Monday, May 31, 2010

The Indianapolis 500 - 2010

A Personal Photographic Travelogue And Some Observations. Part One.

This year our Indy 500 base of operations was relocated from the far north central side near Carmel to downtown Indianapolis, just one block from Monument Circle. Say what you will about Indianapolis, this great little city is doing just fine, thank you. Beating the Bears in the SuperBowl sure helps shut up the big city sport media elitists with their big city provincialism. But I digress.

No other city in the world hosts a one day sporting event this large.

Fine hotels, restaurants and sports bars are abundant and within walking distance of downtown Indy. Friday night we walked to a pizza place called Bazbeaux.

It wasn’t bad but not up to my jaded pizza standard. They have a few locations including Carmel and the original located in Letterman’s latently hip hometown Indianapolis neighborhood enclave known as Broad Ripple, which is a bit too trendy for me. Broad Ripple has it’s own youthful Midwestern counter-culture edge it’s just not my style. We avoid it.

Did you ever wonder why young tattooed and pierced individuals work in the foodservice business? Maybe nobody else will hire them but it creeps me out to have my food brought to me by young adults with bolts sticking out of their eyebrows and poorly executed tattoos everywhere but on their eyelids. Oh well. It’s their life.

On Saturday we went to our traditional 500 weekend Saturday morning breakfast haunt one block off Meridian St. because they serve margaritas and burritos at 8am.

The food is acceptable and affordable and we have a ball. It’s called Acapulco Joe’s. We usually have a cocktail tailgate before (sure, it’s odd for a parade) and after, just because. Hey, this weekend is one huge party - don’t ask, don’t tell. Harold drove his pickup with the bro three blocks just to haul the goodies, lawn chairs and libations from the hotel to a parking lot across the street from Aca Joe’s. Whatta’ couple of great guys.

There were no surprises during the parade except the heat. I parked my butt at the usual location on the NE corner of Meridian and Vermont facing west because the lighting was just right for photos. Two separate individuals performing in bands collapsed right in front of us due to the heat. Think about this, wearing a dark, wool marching band uniform while blowing a horn can cause heat exhaustion within a mile or so. Who knew? They were both assisted by professionals and all turned out well.

Governor Mitch was there riding his Harley-Davidson with the Indiana state flag painted on the tank. You will hear a lot more about his stellar record as Indiana governor within the next two years. My Man, Mitch!

Most folks along the route aren’t too loud and I have a special way of getting participants to look my way for a photo. Mitch obliged.

So did drivers like Tony Kananne.

Tony kicked real a$$ during the race this year. TK began in last position and at one time challenged the lead. IF he had a fast car, who knows? He has my respect as a very skilled and gutsy driver. He owned the crowd that day.

Hey, there’s Dan Weldon.

My pick to win for past two years was Dan but second was the best he could do. Twice. He won the big one once. I sure like that Brit. Maybe because he resembles my son so much.

Even the spoiled rotten brat looked at me for a shot after I called her out.

Man, did she get boo’d during the parade. Last weekend she was caught on the track loudspeakers after a qualifying session claiming her car was crap and the crew sucked (in so many words). Since then she went from Indy 500 sweetheart to spoiled brat beeyatch. What a fool. She went from curiosity to b!tch in one race.

Here’s Vitor. Stay off the wall this year, buddy? For once? Huh?

And then there’s Mario. He’s the Godfather of racing. I can still smell the garlic from my spot on the street.

Helio, HEY! Good luck, man. Heh. And take Penske with you back to Miami. K?

This one was fun, the Baja Men of Who Let The Dogs Out one-hit wonder fame.

I’m a big fan of motorsports and the Indy 500 event is the biggest and the best motorsports has to offer. On Memorial Day weekend there is no other place I would rather be.

More to come.


Dan from Madison said...

Cool photos - I forgot we had the Indy 500 as a category all on its own on the sidebar.

Dan from Madison said...

By the way I had the race on in the background while I was doing some stuff around the house, very entertaining. ABC does a nice job with it, although my eye is admittedly untrained to racing.