Indianapolis hit its first 90-degree day of the year this week [insert wild cheer!]. To celebrate, we’re dreaming up all our favorite ways to stay cool in Indy, and we’re not just talking about the the temperature. Here to share advice on how to be cool, stay cool, and otherwise chill are a few of our in-house experts.
1. Ditch your car. Riding a bike isn’t about looking cool; it’s about being able to look at cool things. When you’re on a bike, you’re hyper-aware of everything that’s around you: pedestrians, cars, other cyclists. And at the same time, you’re moving slowly enough to take it all in, the buildings and homes that make up our city. On a bike, you find all the cool nooks and crannies of the city. So when your friends from out of town (or even from in town) say, “What’s there to do in Indy?” you can take them to Plat 99, not Howl at the Moon, you can take them to Indy Reads, not Barnes & Noble. – CN
2. Pick up the speed. Paul Newman. James Dean. Marlon Brando. Steve freaking McQueen. Unimpeachable coolness. And they all rode motorcycles. Can’t be a coincidence. If you’ve ever thought about learning to ride, check out the Indiana chapter of ABATE and sign up for a beginner’s class. It’s easier that you think, and it only takes a weekend! And if you’ve never done the ton on a bike, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Hunter S. Thompson (himself, pretty cool) said it best: “Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” However, it’s nice to know that you’re protected while you’re busy going fast and looking cool (regardless of what Christopher says above), and City Moto in SoBro is a good stop for all the impossibly cool gear you could possibly need. – RA
3. Open up a cold one. After all, who’s cooler than Indy’s brewery owners? Indy has several new breweries opening up this season, including Chilly Water Brewing Company in Fountain Square and downtown’s Tow Yard.
Of course, if you can’t open your own brewery, you can always try some new brews, instead. Sour beers like Brugge Brasserie’s Pooka andUpland’s Cherry Lambic are tasty and refreshing options to get your sour palette warmed up. Also, don’t miss the 19th Annual Microbrewers Festival on July 19 at Optimist Park in Broad Ripple. – MM
4. Park it in the shade. Get all retro-cool and enviro-rad by adoptingyour neighborhood park as your hot-weather headquarters. I visit mine every day with my dog! (We love the Bark Park at Eagle Creek when we get the chance to go.) The neighborhood park is a prime location for us to stake out the local ice cream truck, but if you don’t want to leave it up to chance (and the whims of ice cream truck drivers), snag a pint of Roasted Balsamic Strawberry ice cream from Lick and bring it with you. And keep an eye out for more details about the Indianapolis Parks Foundation‘s “Pints-for-Parks” program in July. – SG
5. Get fresh at home. Crank the AC and toss back a margarita on the rocks. While I enjoy an occasional night out drinking margaritas atRevolucion, La Margarita, or Black Market, sometimes you can’t beat staying cool in the comfort of your own home.
But let me warn you, the more time you spend at home, the more house projects you’ll want to start, especially outdoors. For sprucing up curb appeal or enhancing the back patio with some fresh greenery, theMadeline F. Elder Greenhouse is a great place to start. They often sell splits of overgrown plants from across the IMA‘s gorgeous property (and I’d like to officially give Madeline proper credit for helping mewin yard of the week). If you time it right, you can plant during the day and return to the IMA in the evening for the Summer Nights Film Series. I’ll be there this Friday for the showing of The Jerk. – JC
6. Take it outside. One of the things I like to do once a year or so is host an outdoor party at my house. It’s a great excuse to see friends and put the grill to good use while enjoying the great outdoors. For the grill, I like to pick up some spicy sausage and a pepperoni at The Smoking Goose. And I’m a competitive person by nature, so including some type of friendly game or competition is a nice draw and keeps it fun. Finally, a key benefit to an outdoor frolic is limited mess and clean-up inside your house, because who wants spend the next morning cleaning up indoors? Not I.