Indiana adopted “The Crossroads of America” as its motto in 1937, and I’m happy to report the phrase still applies—at least if my loved ones have anything to do with it. In the last few years, more than two dozen friends and family have stopped by on their way to other destinations. My brother and his wife, on a road trip to Chicago. My husband’s old classmates, driving from D.C. to a new home in Seattle. Sports-journalist pals, before heading to Bloomington to interview Tom Crean. Sometimes our guests swing through just long enough for dinner or drinks at Black Market or Bluebeard. When we’re lucky, they stay overnight, a fresh bag of Just Pop In popcorn (in Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary flavor—my favorite) propped on the guest-bed pillows as a treat.
Five more out-of-towners are headed to our house in July, but this time, Indianapolis is their primary destination. As I read this issue, I realized they picked the perfect point in the year to visit. Yes, May is known as Indy’s best month—the city rumbles with excitement for the 500. But I may have to give my vote to July. The gorgeous summer cocktails in this issue’s “Best New Bars” will inspire us to take advantage of peak patio weather, tiki drinks in hand. The Speed Read tempts, too, with rentable ways to cool off, from pontoons on Geist to kayaks on Eagle Creek. And thanks in part to cycling-friendly Mayor Ballard (see “The Beat” column), I’ll be able to use the Pacers Bikeshare to show off our tree-lined neighborhoods.
Alas, this month’s Culture Calendar offers almost too many choices for my best friend traveling here for the July 4 weekend. Not only are the Rolling Stones playing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the first non-race-related concert ever, but in those same few days, the Fountain Square Music Festival competes with the Star Spangled Symphony at Conner Prairie and Jaws at the IMA’s Summer Nights Film series. Factor in our tradition of watching the downtown fireworks from Highland Park, and I have to agree with Roy Scheider: We’re going to need a bigger boat.
Then again, maybe it’s okay if we don’t get to everything. We’ll leave a little for next time—a reason for our friends to pass through once more.
Amanda Heckert is the editor-in-chief of Indianapolis Monthly.