With all eyes on the 317 area code this weekend, I thought I would take an opportunity to introduce the citizens of Marion County to the shiny newborn city of Indy located in the middle of the county. Its a small city, and it not only gets all of the tax revenue generated countywide, but even rakes in millions from the region and rest of the state as well. About the size of the Vatican, Indy is roughly bounded by I 65/I 70 on the north, east and south sides of downtown and White River on the west.
Its a very beautiful city built special for the Super Bowl to make the folks from out of town believe “there’s more than corn in Indiana” which is the important targeted message they have settled upon to sell folks on Indy. But Indy is a different place than Indianapolis, the real city surrounding Indy. This is a tale of two cities that live on top of each other.
In Indy, beautiful buildings, shiny new amenities, clean streets and absolutely NO homeless seen anywhere near Super Bowl Village is what you will see while here for Super Bowl 46. If you take a cab out to Indianapolis though, you’ll find a much different scene. Payday loan centers, pawn shops, liquor stores and fast food shops galore are the usual scene where I live. Streets are filthy and riddled with holes, and your brother, his wife and their baby are sleeping in your living room since their foreclosure so you personally are acquainted with homelessness.
In Indy you can wander the streets with an open container of beer in your hand, drink it in front of cops and no one says a word. In Indianapolis you get arrested for public intoxication and end up paying steep fines for doing the same thing in your own home’s driveway. If you have a joint in your cigarette pack and the cops find it, you can do a year in jail and pay up to $5000 in fines. In Indy, folks feel free enough to walk around smoking a joint in front of cops.
In Indy thousands show up for free concerts by corporate logo draped musicians selling products from the stage for their corporate masters. In Indianapolis, local musicians who write far superior music with emotion and feeling play to rooms with their girlfriends and family members mixed with drunks from the neighborhood.
In Indy, if you lose your child or developmentally disabled adult the cops will help locate them for you and reunite you with your loved ones. In Indianapolis, the cops will show up with Child Protective Services because your 11 year old daughter called 911 to say “Mommy was being mean and won’t feed me” because you wouldn’t let her watch raunchy music videos on YouTube.
So visitors, keep in mind you are seeing our best foot forward when you visit Indy, but if you want to see a real picture of this city, come and visit Indianapolis sometime.