Indianapolis Monthly January 2020

Indianapolis Monthly has become central Indiana’s premier general-interest publication—the Circle City’s essential chronicle and guide, an indispensable authority on what’s new, what’s news, and what people are talking about. Whether covering crime, politics, business, sports, or arts and entertainment, Indianapolis Monthly sets the standard for editorial excellence in the state.

United States
Emmis Publishing, LP
12 号


editor’s note

Separation Anxiety I winced several times when I read Casey Kenley’s excellent yet heartbreaking essay on divorce (p. 68) this month. Unfortunately, I, too, know the pain of a marriage ending, and even though I’d like to put the experience in my rear-view mirror, that’s impossible. The divorce is a part of me—every bit as much as the 15-year marriage that preceded it or the two phenomenal children it produced. Fortunately, somewhere during the process, I made a conscious decision not to let the failure of the relationship define me, but rather my response to it. That hasn’t always been comfortable—I’ve had to accept some hard truths about myself, find productive outlets for my emotions, and come to terms with the idea that life hasn’t turned out how I envisioned. Though that has…

oppo research

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg leads many polls in Iowa (p. 49), but our staff ers might not fare so well. We asked a few what’s keeping them from jumping into politics. “My staunch Whig Party political views.” —DANIEL COMISKEY, DEPUTY EDITOR “I’m incapable of dealing with idiots.” —MEGAN MAGUIRE, ADVERTISING ART COORDINATOR “Nearly everything I did in the late ’70s.” —MIKE BOTKIN, PRODUCTION MANAGER “I accidentally protested against Queen Beatrix in Aruba. I joined a group lined up to see her, and tried to mimic their chant, which was in Dutch. I later learned I was yelling at her to go home.” —MEGAN FERNANDEZ, DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL OPERATIONS…


Sarah Murrell Freelance writer Sarah Murrell returned to her ancestral home for this month’s cover story on Indy’s dive bars (p. 52), which is to say, somewhere between a bottle of whiskey and a greasy kitchen. “I really enjoyed cataloging the bar regulars and telling their stories,” she says. “Mama T and Backdoor Charlie both deserve their own biopic.” Murrell has written for Thrillist, High Times, and NUVO. Philip Gulley Columnist Philip Gulley’s wife has often said he thinks the rules don’t apply to him. This was especially apparent when their homeowner’s association ordered Gulley to paint their house (p. 46). “I finally broke down and did it, and my wife is happy,” he says. “But the HOA is running amok, mad with power.” When he’s not writing, Gulley pastors the Fairfield Friends…


Casey Kenley’s October profile of Bluebeard chef Abbi Merriss brought a lot of readers to the table. “Good for Abbi for trying to keep egos in check.” —JOHN CINNAMON, via Twitter “Today I read the fab article in Indianapolis Monthly. Indy is so lucky to have you, Abbi Merriss.” —FAITH COHEN, via Facebook “Terrific writing by Casey Kenley. Abbi is a local gem. Can’t wait to get back to Bluebeard.” —HOLLY WHEELER, via Twitter “No argument here. She’s amazing.” —NEAL BROWN, via Twitter WHICH INDY CHEF OR RESTAURATEUR MOST DESERVES TO WIN THE JAMES BEARD AWARD? 33% Abbi Merriss. Overdue for Bluebeard alone. 18% Jonathan Brooks. Milktooth still tops the list of Indy restaurants. 25% Steve Oakley. Surprising diners for almost two decades. 24% Martha Hoover. That woman’s empire transcends food. LOOK FOR OUR NEXT POLL ON TWITTER. FOLLOW US…

toast to the town

Indy’s bicentennial-year bash boasts a signature beer and whiskey, larger-than-life likenesses of Hoosier legends, and would-be new traditions. Bicentennial WAIT, DIDN’T WE JUST THROW A PARTY? The 2016 bash was for the state’s bicentennial, not the city’s. So we get to celebrate all over again! Consider the 92-county torch relay and Bicentennial Plaza’s fountain light show a practice run. IT’S A YEAR-LONG BASH. Indy is officially blowing out birthday candles from June (the 200th anniversary of the state capital moving here from Corydon) to May 2021, when the Indy 500 will send the Bicentennial year out with a bang. THE INDIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY IS CREATING A HOOSIER TREASURE TROVE. Browse snapshots, letters, and audio recordings from the city’s last 200 years in a digital archive on the IHS website, and, starting in September, pop by a You…

perfect north

Prepare for a lot of very fun, 48-second runs. On weeknights, slopes clear out around 9 p.m., and you can ski straight onto the chair lift for nonstop runs. “Backstage” will always be the best run. Beware the snowboarders. Both for loud, profane music, and for potential collisions with new skiers near the top of the Green Chair lift. The lodge isn’t gourmet and doesn’t serve alcohol. So get out there with your kids. Manmade snow can turn slushy, and has a different texture than natural powder. If you’re taking your own expensive skis, apply a cold-weather wax. Remember that you’re able to go skiing in southeast Indiana—so rejoice that this is even a thing.…