True Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar hosted a private event at its location at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Alex Farris
Georgia Reese's and community clean-up | Alex Farris Photo Blog
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2014.09.09
I lucked out with my previous two assignments for the Star. The first was a private dinner event and de facto debut on Aug. 30 of a new restaurant on the Northwestside, Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar. The restaurant, owned by former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett, is named for his daughter and aims for a casual dining experience focused on soul food, which meant the kitchen smelled AWESOME. I lucked out immensely with the last picture; I was driving away, realized I didn't get a photo of the front of the restaurant, drove back to get it just in case, and caught Brackett walking out the door. Superb.

The second assignment was arguably a more important affair. The Near Westside of Indianapolis is not the best of places to live. It's full of abandoned homes and crime and a lack of the economic & social stability found in many other Indianapolis neighborhoods. Good people live there, though, and with the help of good organizations such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, residents spent Saturday sprucing up Elder Street south of Washington Street. They cut down trees, cleared out weeds, swept the sidewalks, picked up trash, and generally made the street a safer place for kids to play. These "cosmetic" changes are important, not least because it brings neighbors together for a common cause and shows hope for a better future.

Plus, the kids were kids. When they weren't dragging branches to the trash bin or raking weeds, they were running up and down the street yelling about being famous. You can't help but see some promise in that enthusiasm.

Both sets of photos were paired with a story, and both showed up in the front section of the paper. The restaurant played out in color on A3 and A4 on Sept. 3, and the clean-up was the A1 centerpiece on Monday with a jump color photo on A11. This is my second centerpiece for the Star.

Georgia Reese's spread in The Indianapolis Star

Community clean-up spread in The Indianapolis Star

On a sadder note, as part of Gannett's "Newsroom of the Future" plans, five good Star photographers are on the staff no longer,. They're all good people, and it will be hard to imagine the Star "photo phamily" without them. Best wishes to Greg Griffo, Brent Drinkut, Danese Kenon, Rob Goebel, and Joe Vitti.

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Steaks grill in the kitchen before a private event at Georgia Reese\'s Southern Table & Bar at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Steaks grill in the kitchen before a private event at Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Alex Farris
Alex Farris
Georgia Reese\'s Southern Table & Bar hosted a private event at its location at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar hosted a private event at its location at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Alex Farris
Executive chef Dwight Simmons gives instructions before a private event at Georgia Reese\'s Southern Table & Bar at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Executive chef Dwight Simmons gives instructions before a private event at Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Alex Farris
Owner and former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett walks through the doors of Georgia Reese\'s Southern Table & Bar at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Owner and former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett walks through the doors of Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar at 86th and Michigan Streets, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The restaurant, set to serve soul food staples in a Prohibition-era supper club atmosphere, opens to the public on Sept. 2. Alex Farris
Resident Daniel Hardt sweeps the sidewalk as children play during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Resident Daniel Hardt sweeps the sidewalk as children play during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Alex Farris
Stephanie Olivares and Valeria Perez help clear the yard in front of an abandoned house during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Stephanie Olivares and Valeria Perez help clear the yard in front of an abandoned house during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Alex Farris
Brigit Olivares chops down a tree in between two abandoned houses during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Brigit Olivares chops down a tree in between two abandoned houses during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Alex Farris
Liz Schrader removes a tree from between two abandoned houses during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Liz Schrader removes a tree from between two abandoned houses during a community clean-up on South Elder Street near Washington Street, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. City organizations lent volunteers and equipment to residents to renovate the high-crime area along West Washington Street. Alex Farris

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