Centric is hosting our annual summer meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Starting on Wednesday, Centric Consulting colleagues from across the country and India will descend on our city for a few days of company-wide meetings. If you see us, don’t be shy and stop us to say “Hi!”
To my colleagues, this message is for you: Welcome to Indianapolis – aka Indy or Naptown to locals and friends near and far!
You may have heard us also referred to as Hoosiers. The funny thing about that: no one really knows how we got the name, starting in the 1830s, but it stuck!
One of my favorite local tales of lore about the name “Hoosier” comes from James Whitcomb Riley, world-renowned author and poet, and lifelong Indiana native. Riley claimed that “Hoosier” originated in the pugnacious habits of our early settlers.
They were enthusiastic and vicious fighters who gouged, scratched, and bit off noses and ears. These fights were so common an occurrence that the morning after a fight, settlers who saw an ear on the floor of the local tavern casually asked, “Whose ear?”
The truth as far as Historian Jacob Dunn, Jr. found is a little less entertaining (and less gruesome). Dunn noted “Hoosier” was frequently used in many parts of the south in the 19th century for woodsmen or rough hill-people. He traced the word back to “hoozer” from the Cumberland region of England.
Their dialect derives from the Anglo-Saxon word “hoo” meaning high or hill. In the Cumberland dialect, the word “hoozer” meant anything unusually large, like a hill. It is not hard to see how people of the region attached this word to a hill-dweller or highlander.
Descendants from the Cumberland region brought the name with them when they settled in the hills of southern Indiana.
While you’re in town, here are a few things you can do:
- The Indiana State Fair – It’s happening August 2nd through the 18th! Join as we celebrate the Bicentennial of 2.5 miles of food and fun at the State Fair Grounds. There are also 10 acres of rides, games, and stuff to see! Check it out HERE.
- White River State Park
- Victory Field – Indianapolis Indiana Baseball, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indiana State Museum, and the IMAX Theater spread over 250 acres, including the canal.
- Soldiers & Sailors Monument – The Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a 284-feet 6-inch neoclassical monument built on Monument Circle. Monument Circle is a circular, brick-paved street that intersects Meridian and Market streets in the center of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.
- The Canal and White River State Park
- Fountain Square
- Indiana Avenue
- Market East
- Mass Ave – my favorite haunt
- Wholesale District
Four of the six districts have homes directly in downtown Indianapolis, while Fountain Square is just a mile southeast. You can’t go wrong with checking out any of these neighborhoods, their restaurants, or shops.
You’ll also want to make time to drop by one – or two – of these tasty pubs and restaurants:
- St. Elmo’s Steakhouse – The television show Parks and Rec filmed here and highlighted the steakhouse in one of their episodes. (Image) Everyone should try the house shrimp cocktail, as it’s one of their signature dishes!
- Loughmiller’s Pub & Eatery – This is a great place to grab a beer and any style tavern food you can imagine. It is within walking distance of the hotel, and you might see Indiana’s Governor grabbing lunch there! This place is a continual lunch spot for local politicians and state employees.
- Café Patachou – This place has eclectic daytime plates served with fair-trade coffees and drinks in bright, hip digs, nearby to the hotel.
- Spoke & Steele – Spoke & Steel is a contemporary dining lounge featuring creative regional cuisine, plus classic and signature cocktails.
- Bluebeard – Located in Indy’s oldest neighborhood, their menu comes exclusively from local farms in Indiana and gets its name from Hoosier native Kurt Vonnegut’s novel.
And, of course, here’s your list of the best brews and wine in town:
- Sun King Brewery
- Indiana City Brewing Company
- Fountain Square Brewery
- Chilly Water
- Peace Water Winery
Still need ideas? Watch this fun video by Visit Indy to see a glimpse even more cool things you can check out while in town!
No matter where you choose to go, no matter where you explore, there is something to offer everyone around every corner of Indianapolis.
From a flourishing culinary and local brewing scene to cultural haunts and cool neighborhoods, we hope you enjoy your visit and leave having learned a little something about why we love to call Indy home!