Indianapolis Wants Me

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument of Indianapolis, Indiana.

The downtown of Indianapolis, Indiana, mirrors the center of Cleveland, Ohio. The cities are both anchored by a monument dedicated to soldiers and sailors and there are pockets of a thriving night-life. Indianapolis is only a stopping point, but after checking into the Conrad Hilton a block away from the roundabout encircling the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, I’m wishing I had more time here.

The few people I interact with (the night manager and clerk at the hotel, a couple of people in the elevator and the people working and visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and the cleanliness of the city present themselves as kind and welcoming respectively. I feel I’ve only gotten a glimmer of the potential of this city despite the overcast sky, wind and cold rain.

Still, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a monster sitting on the outskirts of the city, and the mere size of the entire track and complex is intimidating and ridiculous. Cape Cod houses and small bungalows line half of the track. I can’t imagine the droning that must scream from the track when cars race — a dull hum like a muffled air raid siren meant for every planet in the universe to hear.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame is actually contained inside the race track.

The Hall of Fame contained within the chain-link fence meant to keep invaders from Pepperland out is visited by people around the world. A group of Italian men buy their tickets and  slap each other on the back out of excitement as they head toward the trophy cases. I understand the love of cars, but the love of racing escapes me. The loop after loop after loop of street-illegal cars making enough noise to open the heavens seems like a waste of a potential productive weekend, but, hey, I enjoy the Weather Channel. To each their own, I guess. While I can’t appreciate NASCAR, I can appreciate the fact that the love of cars is something bringing people together, that makes men and women share beers, that encourages neighbors to talk, that gives a fifteen year-old his/her first true sense of freedom, and that can’t be all bad.

I hope to return to Indianapolis one day, but until then, Route 66 calls.

7 thoughts on “Indianapolis Wants Me

  1. I share your view about auto racing. It’s never interested me. Have you been to Pittsburgh, PA? There’s a Soldiers and Sailors Hall there too, or at least there was when I went to school there years ago. I think that it was once a big deal in that town too.

  2. Have you ever gone or would you be open to going to a NASCAR race? (*Sidebar: I love the fact that my computer spell checked me from “Nascar” to “NASCAR”, apparently the roaring engines and CO emissions aren’t enough).

    I too share your opinion on NASCAR being dumb and a waste of time and energy, yet part of me feels it’s unfair to judge the event before experiencing it. For example, I’m a huge hockey fan, so when I watch a hockey game I’m able to see beyond the skating, hitting and shooting. It annoys me when people generalize hockey as just a ‘grunt’ sport where ‘all they do is fight’. I understand the heavy amount of skill and finesse necessary to play the sport. So knowing this makes me keep an open mind that they may possibly, somehow, be something deeper about NASCAR than just driving fast in circles forever.

    I don’t know, I’ve been impressed/surprised before (by the sport ‘squash’ no less)

  3. Reblogged this on pariej and commented:
    I love NASCAR but the only reason why I watch racing on TV is because I do like to watch cars flip and blow up. Is it bad that I said that?

  4. I’m not a huge fan of nascar either but I do agree with you at the end, on how a car can bring people together.

  5. why couldnt you have taken me with you!! this looks so col… i wouldnt say i hate nascar i dont really dislike it….however i love movies that relates to cars on the regular like fast and furious!! hell yeah but they are kind of

  6. Indiana is one place that i always wanted visit and drive trough on a road trip. I am a huge sports fan an Indiana is full of great sports history.

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