Hyde Brothers, Booksellers – a Bookworm’s Paradise

If you’re a bookworm of the Fort Wayne variety, you’ve no doubt heard of and been to Hyde Brothers, Booksellers. Forget e-Readers, nothing beats the smell of a big, fat, bound book, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Hyde Bros. Lots and lots of well-used and well-read books. No kidding, whenever I go in, I always stop just inside the front door and inhale all of that bookwormy goodness.

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The Hyde Bros storefront

The self-proclaimed best-loved bookstore in Indiana, Hyde Bros. was in fact voted the Best Bookstore in Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne Newspapers’ and FortWayne.com’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Best of… Awards. And rightly so. The store carries more than 150,000 titles in categories such as history, literature, nature, Indiana, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sports, religion and science.

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Stairway to Heaven, err, I mean, more books!

Another super-cool fact about Hyde Bros. is that you can sell and trade your own books. Click here to read a list of the types of books they generally accept.  Maybe you have a few books of your own that you’d like to pass on to someone else. Or maybe you’ve inherited a stack or come across a collection at an estate sale. If you don’t quite love them, but you know someone else might, give Hyde Bros. a shot! You never know what you might find in return.

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Seriously, how can this not make you happy?

From a customer: “Hyde Brothers Bookstore is a wonderful place where a person can find great deals! A true book lover can lose themselves for hours upon end within the rows and rows of tightly packed shelves, searching for various literary gems!”

So, if you’ve never been, what are you waiting for? And if you’re new in town or just passing through, you have a major treat in store!

Hyde Bros. is located in the historic Wells Street Corridor, just north of downtown, south of the intersection of Fourth and Wells Streets.

Contact Info:
1428 Wells Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
260-424-0197
1-800-264-6369

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Wendy Sack

About

Born and bred in Alabama, Wendy has lived in Fort Wayne for just over 12 years, calling historic Williams-Woodland Park home. Asked to describe herself, Wendy is quick to throw out the terms grammar geek, voracious reader, Jim Gaffigan nut and Alabama Crimson Tide football fanatic. Often found with a Diet Coke in one hand and a book in the other, Wendy’s true passion is her family. She is a wife, a mother of two and is always looking for new and adventurous things to do in and around Fort Wayne. Wendy finds humor easily in any situation and is a true believer that laughter really does cure anything.

Rainy day activities in Fort Wayne

During the warm weather, it can be easy to get preoccupied with all the things we can do in the outdoors. It’s great to get outside when the weather is nice, but it can also mean that we forget there are ways to have great fun indoors. If you find yourself at a loss for something to do when the weather won’t cooperate and the kids are getting bored, try one of these great activities.

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Science Central’s Science on a Sphere is fun, interactive and educational!

Take a visit to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. These impressive gardens might make you forget about the rain clouds; walk through different climates and see tropical as well as desert gardens plus a seasonal changing garden. The Botanical Conservatory allows you to experience the flora and fauna of the world without ever leaving Fort Wayne or even the certainty of the indoors.

Another place to spend a worthwhile afternoon indoors would be Science Central. This hands-on learning center makes science come alive. They have a little something for all ages too, and you are never too old to learn something new. Make sure to check out Science on a Sphere, the traveling exhibit In the Dark, and the high rail bicycle.

For something a little more low key, spend an afternoon at the Allen County Public Library. The Main library branch has an excellent children’s section complete with a unique and fun play area indoors. Stop by on Wednesday mornings for story-time, and stick around for FREE lunch! Plus, sign up for their summer reading program to have something to do for all the rainy days from the comfort of your own home.

Going to the movies is always fun, too, and going for cheap is even better! Catch a family movie for less at many of our movie theaters in town. With many of their favorites playing, like Despicable Me 1 and 2, The Nut Job, and The Lego Movie, there is sure to be something they will want to see.

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Painting Fun Spot

 

For your resident artist, check out Painting Fun Spot at Jefferson Pointe. Be as creative as you’d like, pick your shape and your colors, and make a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. And, you can even create something that can be displayed or used daily in your home – from plates to figurines to light switch plates, and jewelry holders, there is something for everyone.

If you are still looking for something active, there are a few places to go to run out all the jitters. Take the kids to Crazy Pinz for an afternoon of unique fun. Spend some time cosmic bowling, play glow-in-the-dark mini golf, take a turn at some great arcade games, and even refuel with a little snack. Or, let the kids soar at Sky Zone Trampoline park. During open jump there are games to play and plenty of space for kids to perfect their jumping form.

No matter what you and your family are into, there is something to do in Fort Wayne, even when the weather isn’t cooperating!

Holley Taylor

About

Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium is the place for locally made gifts

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Opal and Ruby Gift Emporium is located at 5215 Illinois Road, Suite 104.

Why head to the mall when you can find a one-of-a-kind gift elsewhere? Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium is THE place to find a treasure for that special person in your life. Nestled in a cozy looking strip of shops and eateries off of Illinois Road, the store welcomes locals and visitors alike.

Upon entering the store, I was greeted by Kelli, one of the sisters/co-owners, who explained the origin of the store’s name. Opal and Ruby, she said, is a nod to her and sister Kristin’s birthstones. The store is the product of their creative collaboration.

And creative is right. Inside the store you’ll find some gems as hand-made jewelry, pillows, picture frames candles, cookies, and bags. A great deal of the products are locally sourced from such vendors as Keepsake Threads, cinda b and Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies and Cupcakes. They have everything you might want as a gift for men, women and children. And their home goods look like something out of a magazine!

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A line of specialty Fort Wayne pillows features Fort Wayne zip codes.

I was most impressed by their selection of bags from cinda b. They carry a variety of patterns and sizes ideal for travel. Kelli told me that they can special order patterns not carried in the store. Their bag sets would be perfect for plane travel because they’re lightweight yet durable.

In short, this store is a testament to the talent Fort Wayne has to offer. And what better way to support local artists/vendors than by buying some of their work? Sure there are other gift shops in town, but none with this concentration of locally produced gifts.

The store is open Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm. For more information, visit their website.

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.

Come Experience Big City Atmosphere at Central City Café!

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Central City Cafe is downtown Fort Wayne’s newest lunch spot.

Looking for a fun place to have lunch in Fort Wayne?  Look no further than Central City Café, one of the city’s newest restaurants!

I’ve been looking for a new, chic restaurant to meet friends, and this is just the place!  Located on Calhoun St., just beside Riegel’s Pipe and Tobacco shop, its downtown location makes it easy for me to access during the summer’s festivals and other activities.

The Café is located just a few blocks from some of Fort Wayne’s other legendary eateries – The Pint and Slice and The Dash-In .  What sets Central City Café apart from these dining establishments – as well as others in Fort Wayne – are the 14-foot long, build your own sandwich and salad bars.

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I appreciate this café for many reasons.  Besides its convenient location and healthy menu items, the interior is very clean, spacious, and has a big city feel. The interior also tastefully blends contemporary décor into the building’s historic structure.

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The building, which dates back to the 1860s, had been used as a warehouse during the city’s industrialization.  You can still see the original brick walls and ceiling support beams throughout the Café, and there are paintings and photographs of past and present day Fort Wayne on both floors.

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I thought these were unique ways for a restaurant to acknowledge Fort Wayne’s past and present.

Last but not least, customers can utilize the Café’s Wi-Fi over a business meeting or for leisure.  There is ample seating along the wall downstairs and at small tables upstairs.  With a fun, upbeat atmosphere and healthy menu items, I highly recommend making Central City Café your next choice for lunch!

The Café is located on Facebook here and downtown at 620 S. Calhoun St.
Open Monday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Closed Saturday and Sunday.
260-422-CAFE  (2233)

You can click here to hear a short commercial about some featured menu items at the Café.

Amanda Reusser

About

Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.

Come Explore Beyond the Walls of the Castle Gallery!

Have you ever been given a castle as a gift?  Fort Wayne has!

The Castle Gallery, at 1202 W. Wayne St., is an exquisite home that was built and given to B. Paul Mossman and his wife as a wedding gift in 1905.  The building has served many purposes over the years, such as being the former site of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, then apartments, and now a residence/art gallery.

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On a recent afternoon, I took advantage of the Gallery’s free admission and close proximity to my downtown errands to take a tour. The friendly staff members – one of whom owns the building – showed me around the three fascinating floors of beautiful artwork.

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Flowers and paintings welcome visitors in the foyer.

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The beautiful, wooden staircase is just one of many highlights of the Castle Gallery!

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Peeking at the art in the stairwell via a window in the wall

The Romanesque architecture and abundance of stained glass windows really were impressive!

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These whimsical animals seem quite content in this lovely window.

This setting makes it the ideal place for artist receptions, which occur throughout the year.  (View past and current exhibitions here.)

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Stained glass windows + local artwork = Castle Gallery!

Also, the third floor, which now serves as the owners’ living room quarters, has been entirely renovated into a homey, modern loft, and it accommodates visiting artists with full amenities.

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Relax here!

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I enjoyed everything about this place, from the friendliness of the informative staff to the wide selection of quirky and realistic art!  There are two things to be aware of, though.  As there are no elevators, the Gallery is not handicapped-accessible, and anyone with pet allergies should know that the owners’ pets roam the building.

The Castle Gallery should be a must-do when visiting Fort Wayne, so come check it out yourself!

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Be sure to leave your comments in the guest book on this funky table!

 

The Castle Gallery is located at 1202 W. Wayne St., in the West Central Neighborhood.  It’s within walking distance of the downtown district, the Carole Lombard house, and the following renowned restaurants:  Henry’s, Das Schnitzelhaus, and Paula’s.

You can visit it on Facebook here, online here, or call ahead at 260-426-6568 and toll free at 866-726-3699.  You can also email the Gallery at castlegallery1@comcast.net.

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Free admission!

Amanda Reusser

About

Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.