It turns out our corporate housing outside of Indianapolis is, well, way outside of Indianapolis; but it’s been surprisingly pleasant. There’s nothing to do but take advantage of our lux accommodations (full kitchen, large bathtub, two TVs!) and all that strip malls can offer- especially a multiplex movie theater and a self-serve dogwash. The pressure is off. There’s no great art show we need to see, no wilderness to explore. Instead of unplugging and finding a deeper connection in the natural world we are loving our high-speed internet connection, Lifetime Movie Network, and Law and Order marathons. Also, we discovered the Viceland Channel. Life could be worse.
So while we’re enjoying this vacation from, um, our vacation I figured I’d write a little about the things we liked during our five month stint in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis. Literally city of Indiana. Not too many capital cities are named after their state. If they were it’d be easier to remember them. Imagine Montanapolis, Alabamapolis, or New Hampshirepolis, instead of Helena, Montgomery, or Concord (yes, I had to look all those up). It’s logical but also a little self-aggrandizing. A state must think very highly of itself to have its capital named after it.
Spend a little time in the Indiana State Museum and you start to get the sense maybe Indiana is the center of the universe. Their natural history exhibit traces the origin of our planet from the big bang to modern day in a series illustrations with Indiana identified by a bright yellow dot. When our planet was just molten liquid there’s Indiana, right in the middle. As land starts to form there’s Indiana, right in the middle. Pangea, dead center again. Land masses shift, continents form-wait a second, how’s it possible? Indianapolis-more like Centrocosmos.
But I digress. A lot. This post is about what we like in Indianapolis, not how much it loves itself. And although we’re not totally on board the Indianapolis train here’s some things we’d recommend:
Milktooth– This might be our favorite restaurant in the world (okay, maybe we are on board). It’s only open for breakfast and lunch which makes it a very reasonable dining experience. The atmosphere is casual and the food is fantastic. It’s the best of all possible world’s- an unbelievably creative high-end restaurant disguised as your favorite neighborhood coffeeshop. I can’t say enough good things about this place. Go eat there.
Indianapolis Museum of Art-I really liked their contemporary art and contemporary design exhibitions. There’s a lot to see but I’d recommend taking the time to check out the Lilly House and Gardens. Also, they have Indiana themed mini-golf in the summer. It’s fabulous. Check out hole number one-Shadow Tailed Scourge:
Fountain Square-We got a chance to live here for a month and it was probably our favorite neighborhood in Indy. Lots of bars, breweries and places to eat.
Because we were here for so long we ended up cooking most of our own meals. Luckily for us, Indianapolis has a few local markets that are real standouts. Wildwood Market in Fountain Square is a fantastic local market to pick up groceries or a sandwich for lunch. Kind of like the world’s nicest bodega. Goose the Market is an absolutely amazing butcher shop. High quality and thoughtfully sourced. They also have produce, bread, sandwiches. If you’re in Indy for a while definitely check it out. Locally Grown Gardens is a hard to define space in Broad Ripple. It’s kind of like a BBQ spot with gorgeous kitchenware, specialty ingredients, and a select menu of pies and entrees available when, well, they’re available. If that unpredictability sounds frustrating it can be-but its worth it. Keep going back.
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site-Okay, so I’m a huge history nerd and I love tours of old homes. Especially old Presidential Homes. And I have to say, this is one of the best I’ve seen. The house is beautifully maintained with a ton of original furnishings and decorations. There’s even an original document signed by Abraham Lincoln. It turns out Harrison did some amazing things in his one term. He started the National Forest system and opened Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. He established relations with Central America and fought monopolies. He was like an earlier Teddy Roosevelt without the megalomania. I knew nothing about him before our tour and now he’s one of my faves.
This is not our usual list of wall-to-wall activities. Keep in mind we came here for work, it was winter, and we spent a significant amount of time in movie theaters. And even though Indianapolis may not be the center of our universe, we definitely had some good experiences here. Thanks, Hoosiers.