(click on thumbnails to enlarge)
INDIANAPOLIS, June 29, 2007 - What's the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Indianapolis? In my case, it's the "Indy 500," the most famous car race in this country, and possibly in the world, too.
At least that's the impression you would get from this self-aggrandizing claim on the "Hall of Fame" building at the Indy 500 Speedway. So I used the last day of my first ever visit to the "racing capital of the world" to check out the Indianapolis Speedway...
And I found that that the enormous track, on which every Memorial Day weekend since 1911 more than 200,000 people gather to watch the biggest car race of the year, was looking rather forlorn without the crowds and the race cars.
So I took a picture of an actual race, I believe it was in 2005, at the Hall of Fame...
... and of the actual Indy car that won the race in 2005, on display at the Indy 500 Museum (above).
The left shot is an aerial view of the Indy 500 race track that should give you some idea about the huge land expanse on which it was built - in 1909 - as you can see from the plague in the middle.
By the way, while I was at the track, I took a picture of one of many license plates that I have been seeing on Indianapolis streets and freeways. I have never before seen the "in God we trust" message anywhere on public display except on dollar bills. Interesting...
The Northern "Burbs"
My business meetings took place in the northern suburbs of Indianapolis, so that's where my hotel was also located.
The two left shots were taken from the hotel terrace overlooking this man-made lake. Later on, I found out that the lake is actually on the site of a former quarry, so it's quite deep in places. The two right shots were taken from my hotel room, in the direction of the modern office buildings that have sprung up in this part of Indianapolis. One of them is the Indiana Wesleyan University, as you can see.
Above are the views of the area from the executive lounge at the top floor of my hotel.
On my way to the airport, I stopped to explore the downtown area. And was pleasantly surprised with how livable it is for an old city like Indianapolis. Take a look...
Scenes from around the State Capitol.
I've found the above sign (left) interesting, placed in front of the government buildings that surround the Capitol.
Walking around downtown, I noticed this domed stadium. I presume that's the home of the NBA's Indiana Pacers. Not far from there is the football stadium where the Indianapolis Colts play, another well known sports franchise.
Shifting from sports to culture, not more than a block away, I came across this pretty ornate stone building, the local repertory theater. It's beauty and its size would put many a Broadway theater to shame. The glass structure in the middle of the street is an art museum.
Downtown Indianapolis is a mixture of old and new. This street it typical. Skyscrapers have been squeezed in between the old renovated buildings, and even that enormous monument straight ahead.
And that's all she wrote from this trip to Indy, my first.