One of my earliest memories is of my parents instructing us to wave good-bye to our house, as the moving van slowly crawled away down a suburban Chicago-area street. A few hours later, we were at our new home in Indianapolis. I don’t remember much about that first day: my mother stating that people drove like “hicks”, eating at the Huddle, falling and needing stitches as the movers were filling the house with furniture. But here I am, 48 years later, living less than 2 miles from the house were I grew up, a place that I swore, as a teen-ager that I couldn’t wait to get as far away from as I could.
Once called Naptown, or referred to as India-NO-place, Indianapolis has changed drastically during the last few decades. No longer a cow town, it is a fair-sized city that is a nice place to live. Sure, there are things that I wish that we had: a decent public transportation system would top that list; also add: more sidewalks and easier access to fly to other parts of the country without multiple, ill-timed connections. But, it is a nice community, with sports options (if you like that sort of thing), a growing arts community, a decent cost of living, a good symphony (a year-around one, unusual in most cities), affordable housing (my home, in most other cities this size, would be out of my reach), good healthcare options, lots of restaurant choices (skip the chains, seek out the locals), several farmers’ markets, including in the winter season, with delicious, nutritious, and local food. As a progressive liberal, I often roll my eyes at the social conservatives and think our state legislature has acted crazily this year (Hello! Really? You wanted to introduce evolution into the science curriculum??? Let’s work on jobs, be tolerant of good people who just don’t hold the same beliefs as the majority, and respect civil & constitutional rights. Okay?) and our city-county council just leased all the parking meters in the city to a private firm for 50 years. (That was NOT a typo!)
A local radio station once claimed that you never had to go more than 10 miles from the city before seeing a cornfield. I think now, since the city has expanded, that’s probably about 15 miles in 1 direction, at least 25 in all others. I don’t see fertilizer & pesticide commercials aimed at soybean farmers on TV as often anymore, but agriculture is still important business in Indiana. It’s depressing as can be to drive through smaller towns throughout the state that have been devastated by the loss of manufacturing jobs, particularly in the auto industry (Kokomo, Anderson, Muncie, to name a few), a slow death over the last 25 years.
Still, this isn’t a bad place to live. I adore going to big cities like Chicago and New York. I love the multitudes of people and cultures and things to do. But I like living here.
Last week, with a bit of spare time on my hands following a lunch downtown, I decided to walk along the Central Canal. At one end is the zoo and botanical gardens, adjacent to the Indiana State Museum, the NCAA Museum, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art. At the other end of the canal is a memorial to the USS Indianapolis. Along the 3 mile loop, lies a memorial to the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, informative bits of history of the city and state, and lots of public art.
Public art: a relatively new thing in Indianapolis. I love it! Many of the murals along the canal were done as part of the 46 for XLVI project, done in conjunction with Super Bowl XLVI. Click on the link to see all of the murals. Below are some of the pictures of the Canal. The last picture, of the waterfall, is the original basis for the abstract Fantasia on A Waterfall, that I posted a few days ago.
This post is part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Today’s letter is I. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can find other A to Z participants by clicking on the graphic. You’ll find an index of all of my A to Z blog posts here.