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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Random Tidbits from Indy

  • Gotta give props to the good folks of Indianapolis. The downtown, which I have not seen in about five years, is well-stocked with nice retail stores, eateries, boozeries, etc. It's very clean. Too clean. Almost sterile, one of my colleagues pointed out. But it's a welcome change to be able to pause on a street corner, look at a map, and not worry that someone who saw you looking at that map is gonna assume you're a slack-jawed tourist who just fell off the back of the yam wagon and try to beat your brains out.
  • I'm a fan of Hyatt hotels (sorry Hyatt, but I'm a bigger fan of Marriott spots, since I've got a stack of frequent visitor points with them). But I'm not a fan of Hyatt's Internet access policies. My roommates and I each brought our laptops 'cause we each have work to keep up with while we're here. Well, when I signed up for I-service to "our room" no one at the front desk mentioned that the I-service was restricted to my computer only. My roomies tried to log later from their machines and were told the access I'd purchased was for my computer only, not the room, and they'd have to purchase separate access. Boooooooo, Hisssssssss, Hyatt!
  • Made a visit to the Indy Motor Speedway earlier in the evening, and I have to admit it was a very cool place and a cool experience. Prior to the visit, which was for an opening night reception for the convention I'm attending this week, I have to confess I'd never have voluntarily gone to a race track. But after seeing and feeling the place, I think I'd go to check it out during a race. I took a few pictures while standing on the track. Curiously, I saw another convention attendee kneel down and kiss the bricks that beat a path across across the track and the pit lane to the bleachers. I know the whole story about the history of the "brick yard." But I thought only the Pope kisses the ground when he visits a new place.

Anyway, back to "work."

I'll post more later in the week.


  • We prefer Hampton, clean and free wireless internet in the rooms (most places).
    I hate being charged for internet access.You already paid for the room, you know? Everyone is always trying to make an extra buck...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:50 AM  

  • I'm sure it was an even bigger change to go into a store where someone greeted you in flat-to-nasal English with a smile. Those three things are sorely lacking in this American city.

    I await the response from those who make Miami either the dumbest city or the angriest city in America (actually Orlando is the angriest, but Miami is right up there).

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 2:20 PM  

  • You are right. I've thought Indy should be an example of what a downtown could do instead of every urban developer using San Antonio as their model.


    By Anonymous jim, at 11:22 AM  

  • Nomination for the WBAs: a friend of mine at work does mornings at Walmart. When the company started offering health insurance to employees, one of her co-workers discovered that she had breast cancer and was therefore ineligible. Their small group of friends started setting aside $25 from each of their paychecks to help her pay medical expenses, light bills and whatever. This woman died last Tuesday, and the group got together to honor her memory and to come up with a plan to offer support to her two teenaged children. I think that's beautiful. They all get gold stars in my book.

    By Anonymous Michelle, at 1:53 PM  

  • Glad you liked our city! I live in Indy, and I am proud of it. Downtown is awesome, and the races we have every year are just a huge promotion of how great we can be. I know there are bums, but the rest, like Terry, are true to form with Hoosier Hospitality.

    By Anonymous Adlib, at 4:32 PM  

  • Hello, James....I attended your workshop on blogging at the Indy Black Journalists convention and enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm an architect practicing in downtown Indy and will be involved in the design for its expansion, so I used your event as an excuse to hang out there last week. The 'scenery' was great! Indy, like a lot of places, is experiencing some 'conventioneer fatigue' which may contribute to what you all experienced, but I'm not one to paper over a suggestion that a little something else was going on as well. Keep up the great work at the Herald and NABJ!

    By Anonymous David R. Franklin, at 2:07 AM  

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