There are questions that I get with a lot of regularity from people who are moving into the area. 'How often do you get hit by tornadoes (me...never), what's the best thing about Indianapolis (the people), what's the worst thing about Indy (January and February).
One thing I can say factually is that Indianapolis rarely meets the expectations of people from the coasts or out of the country. It exceeds them. When we helped a large group of people move here from near San Francisco two to three years ago, to a person they were stunned at how pleasant it was and that we weren't simply one big cornfield. One of those people, John, was 53 years old and had never owned a home....until he moved here. For him it was a dream answered. I picked one family up at the airport and we went to look at homes in Brownsburg. The first property we went in was about $300,000. It was five minutes from where their kids would go to school. We walked up the front sidewalk and as the wife entered the home, she stopped and sobbed. In California $300,000 got them 1400 square feet on a 90 x 60 lot. Here they would buy 3700 square feet on four tenths of an acre. It was 90 minutes one way to her husband's work near San Fran. Here, he would be a 17 minute drive. He had never seen one of their kids plays or sporting events. Here in Indiana, he'd be able to be a part of all of it. Their entire lives were changing and they had no idea until that moment how much better their quality of life would be.
It's not just about economics, though. It truly is those who live here. In Indiana it's about people who rush into the flames and chaos on a dark November night to rescue their neighbors after a gas explosion in Richmond Hill. It's about hundreds of people who ran towards danger to help as tens of thousands of pounds of steel scaffolding came crashing down, trapping dozens of their fellow concert goers at the State Fair grounds. It's also about a community who raised tens and tens of thousands of dollars to support their fellow Hoosiers with cancer when a football coach is stricken. I once told a client moving here that we're 'embarrassingly polite.' Being from New York he just looked at me with a blank stare. Now, 17 months after his move here, he understands. Two weeks after his family moved to Indiana, the family dog was struck near their home. They got a call from a neighbor who had seen it happen, scooped up the injured animal and not knowing who it belonged to called them from the phone number on 'Bailey's' tags as he drove their pet to the animal ER. The dog survived. It is a perfect place? Hardly. We don't have sprawling beaches (although we do have Beech Grove). But it is an environment that gives you a sense of being from somewhere that matters. Not for it's physical grandeur, but for what's in the hearts of many who reside here. Naive homerism? Perhaps....but the facts do speak for themselves. Those facts are pretty clear that quality of life is more than simple outdoor temps and national seashore miles. Here....that axiom is actually true.
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