419px-KennethBabyfaceEdmondsHWOFMay2013This week’s listmaker: Ken Honeywell. Ken is creative director and president of Well Done Marketing and editor-in-chief of Punchnel’s.

I’ve lived long enough to know a missed opportunity when I see one, and I’m smart enough to not keep making the same mistake. For example: You go along thinking you’ve eaten falafel, and then you go to Santorini and you realize that you’ve been tricked for years into thinking falafel is a hard, nearly inedible ball of fried chickpeas instead of the delicately fried patties on the platter currently before you. And you think, “I will no longer miss an opportunity to tell those purveyors of bad falafel that they should take a little lunchtime trip to Fountain Square to see what they’re doing wrong.”

So I’m all about alerting people to opportunities they’re missing. Here are some of the things I think would improve your life if you just stop ignoring them.

1. Calling I-65 “the Babyface.” I looked back to see when I first started lobbying to call I-65 inside the beltway “the Babyface”; it is already officially the Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Highway. Four years ago! It’s a crime that we haven’t made this happen. (This was not my idea, btw. I first heard it from my friends Joe and Mark.)

But now we have a chance to rectify this situation. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds himself is coming to town Saturday, July 19 as part of Indiana Black Expo. Now’s the time to show our love and call this stretch of highway by the name it already has.

2. Riding downtown on the White River Trail. Every summer, one or twice, My Beautiful 20100614-175059-AboutPark_Sum11Wife and I set off on our bicycles–across Butler Tarkington and onto the campus, down into Holcomb Gardens and across the bridge to the Central Canal Towpath, which we ride south. The Towpath is well traveled–at least, the stretch between Broad Ripple and the Indianapolis Museum of Art is well traveled–by bikers and walkers and runners. But ride on south until the Towpath hits the White River Trail, and you’re mostly on your own. The delightfully uncrowded White River Trail winds alongside Riverside Park and into the city: you’ll pass the Indianapolis Zoo, White River State Park, and the Canal Walk on your way in for, say, breakfast at City Cafe. Take a quick trip to Fountain Square on the Cultural Trail or stop in a browse at Indy Read Books at the north end of Mass Ave, then take the Monon Trail home. Feel free to adjust this route for anywhere in the city you’d like to hop on: it makes a nice circle.

3. Attending events at the Spirit & Place FestivalEvery year, the Spirit & Place Festival includes dozens of events that are thought provoking, challenging, fun, surprising, uplifting, and important–and half the people I meet in Indianapolis have never heard of it. As I am on the steering committee, I believe this is partially my fault.

Spirit & Place’s mission is “to be a catalyst for civic engagement through creative collaborations among the arts, humanities, and religion,” and that’s pretty accurate. It’s a program of The Polis Center, which is part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI This year’s festival–the theme is Journey–will run from November 7 – 16, and the programming, which has not yet been announced, is going to be diverse and fascinating. Last year’s programs ranged from Jim Mulholland’s talk on “Leaving My Religion” to a competition about race with a $20 thousand prize. I promise I’ll remind you again, but please check out the lineup when it’s announced and pick an event or two to attend. Bring your brain.

5-11-pasta4. Buying your pasta at Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta & MarketI know I have pimped Nicole-Taylor’s before, but it bears repeat pimping. Nicole-Taylor’s fresh pasta will make any pasta dish better. The short shapes are nice, and the linguine is tender and perfect, and the flavored fettuccines add a little bit of color and flavor to your dishes. But I am stuck on the pici: the thick spaghetti that’s a Tuscan specialty you won’t find in the supermarket that happens to be the perfect vehicle for pesto–another invention of those enterprising Tuscans. Pick up a loaf of Amelia’s bread, maybe some imported olives or parmesan reggiano to go with dinner. Open a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino. Sit on your porch and pretend you’re in Siena and the Piazza del Campo sparkles in the blue-black sky, the ghosts of horses rushing  behind you through the night.

5. Reading Sky Blue Window. About 10 years ago, my friend Mike Knight started telling me about this crazy idea he had for an Indianapolis arts and culture website that, among other things, would give local college students an outlet for their writing. It sure did sound like a cool idea, but Mike seemed like a bit of a Don Quixote. I wasn’t convinced he could find anyone who’d fund it.

Well…he did. Today, Sky Blue Window is cooking along nicely as a project of Central Indiana Community Foundation. They actually are a great outlet for college writers, and they pay professional writers better than most online magazines. The content is lively and the writing is first-rate, and the site is, in general, a great guide to the best of Indy’s art and performance scenes, in many ways filling a void left by the long-departed Arts Indiana magazine.

And sure, we want you reading Punchnel’s when you have a little free time. But the Internet’s a big place. Keep Sky Blue Window bookmarked and you’ll be cooler and smarter.

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Babyface photo by Angela George [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.