I talked about it briefly the other day, but last week I had a chance to combine the bicycle with a historic tour of Indianapolis for a bunch of high school students. It got my wheels turning (no pun intended) on my truly favorite spots of this city, why they’re favorites, and how they’re all places that hold special memories. In no particular order….
- The Canal- I can distinctly remember walking down by the canal and White River State Park for the first time not long after I moved here in 2004 with a girl I had a crush on. It was a late September night and the city just looked flawless. So did she. It’s one of those first memories of this city really burned into my mind that highlighted the beauty of this city. It was by no means a city of a giant skyscrapers, and it seemed dwarfed by many others when compared with my worldly travels—but in that moment, I knew I was falling in love with this community. The girl on the other hand..while I remember the kiss under the bridge…I have zero idea what happened to her since.
- Monument Circle- The center of this city. Lady Victory towering overhead. The location that all things radiate out from. These days, the center of my universe as everything I’m involved with seems to be downtown. The older I get and the more entrenched I have become in the history of Indianapolis, the more I appreciate the historic value of the bricks and limestone. From first dates down there to the Super Bowl celebration, it’s been part of my life for 12 years now.
- Sun King- Through fate and luck, Jim left me a friend at Sun King that I didn’t even know I had. While I had been in there a few times in their early years, it took me sending an email in 2012 to be introduced to Heather–who of course, knew Jim….because everyone knew Jim. Since 2012, Nine13 has become part of the SKB family with yoga fundraisers and bikes in the brewery. I met Work Wife there back in 2013. I filled up many a growlers during my divorce there. I’ve dated different girls that have worked there. I’ve had a chance to get to know the many awesome people that work there. I’ve learned a ton about craft beer from the people there and have gotten to introduce a lot of others folks to that awesomeness that is SKB.
- Hilbert Theatre- First time I went to the Hilbert Circle Theatre was way back in 2005, with a girl I was dating who was doing a project for one of her classes. It was a rainy and dark Friday night and I remember walking in and just instantly falling in love with the building and its features. In the 11 years since, I’ve had a chance to see a ton of different things there, trios and orchestras play, many a cocktails consumed, and an understanding of the passion for the arts that radiate in that building. Maybe it’s because I’m so not musically talented, but, ZDP has converted me into a lover of listening to that violin.
- LOVE Sculpture- What’s there to say about this? It defines Indy in a lot of ways. It’s a well known piece of art. It’s where I proposed to the Ex. It’s something I had ridden my bike by a thousand times before they closed off access last year. The LOVE Sculpture at the IMA is one of those instantly recognizable things for anyone in the world.
- Butler University- It’s an incredible campus, and in my much younger days, we strategically planned all bike rides to finish at the coffee shop as a convenient way to meet new girls. It’s been amazing to see how it has grown over these last years. It’s been a place I’ve been able to spread my wings and realize that at some point I want to be a professor after being involved with their business school as a mentor. It’s a place that makes me want to go back and get another degree. It’s a historic slice of Indianapolis that I still drive through every chance I get, after all, how can you not love Hinkle Fieldhouse?
- 56th and Illinois- If I didn’t love my house so much, this is an area I can see living in. It’s a little slice of the old days in the middle of the city. Beautiful homes, all the little shops and vendors within a block, it’s a throwback to a previous time.
- Flatwater and the Broadripple Canal- Man, the amount of writing I have done at Flatwater over these last 3 years is astonishing, and the amount of Bloody Mary’s consumed is overwhelming. It’s been my Sunday spot for years, my hidden away bar with good beer. It’s the place where I take any weekend guest. It’s like a little slice of somewhere else on the water in the middle of this great town.
How about you? What are some of yours? What’s missing on this list?