Itís official. Iíve lived at the same address longer than 18 months for the first time since 2005. Hooray! Iíve been everywhere, man, (as the song goes) but my move to Indianapolis was bent on one purpose: earning a license to teach English. Iím three class sessions and mere mouse clicks away from completing that mission, as far as IUPUI is concerned. But I have much learning before me.
With my degree nearly complete, of course I could move again. Donít get me wrong Ė I value my colorful journey and have appreciated each step thatís brought me here. But summer 2012? Tisí the summer of the job search and seeking to find my place in this city because in one week I will be a student no longer! Iím ready to dig a bit deeper into life here as I transition out of school and into a more established existence. Iíve been fortunate to return to school and pursue a passion, but now itís time to see what else is out there in this great Circle City.
Summer is the best time to get to know a new place, in my opinion. Thereís a sense of vibrancy and activity thatís absent in the chill of a Midwestern winter. From music festivals to farmerís markets, a fresh energy puts forth the very best of what a place has to offer in the summer and Indy is no different. I have decided to take this summer to discover new things to do in Indy and I invite you to come along with me.
This is my plan.
1. Music Exploring the music scene is key. Especially when the music is outdoors. Thereís something positive and uplifting about gathering in an outdoor space with people and their dogs and picnic baskets, soaking up some sun and having a shared experience. It gives me a sense of place, of community. Eagle Creek Park is offering a free concert series this summer on Wednesday nights. I detect jazz and bluegrass. Daily vehicle admission is $5, hikers and bikers $3. Seems like a great way to learn about local talent.
Easley Winery downtown also offers a free music series, Groovin in the Garden, Saturday afternoons beginning at 2 p.m. Spending a few hours downtown in a cozy garden with music and a sip of wine sounds good to me!
2. Exercise Maybe itís a genetic effervescence that takes hold, but my limbs often get the itch to move and shake, whether itís hiking, gardening, or working up a sweat on the dance floor (or kitchen floor, as can be the case at my house)! Iím mega-pumped to check out a new event at the Melody Inn Ė Souldies night. Held the last Thursday of the month, Souldies is a soul and oldies dance night. Iím sold!
Also, on my way to the 500 Festival Parade last month I saw a van boasting ďIndy HulaĒ on the doors. I think I need to take a class.
3. Nature Iím hoping to make visits to the Indianapolis Museum of Artís 100 Acres, Holliday Park, and Garfield Park to picnic on some of these long days. There are some great spots to spread a blanket and a basket full of tasty treats. I love to cook, too, and hopefully soon thereíll be lots of fresh stuff out in my garden to bring along!
To take a trip a little out of the city for a day, I have found Willowfield Lavender Farm in Mooresville. Iím imagining extreme peace and relaxation. Perfect local get-away day.
4. Neighborhoods Coming from the edge of the cityís northwest side, Iím definitely excited to explore more Indianapolis neighborhoods to get a better sense of with whom and what Iím sharing the city. I could end up moving to one these locales, after all. Getting out of the car and walking or biking around, popping into shops and discovering each areaís uniqueness is one of my favorite ways to learn. Itís almost like being a tourist in your own home.
Iím keen to spend time in Fountain Square, at least to visit the rooftop and take photographs with friends by the fount. Iíd also love to hoof it around the area surrounding the Harrison Center for the Arts. I visited the Center during those unseasonably warm January weeks and realized the organizationís efforts to become a catalyst for renewal not only in the neighborhood, but in the city as a whole. I want to learn more!
5. Culture I am dying to catch a Bollywood Bhangra night with the Cultural Cannibals and I missed last Fridayís at The Jazz Kitchen. Next time!
When my mom comes to visit, weíre going to the Indianapolis Propylaeum for tea. Iím a tea lover and this will be a real treat to share with my mama.
6. Classics Climb the Monument. This is something every Indianapolis citizen should do, right? 330 Steps. Go!
These are my goals and you can keep an eye out this summer to see as I do them. I will be writing up my adventures and sharing them right here on Untold Indy.
If this is our last summer, (Thanks Mayans) letís make it great.