May 28 – 30th 2017
How We Got There
Yuri was kind enough to drive us. Indianapolis is just under two hours away from Cincinnati, OH where I was to celebrate my cousins wedding.
How We Got Around
The public transportation system in Indianapolis is essentially nonexistent. Luckily, our hotel was in a perfect location and we only needed to drive to a few places. We mostly walked around. If you are visiting Indianapolis I would highly recommend staying downtown because it is very walkable and most things that are worth seeing are located pretty close to each other.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Courtyard located near the Capitol building. There are about a dozen Marriott hotels in town, but due to the Indy 500 race being the same weekend as our trip our choices were limited.
What We Did
We arrived in the late afternoon on Saturday to an ominous sky. Since pretty much everything worth seeing closes at 5PM we decided to check out the Indiana War Memorial after checking into our hotel. This was a stunning structure that paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in America’s many wars with a special emphasis on the impact and toll of Hoosiers. Afterwards we went to the canal and rented a paddleboat. We made it to one end of the canal when all of a sudden lightning, thunder, and pouring rain drenched us. We paddled for dear life and made it back to the rental office soaking wet. After a change of clothes and some lounging around while the rain calmed down we went to have dinner at the Spoke and Steele restaurant. I say this without a hint of hyperbole that this was one of the best meals of my life.
The next day, which was Memorial Day, we started off the day by trying to see the state capitol but sadly it was closed for the day. Instead we visited the Indiana History Museum. Afterwards we met up with real life people from Indianapolis for lunch. We planned to go to the Eagle, but that restaurant along with essentially every other one on Massachusetts ave. decided to close for the holiday. Instead we went to Thaitanium. We had a great conversation which I look forward to writing about soon. It was wonderful to meet real people and I look forward to doing more of this as I continue through this project. After lunch we went to the Etiljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and then checked out Holiday Park per our new friends recommendation. For dinner, we wanted to try a local pizza shop but it ended up being closed as well so we went to Giordano’s instead and had a delicious and filling Chicago style pie.
For our last full day, we slept in a bit and then spent the majority of the day at the massive Indianapolis Museum of Art. Afterwards we finally got a chance to see the inside of the state capitol and finally got a chance to try out the Eagle for dinner. The next day I got on a 6AM train to Chicago and spent most of the day working in the city while waiting for my flight home to San Francisco.
What Was the Fuss
Indianapolis is a huge city that is undergoing a boom. Everywhere you look there is new construction and I imagine that returning here in a few years will be a much different experience. There is a lot of culture, art, beautiful parks, amazing food, and wonderful people. Indiana has always been at the crossroads of America and there are influences of various cultures throughout the city. Modern Indianapolis is certainly worth experiencing, but learning about its history is also quite interesting. There are a ton of writers, actors, scientists, and other notable people that have come from the Hoosier state. As the city continues to transform itself it will continue to be an important part of the midwest for many years to come.