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McKeyFan
02-05-2006, 10:25 PM
Report on my Visit to Indy

First, I’ll discuss basketball and then give a little report on my experience with Indianapolis--my first time in the city.

I still can’t figure out why we won. Nobody stood out particularly (Granger perhaps, but his minutes were limited) and nobody was particularly bad. If fact, everybody was a level or so better than usual and every Piston seemed about one level worse (four games in five days?). I did make the comment that it seemed like, for this one big game, the Pacers decided to be mature for a night. And I mean that. Jax didn’t hog the ball too much (a little), Harrison didn’t blow up and get a technical, careless turnovers were avoided, and I didn’t see anybody miss a defensive assignment while complaining to the refs.

Foster looks bigger in person than on TV (the baby face, maybe?). The court looks immensely larger on TV but in person the players hardly all seem to fit on one side of the court. Rasheed Wallace is mega-impressive in person. Its amazing to see a guy of that size with such soft touch on the ball.

My girlfriend and I sat in Row 11, Section 16 and I can’t imagine there are better seats in the house. Any of you sitting in that section may have noticed the good-looking middle-aged blonde standing up and screaming for the Pistons. She was the only Pistons fan in the section and it was quite embarrassing. The guy next to me questioned me: “And you let her sit here?” (He was joking) and I provided an answer he could understand: “She bought the tickets.”

By the way, that guy next to me was pretty knowledgeable about Pacers and about basketball. Don’t know if that’s typical of all fans in the house or just what I ended up with that night. He was a lawyer whose had season tickets since 1982.

I booed a bunch. I live a couple hours from Atlanta and have seen the Ps against the Hawks three or four times. Your voice doesn’t carry in Philips Arena nearly as well as it does at Conseco. I just had the feeling that my boos might actually be effective--like when Rip was crying to the ref. I yelled once or twice at Jax when he jacked it up while double or triple-teamed (hoping to see Jax pass or Rick to make an adjustment). My loudest moment was with a little under two minutes and Billups drove to the bucket on a fast break. Saras was staying in front of him, playing good defense, and Chauncey lost control of the ball and it hit his chest and went out of bounds. I was sure Billups was gonna get a celebrity call and the foul would go against Sarunas. But they called it straight up. Out of bounds on Billups, Pacers ball. It was a key play to the game. I was up screaming in delight and a woman in front of me turned around and kind of looked at me sideways. I suddenly realized I was nearly out of control, but it sure was fun.

On to the city of Indianapolis. First of all, the people were incredibly friendly. We both were surprised by this, but one local explained to us that Indiana considers itself the northernmost Southern state. That makes sense. Never once did people ask where we were from (in a degrading Northern way), but were just genuinely nice and friendly. We have noticed a large difference in all other Northern cities we have visited. Indy may even have something on the Southern niceness, as it seemed to come off a bit less fake than good ole Southern hospitality. I’ll use the word genuine again.

While visiting the Omni hotel, we learned to our surprise that the Pistons were staying there. Bill Laimbeer walked by us at one point, followed a little later by Joe Dumars. My girlfriend got to see Ben Wallace and I went up and introduced her and she just got all freaked out with joy. Whatever. (She started watching Pacers games with me and fell in love with Ben during the playoffs two years ago. Now she’s a die hard Pistons fan. Just call me Dr. Frankenstein. I created a monster.)

Upon our arrival Friday, we ate brunch at the Cafe Patachou. I read where it was named one of the Top Ten places in the country to eat breakfast. It was very good--I had some kind of exotic omelet with horseradish. But I’m not sure if it was all that. I’d have to eat there a few more times before I’d place it in the breakfast pantheon.

That evening we went to St. Elmo’s for a drink and appetizer (Shrimp Cocktail of course.) The Indianapolis horseradish cartel was at work again with this dish, and the hot and spicy affect was darn powerful. It was a great experience and everything it was cracked up to be.

We didn’t stay there for dinner because all my internet research said the shrimp cocktail was great but the steaks weren’t as good as Ruth’s Chris, where we made reservations for the following evening.

That night after St. Elmo’s we ate at Mama Corrola’s Italian. What a great restaurant. Great food, fantastic sauce, good wine, superb atmosphere.

The next night we ate at Ruth’s Chris at 5:00 pm before the big game. Great atmosphere, great service, great opportunity to smoke a cigar, and a great check ($130!). The steak, however, was not that great. I’m guessing we may have bricked by passsing up St. Elmo’s.

Speaking of cigars, we did a quick walk around the monument circle downtown and popped into the tobacco/pipe/cigar shop. I tried one of the homey cigars and we chatted with the owner for a long time. He was another example of that incredible Indiana friendliness and told us all about the town, the love of basketball, getting engaged during halftime of a game, the various theories on the meaning of Hoosier, etc, etc.. He definitely represented for you guys. We talked about how my choice in pipe tobacco (Maclellan Special Black) is too strong for my girlfriend while driving in the car and he said his brand (Virginia something) is much lighter. I wanted to try it but didn’t want to pay $12 bucks for a tin of it, so the dude just gave me an ouce of it from his own stash, no charge. That was cool.

We were a little surprised that downtown was not very hoppin on Friday night (around 7 pm or so before we headed to Mama Corrola’s) but the various folks said Saturday is a bigger night for Indy and that February is also kind of slow. I hope that ‘s the case as I know that economic development and growth is always a difficult issue for a city.

I know a little about this because I have just finished a 500 page book on my city, Chattanooga, Tennessee, which comes out next month. We are still “almost there” but not just yet when it comes to an economic boom. We still haven’t quite recovered from our manufacturing downslide of the 70s. We now have a beautiful renovated downtown and riverfront, however, which has become a big draw for families and companies to move to Chattanooga. Ironically, it was a trip to Indianapolis by 50 of our city leaders in 1984 that led to the plans for renovation of our city in the 1990s. They got some pep talks from Mayor Bill Hudnut and learned about the renovation of the river canal walk and other projects that help boost Indianapolis’s momentum. Chattanooga’s city leaders now say the key meetings that led to our renaissance were a series of planning sessions after that trip called “Lessons Learned in Indianaopolis.” I write about all this in my book (see oldmoneynewsouth.com).

Well, anyway, we had a great time and were impressed with the city. It worked out quite well. She got to meet her hero Ben Wallace and I got to see the Pacers kick the Pistons’ butt. What a great country.

McKeyFan

Kstat
02-05-2006, 10:30 PM
A good woman you got there.

ABADays
02-05-2006, 10:32 PM
Nice post. Glad you enjoyed the stay. You certainly helped the economy :D

Will Galen
02-05-2006, 10:36 PM
Great read McKey! Great Read! Thank You!

Bball
02-05-2006, 10:37 PM
Any of you sitting in that section may have noticed the good-looking [/b]middle-aged blonde[/b] standing up and screaming for the Pistons.

She doesn't read the forums? ....Otherwise you might want to change the words 'middle-aged' to young or 20ish looking or hot or something like that ;)

-Bball

Bat Boy
02-05-2006, 10:39 PM
Nice post. (But you're right, you bricked it on St. Elmo's!)

Mr.ThunderMakeR
02-05-2006, 10:43 PM
I moved from IN to AZ when I was 11 years old or so, and after my first trip back there, I vowed to never go back again, I don't know why. But your post makes me want to go back again.

Great post.

PacerFan31
02-05-2006, 10:44 PM
Nice post. (But you're right, you bricked it on St. Elmo's!)

Agree.

heywoode
02-05-2006, 11:14 PM
A good woman you got there.

'cept for her taste in bball players.....:-p


Nice post. (But you're right, you bricked it on St. Elmo's!)

yup

Nice recap to your trip! Glad you both enjoyed yourself...it sounds like you did alot of research and planning, which is a good thing. I never fail to do the same and it has always left me better off for having done it....Next time you are in town, I suggest going to Bucca Di Bepo for some Italian...the atmosphere is great, and the food has always been fantastic for me....There is one downtown right across from Embassy Suites on Illinois Ave.

Also, if you are in the mood for some lighthearted fun, roll over to Jillian's about a block west of Conseco...The first floor is a sports bar and hibachi grille, the second is about 5000 square feet of video gaming, and the third floor has a small dance floor and about a dozen bowling lanes with huge TV's at the end of the lanes! Great fun!!

I'm glad that Indy treated you well!! Come back anytime!!

denyfizle
02-05-2006, 11:27 PM
Very entertaining post. Indy people are very courteous and hospitable indeed. Your experience reminded me of my first few months here in Indy. The only real drawback is that it's really a laid-back city. So if you're more of the outgoing type, visiting is better than actually living in this city. What that person meant by Saturday being busier is that there would be 3 more people in every bar compared to Friday.

And about the people's knowledge about basketball- yes, Hoosiers are unbelievably knowledgable about basketball and sports in general. I chatted with an average 40 year old woman a month ago at Circle Center mall out of nowhere and she gave me all the info about Bender is going to retire and that the Pacers may very well end up with Stojakovic etc. etc. It's really impressive to a point of shocking sometimes. Indy is a great city if you're going to start a family and raise kids with good old-fashioned values.

pizza guy
02-05-2006, 11:27 PM
Indy really is a great city. I live about two hours north of Indy, and every time I'm down there I find something new and cool about our state capitol. While I have not been to St. Elmo's, I've only heard great reports on it, and it is Peyton Manning's and/or Marvin Harrison's favorite place. Hoosiers are great people, I've only met a few I don't like. Just, beware of temperature changes....

pizza guy
02-05-2006, 11:31 PM
Very entertaining post. Indy people are very courteous and hospitable indeed. Your experience reminded me of my first few months here in Indy. The only real drawback is that it's really a laid-back city. So if you're more of the outgoing type, visiting is better than actually living in this city. What that person meant by Saturday being busier is that there would be 3 more people in every bar compared to Friday.

And about the people's knowledge about basketball- yes, Hoosiers are unbelievably knowledgable about basketball and sports in general. I chatted with an average 40 year old woman a month ago at Circle Center mall out of nowhere and she gave me all the info about Bender is going to retire and that the Pacers may very well end up with Stojakovic etc. etc. It's really impressive to a point of shocking sometimes. Indy is a great city if you're going to start a family and raise kids with good old-fashioned values.

I just had a 10-15 minute talk with my English teacher a couple days ago, as I was making up a quiz I had missed, about JO's leadership abilities, and what a terrible waste of talent Ron Artest is. She's about 50-60 and is the LAST person I would ever imagine being a Pacers' fan, but heh, Hoosiers will never cease to amaze in this category.

denyfizle
02-06-2006, 12:08 AM
'cept for her taste in bball players.....:-p



hahahaha... at least it's not sam cassell

Dr. Goldfoot
02-06-2006, 12:56 AM
Hopefully, you come back and visit us again. Mama Corolla's is a fine eatery. Maybe next time you come , you'll venture away from the chain restuarants. Instead of St. Elmo's or Ruth's Chris , I would suggest Murphy's Steakhouse( where I was incidentally while you were at the fieldhouse) or Marco's. They're both located on the northside and are inside 465 , makes for a small cabfare. I always enjoy the independently owned restuarants of a city I'm visting over the chains.

18to88
02-06-2006, 12:57 AM
My girlfriend and I sat in Row 11, Section 16 and I can’t imagine there are better seats in the house. Any of you sitting in that section may have noticed the good-looking middle-aged blonde standing up and screaming for the Pistons. She was the only Pistons fan in the section and it was quite embarrassing. The guy next to me questioned me: “And you let her sit here?” (He was joking) and I provided an answer he could understand: “She bought the tickets.”


Please post a picture to boost your credibility.

Knucklehead Warrior
02-06-2006, 01:03 AM
Nice post. I don't know where you got all your info, but you definitely cherry picked our town -- Patachou's, St. Elmo's, Mama Carolla's -- my favorite breakfast, steak, and Italian. If you had gone to Shapiro's, Rathskeller, and Santorini's you would have the grand slam.


The Indianapolis horseradish cartel was at work again with this dish, and the hot and spicy affect was darn powerful.
It once gave me a nosebleed.

317Kim
02-06-2006, 05:27 AM
hahahaha... at least it's not sam cassell

or Chris Kaman.

Lithfan
02-06-2006, 06:28 AM
Great Post!!!
I see you as my Saras-comrade :buddies:

DisplacedKnick
02-06-2006, 07:01 AM
Nice post. (But you're right, you bricked it on St. Elmo's!)

Yeah - IMO Ruth's Cris is very overrated. St. Elmo's is better & whoever mentioned Murphy's is a wise person.

If you ever want something "different" there's always Loon Lake Lodge - another place which will provide you with a very impressive check - the food's not THAT great but the selection is, uh, interesting.

indygeezer
02-06-2006, 07:05 AM
Great read...now is there a plot to the book?

j/k

You passed up St Elmo's? You know it is on John Madden's favorites list, right?
I can't talk tho, I live here and haven't been there in 20-25 years. (cost like hell)

There is some woman at work who keeps posting tix in section 16 for sale but I never call in early enough to get em. (we have a corp wide electronic sales board) so I'm def envious of your seats.

and yeah, I remember when cities were coming here to study our redevelopment plans...too bad we can't remember what we did then, becasue we've lost so many jobs it seems like TPTB have kind of given up. Or they are just do-nothings, I haven't decided what yet.

Nice read and if y'all decide to raise a family, this IS a great place to do so.

(I like the comment about us being the nothern-most Southern state, who ever said that..:D )

Will Galen
02-06-2006, 07:49 AM
(I like the comment about us being the nothern-most Southern state, who ever said that..:D )

Yeah Geezer that is nice, but I like living in the Southern most of those states. You know, the place with sunshine, beaches and bikinied girls. Where it doesn't get below zero.

Of course you will now probably show your Southern hospitality by calling me Rick again. I've never figured out why you do that. I figure it's some sort of compliment having to do with the coach of the Pacers, but I must confess it's over my head.

And I still don't know why you keep misspelling Rick, I keep telling you it doesn't start with a "P."

Harddrive7
02-06-2006, 08:39 AM
I know a little about this because I have just finished a 500 page book on my city, Chattanooga, Tennessee, which comes out next month. We are still “almost there” but not just yet when it comes to an economic boom. We still haven’t quite recovered from our manufacturing downslide of the 70s. We now have a beautiful renovated downtown and riverfront, however, which has become a big draw for families and companies to move to Chattanooga. Ironically, it was a trip to Indianapolis by 50 of our city leaders in 1984 that led to the plans for renovation of our city in the 1990s. They got some pep talks from Mayor Bill Hudnut and learned about the renovation of the river canal walk and other projects that help boost Indianapolis’s momentum. Chattanooga’s city leaders now say the key meetings that led to our renaissance were a series of planning sessions after that trip called “Lessons Learned in Indianaopolis.” I write about all this in my book (see oldmoneynewsouth.com).

Well, anyway, we had a great time and were impressed with the city. It worked out quite well. She got to meet her hero Ben Wallace and I got to see the Pacers kick the Pistons’ butt. What a great country.

McKeyFan


Great read!!! Maybe you should have gone up on the mountain and asked the Davenports for an interview. I'm certain that they could have given you some insight into Chattanooga's "manufacturing downslide of the 70's" :laugh:

indygeezer
02-06-2006, 08:50 AM
Yeah Geezer that is nice, but I like living in the Southern most of those states. You know, the place with sunshine, beaches and bikinied girls. Where it doesn't get below zero.

Of course you will now probably show your Southern hospitality by calling me Rick again. I've never figured out why you do that. I figure it's some sort of compliment having to do with the coach of the Pacers, but I must confess it's over my head.

And I still don't know why you keep misspelling Rick, I keep telling you it doesn't start with a "P."


:mad: *^^$(*#%@&((*%&@^()))&%#$#:mad:

Slick Pinkham
02-06-2006, 09:51 AM
Hey Geez.

It's bitterly cold here in south Florida. It might struggle to reach 70 today.

One day I had to wear a long sleeve shirt outside in the morning. It must have been below 50.

And we had to turn on the pool heater for our Super Bowl pool party.

Hope it warms up soon...

;)

Will Galen
02-06-2006, 10:14 AM
Hey Geez.

It's bitterly cold here in south Florida. It might struggle to reach 70 today.

One day I had to wear a long sleeve shirt outside in the morning. It must have been below 50.

And we had to turn on the pool heater for our Super Bowl pool party.

Hope it warms up soon...

;)

Overhere on the Left coast it's only going to be 71 today. The only girls that wear their bikini's when it gets this cold are the visitors from the cold states . . . like Indiana.

Jon Theodore
02-06-2006, 11:12 AM
Nice read. The part about the lady giving you a sideways glance when you were cheering says a lot though.

Whenever i go to a game I always make sure I get good seats, because that is the only way to go. I don't like how I get glances whenever I am yelling and really into the game. It's a shame half the lower section is wives who could careless about being there, but hey it's reality.

Anyhow, as long as your not being vulgar, I think you have the right to "go crazy" especially when were playing Detroit. Don't let some old lady who obviously doesn't care make you feel uncomfortable.

Sorry for that little rant, but I hate feeling like I need to be calm and reserved at a Pacers game. Being vulgar is one thing, but simply cheering a lot and being into the game....Conseco could use a LOT more of that.

Trader Joe
02-06-2006, 11:19 AM
Yeah, St. Elmo's is a must.

indygeezer
02-06-2006, 11:41 AM
Hey Geez.

It's bitterly cold here in south Florida. It might struggle to reach 70 today.

One day I had to wear a long sleeve shirt outside in the morning. It must have been below 50.

And we had to turn on the pool heater for our Super Bowl pool party.

Hope it warms up soon...

;)



P-Rick1 and P-Rick2

:censored:

sweabs
02-06-2006, 11:58 AM
I've come across comments regarding fan etiquette/behaviour at Pacer games several times now (not only in this thread). The only game I attended in Indiana was a blowout, so there really wasn't much need for my usual cheering.

I like to stand up during crucial plays, yell a little, and get involved (especially in close games). Is it really true that people frown upon this or is it a myth? Or does it seem to be a trend that is specific to certain seating areas? The reason I'm asking is because I hope I can cheer my team on without holding back (God knows I paid enough for the tix) in March (specifically the game against Sacramento with Ron being back).

Bat Boy
02-06-2006, 05:50 PM
Hopefully, you come back and visit us again. Mama Corolla's is a fine eatery. Maybe next time you come , you'll venture away from the chain restuarants. Instead of St. Elmo's or Ruth's Chris , I would suggest Murphy's Steakhouse( where I was incidentally while you were at the fieldhouse) or Marco's. They're both located on the northside and are inside 465 , makes for a small cabfare. I always enjoy the independently owned restuarants of a city I'm visting over the chains.
Good point on Murphy's and Marco's, Doc. Virtual hidden treasures, both of them. Too bad the Fireside South closed -- it was great too. (But St. Elmo's is not a chain -- its locally owned and unique. Ruth's Chris is pretty good, but it is part of a chain and its shrimp cocktail cannot compare to SE's -- actually, nobody's can compare).

Dr. Goldfoot
02-06-2006, 05:54 PM
You know what, you're right.

grace
02-07-2006, 10:17 AM
I've come across comments regarding fan etiquette/behaviour at Pacer games several times now (not only in this thread). The only game I attended in Indiana was a blowout, so there really wasn't much need for my usual cheering.

I like to stand up during crucial plays, yell a little, and get involved (especially in close games). Is it really true that people frown upon this or is it a myth? Or does it seem to be a trend that is specific to certain seating areas? The reason I'm asking is because I hope I can cheer my team on without holding back (God knows I paid enough for the tix) in March (specifically the game against Sacramento with Ron being back).

It depends on who your sitting around.

travmil
02-07-2006, 11:06 AM
That night after St. Elmo’s we ate at Mama Corrola’s Italian. What a great restaurant. Great food, fantastic sauce, good wine, superb atmosphere.

You made a nice choice on Mama Carolla's. There is no finer Italian dining in this city, and I've sung their praises many times on this board and to anyone who will listen. Just out of curiosity, what did you have? For a first timer, I ALWAYS recommend the Rosemary Chicken Lasagna. We eat there for every special occasion. When it comes to Italian in Indy, all you hear about is the places on South College and in Lockerbie such as Iaria's, Amici's, and the HIGHLY overrated Milano Inn. But Mama's blows them and all others out of the water. I'm glad you were able to enjoy one of our town's hidden treasures.

Also glad you were able to enjoy a Pacer win over the hated Pistons. How did your better half take it?

ChicagoJ
02-07-2006, 03:53 PM
Don't ever underestimate St. Elmo's.

and by that, I mean both the food and the bill.

Los Angeles
02-07-2006, 06:56 PM
Don't ever underestimate St. Elmo's.

and by that, I mean both the food and the bill.
But by comparison, an equivalent quality meal can be purchased at Pacific Dining Car in LA for 2-3 times the cost. :-o

So don't underestimate the value either. ;)