This week’s listmaker: Kate Shoup
1. Etsy. Have you ever yearned for Golden Girls nesting dolls? Or maybe a Steve Jobs paper doll? If so, then Etsy is for you. Etsy features millions of one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage items for sale. And because you buy directly from artists and craftspeople, prices for these goodies are often quite reasonable. (Of course, not everything on the site is as magnificent as this hand-made Pac Man ukulele; that’s why there’s Regretsy, which catalogs, as they say, “where DIY meets WTF.” Here, you’ll find the worst that Etsy has to offer.)
2. IndyCar. Yes, I know. It’s cars, going around in circles. How interesting can the IndyCar series be? I’ll tell you: really fucking interesting. Like, Latin American soap opera dramatic. There’s conflict, like the constant tension between drivers and race stewards, culminating in driver Will Power’s “double-fingered salute” to officials in New Hampshire. (This incident, aired by accident on ABC during the race broadcast, occurred after race director Brian Barnhart—who has since been relieved of those duties—ordered a restart in the rain on an oval, leading to a five-car crash.) There’s heartbreak, like when driver J.R. Hildebrand, about to become one of the few rookies ever to win the Indianapolis 500, kissed the wall in the fourth turn of the final lap, allowing Dan Wheldon to claim the checkered flag. There’s catastrophe, like when two-time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon tragically lost his life in the season finale, in a fiery 15-car crash. This year, a new car, named after Wheldon, serves as a central storyline as the series tries to iron out some serious wrinkles in the design. We’ll see at the first race on March 25—in Wheldon’s adopted hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida—how far they’ve come.
3. The Flying Cupcake. The Flying Cupcake’s flagship store—the first cupcakerie in Indiana—opened in Butler Tarkington in 2007. Since then, thanks to its marvelously monikered offerings (Red Velvet Elvis, anyone?) and generally adorable vibe, this bakery has become a three-location Empire of Cute and Tasty, with additional storefronts on Mass Ave. and in Carmel. (A fourth location, around the corner from the new Nordstrom Rack, is opening soon.) Whether you need a mid-afternoon frosting hit or six-dozen custom cuppies for your next big event, visit The Flying Cupcake; you’ll quickly see why it’s consistently voted Indy’s best cupcake bakery.
4. Remi Gaillard. Yes, the French are responsible for escargot. Also, their movies can be painful to watch. But they redeem themselves with humorist Rémi Gaillard. Known for recording elaborate pranks, which he posts on his Web site nimportequi.com as well as on YouTube, Gaillard doesn’t so much play tricks on people (which I actually don’t like) as stage events designed to baffle onlookers with their sheer weirdness. In one, Gaillard brilliantly re-creates the game Mario Kart, blazing through town on a go-kart in a Mario costume. In others, dressed in East German Olympian garb, he completes the events of the decathlon and performs gymnastics in various urban environments. A series of elevator bits brilliantly stymie bystanders, and his turn as a bat (possibly my favorite) seriously irks a cop. If you want to laugh until you pee, this guy is for you.[iframe: width=”630″ height=”350″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/c-13gacQ_xk?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]