A few years ago I relocated to Indianapolis from the world class city of Chicago for new opportunities for myself and my family, an opportunity that I am thankful for almost daily. As a Chicagoan, it was very difficult to break the lifelong bonds with many of Chicago's icons such as the Sears Tower or Soldier Field, so I am offering my perspective to help any future Indianapolis transplants ease into their new homes here.
Over the years, I have observed how similar and how different these 2 great cities are and have dedicated a few moments to share them with you, with others who may be relocating to the Indianapolis area.
Let's start with sports. Indianapolis has a Minor League team, just like Chicago's Minor League team.
Even the 2 teams' stadiums bare a resemblance to one another from their low profile outfield seating, forest green tinted box seats and an undeniably similar views from the outfield looking home. It's hard to tell which of the following is Victory Field and which is Wrigely Field.
Both remind me of Sunday night baseball on the perfect summer evening growing up. As many times as I've now been to Victory Field, I have to say, it is an equally enjoyable time, but a bit different when entertaining our children in the lawn seats and calling for cotton candy instead of 16 ounce Budweisers. Good times, nonetheless. To experience a ball game at Victory Field, visit: www.IndyIndians.com
Moving on. Chicago is a city with more nicknames than any other that I am aware of. "The City, Chicagoland, Chi Town, Second City, Windy City and The Loop" are a few that come to mind. "The Loop" is a reference to the City's mass transit system which, when downtown, is literally an elevated train track that makes a complete 'loop' around Chicago's downtown and iconic buildings. For those of who might enjoy the round and round method of travel that the CTA offers, you may feel at home with Downtown Indy's very own method of circular travel, scenic Monument Circle: In the summer time, monument circle is an excellent destination on a nice night to take in the underrecognized impressiveness in Indy's skyline. On almost any evening throughout the year, horse & carriage rides are available, just before treating yourself a fresh popped pop corn or a chocolate treat
at The South Bend Chocolate Company's location on the circle, ( www.sbchocolate.com ) which is satisfyingly similar to Garret's Popcorn on State Street or Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Mmmmm.....
The similarities between these 2 cities elevates to the State level as well. I recall the first time I traveled down Meridian Street in awe of the beautifully built custom mansions of all sizes and styles and coming across the State of Indiana's Governor's Mansion, the residence for the sitting Governor and his or her family. Illinois has it's own 'Governor's Mansion too but it's just a bit different.
For the sake of finishing my thought in a quick fashion, here is list of other notable mentions on the comparison list:
Illinois has U of I with it's Assembly Hall while Indiana has IU with it's Assembly Hall.
Illinois has a big college in Bloomington, Indiana has a big college in Bloomington.
Chicago has the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue, and Indianapolis has Michigan Road.
Chicago (the part that I'm from) has Carmel Catholic High School, and Indianapolis has Carmel High School.
Chicago has the suburb of Zion, Indy has Zionsville.
Indiana has Kentucy, and Illinois has Wisconsin...insert joke here _______________.
It takes about 2 and half hours to get to Downtown Chicago from Indianapolis. Amazingly it often takes 2 hours to get from most parts of Chicago to Downtown Chicago.
Incorporating a lot of truth a little humor, but all in good taste, I hope that this reaches someone relocating to the great city of Indianapolis from the Chicago area and it helps highlight how similar things really are.