Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spring Stroll

This past Sunday it was a beautiful day for a spring stroll in Indiana. Roger and I decided to be adventurous and wander away from our neighborhood for a change. Although, we didn't drive too far - just south 10 or so blocks to the Indianapolis Canal and White River State Park. The easiest way to explain this area is to compare it to the San Antonio River Walk - only less commercial. Although there are businesses, homes, and apartments along the Indy central canal, there are very few restaurants and commercial retails shops. Instead there are many museums and "touristy" type areas situated along this area. The canal begins near 11th street in Indianapolis and winds up to downtown and then winds towards White River and the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens.

We started out our afternoon stroll by heading north from St. Clair street. At the end of the canal there is an old temple that's recently been renovated into a restaurant and event facility - Buggs Temple. Although the eateries were closed when we were strolling I did manage to take a peek into their windows. Isn't the above cool? Instead of traditional curtains, this coffee shop has hung funky coffee cups on strings in front of their windows. Now that's clever!

Above is a distant view of the North end of the canal (11th street). Buggs Temple is sort of hidden behind the trees. Behind the temple is the Clarian People Mover and then a Clarian Health Facility. Both buildings on the left and right side of the canal are also Clarian and Indiana University School of Medicine buildings. (I used to work for the IU School of Medicine - when I heard that some of my former coworkers might be moving to this new canal space, I must admit that I was a tad bit jealous! I've always loved the canal and when I worked at IUPUI I used to run it on most of my lunches. Although my current office is downtown, it is on the South side of downtown so a run to the canal would be much longer. Actually, that's always my excuse but in actuality, I think that I'm just become too lazy to run. :)
Above is view of the Indy Central Canal taken from the bridge on 11th Street. The canal extends all the way to the downtown skyline and then veers right towards White River.

Above is another IU School of Medicine facility. Below you can see a gondola. On nicer days and evenings you can take gondola rides on the canal. The rides are even serenaded. I just visited their site and it appears that they've also joined Buggs Temple/Tavern at the Temple to offer dinner and gondola ride packages. How romantic! Unfortunately Roger and I are past the romantic stage so I don't think I'll be expecting a surprise dinner/gondola ride anytime soon. Especially since the one romantic day a year, our anniversary, falls in December. Now, that would be one cold ride!

Another view of the canal. It's kind of hard to see, but the right features apartments. In my single days I always thought it would have been cool to live on the canal and sit on my balcony watching all the runners and walkers pass me by.

Speaking of places I wanted to live. I really wanted to live in the above townhomes. You can't really tell from the photos, but they are pretty fancy and have great views of both the canal and the downtown skyline. When they were first building these years ago I was looking to buy my own home. I picked up one of the fliers for these buildings - yikes! All I have to say is that they were way beyond my budget - by 3 digits. One can dream. :-)

Another great view of the canal and the downtown Indy Skyline. I love the spring - doesn't everything look so green?! Even the water looks green in these photos - it was actually tinted blue on Sunday.

Above is my favorite bridge on the canal. It's an ornate, vine covered bridge. You can rent this area for events. Many weddings have taken place on either side of the bridges as there are big slate areas with fountains, etc. The fountains weren't running on Sunday or I would have taken a picture. :) I once had dreams of getting married on the canal - that was until we decided on a winter wedding. I still think it would be cool to get married on the canal and have the wedding party arrive by gondola! That would be pretty unique ...

Above is a Residence Inn by Marriott hotel. (The large building in the back is the Indiana Government Center.)
Above is the Indiana History Center - home of the Indiana Historical Society. It's a museum and event facility in one. They also have lots of Indiana archives. During the weekdays their cafe serves lunch on the canal. On the weekends, many weddings take place at this facility. It beautiful on the inside - and out. It's one of my favorite Indy event facilities - if one can afford it.
Almost forgot - you can also rent paddle boats on the canal. Quite a workout. And, bikes/surreys, etc. are also available for rent.
Above is the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. They've recently upgraded their event facilities as well and they also have a cafe open for lunch.

Featured above is the Indiana State Museum. As well as exhibits, the facility also features an IMAX Theatre and several restaurants (including a re-creation of the LS Ayres Tea Room.) They also have wonderful event facility space.
Bet you didn't know that Indianapolis is 2nd only to Washington DC as far as War Memorials/Monuments go? Above is the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial.

Near the end of the central canal. Above is a view of the canal with the Indy skyline in the background.

Featured above is the NCAA Headquarters and the Hall of Champions. The headquarters were moved to Indy in 1999 with the building opening in the spring of 2000. Their facility is also located on the canal. As well as a museum and administrative offices, the facility is also used for events.

The above picture is about where the canal comes to an end and spills into White River. The above is a walking bridge built over the river itself. It connects the central canal and White River State Park with the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens - both are located just across the bridge.

The above is White River Gardens. They have a beautiful outdoor garden area as well as a greenhouse filled with lovely tropical plants. As well as the gardens, they also have a cafe and and event facility. Many weddings are also held in both their gardens and event room. In fact, this facility probably has one of the longest wedding waiting lists in the city.

Above is The Lawn, a concert venue, at White River State Park. Upon visiting their site, it looks like they have plans of upgrading this venue. I'd like to see a concert here just to say that I have. I bet you'd have great views since it's such a small and intimate venue.

Above, in the foreground is Victory Field - home of the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team. In the background is the new Lucas Oil Stadium - soon to be home of the Indianapolis Colts. And in the center - the wonderful smoke stacks for Indy's coke/power plant. I know this plant powers my electricity, but it's such an eye sore! I wish they would move it - but they don't have plans for that any time soon. :)

Now, we are making our way back around the canal again. Above is another set of canal apartments. Great view, but unfortunately teeny tiny on the inside. Surprisingly the Residence Inn across the canal probably has bigger rooms.

An older church positioned along the canal.

Some low-lying fountains along the canal. This area is very pretty in the summer once all of the summer annuals have grown.

We've now made it full circle - back to our starting place and our favorite parking place.
Hope you enjoyed the stroll.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Great pictures of Indy!

My husband will be there tomorrow for a doctor's appt. and to have lunch with his brother. :)

Kim said...

Great pictures!

Daisys Little Cottage said...

Wonderful! I never would have dreamed such a thing existed in Indiana.Thanks for sharing the experience.

Natasha Burns said...

You sure are lucky to have this on your doorstep! I love that canal, and the apartments overlooking it would definitely be fab to live in!!!

Oh and re the horses - they are miniature so they don't get much taller than 3 or 4 feet in height which is great!

TattingChic said...

What a lovely stroll. At first I thought these were photos in Europe. I guess we really do have some EU "quaintness" here in the good ol' US of A. I like the coffe cup curtains, too. I'll bet they make neat shadows on the walls and floor as the day progresses.

Laura said...

Beautiful pictures!! Makes me want to visit Indiana :)

Lara said...

These are beautiful! Wow...if this was so close to my house I'd be on a walk every day, too!

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