What to do in Indianapolis?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jerry Almeida, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Real Name:
    Jerry Almeida
    I'll be in Indianapolis for a few days this month and I'm wondering if anyone can offer up any suggestions on things to do. I'll be in the downtown area.

    Thanks
     
  2. kurtZoom

    kurtZoom Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you are in the least interested in motor sports...go to the museum at the race track. They have an incredible display. They are starting prep for the 500 so a ride around the track is probably out...but the museum is still cool.
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,380
    Likes Received:
    268
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Check out Rockville Road, former home of the SelectaVision VideoDisc manufacturing plant!
     
  4. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2000
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you can, for lunch or dinner one day run over to Shapiro's:

    http://www.shapiros.com/

    good corned beef. (they have a location downtown if memory serves). If you're looking for a really good steakhouse, I hear St. Elmos is the place to go. I haven't gotten out to the Speedway yet, but the next time I go its tops on my list.
     
  5. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 1999
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jerry,
    When I'm back in the town I was born in, I like to visit Stout's Shoe Store. It's just like it used to be, only the shoes have changed. It is unique.
    Here's part of an article fom the Indianapolis Star {2003} that descibes it better than I could.

    INDIANAPOLIS - Stout's Shoes is the kind of place where people say they got their first pair of shoes - even if they didn't.

    Where old polish is stacked in slots on the wall. Where feet still are measured by salespeople. Where the walls down in the basement are crafted out of worn shipping boxes.

    And on a day bustling with shoppers, it's where the Baldwin Flyer still shines.

    "On a busy day, all you hear is the swish-swish-swish-swish of the baskets going up and down," says Brad Stout, co-owner of the 117-year-old store on Massachusetts Avenue. "It is a lot of fun to get them going back and forth."

    Stout's Shoes this year marks 75 years of the pulley and crank system, called the Baldwin Flyer, that became outdated at least 50 years ago and is virtually extinct today. It's also a little twist of history that lures people back to the store.

    For the unfamiliar, it works like this: A clerk takes a customer's shoes to the counter. They are loaded into a basket with a worn leather cash box and pulled up a wire to a mezzanine where an employee, often Stout, checks for mates, makes change and wraps the box in brown paper, then shoots it back down.
     
  6. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Real Name:
    Jerry Almeida


    So what's there now, other than a road? [​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They have a great drivein movie theater we went to on our way through last year
    Drive in info
    Support Drive-Ins!
     
  8. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jerry,

    First of all, feel free to PM if you want to give me a call. I live downtown and could help out on whatever "what the hell now" questions that come up when you hit town.


    You will have to dry (or get a taxi) if you want to check out the 500, but it's worth it if you haven't been out there ever. The museum is decent and they will also take you for a lap (albeit very slow) around the track on a tour bus. It's a giant track and is more than you would expect it to be just before you get there.


    Staying purely downtown, hit the canal if the whether is good. This is on the west side of downtown proper, the 1 mile square block. It is part of what is called White River Park now, and there is lots of stuff based off of it.

    Take a walk for relaxation, it goes about a mile north. If you go most of the way north you could stop and see the small momument put up to the USS Indianapolis (the one that carried the bomb, was torpedoed, and then had guys eaten by sharks waiting to be rescued).

    The shorter west branch (using the white limestone government building as the "center") goes over past the new state museum, the Eiteljorg American Indian musuem, and then past the new NCAA HQ's and NCAA Hall of Champions museum. All are very worth checking out, depending on your taste I suppose.

    The NCAA museum gets good reviews especially from everyone who checks it out. Of course for movie people, the IMAX inside the State Museum is a good choice. There is a beautiful momument to Medal of Honor winners across the canal from the State Museum, though vandals just hit it and broke 2 of the glass sections. Not sure if it will be replaced before you get here. They already sanded off most of the grafitti (people were not happy about that situation). Also on the canal side of the St. Mus. is the steam clock which belts out "Back Home Again in Indiana" every half hour or so. The whole area is a great place to have a sandwich or get that daily job/walk in.

    If you keep on going and take the bridge across White River you hit the Zoo and the Garden thing. You can just walk around them or pay and check either out. The Zoo is pretty nice, the Garden you can check out from outside first, maybe just have brunch in their cafe with a great view of downtown. In my opinion the best view of the city is from that side.

    You could even rent a paddle boat to cruise around the canal in, at least I think they start renting them by April.

    Just off the canal is Military Park, which is just a small tree filled park, and beyond that the beautiful campus of my alma mater IUPUI. Nothing to do there, just a nice area to walk through (co-eds in skimpy clothes if the weather is right). You can also make a lap by following the park path from the White River bridge/park area up along the river to NY Street and then come back on NY toward town. About a mile lap total, very peaceful.

    BTW, the canal at least is very safe, even at night. I wouldn't let my wife walk it alone at 10 pm, just in case, but I would go with here (and have) at any time of night.

    That whole area is just past West St. You will note that the city proper is marked off by East St on the east, South on the south, North on the north, and West on the west. How clever. [​IMG] Some people get confused since these roads don't run those directions instead. But for your reference, each of those is 1/2 a mile from the center of town, the circle.

    If you are in a hotel downtown, like the Hyatt, Westin, Omni, etc, you will be in the Illinois or Capital areas, just west of Meridian. Use MERIDIAN and WASHINGTON as your reference points, which is how the city does it. Meridian splits town between east and west (including street/block numbers), Washington north and south. So West St is 1/2 mile west of Meridian, and therefore the circle, or 5 city blocks.

    Illinois and Capital are both west of Meridian already, Penn and Delware are east. Washington and Maryland are your main cross streets running east/west.


    OK, so you might also walk up to the circle, at Meridian and Market Sts (just 1/2 block north of Washington). Lots of people grab lunch and hang out there during the work week.


    You also have the downtown mall that runs along Illinois/Meridian between Maryland and Washington (roughly). The Artsgarden is the beautiful glass structure over Ill St and Wash St. There is a food court just off that, but the street has all the good restaurants (almost).

    Chammps (the chain) is right there, Buca di Beppo is just north of it, Ruth's Chris, Alcatraz, Palaminos, PF Chang all run along there. Farther south is the Ram. There is a nice Rock Bottom just east of Ill St on Washington.

    If you want something more Indy-only, then definitely spend some money (50 per plate, or more with drinks) and hit 500 race driver favorite St. Elmos's Steakhouse on south Illinois (across from the Ram). Get the shrimp cocktail. And expect a full, tight/cozy, loud environment much of the time. Still, its a place that nearly every racer has had a steak dinner at sometime in their visits. The building north of it is the Cantebury Suits, where many stars stay when they are in town.

    Another high end place that is very good is Malibu on Maryland (on Maryland, duh) which features steaks and seafood, plus soft piano and good amtmosphere. However, THE BEST seafood in town is at the OCEANAIRE (50-70 per) on Pennsylvania, just south (IIRC) of Washington. Get to Penn and Wash and take a peek to be sure. [​IMG] This place is about a year old and kicks butt.



    Definitely take a walk east of Meridian around Georgia St or Maryland to see Conseco Fieldhouse. If its a non-game day you might even get to walk around inside. Even if you can't, still walk in the main entrance area and see the ticket windows, etc, just to get a feel of the place. If you continue through to the Delware St side you will see the practice gym. If you are luck the curtains will be up and you might catch a Pacers practice. I've seen Reggie and Smits in there pre-game, and its where they hold all their normal daytime practices.


    Back to the mall, they have a movie theater in there on the Maryland St end, but I would consider it a bad theater. Too small, often noisy crowds, bad service. I live downtown and I never go there, that's how crappy it is.

    If you want a drink and a smoke with your movie, then a more unique experience would be to hit Hollywood Bar and Filmworks on Meridian around Georgia St or even a bit south of it. It's got a tiny doorway entrance and then you go up a few flights, but its worth it probably. The theaters are tunnels and the bricks reflect sound, but you will be having a beer (and I'm talking a glass of beer, not one of those paper cups - Travolta [​IMG] ). They do stop films midway to ask you if you want more food/drinks.


    Good blues, or at the least good atmosphere if there isn't a good act in that night can be found at SLIPPERY NOODLE INN. It's on the corner of South and Meridian. They often have an act in the front and the back of the place. It and St. Elmos are probably the 2 most Indy establishments you can visit. And after you have put on a good drunk you can walk across the street for White Castle, or even a bit farther down to the Red Garter for some alternate entertainment. [​IMG]

    If you want something a bit cooler at 2 AM, hit the Red Eye Cafe on Meridian, south of Maryland by a block or two. Very popular late night eating across from several popular nightclubs.


    And April will feature sporting events. The AAA Indians (Pirates) start on THR so you might check into that. The stadium is right next to the canal/White River Park, easy walking distance. $6 I think will put you in the OF lawn, a bit more for a seat. Great little park, often rated as one of the very best minor league parks in the country.

    Pacers will also be playing. April 20th is Reggie's last regular season game, though pretty soon they will probably be selling first round playoff tickets. If you are going to be in town at the end of April, definitely check into that. That would be a great memory, Reggie, playoffs, Conseco, one of his last times there. Before then even the last few regular season games are close to sell-outs, though scalping across the street is legal so you can always get in if you are willing to spend (just remember that 200 level seats are very high, 100 is good, 1-20 better, don't pay a lot for 200 level seats).



    Okay, that's the first part of my travel bureau pitch. If that doesn't keep you busy, let me know. [​IMG] Keep in mind that visiting downtown Indy is really about walking, that's why its so popular with conventions and the NCAA Final Fours (just had the women's 4 here, saw Brent Mussberger at the downtown Chammps).

    The only cool thing that you really should try to do that requires a car is the Indianampolis Motor Speedway, and its cool enough that you have to go. Just too bad its not the first of May, you'd be certain to catch some practices then. Maybe you'd could still get lucky and see some tire testing or something.
     
  9. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Exactly. My in-laws live out in Avon and I'm on Rockville all the time. Apart from the urban sprawl of Wal-Marts and Best Buys, not a lot to see now. [​IMG]

    You could take a car up to Meridian and 96th, just north of 465 (either go up Meridian through town, or 65 north to 465 north to 465 eastbound, Meridian exit) and see one of the ugliest buildings ever built in the history of ugly buildings. This is the American HQ of RCA/Thomson. Sorry, no factory there, no cool TV tours. But you can say you saw a puke green and snot yellow checkerboard building with some pasty pink trim. [​IMG]


    Also, as I mentioned to Henry, I was in Stout's the other day. Not as cool as advertised. Kinda dull. But then its a shoe store, old or otherwise.

    On the other hand, Stouts is on Mass Ave and that is another great area of downtown. Several cool restuarants and shops, running right past the Murat Temple/Theater (just saw Seinfeld play there). It's a cool area to check out, more so if you are alt. lifestyle/sexual based, but if you aren't its still cool. My wife and I love it over there.


    I also should have mentioned going up to the parks north of the circle, just a few more blocks. The War Memorial is there, a nice fountain, the funky US Fed (FBI and stuff) building, and the beautiful Scottish Rite Cathedral. The Scottish Rite is really great at dusk from the park because the setting sun comes through all the glass of the church. Quite a nice view.
     
  10. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Real Name:
    Jerry Almeida
    Thanks everyone for all the input.

    Wow Seth, talk about thorough.
    Maybe I'll let you draft Manning this year in fantasy football. [​IMG]

    I am going to send you a PM.
     

Share This Page