Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Canal Walk, Indianapolis

On the final day of Gen Con, the convention closed at 4 p.m. That is, the convention center closed at 4 so everyone who didn't have official business had little to do inside. Since my shuttle to the hotel was scheduled for 7 p.m., I decided to see some of the city. The most interesting feature posted on the helpful little maps downtown is the canal. It wasn't far away so I went for a canal walk.

The Indianapolis Canal Walk

By the NCAA Hall of Champions

View of a Marriott Hotel

The canal was built as part of the early 1800s canal craze sparked by the Erie Canal. The plan for the Indiana Central Canal was to connect the Ohio River to the Wabash and Erie Canal, a distance just under 300 miles. A financial crisis in the 1830s wiped out the funding for the canal, so only parts of it were completed. The Indianapolis part of the canal (about eight miles) eventually became the property of the city. A 1980s project rebuilt the downtown portion of the canal, making a pleasant walking path.

Walkers enjoying a getaway from downtown

Reminds me of Venice

Side view of that Marriott building

Walking isn't the only mode of transport on and around the canal. A boat rental agency has paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks.

Ship merchant

A fountain people went around but not in

Another rental agency rents foot-powered cars, almost like Fred Flintstone!


In action

The walk also includes various works of art. Underneath one bridge is a delightful mural.

Cool and refreshing on one side...

...hot and exciting on the other

A few museums line the canal, providing some more impressive works.

The Eiteljorg Museum

Outside the Indiana State Museum

Indiana Steam Clock (also outside the State Museum)

In the canal is a three-part work of art called the Vessel series. It was made by William Dennisuk in collaboration with the Herron School of Art and Design. Dennis says, "The project draws attention to our relationship with water, and stands as a metaphor for how we might interact with the extended environment. The open-frame structures, together with their reflections, tend to intermingle and mesh with their wider surroundings; suggesting an inter-dependent and more collaborative partnership with our environment." [quoted from signs on the canal walk]

The first part is Pulse, which "refers to the rhythmic fluctuations we find in nature and in ourselves; the recurrence of vibrations, undulations, waves and the simple beat of the heart." [also from the canal walk]


The second part is Valence, referring "to the relative capacity of a person or thing to unite, to react with, or affect another in a special way, as by attraction or the facilitation of a function or activity." [from the canal walk]


Spin is the final part, referring "to a fundamental movement that can be found in nature and ourselves; the spinning planet and angular momentum of elementary particles, the winding of fibers, throwing clay or the dance of the whirling dervish." [from canal walk]


The canal walk is a very pleasant place to spend a few hours on a sunny day!

Another fountain

Another patriotic bit

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