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Fragments against ruins: Detroit and Indianapolis


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#16 Neocon maudit

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 02:39 AM

This year wasn't a very food-oriented Gen Con for us: my best friend brought his kids for the first time, which meant a lot of shepherding and handholding [literal and figurative], and eating a lot of flat, doughy dishes: the 'paleo-influenced' pizza and tacos at Nook downtown, a return to Milktooth for their delicious Dutch Babies, and an actual Domino's pizza delivered to our hotel [my friend's kids suddenly manifested a peer-generated craving which refused to be repressed or ignored].  I also ate an awful lot of late-night Arby's [owing to the fact downtown Indy goes to sleep even earlier than New York].

 

Though much of Friday and Saturday was spent with the kids, you'll be reassured to know I still found time to play a posh MI6 officer, a 1930s hobo journalist, and a charmless, monolingual diplomat at the US Embassy in Manila.



#17 Neocon maudit

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 02:46 AM

High summer means I'll soon be riding the Greyhound overland to Indiana again. It does rather seem as if the restaurant scene has got slightly less interesting over the last couple of years: several significant closures, and the new additions are not terribly intriguing. For instance, there is a burger offshoot of St Elmo's across the street from our hotel. More than one review has referred to it as 'Ivy League-themed', which seems curious given that the closest Ivy League university is in Philadelphia.*

 

If Steak ‘n Shake had gone off to an Ivy League college, read a lot of British literature, and acquired a taste for dark sipping liquor, it would have come home as this handsome go-getter with an old soul. [Indianapolis Monthly]

 

But the non-burger dishes make me wonder what is happening in Mike Pence's America.

 

...a starter of four wonton chips topped with spicy Asian mayo–drizzled tuna poké makes brilliant cubes of ahi taste both bright and buttery. The same dice of seafood is lightly seasoned, seared in a ring, and eased into a sesame-seeded brioche. Dressed with ponzu mayonnaise and Napa cabbage, it is called the Semester at Sea. A shaved Brussels sprouts salad loaded with little hunks of lilting burrata cheese manages to bring together so many big flavors, from toasted pumpkin seeds to a tuft of candied onions, in one big bowl of decadence disguised as rabbit food.

 

Most of the sides represent the breaded-and-fried food groups, some (like the hot, crisp zucchini spears that taste like the Indiana State Fair’s interpretation of a garden vegetable) more successfully than others (rubbery slices of avocado rendered even less edible under a hot panko crust).

 

The 'Ivy League' burger on the menu is vegetarian.

 

* Mmm, Cornell may be a few dozen miles closer, actually.



#18 Wilfrid

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:20 PM

For work, was looking at some Indiana promoting websites today. Feel bad I haven’t been to Indianapolis (even more so Detroit, other than the airport).

#19 Neocon maudit

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 04:17 PM

There are moral arbiters who find gawking at 'ruin pr0n' distasteful, but I think everyone shoud visit some of the abandoned structures in Detroit. The closest most of us will come to seeing a post-apocalyptic city, I hope...

 

I don't know if Indianapolis is particularly noteworthy other than being a very 'Middle American' city [nearby Muncie is the 'Middletown' of 20th-century sociology fame...and also home of Garfield]. Which is why the 'Brooklynisation' of its hipster neighbourhood's cuisine made for an interesting case study. I do think people from the coastal cities should visit places like Indiana to be reminded how very, very white most of America [geographically] is. And half of white Americans live in towns of under 50,000.