We like our porch. We like friends. And we seriously love hosting dinner parties.
So, when the Harrison Center for the Arts sponsored a City-Wide Porch Party for Indianapolis, it was a no brainer to join in. It’s also about the one-year anniversary of the restoration of the porch being complete, so that’s fun, too!
I wanted to do some historical digging abut porch parties – and of course the folk at Historic Indianapolis have already done the work, which you can read here. One thing that makes sense, but I’ve never thought about it, was the role that cars played in the decline of porches as part of American architecture. It completely makes sense, but I never thought about it! From Historic Indianapolis :
From about the mid- 1800’s, porches became a more prevalent architectural element on homes. In the few decades following, the popularity and use of porches continued to grow. Socially, porches became a prime gathering place, and became seen as almost an extension of the home’s interior. As you might guess, those were the days before the invention–and noise, smell and accidents– of the automobile.
While the introduction of the car to day-to-day life allowed for greater freedom of mobility, it also diminished the opportunity for human interaction–especially between neighbors.
By the 1930’s, it was clear that cars were here to stay, and porches began to fall out of favor. By the time the 1950’s rolled around, you’d be hard-pressed to find many popular architectural designs that included anything remotely resembling a porch! The era of putting the car, and it’s attached garage, front and center, had arrived.
The date was set. We wanted a theme – our close circle of friends actually keeps a running, collaborative google doc with party theme ideas to have at our house. We are serious. A friend came up with the idea of “Say Cheese!” where everyone had to bring a dish which included cheese. A normal person would have taken pictures of the delicious things we ate: I was just eating. A few things included :
Deep-Fried Macaroni and Cheese
Bourbon-Cream Cheese Frosted Chocolate CupcakesFish Tacos, with this really beautiful Mango SlawAnd Peanut Butter Caramel Cheesecake.There were also cheesecake brownies, buffalo chicken fried cheese balls, parmesan artichoke dip, and cheese fondue – which we just kept on the porch. I was a terrible food photographer. But it was DELICIOUS.
It was a super fun evening, and hopefully everyone’s porch parties were as much fun as ours. We definitely need to do more in the future – and what a fun idea for other neighborhoods or communities. I’m already brainstorming about what to do next year and how to get more people in my neighborhood involved. No matter what, it’ll involve some sort of fried food.
Porch Party 2015!