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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #1
mobyhead
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Indiana jonesin'

From the Chicago Sun Times.....

Indiana jonesin'
(http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/t...dy0509.article)

May 9, 2007

BY LORI RACKL lrackl@suntimes.com
I don't know the first thing about motor racing, and I'm not in any hurry to change that.

But even I got goosebumps as my tour bus rounded Turn 1 on the 2.5-mile oval lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the 91st Indy 500 will rev up Memorial Day weekend.

Seeing those towering grandstands and that strip of bricks kissed by some of the world's best drivers . . . Learning that an Indy car can cover the length of a football field in under a second . . . it was all, well, so much cooler than I expected.

The same goes for Indianapolis.

The city's unflattering nicknames -- Nap Town, Indiana No Place -- long kept me from making the roughly three-hour drive. In my mind, this was a sleepy, somewhat grim town populated by the likes of that unsmiling couple portrayed in Grant Wood's "American Gothic."

I could say two plus two equals five, and I'd still be less wrong than I was about Indy.

Whether your idea of a good time is sports or the symphony, the country's 12th largest city doesn't disappoint (unless you're still bitter about the Super Bowl). Here are a few reasons why:

• Live blues at the Slippery Noodle Inn, which claims to be Indiana's oldest bar.

• Miles of scenic walkway hugging the canal in White River State Park. Gondola rides from May-Sept. They even sing in Italian.

• Funky boutiques and coffeehouses in Broad Ripple.

• The world's largest children's museum, where kids can dig for fossils and $1 gets you a few spins on an antique carousel.

• Minor league baseball at the classic Victory Field.

• A highly acclaimed orchestra that's one of the few in the country to perform year-round.

• The sleek, inviting (and as of this year, free) Indianapolis Museum of Art, which includes a cool thrift shop on the manicured grounds.

I felt like ordering a big slice of humble pie as I sat on my barstool surrounded by friendly Hoosiers in the candle-lit Chatterbox Jazz Club, a shabby-chic music venue on Massachusetts Avenue.

This formerly run-down section of the city, better known as "Mass Ave," has reinvented itself as a vibrant cultural corridor filled with theaters, galleries, restaurants and outdoor public art.

Mass Ave is walkable from downtown's impressive Monument Circle, where you'll find Indy's swankiest hotels, such as the Conrad and the Canterbury.

The city's most unusual digs are a few blocks away in Union Station, home of the massive Crowne Plaza Hotel. Twenty-six of the rooms are tastefully refurbished Pullman train cars from the 1920s. These Pullmans no longer ride the rails, but the station is still in use -- something I was reminded of as my bed gently jiggled like Jello when trains rumbled by.

Indianapolis' downtown dining scene leans heavily towards the chain gang: think Hard Rock Cafe and Hooters. An exception is St. Elmo Steak House, where carnivores have been feasting on 14-ounce filets since 1902. (These days, that cut of meat will set you back $42.95.)

I figured there was no way St. Elmo could live up to its considerable hype, and I was in for another ancient eatery coasting on its reputation. But my steak-and-martini-combo could have easily held its own against Chicago's finest chop houses. My eyes still water when I think of St. Elmo's signature dish: shrimp cocktail with a sauce fiery enough to clear the stuffiest of sinuses.

Once again, Indy happily proved me wrong.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #2
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Aw, that is such an effin awesome article! Now i can rub it into everyone's faces who still think Indy aint all that great! ;-P
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #3
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Don't forget the pictures that go with the article!


"The Central Canal, a restored waterway, provides recreation in the heart of the city."


"Indianapolis is more than just a raceway."

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobyhead View Post
I figured there was no way St. Elmo could live up to its considerable hype, and I was in for another ancient eatery coasting on its reputation.
I know St. Elmo's is one of the few downtown restaurants that we can point to as our own, but I think St. Elmo's is "coasting on reputation" a bit. The shrimp cocktail really IS amazing, but other than that you can get better steaks at other restaurants (Ruth's Chris anyone?).
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #4
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Shoot I need to check out the railroad car hotel rooms.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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The last time I made it to Indianapolis, I was amazed by the changes.

It has truly become an impressive and vibrant city. Can't wait for that high-speed-rail to Chicago.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #6
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Indianapolis has changed alot, when I was little, downtown was sorta going through the stages of its revival, now very vibrant, and I adore it, with a bright future ahead, in the next ten years, I think that all those parking lots will be filled up.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #7
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A seldom-mentioned feature of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the museum. The racing memorabilia -- cars, trophies, etc -- collection is world-class, but there's more than racing. Anyone who likes the classic automobiles of the twenties is sure to be impressed by the displays there. The cars are beautiful and impeccably restored, and kept clean and shining in a setting that really shows off their magnificence. The museum is big and bright and kept up-to-date and easy to spend a couple of hours in.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #8
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I have to agree on St. Elmo's. The shrimp cocktail is great and so is the atmosophere, but the steaks are nothing special.

The whole Circle Centre area is chain hell for dining. I'd ditch that and head over to Mass Ave and the likes of Elements for some good, local restaurants.

Not to criticize such positive press too much, but it seems like all these guys didn't even actually visit, but just wrote the article based on the CVB press kit. They always visit the same handful of places, the Chatterbox, the Slippery Noodle, etc. I guess it is the nature of such articles.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #9
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Angry

That's JUST what i LOVE about us Indy folks. We bitch about everything EVEN when we are getting complimented! Seriously dude i appreciate your honesty but keep it to yourself. But yes nice AND accurate article!
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Old May 11th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiexInxIndy View Post
That's JUST what i LOVE about us Indy folks. We bitch about everything EVEN when we are getting complimented! Seriously dude i appreciate your honesty but keep it to yourself. But yes nice AND accurate article!
wow, IndiexInxIndy being angry? Who knew?
(But I sorta agree)
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Last edited by Unionstation13; May 11th, 2007 at 05:32 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arenn View Post
Not to criticize such positive press too much, but it seems like all these guys didn't even actually visit, but just wrote the article based on the CVB press kit. They always visit the same handful of places, the Chatterbox, the Slippery Noodle, etc. I guess it is the nature of such articles.
I agree. Ever notice how those visitors who are impressed with Indy always seem to throw in that "I thought Indy was a cornfield" remark at some point?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:47 PM   #12
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Wink Your SO Rad UnionStation!

Just thought i'd tell ya that! AND im glad ya agree with me.

Not to have my head in the gutter or anything BUT... i now have "69" posts! LOL
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:27 PM   #13
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People need to look at a map before making bullshit remarks about how "Indy is a cornfield."

Why would there be TWO major league franchises in a sleepy little cowtown?

Why would FOUR interstate highways converge in a little hick town?

Intra-regional elitism is alive and well it seems.

Indy is doing just fine and Chicagoans can have their haughty attitudes and delusions of grandeur all they want. Indy will keep on rollin'.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
People need to look at a map before making bullshit remarks about how "Indy is a cornfield."

Why would there be TWO major league franchises in a sleepy little cowtown?

Why would FOUR interstate highways converge in a little hick town?

Intra-regional elitism is alive and well it seems.

Indy is doing just fine and Chicagoans can have their haughty attitudes and delusions of grandeur all they want. Indy will keep on rollin'.
People from the coasts think the same thing about KC. It's hilarious. They'd probably crap their pants if they were dropped in the middle of the Plaza and found out they were in KC.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmetro View Post
People from the coasts think the same thing about KC. It's hilarious. They'd probably crap their pants if they were dropped in the middle of the Plaza and found out they were in KC.
**** them. The Midwest metros keep on growing and prospering.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 03:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmetro View Post
People from the coasts think the same thing about KC. It's hilarious. They'd probably crap their pants if they were dropped in the middle of the Plaza and found out they were in KC.

People would probably think they were in a coastal city if they were dropped in fountian square Cincy, or Monument circle in Indy, ya know.
We are a beautiful region, with an amazing history,
just cuz there isnt an ocean, doesent mean it isnt amazing.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
People need to look at a map before making bullshit remarks about how "Indy is a cornfield."

Why would there be TWO major league franchises in a sleepy little cowtown?

Why would FOUR interstate highways converge in a little hick town?

Intra-regional elitism is alive and well it seems.

Indy is doing just fine and Chicagoans can have their haughty attitudes and delusions of grandeur all they want. Indy will keep on rollin'.
Well, it looks like defensive hometown boosterism is alive and well. Last time I checked, Indy was all of those - major league teams, cornfields and all. We should embrace all of what we are - a flat city surrounded by industrial farms, with interstate highways. Stop rejecting what is clearly all around us.

I wonder if this has to do with how one comes into the city if one is not from here- for example, I have always lived (until now) south and west of Indy - which means I have always approached Indy through the airport, industrial and low-grade commercial areas (via I70, SRs 67 and 37). If I lived in Anderson, Kokomo, or even east of the city, maybe my overall perspective of the city would be different? Now I live in Zionsville, and my view of the city is quite different - I always approach it from the North, which means I get a much better feel for the residential sections of the city, and I get to drive by Eagle Creek Park regularly. Any thoughts?
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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjfjapan View Post
Well, it looks like defensive hometown boosterism is alive and well. Last time I checked, Indy was all of those - major league teams, cornfields and all. We should embrace all of what we are - a flat city surrounded by industrial farms, with interstate highways. Stop rejecting what is clearly all around us.

I wonder if this has to do with how one comes into the city if one is not from here- for example, I have always lived (until now) south and west of Indy - which means I have always approached Indy through the airport, industrial and low-grade commercial areas (via I70, SRs 67 and 37). If I lived in Anderson, Kokomo, or even east of the city, maybe my overall perspective of the city would be different? Now I live in Zionsville, and my view of the city is quite different - I always approach it from the North, which means I get a much better feel for the residential sections of the city, and I get to drive by Eagle Creek Park regularly. Any thoughts?

in central Indianapolis, its hard to belive you are in Indiana(architecture, culture, urban feel) etc.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #19
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I Dont Think COASTAL City Is The Right Description...

Quote:
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People would probably think they were in a coastal city if they were dropped in fountian square Cincy, or Monument circle in Indy, ya know.
We are a beautiful region, with an amazing history,
just cuz there isnt an ocean, doesent mean it isnt amazing.
I would say EUROPEAN city is more accurate. Like London, Paris or w/e.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I would say EUROPEAN city is more accurate. Like London, Paris or w/e.
depends, maybe somewhere like London, but paris would have more mansard roofs, etc, as monument circle, only has one second empire style building, but the cathedral adds. The other buildings are more early 20th century(except the theater and newspaper building) so it would probably if it resembled any European city, London maybe.
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