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My favorite is:
Toro 16%
Uni 16%
Maguro 0%
Anago 0%
Hamachi 16%
Tako 16%
Saba 0%
Inari 33%
Tai 0%
Tobiko 0%

Votes: 6


 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Feb 12, 2002
It grew up on the east side of Indianapolis. It wasn't exactly a slum, it was more like what most people would call white trash. Luckily, I recognized that hard work is rewarded so I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made some money.

More diaries by Hunter
This is Bad
So now I am back in Indy, Zionsville, which is actually a nice little suburb. I am amazed at the change the city has undergone in my absence and I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the person I have been told is responsible, former mayor Stephen Goldsmith.

Mr. Goldsmith is one of the pioneers of privatization. If your city's trash is collected by private industry you probably have Goldsmith to thank for it. He is also the man responsible for almost single handedly lifting downtown Indianapolis up from the squalor it was in and bringing it up to a level where respectable people like myself feel welcome. He did this by building a very attractive mall and selling space to several upscale retailers. Then he cleaned up the streets, put more cops on patrol, and generally beautified the entire area. Now instead of homeless people sleeping over heating grates we have nice brick sidewalks that run alongside department store window displays that rival those of New York or Chicago. The revitalization of the area also attracted many fine eateries, we have a Ruth's Chris, two decent brewpubs, a top notch Japanese restaurant called Mikado...the list goes on.

Mayor Goldsmith is no longer in office but it appears that the momentum he got started is still steamrolling ahead on a slightly smaller scale. I went back to the old neighborhood, Fountain Square, today to visit some friends. Upon finding their new pad (two guys I went to school with are renting half a double) I found them both, recently awakened although it was past 10am, playing games on their X-Box. We talked about old times and caught up on each other's lives. Seems that they have both been bouncing from job to job as of late, they currently share a vehicle (which was OK because my Denali could carry all three of us), and neither one of them had much 'traveling money' to spend today. I had originally planned for the three of us to have lunch at the Palomino (a semi-pricey place downtown) then maybe walk around Circle Center mall and look for women but these plans were destroyed by the fact that both of my friends were broke.

Undaunted, I decided that I would treat them to lunch if they were willing to take a walk around Fountain Square with me so I could see how the place had developed. It was quite different from what I remember as a youth. There is a very good bookstore, a nice looking theatre, and many new restaurants. Strangely, neither of my high school buddies had any interest in visiting these places and despite living smack in the middle of the little neighborhood had never been inside any of them.

It came time to have lunch and I noticed a trendy looking place on the square named Shelbi Street Cafe. We all went in, sat down, and surveyed the menu. They were both aghast at the prices ("8 bucks for a tiny little pizza? I can get a large at Papa Johns for that!" and "Wheres the burgers?"). Since I was buying they had no choice but to order. They both had club sandwiches that looked very good, I had a cold Thai Noodle salad and a cup of very good Kenyan AA, the total bill ran about $35. Very impressive.

Once we had concluded our trip down memory lane I said my goodbyes. Most likely we will not see each other again. I came to the realization that Mr. Goldsmith was so successful in improving Indianapolis because he understood the very essence of what separates good neighborhoods from bad ones. Its all about the locals. In order to have a clean, attractive neighborhood the people who frequent it must help out. You basically have to move in a few establishments that cater to the type of people you want to attract and ensure that they set their prices high enough to keep the locals stuck in their hovels. Johnny Lunchpail doesn't want to spend $10 on a lunch that doesn't include a piece of red meat the size of a hubcap, so serve a handful of pasta with maybe 5 peanuts instead. Adopt some laws that prevent loitering, put a few extra cops on the street, then bring in the stores that sell wicker baskets for $100 a pop. No run of the mill layabout will be able to spend any time in a place like that. Don't renew the lease for the 'Cigarettes for Less' on the corner, instead give a tax break to the guy who wants to open a cigar shop that sells Fuentes for $10. Its easy when you think about it.

I must apologize for being so long winded but this is a very important subject. If you currently live in one of the big cities (Chicago, LA, New York, Boston, etc) and you want to be sure that your kids have a place to take a stroll without being bothered by panhandlers, give Stephen Goldsmith a call. I am amazed at the effectiveness of his tactics. It is entirely possible that all the poor people that have been squeezed out of Indy have all gone to your city, I don't know. Come to think of it, I really don't care where they have gone as long as it isn't in my backyard. Luckily my neighborhood association has rendered that pretty much impossible because they don't allow NASCAR paraphenalia to be displayed, nor can you leave your car outside your garage overnight. That pretty much solves Indianapolis' problem with the poor as far as I'm concerned.


Problem with that. (none / 0) (#1)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 10:45:09 AM PST
What if you have three cars in your family?

For a well-to-do household, that's probably a very common situation. One car for Mr., one for Mrs., and a stylish SUV as a birthday present for Jr. You can't really expect Jr. to ride the schoolbus to his highschool? That would be utterly low-class, don't you think?

Peace and much love...

Solution (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by jvance on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 11:13:42 AM PST
Living in the abject poverty of a Third World nation like Russia, you can be forgiven for failing to see the obvious.

Three car garage. If you can't afford to house them, you really can't afford to own them, can you?

Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

duh (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 11:57:31 AM PST
Well, obviously. The problem is that most houses are not designed to accommodate a three-car garage. That would require some sort of non-standard layout of the land plot and foundation[1]. A better solution would be some sort of two-layer setup with an underground garage, but I think the height of designer thought hasn't reached that point.

[1] I hope you don't mean those horrible "urban-development" monstrosities with a tiny backyard and manufactured grass. No self-respecting person would live in a place like that.

Peace and much love...

Sir, You are Mistaken (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by jvance on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 12:27:57 PM PST
Perhaps that is true for the sorts of houses that riff raff can afford, but that's the thrust of this article, isn't it - driving off the riff raff?

Houses with 3 car garages and proper lawns are common in any decent American[1] metropolis, by which I do not mean those horrid East Coast OPACs[2]. The next time you're over here, you should broaden your horizons and visit such exemplars of American urban planning as Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix.

[1] USian is actually an English acronym for "Estados Unidos de Mexico"
[2] Obsolete Pre-Automobile City
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

Yes. (none / 0) (#6)
by tkatchev on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 12:43:55 PM PST
I thought we were talking about Indianapolis, no?

Peace and much love...

I Admit (none / 0) (#7)
by jvance on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 12:54:12 PM PST
I have never visited Indianapolis, since I'm not much into self-flagellation. However the article discussed the changes to downtown Indianapolis AND the applicability of such tactics to other cities. The examples I cited show how cities on a proper development track (misnamed "sprawl" by frustrated Communist "urban planners") have taken these tactics to a whole new level.
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

Yes (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by Right Hand Man on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 12:59:30 PM PST
Most of Indianapolis' populace has engaged in white flight (which should be renamed rich flight because minorities are fine, as long as they are decent people). We have moved our kids out to the township schools, where the plots are usually large enough to accomodate expanding the garage. If they aren't I think a little planning should be expected of people, when the children get within a few years of driving age its probably time to look for a new home.

That is also part of Goldsmith's genius. He knew that to complete that renovation the poor would not only have to be excluded from the indoor shopping areas but they would have to move out of the area entirely. To this end he tore down any old unsightly building and erected a shiny new one in its place (the entire canal area is now beautiful, MSA is gone and the Conseco Fieldhouse has taken over, Brick City has even been renamed Brokenbrook Trials although the windows are still boarded up on most buildings). While its still cramped, the apartments and condos that have immediate access to all that the new downtown has to offer attract the upper half of young singles who have not yet started a family. The fact that the buildings are new justifies doubling the rent over what it once was.

"Keep your bible open and your powder dry."

Old News (none / 0) (#12)
by Hunter on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:59:01 PM PST
Actually, the white flight you mention took place about 10 years ago. The flight has now expanded to the surrounding towns as the boundaries of the city have expanded so much that driving along any of the highways you won't know when you leave Indy and enter Brownsburg. One of the reasons I chose Zionsville is that it is fairly well cordoned off from the city by open land. That land is owned by several already extraordinarily wealthy families who won't be inticed by the huge sums developers are willing to pay.

Goldsmith's plan also included the low cost housing. He shut down Brick City and several other section 8 apartment complexes. They've renamed them all and I think there are plans to tear them down and rebuild, just like they did downtown.

i voted for uni. (none / 0) (#2)
by derek3000 on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 11:00:14 AM PST
I can't eat too much of it, though, or I'll get sick. It's the texture...

"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Utopian Ideal (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:04:00 PM PST
Smooth, sterile concrete and plastic everywhere you look. Happy, wealthy families cooperating in community-minded bliss. Strictly controlled and monitored park areas free of vagrants and possible health-threatening rubbish.

Most of all, shelters for the poor and homeless away from the sight of the happy, utopians living their dreams.

can it be? (none / 0) (#11)
by nathan on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:39:19 PM PST
Irvine Welsh! I thought you were dead!

Ah, well, you might as well be.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

On that particular topic... (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 03:00:24 AM PST
you do know that Irvine blagged a bucket of council arts grants to write short stories, which he later lumped together and rehashed into his ubiquitous best-seller?

Stick with Banks.

No, thanks. (none / 0) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 04:00:54 AM PST
I prefer intricate language and credible character development over the ability to cook up one sci-fi planet after another.

You'd probably prefer King to Twain if you were American. Banks is pretty much unheard of in America. This is not only due to the shortcomings of his prose, but also to the dependence of his escapist space operas on uniquely British social conditioning.

I can see where short stories might irritate a person whose primary reason for reading fiction is to escape, but accusing a work of being an amalgamation of short stories doesn't amount to much of a criticism in the literary world. In fact, disjoint episodic narrative is a rather interesting technique.

Welsh didn't set out to be a "ubiquitous bestseller" (though he didn't shy away when fortune came calling). Ian has always been dedicated to sales before artistic merit.

You're a geek. And a stupid geek, at that.

Welsh isn't bad, exactly (none / 0) (#17)
by nathan on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 06:44:07 AM PST
Although his many imitations form a particularly odious and obnoxious subgenre.

I prefer Evelyn Waugh and V S Naipaul, myself. I can't say that I find Mr Welsh to be a literary immortal. This isn't to say that he deserves contempt, to be sure.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Sure, sit on the fence. (none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 09:27:52 AM PST
There's no need to backpedal like that when we're comparing Welsh to Ian fucking Banks.

I suppose similarity of technique is a valid basis for literary comparison, but beyond that, I don't see much reason to bring those other scribblers into the discussion. You might as well haul in Dickens, while you're at it.

Your distaste for Mr. Welsh smells a little bit puritan, incidentally. I suspect you prefer the debauched to be devout, like Mr. Waugh.

reread (none / 0) (#19)
by nathan on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 12:06:40 PM PST
My comment history will reveal that I never mentioned Banks, whom I have never read. I like Waugh because he's, in my opinion, a better writer and a more effective satirist. But thanks for accusing me, a poor farmer's son, of being a class snob.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Class snob? (none / 0) (#21)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 01:13:42 AM PST
As long as we're reviewing comment histories, let's go back and find the post that brought class into the equation.

That would be yours, dear nathan, in good old comment #19.

Have another look at the comment history. Note that there are two distinct anonymous posters at work here. Figure out which one brought Banks into the discussion. Take a deep breath. Relax.

I merely suggest that you, a known American christian of indeterminate denomination, express a distaste for Welsh that appears to be rooted more in morality than in literary aesthetic. I thought the multiple references to religion would make that clear.

I think this anonymous posting has lead you to a bit of a misreading of the argument. Not your fault, of course. Nature of the beast, and all that.

Oh, and a copyright notice should always include a date, in addition to the author, like so:

© 2002, Anonymous Reader.

You may optionally add whatever restrictions or waivers or surrealism you like, e.g.:

All rights reserved.

Pay attention. (none / 0) (#22)
by hauntedattics on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 12:56:23 PM PST
Nathan is Canadian and currently lives in Toronto, despite having attended a U.S. university.

What does 'all rights reserved' mean, anyway? It's awfully vague.

It means... (none / 0) (#24)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 01:49:57 PM PST
..."hands off, it's mine."

Peace and much love...

you are quite right (none / 0) (#23)
by nathan on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 01:01:45 PM PST
I misread your comment about Puritanism as pertaining to class rather than to morals. In my defense, I will say that class and morals are rather tightly linked in my mind.

My distaste for Welsh is based on his writing, not whatever morals he professes or doesn't profess - although I will say that the Ash Can School has already had its day.

I find it interesting that you associate Christianity with didactic moral works. St Augustine wrote his share of those, but he also wrote the Confessions. American 'cultural Christians' are great lovers of such self-consciously primitivist works, but that has more to do with America's cultural distrust of such things as education, and sophisticated, decadent European ways, than it does anything fundamental to Christianity.

Oh, and I'm not an American. My copyright notice is mostly to constern Potatohead and as such is purely ornamental; in addition, as i\each post is date- and time-stamped, I consider the time of copyright to already have been sufficiently established. In any case, 70 years plus lifetime of the author; I'm confident I'm protected.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

I hate to do this, but... (none / 0) (#25)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Feb 14th, 2002 at 02:12:26 PM PST
Canada is part of the Americas. Ergo, Canadians can be accurately referred to as "American."

I know, I know, it's a stupid point. It's true, though. And it's easier than pointing out that the typical Canadian's assertion of a cultural identity distinct from that of the United States is nothing more than wishful thinking.

The Canadian culture is no more distinct than any regional US culture. Montreal and Quebec have no more claim to cultural distinction than New Orleans and the Delta. BC is no more a separate cultural region than the Pacific Northwest.

A currency is not a culture.

In cultural terms, the US is less different from Canada than it is from itself. Look, I don't like being American, but I've learned to accept it and move on. I wish more Canadians who don't like being American would learn to accept it, too, rather than stall their personal development with denials.

Did he do enough? (none / 0) (#10)
by zikzak on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 02:10:37 PM PST
Most truly progressive cities these days have passed a type of ordinance euphemestically referred to as a Camping Ban. Nothing says "I care" quite like making it illegal to sleep in public.

I will now whine about the poll. (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 06:45:59 PM PST
I realize you can only specify so many options in a poll, but you missed a lot of my favorites-- Aji, Kampachi, Hirame (especially Engawa), Ankimo, Sawagani, Shima Aji, Katsuo, and Mirugai.

For those who can't tell bluefin from ahi, you might want to include Unagi (most beginners prefer it to Anago), Shiro Maguro, Ebi, Ikura, and the oft-overlooked Tamago.

I visited Indianapolis once... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by poltroon on Tue Feb 12th, 2002 at 08:06:20 PM PST
and ate in a restaurant where the waiter brought out a cart and politely introduced us to various lumps of flesh. Too bad I don't eat meat. It was pretty fancy.

Random question for no one in particular. (none / 0) (#20)
by hauntedattics on Wed Feb 13th, 2002 at 03:19:37 PM PST
Why did they call it 'Ruth's Chris Steakhouse'? They couldn't just say 'Ruth's' or 'Chris's' or maybe just 'Kickass Steakhouse'? Not only is it odd, it's hard to say quickly 5 times.


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