Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Hiking in the 'Hood

A Substack I've just started following is Intellectual Inting, which is written by a dude who is exploring some off-the-beaten-path America afoot, writing and photographing. His first two posts were walkabouts in Western Massachusetts and Appalachian New York, and I enjoyed them.

Then I saw the title of his third post:
Walking America, part 3: Indianapolis

Crap, I hadn't cleaned the place up because I wasn't expecting company, y'know? Plus we've been kinda busy, what with the pandemic and all.

I have to admit, I felt a bit of trepidation when I considered homie turning his gimlet eye on my adopted hometown.

These worries were only heightened when I realized what he meant when he said he walked from "beltway to beltway". Dude walked across town on Washington Street, the Old National Road, which...well, let's say that it's not the route that the city's Chamber of Commerce would have selected.

On the west side it's mostly okay, if not exactly glamorous. On the east side of downtown, though, it skirts Holy Cross, which is a pretty cool neighborhood, before running through The Swamp on its way to hip and gentrifying Irvington, after which it's back into pawn shops, check cashing joints, and good places to get stabbed on the way to the other side of I-465.

He wasn't going to be seeing my Indianapolis of Broad Ripple and Fountain Square, Mass Ave and Meridian-Kessler. I felt a little protective...

I shouldn't have worried. He did pretty good by my town, for a New Yorker.

Marker on the Old National Road, photo from Pedal & Pub II: Electric Boogaloo