footwear January 29, 2013

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Payless Shoe Source- Speedway Supercenter

As noted before, I get my shoes either at Wal-Mart or Payless. Why? Well, let’s face it: I destroy shoes every four to six months. It makes little sense to get shoes somewhere fancy like Shoe Carnival, Foot Locker, Finish Line, Kohl’s, Marshalls, or DSW when they get destroyed so soon, and at the same rate as shoes from cheaper places. And personally, I prefer to NOT pay more than $20 for shoes, but I’ll go $30 if need be. I walked more when I was in school, so I needed shoes every 4 months. Now that I’m not in school, I don’t walk as much, but I still do a lot of walking. I need shoes every 6 months. Wal-Mart and Payless tend to keep their shoe prices between $15 and $35, whereas other places’ shoes START at $40 and go up to $120. Thankfully, I have 2 new pairs of shoes at my house right now, so I should hopefully be good for another year! But when it’s time for a new pair, off to Payless I go!

Shoe shopping is tough business. October 8, 2012

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Well, recently I needed new shoes. The heels on my old pair were going out. I had already been to the 75th & Keystone Wal-Mart, which is where I usually get my shoes for $10-20. Unfortunately, they were out of my 10.5 wide width men’s tennis shoes. I then tried the Glendale Target and they didn’t even carry tennis shoes! I then tried the West 38th street Target, which had tennis shoes, but not in my size.

So, September 10, 2012, my grandma took me for shoes. My goal was to get some for $20. We first went to the Nora Marshalls. The prices there were HORRIFYING- shoes went from $70 to $120! No thank you. Next stop was the Nora Target a few doors down. They didn’t carry wide width tennis shoes, and that was disappointing, but at least there were sales on lotion, Chap Stick, and deodorant! After that, I tried Goodman’s Shoes, which was close to Marshalls. Now, this is a fancy shoe store, so I went straight for the clearance rack. Sadly, the cheapest it got was $60, so out I went.

New Shoes

My new shoes! (Though I usually don’t go for black.)

The 4th stop my grandma and I tried was the Kohl’s at Keystone at the Crossing. I hadn’t been to a Kohl’s since ’95, when the one at 75th & Keystone closed and turned into that Wal-Mart I mentioned. Anyway, I went in there, and the shoes were $50-95. It’s a step better than Marshalls or Goodman’s, but STILL it’s too pricey. My aunt and other grandma love going to Kohl’s- they say it’s cheap and they sometimes get 25-50% off coupons, but even with a 50% off coupon (which the cashiers were not currently giving), the shoes were still too pricey.

Our 5th stop was the Shoe Carnival at 82nd & Allisonville. I saw a LOT of shoes there between $60-150. That was WAY too expensive for me. All seemed lost…until I stumbled upon a pair of black Fila men’s 10.5 wide with tennis shoes for $37. That was still pricier than the $20 goal I’d set, of course, but they fit wonderfully, it was the best deal I’d seen all day, and my grandma had taken me to five places so far. I told my grandma about the shoes as I was about to leave. Surprisingly, she told me to get them because she thinks we’d have spent too much on gas trying to chase a better and possibly nonexistent deal. (And she was probably right!)

My 3rd favorite restaurant!

And as one of my friends noted, I usually do WHITE shoes, but hey, I’ll take what I can get, as long as they’re not pink! Had Shoe Carnival failed, TJMaxx, Burlington, and JcPenney, and Payless Shoe Source were next on the list. Thankfully, they were not necessary. Oh, and my grandma treated me to lunch at Super China Buffet (my 3rd favorite restaurant) before taking me back home. I, of course, thanked her for shoes and food. Day well spent…and shoe shopping is tough business.

My letter to Castleton Square August 27, 2012

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I plan on going to Circle Centre Mall tomorrow, August 27, and dropping off this letter to SIMON guest services:

Castleton Square just doesn’t do much for me since Borders left. I actually have more things to do at Washington Square Mall. It seems like the grand majority of stores in Castleton Square are women’s clothing stores, and your own directories support my claims. And when you have vacancies, instead of getting more new stores, you just get bigger stores or expand current stores, like Finish Line, H&M, Off-Broadway Shoes, and Forever 21. What few new stores you get seem like Fashion Mall reject stores: upscale, overpriced, impractical, and utterly useless to me. My main three attractions at Castleton Square are Aeropostale, Asian Chao, and Frullati. Other stores MIGHT include Hot Topic and FYE, but get both MORE stores and a WIDER VARIETY of stores!

-Kenny Norman

I avoid Black Friday December 3, 2011

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Black Friday has been getting crazier and crazier the past few years, as well as more prevalent. This year, stores opened at 8 or 10 on Thanksgiving night. Soon there won’t be a Thanksgiving! (Granted, it’s my least favorite holiday, but still!) I avoid Black Friday and always have. The “doorbuster deals” aren’t worth it. Going out into mass Chaos at Wal-Mart, Target, or one of 6 malls, at insane hours, dealing with people who, this year at least, have been known to get violent and use pepper spray, and spend money that I don’t have and don’t need to spend? No thank you. Black Friday has seriously gotten out of hand, especially with the violence and the creeping into Thanksgiving night. A lot of these “deals” will be around past Black Friday, and a lot of these “deals” are only limited to the first few customers. And a lot of these “deals” prompt people to buy a product that they had no intention of buying anyway ‘til they saw the sale. They’re not saving money on something they would’ve bought anyway; they’re losing money by spending money they wouldn’t have spent otherwise. At first, “doorbuster deals and great savings” sounds appealing, but when you think of the crowds, the violence, the loss of sleep, and the money you’ll lose, suddenly it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. I’d rather do my shopping away from the crowds at normal hours at stores I intended to go to originally. Black Friday should seriously be rethought at this point. And at the very least, it’s not for me.

Rockville Road October 9, 2011

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, west.
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This weekend I’ll be driving west on Rockville Road through Avon. It’s more up and coming than the ‘traditional’ west side Indy shopping center that is West 38th street, so hopefully I’ll have an analysis of Rockville Road up next week.

-Kenny

A Tale of 3 Old Navy stores August 3, 2011

Posted by Kenny Norman in miscellaneous, north, south.
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Well, as anyone who knows me can say, I’m addicted to Old Navy. I started going there when I bled all the Goodwill stores in Indianapolis dry and used up gas driving everywhere and finding nothing. And between coupons for taking surveys, using my Old Navy card, and the constant sales they have, I NEVER pay full price for anything there. There used to be eight Old Navy stores in Indianapolis, but Lafayette Square’s Old Navy closed in 2005 (now a Max 10), downtown, Speedway, and Glendale’s Old Navy stores closed in 2006 (now Weber Grill/unknown/demolished, respectively), and Washington Square’s Old Navy closed in 2007 (once a Max 10, now vacant). Therefore, there are only 3 left in the city: Traders Point, Keystone at the Crossing, and Greenwood Park Mall. I noticed that each store has its own quirks, perks, and eccentricities.  Note that “selection” is how many KINDS of items are available, and stock is HOW MUCH of an item is available. Let’s examine each.

Traders Point
Service: 10
Selection: 9
Stock: 9
Size: Large
Perk: They have the most selection and stock of any Old Navy in town. If you’re looking for any current item, this location is your best bet.
Quirk: Difficult to navigate, and you can’t use a credit card yourself- it has to be handed to the cashier.

Greenwood Park Mall
Service: 9
Selection: 8
Stock: 7
Size: medium-large
Perk: This story is easy to navigate, but best of all, they have a HUGE clearance rack!!!! And their men’s section is twice as big as that of Keystone at the Crossing. Guys, go to this location to get your Old Navy gear!
Quirk: You have to stand in a pre-checkout line before getting to the checkout line.

Keystone at the Crossing
Service: 7
Selection: 5
Stock: 5
Size: small
Perk: Big women’s section. Ladies, this location is all for you. Enjoy!
Quirk: They ask how many items you have if you want to go the dressing rooms, and the limit is 10.

That’s my overview of the three Old Navy stores in the city! But you can probably tell I have a bias. I like Traders Point most, and then I go for Greenwood Park Mall. But hey, even though I’m a guy, sometimes I CAN get what I need and get it in my size at Keystone at the Crossing!