Thursday, February 10, 2011
Indianapolis Winter: A Newcomers View
Well it is February 9, and the weather report this noon indicated it was the second coldest day of the winter season (around 0F or -18C) overnight. The wind was gentle, but given the amount of ice, it is cold. However we expect temps to get absolutely balmy on Sunday when it will peak at 45F.
So last week we were hit with successive night of ice storms leaving 1.5 to 2 inches on the ground. The public works department did a good job of clearing the primary roads, state government workers came to work each morning, but schools were closed for 4 days as were most churches (from the list scrolling on the TV screen). Most sidewalks were not cleared in the beginning, so we walked down the middle of the street (alleys) and along the sides of the main streets. We made it to the YMCA each day as planned. It was reported that people has to chip their way through the ice into their cars.
The ice storm did not stop the winter farmer's market which sets up shop every Saturday morning just a block from the condo. About 30 or so vendors set up shop in an empty ground floor retail block under an apartment building. The wares at the tables vary from heritage apples, locally milled wheat, fresh lettuce,
range-free chicken, pig, and beef products, to organic marshmallows (who said organic had to be good for you), and hanks of knitting wool identifying the animal the wool came from (including pictures). Our divide on bread plays out in many ways at the market. I purchase pretzels and bread that will not kill you when thrown, and Liz build muscles lifting the bread, purchases organic apples, and passes on grilled organic eggs, free-range chicken sausage, raw milk cheddar cheese sandwiches, in favor of a North African breakfast stew.
Indianapolis people are not crazy. Please note the outdoor portion of the neighborhood Starbucks is deserted. But we continue to walk, walking to dinner about 6 block away at a Louisiana cuisine restaurant (hot gumbo for me...mushroom and rice for Liz), and the following night to a performance of the 1603 version of Hamlet. Many of the lines are roughly the same, but Shakespeare did edit the play to the form we are familiar with. See the Spider man production on Broadway is undergoing extensive editing process (but probably not the same lasting qualities).
Last night we went to a Town Hall meeting on Library Funding. It appears the arcane method of Indiana taxation, and multiple levels of overlapping government layers have the unintended effect of starving the Library system of needed funds. But it was a mainly intelligent discussion with only an occasional sarcastic barb issued (and not responded to). We left understanding that Indiana has a way to go to get out of its governmental mess. Just a note from the news: at a legislative hearing a corrections expert from South Carolina stated that "you know in South Carolina we incarcerate almost anything that walks, but you (Indiana) even exceed our expectations (not an exact quote but close enough for government work)."