30-Jun, Indianapolis

It was time to say goodbye to the Mealys, then meet the Brothers at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Then a driving tour of Indianapolis, followed by dinner and dessert.

The plan for the morning is to do get some walking in, then meet Janet and Jim at the Museum of Art. But first it was time to play a bit with Toshi and Martha (we played with ponies; they have all sizes and types, and a unicorn was added to the mix for good measure) then thank Kara and Paul for having us at their home. We really miss having them in the Seattle area.

100 Acres redux

We thought it would be most convenient to go back to 100 Acres to walk around. Since we were a little familiar with the park, we could get some quicker walking in. It being so close to the Museum of Art, we would be better able to time getting there. The last consideration was I wanted to grab a few more photos, since one of my camera's controls got bumped to another setting, which would normally be OK, but I was going for a different look on some of the pieces.

Since we enjoyed the Bench Around the Lake by Jeppe Hein so much, we sought out one or two others we hadn't seen. We also took a closer look at Park of the Laments by Alfredo Jaar; we had quickly walked in the previous day, but didn't realize how large the installation was. Truth be told, we actually walked into it by accident, thinking we were going through an underpass, rather than going into an enclosed area.

After taking a look at NOTICE: A Flock of Signs by Kim Beck, we chuckled all over again reading the signs. Wandering through the park, we actually found a few more places where there were signs, so it must be like the benches, where there are parts scattered around the park.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

We met Janet and Jim in the lobby of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and our first stop in the museum was the Dream Cars exhibit. There were free audio tours which we picked up, and started in.

Early on I had asked Jim if he had a favorite, and he said that he did, and he would point it out when we got to it. As it ends up, I was able to guess which it was, the 1947 Norman Timbs Special, which has almost no flat surface on the whole, deep red body. Another interesting car was the 2001 BMW Gina Light Visionary Model which is made with a fabric stretched over a frame which can change shape.

I also found the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 and the 2010 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Car interesting because the body styling still had strong brand cues but were taken a further than you would see in a production car. Another interesting design was the 1966 Ferrari Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti” which seated three, the driver being in the middle.

After finishing with Dream Cars, we went to the café to have some lunch. The cashier mentioned that, since we bought entrées, we could get dessert for half price. The brownie spoke to us, so Melody and I split one of those.

Venturing outside, we strolled through the gardens, hitting several of the main sections. The weather was clear, warm but not too hot, and not extremely humid. After a while we were ready to head back inside, and on the way tried to figure out if there was another exhibit we wanted to go through. I noticed we had a pamphlet for an hour tour, so we decided to try to find the dozen pieces listed, since we had already seen three of them. Map in hand, we started on our scavenger hunt.

We were hoping we would see several different areas, but that we wouldn't have to run too much to the far corners. We were able to find all the pieces, and ended up visiting all but one or two of the major sections. While we were in the Contemporary Design gallery, the guard was near the entry and directed us to the piece towards the back. We saw him further back, and I asked him about his favorite piece. He pointed out some chairs, and then showed us a well-padded chair which had a loud, multi-color checked design, saying that were he to live in Seattle, WA, that would be the kind of chair he would like when he had to stay inside from the rain. I asked if he would like to guess where we were from, and he realized right away, and we all had a good laugh. He then explained that his daughter lives in Seattle, which is why it came to mind. I enjoy when the guards respond well when you interact with them.

In one of the galleries were a couple of what seemed to be Conoid Benches made by George Nakashima, which felt odd to me because I didn't see a plaque describing them, and that they seemed placed so you could sit in them. Pretty amazing.

We found the last pieces, and then felt we had done a good job covering the museum. We caravanned back to Janet and Jim's place, then proceeded to relax a bit. Before long, we headed out towards dinner, allowing plenty of time for them to give us a driving tour.

Driving around Indianapolis

On the way to dinner and back Jim took the long way around so he and Janet could point out various things to us. I think they originally had planned on driving around downtown Indianapolis, but since Janet follows me on Instagram, she saw that we had essentially walked all up and down the downtown core, especially the blocks with the monuments. It worked out well in the end, however, since we saw parts we wouldn't have thought to seek out. We circled around one section of the Geist Reservoir and saw some of the properties that Jim had developed, including where he and Janet used to live.

Another interesting area we drove through was Fort Benjamin Harrison, which was closed in 1991. Redevelopment has changed the area, and it now mixes residential, business, and recreational areas. A lot of the original buildings have been repurposed, and new buildings have very close architectural ties so the whole area looks very consistent.

Going back from dinner, we drove past an area where the houses were all refurbished and people who go through classes which teach them how to maintain a home can purchase them. The project was very successful, and has spread to the neighboring blocks.

Dinner and dessert

We went to Mesh for dinner, but were about an hour before the reservation. We figured we could walk around Massachusetts Avenue, which cuts a 45° swath east of downtown. It's been developed to have a lot of restaurants, bars, and housing, making it a pretty busy community. It was starting to rain a little bit, which wasn't bad, but then a hard rain started. We checked the short-term localized forecast, and it said the rain should let up before too long. We decided to check if the restaurant could take us early, and they were able to, so that was good.

I alluded earlier to the fact that Janet follows me on Instagram, and I often post photos of meals which I find interesting with items, presentation, or both. Apparently she wanted to take us to a place where I would be able to take photos of the plates, and Mesh was a good place to do so. What's funny is Kathy made guesses as to who ordered what, and she got them all correct. We were impressed.

Janet ordered a salmon dish which looked very tender, Jim had beef medallions and a crab cake (surf and turf), Melody had scallops with risotto, and I had duck and waffles (their take on chicken and waffles). Melody and I did our usual thing of swapping our plates half way through, and both dishes were really good; we had no problem finishing them up.

During dinner, we looked out the window and the rain seemed to be very heavy. We once again checked the short-term forecast, and it seemed like the rain would go away within about ten minutes. Sure enough, by the time we left the restaurant, the rain was gone and the skies were clearing up. We did our previously-aborted walk along Massachusetts Avenue, down to the Starbucks Melody and I had gone to a couple days before. It was good to see the pubs and restaurants busy on a Tuesday evening.

Before we got back to the car, we walked into Sub Zero Ice Cream, where you order your cream base, flavors, and mix-ins, then they stir everything up, hold it under a stream of liquid nitrogen which causes everything to freeze as they stir, then they put the bowl into a little bit of water so they can get the ice cream out. It's very clever, and it's fun to be able to mix and match your own creation.

After we got back to the house, we settled down and had a chance to do quite a bit of chatting. It ends up that Jim is also very interested in genealogy, so we swapped war stories for a good while. I was actually able to give him some information about Uncle Easy that he was looking for.

As it was getting late, we went upstairs and settled down to sleep.