The city of Indianapolis as a setting

Indianapolis is a middle American city.  Until I lived there, I never took it seriously.  The bad news was that I was very prejudiced against it.  The good news was that, being an Easterner, I knew that I was prejudiced against everything between Pennsylvania and the Pacific Coast states, with possible - but not definite, exception made for the city of Boulder, Colorado where some enlightened souls [yes, that means Hippies] had taken up residence during a spreading of the population of the nation.

What really happened was that when I did a semester abroad in England I discovered that regional prejudices are apparently a cosmic norm for people of every nation.  I had not been aware of that until then.  After that, due to the realization, I developed a better sense of humor about it. 

After that I actually relocated to Indianapolis.  Well, it turned out to be alright there.  Maybe that seems a bit lame, as far as compliments go, but given that 10 years earlier I had assumed it would be 'worse than Hell, and I'm not joking' the fact it turned out to be alright there ....If you are from the East or from Canada you can understand how comfy it is at 31 degrees Fahrenheit, even though it is below freezing, compared to like -20 Fahrenheit plus wind chill.  Yow.  Well, it was like a 40 degree Fahrenheit day compared to that kind of cold that seems to 'kill for pleasure' any exposed flesh of anyone's in under 5 minutes.  The weather is pretty good there in Indianapolis as well.  It doesn't get as viciously cold as the East or up in the part of Canada that really is tundra...and not just an exaggeration as one might hope....but uh, Indianapolis does get hot in the Summer...for someplace so far up North.  It gets way hotter than this part of Germany but would be early Spring over in Iraq - given reports from the military personnel. 

The schools are good and bad in Indianapolis.  The place is a little contradictory: having the nation's biggest 'Black History Museum' but also having embarrassing troubles from racial unrest now and then - it is not equally bad or good there all the time.  I was told the way to understand Indianapolis is to realize that it is a big city, but it still has a small town attitude.  I came from a medium sized city and outlying villages, and had lived in one Megalopolis and one other big, but not gigantic cities.  Given those bases of comparison I would say it is a friendly, down to Earth large city.  It is pleasant in the sense that it does not feel overwhelmingly big.  The grids are very handy and a number of previous little villages still have that quality of wholeness despite having been absorbed into the big city.  At the same time, there are canals with paddle boats and truly world class museums in the center of the city.  There are professional sports teams for 3 sports at least - Pacers basketball and Colts football and the Indianapolis race track pro sports teams.  There is also a good minor league baseball team. 

You can see cops on horseback and there're plenty of well tended public parks there as well as lots of pubs and places to dance the night away.  You can go to the theatre as well as the ball game in Indy and the renovated downtown library is a beauty. 

Like every big city, with so much good to offer there is also plenty of room for the seedier sides of life.  Within that large spectrum of possibilities, An Adventure in Indianapolis took shape.  The story is a lot like the play of shadows in the dark.  You know how it is: in the light we scoff that things that become believable in the dark.  "Bob, if you think that log is space man with a gun you're nuts"...until the lights are out and then it's more like, "Bob, Honey come closer - I don't know what that thing is over there but it is throwing a shadow that looks just like an alien firearm I saw in a movie when I was 13 years old" [and right now it seems realistic].  Fiction is like that, but we can still make shadows dance in front of the fire and curl up with these shadowy dreams....http://www.amazon.com/An-Adventure-in-Indianapolis-ebook/dp/B001F0QG7U

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Tags: Indianapolis, big, city, crime, fear, fiction, for, novels, settings, shadows, More…sports, teams, urban

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Comment by Miriam Pia on January 26, 2013 at 12:25am

Thanks Dana.  Spread the word.

Comment by Dana King on January 26, 2013 at 12:10am

I far prefer cities like Indianapolis to large metropolises. They have many of the amenities, but still a bit of openness and a somewhat more relaxed pace of life. I used to travel a lot for my job and far preferred to go to places like Indianapolis or St. Louis than to Los Angeles or New York.

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