I found my groove blowing the blues but I also found Indy’s groove. Here are eight reasons why you should to go, too:
Little Orphan Annie and Raggety Ann
and Andy James Whitcomb Riley, known as “the Hoosier poet,” wrote more than 1,000 poems including Little Orphan Annie and The Raggedy Man (from which we have Raggedy Ann and Andy).
Riley lived in a Victorian home in Lockerbie Square (Indy’s most beautiful and well-preserved square with Italianate, Federal, and and Queen Anne houses side by side). His home has been turned into a museum one of the finest Victorian preservations in the country. Drink in the Art Stop by the edgy Alexander where the quirky art is everywhere.
One wall features birds in flight –all made from old records with labels of Indy recording artists including Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five. Another wall has a portrait of Madame C.J. Walker entirely made from black plastic combs. Walker, who created hair specialized products for African-American women, was the first American woman to become a millionaire through her own business.
Blue Indy rental electric cars. Blue Indy photo.Check out the Ghost People
The former union railroad station (where Thomas Edison worked as a telegraph operator but was fired for devoting time to “useless” experiments”) is now the Crown Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station with thirteen 1920’s Pullman cars available as hotel suites.
In and around the lobby are 28 “ghost people,” life-sized statues dressed in authentic period clothing, waiting to catch the train including a shoeshine boy and two nuns walking towards he platform.
Rent an Electric Car Indy, has just rolled out BlueIndy, not surprising as Indy is considered the crossroads of America. This is the largest all-electric car sharing program and the Bolloré Group’s first launch in the U.S. Based out of France, Bolloré created the Autolib in Paris, a highly successful electric car sharing program. What’s great about it?
You don’t need to buy insurance, there are no parking fees, it’s available 24/7, GPS is included, and it’s much cheaper than a rental car.
Get your sweat on during “Workout Wednesdays” in the heart of downtown Indy for free plus, they supply mats and towels. Anyone can join, the instructors rock, and the schedule rotates weekly — Zumba, Yoga, Cardio Kick and more.
Chow Down Healthy A former prosecutor, couldn’t find healthy food for her children, so she opened her own breakfast/lunch hotspot, Café Patachou. Now there are six in Indy, including at the airport. Also try Bluebeard, named after native Kurt Vonnegut’s eponymous novel, with local produce and meats, a bakery, and the best octopus in Indy.
Don’t Miss the Shrine The Shrine Room, the spiritual heart of the Indiana World War Memorial Museum, honors those who fought and died in World War I and all subsequent wars. The U.S. Army American Flag hanging from the center of the rotunda is a 20 by 40- foot Garrison flag.
Peddle Handlebar Indy Socialize in the great outdoors with HandleBar Indy. Grab your friends, hop on a barstool of a “bar bike” which holds a maximum of 16 people, and a driver will peddle the bar bike downtown. Bring your own beer, wine, and cooler. There’s a stereo on board with a headphone jack that you can hook up your ipod/iphone so you can play DJ as well.
Dig In Festival. Visit Indy photo. Typically, the route is from Mass Ave to The Circle to Downtown, but if you have your own preferred route, the “Bar Handler” will arrange it. There are ten “peddle seats,” but if you don’t want to peddle, you can choose the non-peddling bench.
Indy’s biggest celebration of farm to table food with the city’s best restaurants, chefs and brewers will take place this August 17. Dig In will include gourmet trucks and cooking demos and more than 35 Indiana chefs, brewers, vintners and food artisans will showcase prepared dishes and beverages. Sample food and enjoy live performances by Indiana-based musical groups. Chefs will demonstrate cooking skills and techniques at a new demonstration kitchen stage.
New York freelancer Margie Goldsmith has won 31 awards and written about 124 countries on seven continents. She recently attended a four-day Harmonica Collective Workshop in Indy with some of America’s best blues harmonica players. Goldsmith came early to visit the city where everyone from James Cotton to Magic Dick of the J. Geils band have played. Read more of her stories on GoNOMAD.
Read more stories about Indiana on GoNOMAD
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Margie Goldsmith has hiked, biked, climbed, repelled, ZORBed, paddled, coasteered, test-driven $200,000-cars, done marathons and triathlons, and has luxuriated on seven continents and 120 countries and written about them all. She is a contributing writer to Elite Traveler, Robb Report, Black Card Mag, Business Jet Traveler, Affluent Traveler, travelandleisure.com, huffingtonpost.com, and others. She won the 2012 Gold Lowell Thomas SATW Award. She plays the harmonica.