Bill Benner, Northside Resident

I love Indy for many reasons.

But mainly, because I’m old.

Now, understand, I’m not too crazy about being old but, as they say, it sure beats the alternative.

Like when I read the obituaries in the morning newspaper and my name’s not there, well, that’s a good day, right?

But I digress.

Back to Indy and loving it because I’m old.

Because age gives me perspective. And from that perspective comes a profound delight to have been blessed to come along during a time when our city underwent this dramatic transformation from India-no-place to India-someplace-something-special.

During my days as a sports journo for The Indianapolis Star, I got to write about it.

In the second half of my career, I got to take part in promoting it.

Pretty dang lucky on both ends.

Sports. Cultural offerings. Amenities. Shopping. Dining. The Canal. White River State Park. Monument Circle (always Monument Circle). Mass Ave. Fountain Square. Food festivals. Art fairs.

Finals Fours. A Super Bowl. Home to the NCAA. The Pacers. The Colts. The Vic, the nation’s finest minor league ballpark. The world’s fastest pool at the Nat. The Fieldhouse, the nation’s finest basketball arena. Lucas Oil Stadium, the nation’s finest football venue. Hinkle Fieldhouse, the nation’s finest historic basketball venue. The flippin’ Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Greatest Spectacle!

Other than that …

What do I love about Indy? I could go on and on and on … and so I will.

Italian at Iaria’s. A gondola ride on the Canal. Watching baseball at the Vic as the sun sets and the city lights come up. Introducing a rookie to shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo’s. Saturday afternoon hoops at Hinkle. The murals at CityWay and the art in the Alexander. Yuletide with the ISO inside at Hilbert on a night when a light snow falling outside on the Circle of Lights. Any concert at Old National. The roof open at Lucas. The curtains down at Bankers Life. Carb Day. The hour leading up to the start of the Indy 500. Lunch at City Market. A beer in Broad Ripple. The gardens at Garfield Park. Mass at St. John or Sacred Heart or Holy Rosary. The Trifecta: Zoobilation on Friday, Italian Fest on Saturday, Talbott Street Art Fair on Sunday. Noon time performances in the Artsgarden. Food truck Friday on Georgia Street. The view from the Central Library. Fireworks from the Regions tower. The month of May. The State Fair. Benjamin Harrison’s home. James Whitcomb Riley’s home. The Old Northside. Woodruff Place. Irvington. Driving the length of Pleasant Run Parkway. A corned beef sandwich at Shapiro’s. Kids in the splash park at Tarkington Park. The flying wedge at the NCAA Hall of Champions. Winter lights at Newfields. A Sport Graphics mural on the blue façade of the JW. A hot donut from Long’s. The orangutans at the Zoo. The skyline view from the hill at Crown Hill. Those gold Pacers bikeshare bikes. Ann Dancing. Jazz at the Noodle. The Biergarten outside the Rathskeller.

Oh, and most of all, our people. My fellow Hoosiers. Good folks.

As Julie Andrews once sang, these are a few of my favorite things.

And why I’ve loved growing old in Indy.

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