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Indianapolis: A Vintagey Place to Live

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by Paisley, May 7, 2016.

  1. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Yes, that's a beautiful building--it's across from the same stretch of park that borders Brookside.

    The Indianapolis central library (downtown):

    [​IMG]

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    The Denver downtown library is shown here and here. And yes, those really are the most flattering pictures I found. Blech!
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  2. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Paisley, everything you mention about Indianapolis sounds good. Even the notion that the "seedy" part of town is readily identifiable; here (Noo Awlins) the seedy and the nice bump up against each other everywhere, and you can easily find yourself in the former by crossing an avenue in the latter. But aren't you annoyed by those cracked street surfaces? They look almost as bad as the ones that make my grind my teeth when I drive here -- and here we don't have the excuse of frost heaves and the like. Are the cracked streets confined to side streets, or are the avenues like that too?

    Also: How hot does Indianapolis get in the summer, and do businesses like shops and restaurants understand the need for air conditioning? In Denver half the businesses seemed to think A/C was optional even when outside temps hit 100, and a lot of apartments either didn't have it or settled for a wall unit in the living room only.
     
  3. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    The heat in Denver is a dry heat, doncha know. Kidding aside, though, the past several years have been a lot hotter in Denver than I recall it as a kid. My parents' house, which just sold for over $400,000, had no A/C; my little cracker box had just a window unit and security screen doors that could be left open at night to let chilly air be fanned into the house. It cools off at night in Denver; it doesn't here. Forty-degree temperature variations over the course of 24 hours are normal in Denver; here, it's more like 20 degrees. Be that as it may, the places I've been to here all have A/C. So does my house. It's been in the 90s here lately, so I'm glad to have it.

    In gentrifying areas here, there are abandoned houses next to nicely tended ones and hipsters in the hood. But that's the exception. Most places, major streets are dividing lines.

    The highways are well-paved here, but some of the little side streets have potholes that could hide a cat. After the blizzard of 2003 in Denver, Broadway wasn't quite that bad, but close. It took years for it to be repaved. The freeze-thaw cycles in Denver (see wide temperature variations above) make for a lot of potholes there, too.
     
  4. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Practically Family

    ^ Welcome to Indiana, Paisley! I was born and raised in the Hoosier state.

    - Ian
     
  5. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Thanks, Ian! A lot of people think I'm nuts for moving here from Colorado. But between the lower cost of living, less time in traffic, a nicer, paid-for house, and beautiful parks and museums close by, I'm just not seeing whatever big mistake they think I've made.
     
  6. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Practically Family

    I guess it's not an uncommon sentiment. I live in NYC, and have for 15 years... when I bring up wanting to move back to Indiana, very few people seem to be able to wrap their heads around the notion.

    Indiana isn't a bad place, at all. And, as you know, there is so much to like about Indianapolis. The good/great far out weighs the bad.

    - Ian
     
  7. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Thanks! Yes, Denver had a few potholes, but it seemed the city spent all summer repairing them to be ready for the next winter. Here in Da Swamp, the potholes have small animal families living in them. (Not really, but it seems they've been there that long.) You have a 20-degree temp variation in Indianapolis? I'm lucky to see 10 degrees right now (80 at dawn, 90 at 4 pm. 'Struth). And it's rarely any better in the so-called winter.

    Despite the muttered complaints and insults of one member of my writing group, who grew up in Indiana and HATED it, IN sounds like a good place to live!
     
  8. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    I think the temperature variation is a function of humidity. Dry places like Denver get chilly after the sun sets. All the naysayers warned me about the humidity, which is bad because of...no nosebleeds? Less watering of the yard? Fresher-smelling air? I guess I am just a satisfied fool.
     
  9. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    It took a few months, but I just got a job offer that matches what I was making at my old firm, with half the commuting time.
     
  10. That's awesome - congratulations. And kudos to you for having the guts to move first and find a job second. Well done.
     
  11. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Thanks, FF! Yes, that was one of the most stressful things I ever went through: my job being up in the air (I didn't know whether my employer would keep me on in the Indy office), plus buying a house from a thousand miles away before selling the old one. Doing research on the front end of that consumed me for months before I decided to take a calculated risk; even so, I had a lot of sleepless nights.
     
  12. Again, kudos to you. I've never had the guts to buy and then sell or move and then search. I've moved cities twice for jobs, but had the job offer firmly in had (in writing) before moving. That said, there is definitely something excitation about taking a leap - so glad it's work out so well for you.
     
  13. My brother lives in Indianapolis and I've spent a fair amount of time visiting the area. It really does have a lot of nice vintage architecture, the old car scene is a good one, thrifts and vintage/antique places abound, and like you said, cost of living is cheap. I haven't been up in several years, but I used to really like going down to Fountain Square. I currently live in Birmingham, AL, so crime and questionable neighborhoods would certainly not deter me from moving there, but all the snow and cold sure would. That, and Bob Evans. I like real soul food.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Chef Dan in Irvington makes some mean meatloaf and catfish and other food of Louisiana and Mississippi. We have a pretty mean cook in the lunchroom where I work, too. He said we were having roadkill for dinner. Gotta save money.
     
  15. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Life's no fun without a good scare.

    Kidding aside, I was selling in a hot market (Denver) and moving to an undervalued one, and had a lot of cash and good credit. I also had a good resume as an admin and I was willing to temp doing about anything; with a 5% unemployment rate here, I was sure I'd find something.

    Without all those things in place, buying before selling and moving without a job could be pretty risky.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  16. Fun to see this topic. I grew up in downtown Indy, on N. Temple just a few houses north of Brookside Park. My mother used to go to a grocery just north of Woodruff Place. It's a "Family Dollar" now but back then it was a Kroger. Sometimes we'd do a drive down the Woodruff Place streets. I recall how different it was from our neighborhood-- larger, stately homes, fountains and statuary in the strip that divided the streets, decorative street lamps from another less utilitarian age. Mysterious and vaguely spooky to a little kid in the mid-1960's, but I loved it. I was saddened to discover what became of it in later decades, but learned of it's revival a few years back.

    Not many folks know that Woodruff Place was Booth Tarkington's model for "The Magnificent Ambersons". It was the place to be a hundred and twenty years ago. By the time I knew it as a kid in the 60's it had long since lost it's luster, many of the homes being rentals with the usual drop in care and appearance. But it still had a certain inspirational charm.
     
  17. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Welcome! I love some of the architecture here, especially the old French empire houses. There was nothing like that in Denver.

    One of the tornadoes that came through here today touched down on the east side, but I don't think it did any damage.
     
  18. Indy was largely spared it seems, despite a rather fantastic wall cloud that formed over the city. Kokomo wasn't so lucky. A small wall cloud formed over Bloomington, not far from where I live, but passed without damage.

    Of more interest to vintage architecture enthusiasts (like me), I just learned that the foundation of the old Tomlinson Hall still exists, beneath the plaza just west of the old City Market. The Hall was a community building, built in the 1880's I think, a really grand structure. It burned in the late 50's and rather than rebuild it the city merely leveled it and put in a plaza. But they didn't fill in the foundation.

    The Tomlinson foundation is a huge vaulted basement of brick and limestone, one of the largest and best preserved examples of the period in the country, some 20,000 square feet of underground chambers and passages. Naturally it's now called the "Catacombs" which it does resemble. I read somewhere that the market used to store food down there for the night since it was much cooler. Supposedly the market is arranging tours. I'll have to drive up there for that sometime.
     
  19. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Don't drive up here today--parts of the city (including downtown) were flooded last night. Even areas far from the flood plains were under a foot or more of water. Two more storms came through yesterday and poured rain on soil that was already saturated. (Wednesday, it looked like a tropical storm here.) The wind knocked down ninety-foot trees in the northeast part of town.

    A video of the storm clouds: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJlBXorAQPD/

    I'll have to visit the catacombs when things dry out--I'd never heard of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
  20. Just found this thread. I moved to Indy from Alabama about a year ago and love it here. I live on the Southside, just off Keystone and just inside the "Loop", in an area feels very rural yet is only 10 minutes from downtown. By far my favorite "vintage-y" area of the city has to be Fountain Square, with it's Duck Pin Bowling alleys (two), weekly swing dancing, traditional barbershops, and variety of good restaurants and shops. It's historic and hip, but not as pricey as Mass Ave. or some of the other trendy areas. As a fan or old diners, I love that there are several still in operation as eateries around the greater Indy area (I've showcased these in previous posts). I find housing is on par with what I was paying in my native Alabama, and some things, such as utilities and groceries are much cheaper. I was used to paying anywhere from $1.80 to $2.50 a dozen for eggs down south. Here they are currently .71 cents.
    Yes, there are bad areas of the city (as there are in just about any larger city), but I have never felt unsafe or threatened anywhere. Just use common sense when roaming about, and remember lock your doors. Indy is still relatively new to me, but so far I've really enjoyed living here.
     

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