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Frustropolis

Updated on January 12, 2012


Since you’re reading this, chances are you have more than a passing acquaintance with Indianapolis. Whether you reside here now, once did, or have just passed through on occasion, I’d welcome your comments/ reaction at the bottom of this piece.

Indianapolis is my hometown and I want to like it. Actually, I want to love it, but since Indianapolis doesn’t generally promote such passions, I want to at least like it. But it’s a tough sell sometimes.

* * *

When I visit other similarly-sized Midwestern cities, such as Milwaukee, Cincinnati, or St. Louis, they seem to possess an aura that Indianapolis doesn’t. They hold more of an “Old Europe” feel – perhaps a Czech, German, or Polish influence in particular, and a more pronounced multi-cultural vibe in general. Those cities feel more “layered” somehow, as if they have a deeper and more colorful history to share. This feeling holds true with other nearby cities, including Minneapolis, Kansas City, Nashville, and Louisville. Each of these cities seem to `have a much more vibrant local identity and unique feel compared to Indianapolis,

Indianapolis feels somewhat neutered ethnically and culturally by comparison and this can be most logically explained by its origin. The other cities mentioned all grew organically as a result of being located along a major commercial waterway. Conversely, Indianapolis was an artificial incarnation of the Indiana state legislature, designed to be a centrally-located capital city, and was first inhabited by Europeans ca. 1825. Consequently, Indianapolis lacks both the distinctive ethnic enclaves and mosaic-like mixture of old and new development that is experienced in other Midwestern towns .

WHAT”S GOOD HERE

In the past few decades, this city has grown up somewhat. Bike lanes have been added to major thoroughfares, the Monon Trail has been expanded, and roundabouts have appeared. “Poles” of nightlife development away from downtown and Broad Ripple have emerged and there appears to be more appreciation of, and not just tolerance for, social diversity. Traffic has gotten worse but isn’t hideous generally. One hears often that this is “a good place to raise children.”

However, the incremental changes here seem to occur despite the actions and attitudes of local leaders rather than because of them. I recall being lectured by my none-too-progressive mom when I was a child that “Indianapolis is twenty years behind the times,” a comment that has rung all too valid in many instances since.

* * *

A bright and motivated twenty-something friend bangs his head against the wall daily at his job with Indygo, the local mass transit entity. High-speed rail from the heavily populated adjacent northern counties is a long overdue option that here is often labeled as “revolutionary” or “communist” on Indianapolis Star comment boards. So my friend tells me, lamenting the limiting frustration he faces here professionally (and one assumes, personally), that he is looking into moving to Vancouver because he wants to live in a “grown up city.”

When people visit from out of town they often damn Indy with faint praise: It’s not as bad as I heard/ as I thought/ as it was the last time I was here. When Indianapolis hosted the Formula 1 US Grand Prix (2000-2007), 90 percent of the crowd came from out of town and much of it from foreign countries. This demographic provided a fertile perspective on our city.

“It’s easy to find your way around,” a woman from Monaco told me enthusiastically. One benefit of being an artificially created city is a clear geometric grid of streets. Like most things here, it’s a trade-off, both predictably boring and convenient.

An F1 fan from India told me honestly, “I wish the race was in Chicago or Vegas, but people here are friendly.” Again, a trade-off: not an overtly exciting locale, but the people are generally nice.

A friend from Houston was in for the race one year and we were traversing around I-465 toward the track when he spotted a prominent outdoor ad sign touting the local Children’s Museum as “the best in the world.”

“You know your city has an inferiority complex when it resorts to that,” he said. Admittedly, my friend is a bit of a pompous ass, but it was an interesting bigger-city perspective for me. I’ve thought similarly that far too much of Indy’s self-image results from Colts victories and hosting events such as the NCAA Final Four. Los Angeles, by contrast, lost both its NFL franchises in 1995 and hasn’t hosted an NCAA Final Four since Lyndon Johnson was president, but it has no qualms about its stature as a city.

Even within the realm of sports as civic validation, Indianapolis evinces a curious ethos. The city was indifferent to Formula 1 to the point of losing the race to Austin, Texas, even though the US Grand Prix brought in $12 million annually, along with worldwide media attention for Indianapolis. Yet for the Super Bowl (which Indy will host this February), a one-time-only event which will net the city a similar $12 million, Indy has gone whole hog, investing in “cultural trails,” rebuilding infrastructure, and trying to put some gloss on ghetto neighborhoods via youth centers and the like.

In the run-up to the Super Bowl mania, the unlikeliest development was a city initiative to rebrand a nondescript stretch of downtown, Georgia Street. The mayor introduced an online contest to rename a few blocks of bars and restaurants but the attempt raised the hackles of local historical groups and their ilk. Keep in mind, no one I know has ever even spoken about, let alone cared about, Georgia Street. After the unexpected furor, the mayor relented and Georgia Street remains as was. (IMO: Vonnegut Square has a nice ring to it and is a long overdue bone for this city to throw to its most celebrated literary figure.)

TOO BIG FOR US

Another oddity about local civic leadership is its aversion to boldness. Example A: Sheraton submitted plans to develop a 44-story hotel downtown next to Victory Field a few years ago. City fathers responded that such a structure was “too big for Indianapolis.” Ultimately, yet another forgettable 20-story hotel arose in the spot. It’s hard to envision such a response from Cleveland, Nashville, or Milwaukee.

ISN’T IT GREAT?

Yet another unsettling local characteristic which inhibits progress is the idea that mediocrity is incredibly good. Victory Field is an okay minor league baseball stadium, but some people here speak of it as if it’s a baseball Mecca. It’s not. The canal downtown at night looks okay: concrete, water, and nice purple mood lighting. However, it lacks any establishments that would add sustainable nighttime vibrancy to the area: no clubs, no restaurants, no shopping – just concrete and purple lighting. In Broad Ripple one summer evening, I heard a woman who I assumed was abusing her Xanax prescription say in gushing tones re. the scraggly, duck-infested slope that leads down to the BR Canal, “Isn’t this beautiful? It’s heaven on Earth.” Unfortunately, she wasn’t being ironic, so I asked her if she had ever been to San Antonio’s River Walk district.

“Yes,” she said, “But we could never pull that off here.” Such easily pleased, yet limited expectations keep Indianapolis from becoming something more.

We had a mayoral race here this fall, with a dullard, lumbering cronyist incumbent edging out a shrill, negative challenger. The main campaign issue between the two was who had cost the city more job losses during their tenure in local government. (Greg Ballard, the GOP incumbent lost 30,000 jobs, while Melina Kennedy, D-challenger, helped lose 15,000 as part of the previous administration.) Locally, no one mistook either one of these candidates for Socrates or Aristotle. Instead, it seems a case of the unimaginative vying to lead the undemanding.

In conclusion, Indianapolis is a good city with some pleasant attributes. It only gets frustrating when I harbor dreams of a bolder, more unique city which strives to be more than this.

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    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Agreed. Your comment got me thinking and helped spur the following. Thanks for reading.

      https://hubpages.com/sports/XLVI-The-Sweet-Super-B...

    • profile image

      Super Bowl Lou 5 years ago

      Indy has been a surprisingly good Super Bowl host! I went from "What was the NFL possibly thinking?" to "This isn't half-bad."

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Everyone from Alex in London down, thanks for the feedback: AA - I'll answer your query. Yes, I think that's possible. As the writer from Toronto said above, one gets immune to their own city's charms, it seems. But also, I think that traveling and comparing spurs Indianapolis to be more than it is and not just to "settle for" its admitted good points.

    • profile image

      Antranik Askander 5 years ago

      As a native to the city, do you perhaps feel desensitized to Indy's appeal? for example, I know several people who are originally from chicago. I went there for the first time last year and had a blast. There was soo much to do and so much more for me to do when i go back. However, those I know who are from there seem rather content with the appeal of the city. They almost seem like they have a 'been there, done that' type of opinion for the city.

    • profile image

      KSchmidt 5 years ago

      I still think Indy is a great place to raise a family.

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      Hayley Huff 5 years ago

      It seems to me that the underlying tone is that Indy doesn't offer what you're looking for, and more than anything else, you mentioned the lack of the commercial development and locale of night-life venues. There are plenty of other cities that do, and there are a couple of places in the city where this night-life is more concentrated, but existing. (A point to which I am personally grateful, but if you're looking for it, you can find it.) I think that Indy has quite enough cultural diversity and plenty of history for a city it's size, and offers a plethora of societal wants/needs (meaning the 'culture' in reference to art, music and the like). Indy has some pretty remarkable landmarks and attractions that will continue earning money and attracting tourism. The art museum, the Eiteljorg, the colleges, the NCAA headquarters, the ISO, Ben Franklin's to-do, and so on. Indy hosts more conventions than Las Vegas (and perhaps Chicago) because of the great design and forward thinking of those that put the convention center together.

      F1 didn't get the attention you were seeking, because Indy, and most cities in the US AREN'T F1 cities. They ARE football, baseball, basketball and NASCAR (*shudder*) cities. The majority of F1 races are held in Europe, and for a reason. The same would happen, reversely, if one were to hold a basketball tournament anywhere else in the world. It just wouldn't get the attention/income that it would where that attraction is more popular.

      Indy seriously lacks in the public transportation department, the obvious remodeling of the education systems, and the overall progressiveness to further improve the city. This, I believe, is due to the more red, current generation, and as long as Indy/Indiana stays a red city/state, I think the best thing we can do is to just sit, enjoy what the city has to offer and wait. Continue voting for the intelligent, and travel to see other cities to enjoy what those cities have to offer and you might find what you're looking for.

      I'm going to have to respectfully disagree that Indy doesn't offer enough, but that it definitely has room for improvement. It is an American city, and I think a fine example of one at that. People go to different cities for different things. If one city was just like every other city in every major way, people wouldn't travel or need to travel. I could be wrong :)

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      Alex G 5 years ago

      You pretty much summed up all of my thoughts on Indianapolis in this one article. Unfortunately that is why I have made a clean break with the city and will not be moving back there at any point. I just don't see any opportunities there and that deficiency is not being made up for by any other amenities.

      What makes that so unfortunate is that the size of Indianapolis is more my style (probably because I grew up there). I'm loving London, but it is frankly just too big and too crowded for me to stay here for more than a few years. It seems more likely that in the future I will end up in a San Francisco/Boston/D.C. type city, which are not quite as big but have a lot of opportunity, both career and otherwise.

      If you want a brief article to read that I think hits the nail on the head in regard to the entire state and recent policy, this one is pretty good: http://www.indianaeconomicdigest.net/main.asp?Sect...

      Anyway, really enjoyed your piece.

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      Dana Awad 5 years ago

      Very nice article :) I grew up in Cairo and visited a lot of the big cities in the USA like Chicago, Boston, LA, San Diego, and SF! There is definitely a lot more culture in these cities but I love Indianapolis and would not go live anywhere else :) it's definitely boring sometimes but u just get used to it!

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Hobbsie: I visit Bloomington fairly often....well, if three times a year is fairly often. I like it there and would love to hang out with you/ yours and discover somewhere or something new.

      PS - When a new major raod takes me to a new strip mall that, fifteen months ago was a soybean field, and notice cash checking, dollar store, alcohol and ribs, I think "Those other people are right - this is Nirvana." :)

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      Hobbsie 5 years ago

      I share your sentiment. My solution was allowing my college town of Bloomington to adopt me. I traded professional opportunities for community. Indy feels so stark when I go back. "Oh look this major road has taken me to another strip mall for cash checking, tobacco, alcohol, and ribs." I never felt a sense of civic pride there. Although Indy does have its Jewels. There was a coffee shop on Lockerbie that made a 10 minute Chai tea that hugged me from within. And Vonnegut alone gives the city weight forever.

      B-town isn't perfect. It took our major several months to put an end to the occupy turned homeless tent village that destroyed a park with inches of human excrement with no accomplishments worthy of its own blog. And our auditor thinks it fine to use her county cards for public use.

      But we have layered community rich in culture and music where your pizza delivery guy may very well have a masters. The city built my Leed certified home. We have the b-line trail, a bustling farmers market, a 90 acre Eco plex of sustainability and a huge park in development. All these are within my walking distance.

      I do bare witness to a flow of unthinking bodies passing our home in oversized hoodies making there way up the hill for polar pop and cigs, dragging their toddlers by arms. They thoughtfully leave garbage so I know they were there if I happen to miss them. It's a small price.

      Come visit anytime!

      L

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Q: "Don't I know you?"

      A: "You used to."...courtesy, "Fandango," 1984....:)

      Thanks for the compliment and for reading, Kat.

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      Kathleen Sparks 5 years ago

      "Indianapolis reflects a middle-class ethos in the deepest, most pretentious sense: 'clean up because important company is coming over.'" I would say that's dead on. Great article, too, btw.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Scrolled down and watched the video. Too much! 2020 will truly be our time to shine. Thanks, JL.

    • profile image

      Justin Leffler 5 years ago

      First of all...

      HA! HA! HAHAHA!

      And secondly...

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/indianapolis-anno... you must scroll down and watch the videod!

      And finally...

      HA!

    • profile image

      Kevin Schmidt 5 years ago

      I love Indy, grew up there, and will be coming back. I'm headed to California for two years after spending the last two in DC. I'm coming back for one reason, to raise a family. Cost of living is another huge factor. For $500,000 I can buy a huge house on Gueist and in DC or California that gets me a shithole condo with no yard.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      You may be my hero. Without the supporting anecdotes, you wrote my piece in a paragraph. It's a good point - thanks for reading and writing.

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      Backlash Bill 5 years ago

      The entire mindset of Indianapolis is evidenced by the run-up to this year's Super Bowl: Many things that should have happened long-ago are now happening in a transparent "Potemkin Village" attempt and many other things that are probably needless are being rushed into with reckless abandon. The city would never just do these things because they were needed or worthwhile, but only because they (the city, its officials. it reputation0 will be "judged" by "important outsiders," whether that by the national media, NFL, tourists. Indianapolis reflects a middle-class ethos in the deepest, most pretentious sense: "clean up because important company is coming over." It doesn't think it's important enough by itself to just "clean up for its own whims or needs."

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      WindyCityDude: Thanks man! I appreciate the kudos for the city and for the article. When you come back, I suggest you hit Fountain Square and/or Broad Ripple to see what you think. Meanwhile, I'll look forward to my next visit to Chicago.

    • chicagoguy profile image

      Raj Lally Batala 6 years ago from Chicago ,USA

      my brother lives in Indianapolis ,, i been to that city many times ...loved the downtown !!

      good article !! thanks

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      MCL: Amen, Brother. When I mention the same sentiment re. an NHL franchise, I get the same, "This town can't support three professional sports franchises" negativity. Why not - because you say it can't? Nashville, Columbus, St. Louis...Tampa Bay have NHL but here we sit with some ridiculous bush-minor league operation playing at the Fairgrounds. If the Devil Rays became the 'Indianapolis 500,' right on...but remember, "Victory Field is an amazing park"...not quite. Thanks for reading and commenting, and more importantly, for spreading a bigger-city mentality here. PS- One of my least favorite local figures is/was Jeff Smulians, who took his Indy made mega-millions and bought the Seattle Mariners instead of bringing Indy a team. He too said we were too 'small' to support major league baseball yet had no compunction about taking millions out of the city via media outlets he owned. Huge turd who, by the way, ran the Mariners into the ground and then sold them.

    • MCL profile image

      MCL 6 years ago from Indiana

      Great Hub! After a 39 years in Chicago and a 10 month stint in Florida, I moved to Indy. This article totally sums up my feelings about the small town mentality that folks here have. This is considered the 14th largest city in the US and when I mention to the fellas at work that Indianapolis should have a major league baseball team I always get the response that Cincinnati will never go for it. Or St Louis will never go for it. I know there are territorial obligations but damn if a team like the RAYS would want to relocate here and rename themselves THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 than there should be no issues. The Nationals and the Orioles are 60 miles apart and co exist just fine.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      I was out Saturday and saw a lot of fans from Michigan State and Wisconsin and they seemed to like it, but I obviously appreciate your point. It's come a 'ways' as a city, I just hate to see it get satisfied and think, "This is it." PS- I like Milwaukee a lot.

    • profile image

      bigtentourist 6 years ago

      I'm here for the Big 10 championship fball game - from Madison. Indy has sort of a dull, corporate veneer to it. It lacks, as you indicate, a flavor to distinguish it. I was this game was in Chicago or Milwaukee.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      We need you! Thanks for reading and do hope you come here and decide for yourself. We're completely flat in terms of terrain, but there is some good canoeing within an hour in several directions. The ethnic flare: awesome. Thanks for reading and commenting. Indy has its "ups" - just many of us here apparently are dreaming of more. Hope we can make it happen. KM

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 6 years ago from USA

      Well after reading this article I'm not sure I want to come see this place, and I love to travel. I'm a big nature girl so if there are places to hike, bike, canoe and sit at a large body of water and write, I can more than make due. I am a big fan of diversity and ethnic blending. But I am also a fan of predictablility. I like to know what's around the corner. So maybe I will pay your town a visit one of these days. I will definately add some ethic flare to it. LOL Smile!

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Toro & Krosch: Thanks for reading and sharing your perspective. You both struck a chord. First, I LOVE Toronto...the ethnic sections especially, but just in general, dining there, strolling around downtown by the lake....yep, I get your point; 'old hat' to you but I'd drive all - and have - just to get there. KR: Gen Con is awesome! It's the center-piece of my 16-year-old daughter's year. She's deep into anime and does the whole trip @ Gen Con. I'm glad you come here for it and hope you get to venture out (maybe out of downtown) even next year. Thanks for the compliment, the perspective, and to both of you for commenting. KM

    • krosch profile image

      krosch 6 years ago

      I haven't seen a large amount of the city but I do enjoy the trip every year there that I take to attend the Gen Con Game Convention. One of these years I plan to branch out much further into the city than the 10 blocks or so around the convention center. It does seem like an interesting place with a number of attractions from what I have seen in various fliers at the convention site.

      Anyway the hub was well written and thanks for posting it.

    • torosteelbuilding profile image

      torosteelbuilding 6 years ago from Ontario

      Personally I've never been to Indy but I feel that visitors would have some good highlights to point out. When you've lived in a town for a while I feel everything starts to become comfortable and you stop to recognize the unique points of your city that other people admire since for you they've become the norm.

      I feel the same way about Toronto but when other people come to visit they love it.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      GGT: Thanks for sharing your perspective. You're right: it's all in the eye of the beholder and lest I sound too negative, there are obviously things about this place I like. I'd just like to us "carve our own path" a little more. We don't have to emulate San Antonio or anywhere else, but push for more in the arts, neighborhood revitalization, honor people like Vonnegut more, etc. Thanks for reading/ KM

    • GoGreenTips profile image

      Greg Johnson 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Liked your hub, and glad to meet a fellow Indianapolis resident!

      I'm originally from Buffalo, NY have traveled and lived extensively throughout the US and world and your right Indy lacks some well pizaz. Like the canal, no restaurants etc., but you know I like it that way. I live downtown Indy, go for a walk around the canal daily, nearly and just enjoy the serenity. Frankly this world has become so commercial it's nice to go someplace without all the commercialism.

      Been to San Antonio river-walk and that is what distinguishes our canal. The San Antonio river-walk is a bunch of restaurants, malls and shops. Nice to get away from.

      Everything you said about Indy is why I settled here after twenty some years of moving and travelling.

    • c1234rystal profile image

      c1234rystal 6 years ago

      My hometown is a lot like this. I'm sure it's worse though since it's just a suburb that's not around a city... It's not even rural, which I think would somehow be more exciting. People get all in a tizzy about mediocre events and projects around town. That's why I left and never plan on living there again.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      You captured the entire syndrome here: it's a "pretty clean" city and the murder is "lower than Pittsburgh's" and [I"m guilty of this one], there's more ethnic cuisine/ decent jazz/ fill in the blank, etc. etc. than there was fifteen years ago... And this is the ideal place to spawn life? Safety (to a degree) is certainly valued, but not mediocrity; runny shit is not apple butter. Perhaps I said this previously, but a third party mayoral candidate could have so readily captured a substantial vote total by just showing a commercial of Portland, Austin, Seattle, or some other more progressive city and saying, "We can learn from these places but still run w/ it in a unique way that works for us. We miss tapping into so much creative talent here, so let's run with it, before more of said talent gets frustrated/ desperate and relocates." I would have been inspired to actually work for such a campaign.

    • profile image

      Allison Hazel 6 years ago

      As comedian Bill Hicks said of New Kids on the Block: "'Oh, Bill, leave them alone. They're so good, and so clean-cut, and they're such a good image for the children.' Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children listening to people who fucking rocked!"

      I'm not breeding, but if I did, I don't think I'd choose to raise them in a "comfortable", "easily-navigable" city of which the most popular praise is "it's not that bad". How is that "a good place to raise children"?

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Briji: Thanks - honestly it's great just having a conversation w/ you, albeit this way. Your perspective enlightens. When/ if you do return, we have to marvel at the wonder that is the Broad Ripple Canal together. Thanks for reading/ commenting.

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      Brijin HALES 6 years ago

      "Indianapolis is my hometown and I want to like it."

      I always tell my students: good readers predict. So when I saw where you were going, I made a list in my own head: Monon Trail, Broadripple in general, Burritos As Big As Your Head in particular, big-city amenities minus big-city traffic, the Children's Museum, top 20 sports market for obsessed b-ball/football/racing fans in armchairs, and an incredible albeit incomplete list of native Hoosiers including Sir Vonnegut/James Whitcomb Riley/M.J. + all Jacksons/Mellencamp/Cole Porter/Crystal Gayle/Axl Rose/David Lee Roth/James Dean/Amelia Earhart/Chuckie Taylor/Larry/Letterman/Shelley Long/Brendan Fraser/Greg Kinnear/Steve McQueen/Johnny Appleseed, and Orville Damn Redenbacher.

      You hit almost everything. I loved your article and learned from it. And you also bingoed that everybody associated w/ Indiana is going to have something and then some more things to say, & after living outside the U.S. for 11 years now, I tend to see and say what is good about the homestate. I subscribe to the cliché--I do think it was a good place to grow up. Mostly for solidity's sake. It's not pretentious and doesn't pretend to be. Indiana and its residents are real. Every third billboard does not advertise plastic surgery. I for one love corn. Yes, it's frighteningly Christian and conservative and sports obsessed and average and boring, but the Midwest is the Midwest is the Midwest, if I may twist the Stein. If you want progressive, yes, move your ass to Portland. Not to mention that living in Indiana has the decided advantage of making you feel really original and progressive when you may in fact be only moderately so.

      But I hate any cities for longer than a short visit--even really great ones like grown-up Vancouver or our nearby Windy one. I spent only those four F.C. years in Indycity and thought then that its only charm was in being so uncool that it began to border cool somehow. And I agree w/ the Xanax lady--the circle city is never going to pull off any kind of real big city guise. When a California friend came in once, he kept repeating "In...dianapolis," pausing w/ seriously substantial silence after the In again and again every time he saw something Indianawhack. He was a bit of a pompous ass as well, but my best friend Sauder and I still stole it from him and say it ourselves to this day.

      Indiana's real gems are its small towns, the places that don't aim or aspire or attempt any other ambitious A verb. I think the layers and vibrant local identity that you seek may be in Santa Claus, Indiana. French Lick, Indiana. Pete's Candy Store in Cammack. Jug Rock in Shoals. Ivanhoe's in Upland. Turkey Run State Park. I love that my uncle goes mushroom hunting for morels and brings back bags and bags from the forest. That I grew up making mazes amid the maize and catching tadpoles with my bare hands from the creek beside my house. That surely there exists no greater tomato soil than Indiana tomato soil...

      Love Vonnegut Square. Love the whole article. Thanks Mitchell, and let me know when you finish your next piece. ***Brijin

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Jon: You twist a phrase very nicely indeed. Thanks for the input and the more detailed Indy-Cincy-Lou'ville comparison. It's extremely enlightening. Hope you're back here soon and we can visit somewhere worth visiting.

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      Mr. IndyGo 6 years ago

      Thankfully zoning overhaul is in the works and getting off the ground. MT-- that's a can of worms...

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Incrementally (and occasionally, exponentially), I have seen huge changes around here. It does get frustrating, agreed. Intelligent zoning/ usage/ mass transit will come in smaller doses/ slower doses than desired, but it will happen. Keep lobbing ideas at 'em. You have good ones and know how M-T should evolve, be funded. In a city where Erika D. Smith is a "communist" according to Star message boards, it's an upstream swim. Let's get some people and drink. (Hubpages will browbeat me for that, but I still like 'em...they're a San francisco co. you know! Used to be so "First Amendment"....

    • profile image

      Mr. IndyGo 6 years ago

      Yea, I feel guilty thinking it, but every place has a unique set of factors that make it "what it is" (nudge). Lots of things can change, but getting people get their heads out of their asses and care about other people is a tall order. If we as Indy residents are generally anesthetized to how sucky it is, hope is minimal. (btw, I never used to be so pessimistic. Drinking and age, I guess)

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Mr. IndyGo: I like the cut of your jib: Vonnegut Sq. would have rocked! (Ga. St.? Who cares?) Melina bit the dust...having said that, if everyone who is frustrated beats it, "they" win...but I don't hold us accountable for wanting/ deserving more and perhaps moving on to get it.

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      Mr. IndyGo 6 years ago

      Right on for Vonnegut Square, Keith! Your mom was saying it 30+ years ago; I'm pessimistic that anything will change in time for me to enjoy it. Uninspiring and uninspired on the whole. No commercial waterway, no geographic limitations to the sprawl, people that are too nice to say what needs to be said, cul-de-sacs and parking lots, no regard for community or desire to improve-- thoughtless consumption of food, land, gasoline, and housewares.

    • keithmitchell5 profile image
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      keithmitchell5 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      David; I'm staying too - @ least for time being. It sure beats The Rez. Everyone: thanks for your comments. Sometimes I wonder if the people who "settle for mediocrity" here have visited other places. I would have loved it if MKennedy had shown commercials of say, Portland, OR or Minneapolis or somewhere, showing progressive aspects and saying, "This could be us."

    • profile image

      David 6 years ago

      Lived in New York, Detroit, and Chicago. Settled in Indy. I have to say that there is certainly more culture in New York and Chicago, but Indy is a good place to live and work. We need more ethnic restaurants, less political garbage and a new quarterback, but I am staying.

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      Indy Shmindy 6 years ago

      All good points. I think the likely winner for the renaming of Georgia Street would have been Peyton's awesome street or victory lane. So, the end result probably would have made us look worse if they went by the voting. Your friend's observation of being desperate would fit.

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      Angie Jones 6 years ago

      Overheard at work yesterday...PS to Customer: Indianapolis is one of the top 10 places to live in the country!! Sorry Mr. Douche, that would actually be Fishers and I can't figure that out either...Indianapolis IS a good place to have kids, the people are relatively nice (w/some notable exceptions) and the traffic is decent...uninspiring compliments for sure. BTW...the canal is pretty with all that blue lighting. Just don't swim in it...unless you're Pat McAfee.

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      Frank Baden 6 years ago

      Right before a lack of jobs in Indy defeated me and forced me to move away, I was perusing a book on a shelf in a 5th grade class where I was subbing called "Indy: Then and Now." I was horrified at all the historical architecture demolished, and even more so by the nondescript excuses for buildings that replaced it. That was the nail in the coffin for me.

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      Annie Plahitko 6 years ago

      I think you nailed it with our acceptance of mediocrity, and our inability to think we can make big dreams come true about anything other than the Colts. And the mayoral race was so negative that my kids were scared for me to vote for either of them. "They raised crime, mommy." Frustrating pretty much sums it up for me.