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Old 07-16-2014, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,517 posts, read 9,375,146 times
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Being an Indiana native, coming from Plymouth and South Bend, Indianapolis has always been THE CITY in Indiana. It's the capital, the largest city by far, Indiana Beach theme park, pro sports, most conventions take place there, your school will probably go on a field trip there, etc.

However, often by posters on this site, and other people I know, and even in the literature I read, Indianapolis often seems to get a bad rap as a boring city full of chain restaurants, fat people, and people lacking culture or style.

Just to show where I stand on this, I think it's pretty naive to label a metro of nearly 2 million people as boring and all fat. I'm just trying to understand where this stigma comes from. People often unfairly label Indy as a conservative city, it seems to be more liberal leaning, despite the current Republican mayor.

Even in literature, the book, "The Fault in Our Stars" takes place in Indianapolis, even the characters in that book poke fun at the city, saying it lacks topography (admittedly true), culture, and is lacking skinny people. Where does this stigma stem from? Is it because Indianapolis is in Indiana, a mostly farm state? Because there is no beach or water front? Because it's in the midwest? I really hope that this stigma or stereotype is able to die and go away someday. A lot of people seem impressed by the density and amenities offered in downtown Indy, even the posters on City-Data, for those who have visited it anyways.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:26 PM
 
76 posts, read 121,321 times
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I think Indianapolis gets a bad rap mainly because people either compare their experience here to cities that are not in the same league as it, such as Chicago, NYC, Philadelphia, Houston, etc. Those cities are in a different league by their size and the amenities they have to offer. Sure, everything doesn't stay open 24 hours or even until 2 am on most nights. But I think the problem is that there haven't been enough people, both residents and visitors, to explore what Indianapolis does have to offer.

First of all, those who say the city is only full of chain restaurants just haven't taken the time to look for the unique restaurants that exist here. Indianapolis Monthly rates the top 25 restaurants in the city every year. I'll admit, I'm late on the non-chain restaurant circuit too. That's probably generational, as my parents are fans of Chilli's and Red Lobster, and my dad has Texas Roadhouse's number in his cell phone. Ok, so that was TMI. But unique restaurants are not hard to find, as there's plenty of them downtown and along Mass Ave., in Irvington and Broad Ripple. And don't let anyone tell you that there aren't any ethnic restaurants here. All you have to do is Yelp it. Do we have as vast a selection as Chicago, or even Minneapolis? No. But we're growing.

Best Restaurants 2014 | Indianapolis Monthly
Ethnic restaurants Indianapolis, IN

As for the lacking culture, I'll admit, I was late on this too. It took me living in places like Chicago and NYC to appreciate this and look for it in my own city. Yes, I had been to the Children's Museum, the Eiteljorg, the symphony and even seen a play at Marian University. The unfortunate thing is that I didn't realize how much more the city had to offer. I could blame this on being young or the lack of field trips my school offered. But finally last year I went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) for the first time. I'll definitely be adding this to my list of places to take out of town guests too. But there's more than that. There are plays at the Indiana Repertoire Theatre, as well as Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler, and in Marian University too. Art extends beyond the IMA, as there are art galleries downtown, in Fountain Square, and in Broad Ripple. Also, for people just looking for something to do other than sports and other than concerts that feature mainstream individuals and cost an arm and a leg to go to, I'd say check out http://do317.com/

I just won two tickets from them tonight for this event http://do317.com/events/2014/07/19/avant-brunch. And yeah, I never win anything, so I'm pretty excited.

Finally, regarding the style, I'd say the city is trying to fix that. In trying to attract younger individuals to the city they're trying to make the city look more attractive. The emphasis that has been placed on downtown has transformed it tremendously into the "urban center" we have now. And I think with the right leadership that transformation will continue not just downtown or in Broad Ripple or the other cultural districts, but hopefully throughout the city. I mean, when urban design and something as simple as a mix-used structure has hit the Keystone Crossing area, you know there's a change going on. Plan 2020 and IndyRezone are the efforts that have been put into place to continue that transformation. As far as the political mindset of the city, yeah it's shifting a bit. Eh, maybe we're in the middle right now, with our republican mayor and democratic city council. I also add, a republican mayor that's trying to push mass transit (slowly, and hopefully surely) as well as beef up the bike infrastructure in the city. Regardless of what happens in the future politically, I think or at least hope that most people here are in favor of the change that is going on and want to see it go further.

Indyrezone.org
http://plan2020.com/
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:19 PM
 
111 posts, read 193,949 times
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1. I think it's something that you realize after you've lived in the city for a few years, I go to college here, and 80% of the people I know here want to move somewhere else, including myself. I like shayloure's point in how Indy gets compared to metro areas twice or three times Indy's size, I've never thought of that but it's true. Maybe people expect Indy to offer more than it does since the "city limits" (which expand to far) have over 800,000 people, so an average person with little knowledge of American cities will see that stat and be amused. I've said this before though, I think Indy has a nice book cover, but inside the book are a lot of flaws that you don't see until you see it. Indy's airport is ranked the best in the nation I believe in a recent national survey. That's just adding to the book cover.

2. Maybe I should go dig deep into Indy to find some cultural things, it could be very interesting. My question though is, why doesn't the city of Indianapolis promote the facilities that are apart of the culture? Such as the children's museum, state capital building, monument circle, the zoo (which is mediocre), Mass avenue, Museum of Art, or whatever else would add to the culture, why doesn't Indy promote it? Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh are all cities that are struggling, but they all have a culture that is present and everybody in the city knows it and feels it. 3 out of 5 of those metros are comparable to Indy's metro in size as well. Columbus Ohio even has a culture, it's because OSU is there which gives Columbus a step above Indy IMO. Not many people even think about the Indy 500 race anymore as it's falling off the edge of the earth, and will continue to do so unless a sports marketing genius saves them. The race might never go away completely, but it has lost the national spotlight. ESPN barely talks about it on the day it happens, and sports talk shows across America barely even acknowledge it if at all.

Anywho, I don't bash Indy because there's fat people, fat people are all over America, you see them in every city. If there is a McDonalds and a pizza place that delivers in your small town, Mid-size town, or large city, then there WILL be fat people.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:42 AM
 
Location: Seal Beach, California
600 posts, read 650,777 times
Reputation: 433
This is slightly off topic, but the city basically supports and provides what it can for the given community. Aside from Indianapolis, the next largest city is Ft. Wayne which I lived in for many years. Ft. Wayne has made several improvements, but being that schools and hospitals are the largest employers I'd consider that hardly robust.

Indianapolis has made several improvements and changes in the downtown area, however; I think the city as a whole really needs to start taking a priority at bringing better jobs to the city, instead of ridiculous gimmicks.

I've said this many times in the past, but in Indiana, more than half the working population makes less than the state average income. On top of that, Indiana has many universities such as Purdue, IU, Butler, Rose-Holman. These 4 universities in particular are ranked in different areas nationally and enrollment has been through the roof.

So well-regarded universities+high population of low income really means 2 things:

1. Everyone going to these universities is leaving Indiana
2. Employers in Indiana do not deem these college degrees worthy of higher pay

I think both situations are occuring, although #1 is most likely the larger culprit. I can flat out say that if I had a very good paying job I would have most likely stayed in Indiana since I was born and grew up all my life there. Instead, I left Indiana and went to California. I don't blame anyone for leaving Indiana to have a better career. College is too expensive, and people work too hard

People go where there are good jobs. Look at what happened to North Dakota when they had their oil boom. The nonsense that Mike Pence talks about in terms of creating jobs are just low paying minimum wage jobs. Sure it's a "job", but you are not going to build a city and state when that's all you can offer.


The state capital at the very least should have a stronger presence even if the rest of the cities in the state does not. There are not enough main or large corporations within Indianapolis to draw in a larger population and make a big change in the city. The only example of this I can recall is when Mitch Daniels got Honda to locate in Indiana, although it was all the way out in Greenburg. That's a major corporation and I can respect that since it got people out in that area a good paying job with benefits. I used to work for Honda before, and it is a good company that compensates well. I worked at Marysville, OH plant in 2006 for a summer internship.


I haven't seen Mike Pence do anything like this. In fact, up until I left in Feb 2013 of this year, I cannot think of anything worthwhile that Mike Pence did.

- Lower taxes (who does this benefit when the majority of the population makes low pay ?)

- AAA credit rating (Great for political talk, does nothing of value for the state residents. Last I checked a AAA credit rating dosen't pay your bills or mortgage, a higher paying job does). Ohio does not have a AAA credit rating, yet they have had lower unemployer for decades vs. Indiana.

- Hosting Super Bowl (Taxpayer money used to build an expensive stadium, pay for all the police officers OVERTIME who had to work the event, and all the state/city resources to implement staff. NFL pockets all the ticket money.

-Stupidly focusing on stopping gay marriage ?


Within 3 weeks of moving to California, I got an offer from Pepsi Co. (turned down).


If you look at Columbus, Ohio (just next door to Indiana) look at what they have in that city:

- Ohio State University (one of the biggest universities in the United States)
- AEP (headquarters), Big Lots, Abercrombie and Fitch (headquarters), The Limited Brands (owns Victoria Secret), Wendy's (headquarters)
- Budweiser
- DSW shoe store (headquartered)
- Huntington Bank (headquarted)
- JP Morgan (Bank one's old headquarters)
- Safe Auto insurance (headquarters)
- Cardinal Health (headquarters)
- Ross Products division owned by Abbott Laboratories which makes Ensure infant formula (headquarters)
- Nationwide insurance (headquarters)



That's a lot of opportunity for a midwest state like Ohio which is probably why they have had such a lower unemployment rate for decades. Ohio does not have a AAA credit rating and their taxes are higher than Indiana. They have the same winters just like Indiana and it's merely one state over. So why can't Indiana be successful like Ohio ?

To be honest, it's unreal how much Indiana politicians there want to preach and lecture about being 'business friendly' yet have nothing to show for it. I remember this guy who worked for the state government and is working for one of the departments run by Pence would always preach some ridiculous Republican nonsense ideaology yet he had $20,000 in credit card debt @ 17% interest and had a $180,000 mortgage on a $40,000 salary.

The biggest welfare recipients in Indiana are the politicans there. They collect salaries based on taxpayer money yet cannot bring a handful of Fortune 500 companies to locate there despite 'low taxes'.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
4,318 posts, read 4,816,194 times
Reputation: 4359
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Being an Indiana native, coming from Plymouth and South Bend, Indianapolis has always been THE CITY in Indiana. It's the capital, the largest city by far, Indiana Beach theme park, pro sports, most conventions take place there, your school will probably go on a field trip there, etc.

However, often by posters on this site, and other people I know, and even in the literature I read, Indianapolis often seems to get a bad rap as a boring city full of chain restaurants, fat people, and people lacking culture or style.

Just to show where I stand on this, I think it's pretty naive to label a metro of nearly 2 million people as boring and all fat. I'm just trying to understand where this stigma comes from. People often unfairly label Indy as a conservative city, it seems to be more liberal leaning, despite the current Republican mayor.

Even in literature, the book, "The Fault in Our Stars" takes place in Indianapolis, even the characters in that book poke fun at the city, saying it lacks topography (admittedly true), culture, and is lacking skinny people. Where does this stigma stem from? Is it because Indianapolis is in Indiana, a mostly farm state? Because there is no beach or water front? Because it's in the midwest? I really hope that this stigma or stereotype is able to die and go away someday. A lot of people seem impressed by the density and amenities offered in downtown Indy, even the posters on City-Data, for those who have visited it anyways.
Yes, in Indiana, Indianapolis is the city. It's the big time and where everyone goes when they need something from the big city. I remember coming down here growing up and thinking about how huge it was. The thing is while people from Indiana outside Indianapolis think of it as this great, huge city, people in Indianapolis wish it were more like Chicago. And if you live outside Indiana, you don't even think about Indianapolis.

I think the other problem is that 25+ years ago, Indianapolis WAS boring. As far as downtown goes, it got the nickname Naptown because downtown was a ghost town after 5pm. Before Circle Centre and before White River State Park. And despite making a lot of progress, I don't think the city has ever really recovered from it.

But I really think the biggest reason people consider Indianapolis boring is because they don't know anything about it. As I said, if you live outside Indiana, you don't really pay attention to, or care about, Indianapolis. Much like I don't think much about Des Moines or Milwaukee or Kansas City or Birmingham. I've heard great things about all those cities but they still don't register to me as fun places to visit because I've never really had to urge to look into them. Even St. Louis has the arch but beyond that, I have no idea. I think when you get outside Indiana, the same thing applies to Indianapolis. People have heard of it because it's a big city and it has the Colts and the Pacers, but beyond that they don't care.

FYI: Indiana Beach is an hour and a half from Indianapolis. Not exactly a local attraction.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
8,367 posts, read 14,402,943 times
Reputation: 6019
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
However, often by posters on this site, and other people I know, and even in the literature I read, Indianapolis often seems to get a bad rap as a boring city full of chain restaurants, fat people, and people lacking culture or style.

Just to show where I stand on this, I think it's pretty naive to label a metro of nearly 2 million people as boring and all fat. I'm just trying to understand where this stigma comes from. People often unfairly label Indy as a conservative city, it seems to be more liberal leaning, despite the current Republican mayor.

Even in literature, the book, "The Fault in Our Stars" takes place in Indianapolis, even the characters in that book poke fun at the city, saying it lacks topography (admittedly true), culture, and is lacking skinny people. Where does this stigma stem from? Is it because Indianapolis is in Indiana, a mostly farm state? Because there is no beach or water front? Because it's in the midwest? I really hope that this stigma or stereotype is able to die and go away someday. A lot of people seem impressed by the density and amenities offered in downtown Indy, even the posters on City-Data, for those who have visited it anyways.
For the most part, city data rarely reflects reality. You go to the general us forums, and a lot of stereotypes are blown out of perspective by people who are over-compensating for their own low self-esteem or are unable to sell their cities without tearing others down.

As far as whether Indianapolis is stereotyped as conservative and/or boring................who cares? Anyone with an above average intellect can objectively look at what Indianapolis offers and come to their own conclusions.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
25,706 posts, read 19,098,897 times
Reputation: 30563
I think part of the problem is something you can trace back to most Midwestern cities.

Who really thinks of Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, or KC outside of their regional areas? What are these cities known for really? Most of these "two million metros" are too small to be recognized on a national level.

What do people think of when they hear Indianapolis? I'd say the Indy 500 and the sports teams are the only things that quickly come to mind.

Most of the cities in this size range just don't have anything that sets them apart. They aren't large enough to make the national news or have some sort of influence usually (somewhere like Nashville being an exception).
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:56 AM
 
1,523 posts, read 1,457,083 times
Reputation: 1537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I think part of the problem is something you can trace back to most Midwestern cities.

Who really thinks of Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, or KC outside of their regional areas? What are these cities known for really? Most of these "two million metros" are too small to be recognized on a national level.

What do people think of when they hear Indianapolis? I'd say the Indy 500 and the sports teams are the only things that quickly come to mind.

Most of the cities in this size range just don't have anything that sets them apart. They aren't large enough to make the national news or have some sort of influence usually (somewhere like Nashville being an exception).
What makes Nashville brand the exception?
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
8,367 posts, read 14,402,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyadic View Post
What makes Nashville brand the exception?
Nashville seems to have this "next Austin" type of vibe going for it. I think it is fair to say the music industry helps Nashville too.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:01 AM
 
1,523 posts, read 1,457,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
Nashville seems to have this "next Austin" type of vibe going for it. I think it is fair to say the music industry helps Nashville too.
From a domestic viewpoint perhaps but I seriously doubt the brand has much traction outside the United States. I'm certain Indy has worldwide name recognition due to the 500 and that racing style if nothing else. I'm not convinced Nashville can make that same claim. That is just my opinion. Most people are apathetic when it comes to Indianapolis. Indy doesn't induce excitement or boredom.
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