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Bloomington, Indiana

“This town has a modest, but decent, hippie community. At 4:20 (p.m.) at a park on 9th Street, there is a drum circle. Also a cafe/restaurant called the Runcible Spoon is visited by many hippies and other interesting people. A few hippies (roughly 6) work there as well. The restaurant is located on 6th Street downtown. Across the back parking lot of this restaurant is a little natural foods Co-op store called Bloomingfoods, where many hippies are employed, and where most hippies buy all their essentials.

On Kirkwood Avenue, the most active part of the downtown, there is a little shop called the Dharma Emporium, owned and frequented by lots of groovy people. On Walnut Street, there lies a shop called the Magic Bus, owned and operated by a bunch of hippies that live in the back; kind and gentle folk. Also, the town of Bloomington is mostly liberal, and there are a lot of interesting people. Just stay away from the west side of town: this is a “thriving” commercial part of town with no trees and a lot of new subdivisions. Bad, bad, bad.”

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35 Responses to Bloomington, Indiana

  • Bloomington Rules And the Buds are the best in all of Indiana. College towns have great weed

  • –Mathew O’Neil at the Runcible spoon has asked me to create a suitable web site for his establishment on east sixth st.
    I have only known the spoon and Matt for a few months. In that short period I have learned to love them both.
    Would you please e-mail suggestions, comments, praises, incidents etc to supplement my short exposure to the nuances of the place and the man?

    Matt and the spoon deserve better than my limited exposure to literary arts permits.
    In short I need help and can’t image a better group to ask than a bunch of would be Hemingways and Longfellows.

    Anything you want to do or share; ie stories, photos, art, poetry, will be much appreciated.

    Lee Clark
    d.b.a. My Gasthof


  • If any of you are veggie/vegan, there is a completely vegan restaurant called Roots on the square in Bloomington. I eat meat and I am still a fan.

  • Check it out: https://thislittletown.com/bloomington/ a local website for Bloomington Indiana

    Love is stronger the pride.

  • Bloomington Indaina is easily the coolest town in all of indiana, and I can tell you, it goes deeper than seeing a few hippies walking around downtown.
    The Runcible spoon has long been a meeting spot for the sub culture element of Bloomington, and the Spoon has a long tradition of support and tolerance for hippies, punks, etc.

  • thanks for all the comments. planning on moving out there soon, from connecticut. whats the story on night life

  • Bloomington is definitely selling out to Big Box Store culture and the Bif and Muffy Big Ten apartment housing market. The other tragedy is the southeast side, stuffed with McMansions. This expansionism and investor-class infusion helps manage wealth, not create jobs.
    Have you ever considered that all of these imported “subcultures” are segregated clusters of academia and exacademia which don’t interface with the real bloomingtonians (working class, poor, white) and actually take jobs from the service sector even more than create them, while sucking up precious community resources from local food banks to live the “hippie” lifestyle? What if your hippie lifestyle makes one poor bloomintonian become homeless? What would be the difference between you and Bif or Muffy impacting the local economy? The tie dye?

  • Yes. there are a lot of hippies. That’s the only bad part about bloomington. Get ’em out, and lets make war. Parts of bloomington smell funny, because hippies don’t shower.

  • not too far outside of bloomington is brown county, a gorgeous little place with a huge state park that allows horses practically everything else. in brown county is a town called nashville. there are tons of little shops there, including many hippie stores – a weavery, bead and jewelry shop and the like. most of the shops are run by hippies; it’s a very liberal-welcome community.
    also, right outside of bloomington is girl scout camp gallahue. i believe the camp is often open to hiking, and there is a beautiful trail that goes all the way around the lake there called the hills of gallahue. might want to check that out. working at girl scout camps in the summer seems to start a lot of relocating hippies off in the indiana towns. if you need information, let me know. korinda@gmail.com


  • I’m originally from a small town about 40 minutes east of Bloomington. I spent a lot of time in Bloomington during my high school years and I have to say it’s a really great town. You’ll get the small town hospitality without the boredom of living in a small town. Kirkwood is great… and Brown County Park is pretty close. Also, Lake Monroe is worth checking out as well.


  • just wondering if anyone knows were some good places to camp in bloomington(free)

  • > Posted by kimberly on 2005-06-24 22:39:47
    Comment: just wondering if anyone knows were some good places to camp in bloomington(free)

    do you have a car? you can camp anywhere in Hoosier National Forest for free, for up to 2 weeks at a time (just please don’t trash the place). the Charles C. Deam wilderness (right on Lake Monroe) is free, maybe a 20 min drive from Bloomington. here is a dull yet informative link (that has map links):


    and another:


    if you are looking for a free place to stay in town, i guess ask any of the punks or hippies. a lot of kids/touring bands come through, so ppl are usually cool about crashing. at LEAST you would be able to find someone willing to lend their yard for you to camp in. especially if you offered something cool, like a nice home-cooked meal or whatever. the punk kids especially have always been so generous and kind to me, i have never not found a place to stay. how do you find these kids? go to a show, go to boxcar books, go to bloomingfoods.. the town-folk are also pretty used to ppl crashing in their vans/cars, just don’t do it downtown right in the open.. a neighborhood is better. eh. bloomington is a pretty safe place to be wandering around in general, day or night.

    if you’re anal and prefer to plan things, there’s always:


  • Hey, I’m moving down to Bloomington later this month and I was wondering if there are any good real (AKA vinyl) record stores?

  • this is in respoince to Evan’s question about used record stores in Bloomington. There is one on the square,its on the corner of Kirkwood and Walnut Street. My husband is an avid collector and we now go out of town to look for vinyl. good luck

  • dudes that place is really rad! Man never hate hippies because they love everybody!

  • This is in response to Evan’s question about record stores. Since All Ears closed last summer, the Dharma Emporium (near Lincoln and Kirwood) is easily the best used record store in B-town. TD’s CDs and LPs (near Grant and Kirkwood) also has some. Tracks (on Kirkwood) has some, but they seemed to mostly be priced a little higher than Dharma.

  • Im looking for legal herbal smoke to purchase in Indiana…anyone know a definate place to purchase? I really want to try it, but cant order off the net…thanksalot

  • The westside of Bloomington used to be great until about 20 years ago and then everything began to emerge. The city had a building freeze issued on the eastside. I grew up on the westside and it was pretty redneck and ohh so quiet. Oh well, if you venture toward Spencer or Green co. u will still find beautiful solitude and a few cows.

  • Hey all… I’m a guy here in bloomington and am looking for cool people to hang out with. I’m here around monroe lake, a great place to live. Anyone?


  • I love dharma it is the best store ever! and b-town is the best place in indiana people don’t judge you there you are who you are and they except that!!!!!

  • Omg! did you here? Vinyl broke up. That’s righ. They were the best band in Bloomington, too. I loved those guys. Miles rocked the on the bass and Ian on Guitar. Anywayz……… I love Bloomington you can Get the best deals on records at Dharma. MrDharma has everything in there. It is a reallt cool Store! Who could hate hippys the love every one they are so peaceful.

    Make Love Not War,
    Flower Child

  • I’m going to college here in the fall (hopefully…fingers crossed) and I’m so excited to hear how terrific it sounds! I can’t wait! And to think I was actually going to Purdue at one point. *shakes head slowly*

  • I miss B-town like crazy…huntsville, alabama is ok, they try to be hip, not too cool tho. Too many debutaunts live here.lol My daughter and her boyfriend want to see the real b-town so I informed them to cruise through downtown and take in Kirkwood to get the feel of it.

  • Oh I’ve been to Bloomington, Indiana, as an exchange student last year. I didn’t see the shops the article talks about but I enjoyed going to the lake… And the firetower… Great trip, great town. And it is true that there are a lot of hippies there.

  • I live in Brown County, which is right next to B-Town. Bloomington is truly a wonderful hippie town. Dharma Emporium and Bloomingfoods are my favorite places. Any cool Bloomington hippies wanna hang with a fellow old soul? Hit me up.

    Peace, love, and Dharma,

  • bloomington is amazing.

  • I live in Bloomington and it’s a great town. Dharma Emporium is probably one of my favorite stores there (if not, my favorite) next to 420, Greetings, and Rare Image (which isn’t downtown). Hippies hang out at People’s Park all the time and it’s a great place to be. To stay in Bloomington is one of the reasons I want to go to IU when I’m in college.

  • Bloomington, Indiana is one of the coolest, laid back towns I’ve ever lived in. It’s really liberal and open. The people are very accepting of all/most lifestyles. My favorite restaurant is a vegetarian place in Kirkwood (on 6th Ave) called Roots. I also like the stores beside Roots. One of them is called “Athena” which is a hippie / new age shop which sells African drums, crystals, scarves, pendants, and other stuff. And another place is called “Natural Elements” which is a cool new age store (kinda pricey) that has lots of books on yoga, mind and spirit, and spiritual transcendental music. Kirkwood is THE area in Bloomington to check out the hippie shops. I especially like the place called “Moon Stones” which carries lots of hippie-type jewelry.

  • anyone know where a homeless hippie can camp for free and stay for good in bloomington or near it

  • I live in bloomington and this town is has a great vibe.
    sadly Darmah closed down this year but the old hippie still runs his shop online :]

    The rastas are great people and bloomingfoods, Sahara mart, and all the parks.

  • Hello all. I was wondering if anyone was heading to Chicago area for Christmas? I’d like to get a ride and will pay handsomely for gas etc. Get back to me if anyone in Bloomington is going to Chicago. Peace …


  • I’m new to indiana and i’m trying to find a smoking herb store.Somewhere that has mugwart,pepperming, and stuff like that for smoking. I’m trying to quit ciggs,.

  • I have recently visited Bloomington,IN… A.k.a B-Town… Anyway the people in this beautiful town, need to stop putting on a front in front of the younger generation and stop acting like this! That stage where drugged up citizens walked around doing Cocaine, and Acid, drugs that hurt your body!! Is over If everyone would straighten up maybe the goverment would lay off of the Marijuana laws and punishments…Just Sayin,,,, But anyway GO HOOSIERS!!

  • Bloomington: We don’t bite til we know you better.

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