Out and about in the Circle City

Is it possible to get cabin fever after one day?

It sure felt like it after Saturday, when I never left the confines of home, thanks in most part to the first Saturday of the college football season. After watching America’s favorite sport all day, including the beginning of the Bryan Harsin era at Arkansas State (62 -11 over Arkansas-Pine Bluff!) I had to get out of the house Sunday afternoon. Even though I’ve been in Indianapolis for a little more than two weeks, I haven’t spent too much time downtown, save for some trips to the library and the Front Page bar and grill across Pennsylvania RD from the Indianapolis Star.

I drove down by the capitol building and after finding a parking spot (free parking on the weekends, that alone is enough reason to want to live here I believe) and getting a bite to eat at Steak n Shake, I went exploring. This is what I stumbled upon.

Indianapolis is called the “Circle City” primarily because of Monument Circle located in downtown. The monument in question in the circle is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument, a tribute to Indiana citizens who were veterans of the Revolutionary War, territorial wars, the US Civil War and the Spanish-American War. All of these wars are represented in one monument.  The monument happens to be a prime location for taking wedding party photos.

Yes, Carol, can you move to the left a bit, you're blocking the death count.

Yes, Carol, can you move to the left a bit, you’re blocking the death count.

Yes, a monument built to honor the hundreds or thousands of men killed in battle is also where the groom and bride want their first day of bliss to be documented. The monument itself is beautiful, though worn down by age and weather (it was completed in 1901), it’s a center piece of the city.

However, a part of me can’t help but be perturbed by the sight of a wedding celebration taking place on its steps. It’s not the most famous of monuments, but where will it end? Can you imagine a couple taking their engagement photos at the Vietnam Memorial.

“Bill, if we hurry we can book the Vietnam Memorial for next Tuesday! I heard the Petersons are circling it like hawks!”

 

Fountain

I’ve done just about everything I could possibly do to settle in to a new city. I’ve found a place to live, to get groceries, I’ve found multiple places to buy books, used music and movies, I’ve chosen about three movie theaters to frequent and I got a brand new library card.  All that remains is to find a comic book store where I can pick up the latest issue of “Smallville: Season 11.” Though, despite the dire looking exterior, the internet tells me this Downtown Comics is still open. I’ll have to pay another visit to make sure.

I can only hope it turns into a geek themed rave club at night.

I can only hope it turns into a geek themed rave club at night.

 

There are a lot of sports in Indianapolis: the Colts, the Pacers, the Fever (WNBA), the Indians (Triple AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and much more. Because of this, there is plenty of sports related places in downtown. Including this:

Behold, the largest schedule known sports schedule known to man (a fact made up by me).  This is pretty genius. Located right next to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, this monstrosity guarantees even the blindest Pacers fan will never have to look far to remind themselves what game they’re about to watch.

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Not far from there, on the other side of the street near Hooters is a statue honoring famous college basketball coach John Wooden. Up until this weekend, I was unaware Wooden had a connection to Indiana. I just knew him as the coach who led UCLA to 10 championships in 12 years. Now I know he was a native of Hall, Indiana and that this statue exists:

 

Wooden

Not much else to say.

 

If you don’t know me that well, and if you in Indiana, you don’t, then I should tell you that before I decide to sell my soul to the world of journalism, I was really into theatre and even majored in it until my sophomore year. I still have a soft spot for acting and theatre and there’s at least two places where I can satisfy my artistic itch at here in Indy, including the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

 

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There’s one play I’m already curious to see just by seeing its name on the a poster out front. Written by Aaron Posner,  it’s called “Kurt Vonnegut’s Who am I this Time? (& other conundrums of Love).” As a hopeless ful romantic, this title instantly made me curious to find out what it’s about.  It won’t be in town until January, but I already know what I’ll giving myself for my 23rd birthday.

 

 

It’s only been three weeks, yet I’m absolutely head over heels for Indianapolis. A two-hour walk through the streets of the city the day before Labor Day just reinforced the decision I made nearly three years ago to come here for my graduate schooling. While it’s populated by just over 834,000 Hoosiers, it has a tangible small-town feel. Even on a Sunday afternoon I could walk from one end of downtown to the other. For a metropolitan area, the city can be very quite when it wants to be.

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About Daniel McFadin

Writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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