Despite any work-related stress or discontent I might experience on any or every given weekday, I admit the perks package is above and beyond what friends tell me their employers begrudgingly eke out. One of the less financially grounded, technically more tangible perks: if I can tear myself away from my monitors for a moment, I have ceiling-to-shin-level window seating with a view of two of downtown Indianapolis’ most prominent landmarks.
To one side: the Indiana Statehouse and our official Capitol Dome.
Two items of note in this photo:
1. The large blue box to the right of the Dome is our new Marriott, opened the year before we hosted Super Bowl LXVI to maximize accommodations for our one-time massive influx of hundreds of thousands of single-weekend tourists. If you approach downtown Indy from the southwest via I-70, it obscures your view of the entire city, as if the military decided we needed a giant blast shield to protect us from hordes of invading Californians.
2. We have plenty of parking garages. The short story about that is Indianapolis loves choking the atmosphere with its cars and hates, hates, hates mass transit. Our privatized bus system is underfunded and of severely limited scope. We’ll never have a subway system. Our frequent public discussions of light rail generally end in acrimonious bickering over funding sources or regional favoritism. A few miles’ worth of bicycle lanes have been installed under Mayor Greg Ballard; those would be more impressive if more than 5% of our meager biking population actually used them, rather than sticking to the sidewalks or leaving their bikes at home and driving instead.
To my other side: the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument.
The Monument is located, not coincidentally, in the middle of Monument Circle, the center of Indianapolis and a must-see for any out-of-towners wandering Indiana, especially fans of all things military or towering. Two items of note in this view:
1. Yes, there’s another parking garage. I wasn’t kidding. And another one is being erected on the other side of our building with a projected November completion date because downtown Indy wants all the cars. (Among other reasons. Long story.)
2. Facing other skyscrapers may not seem a wondrous privilege, but I take comfort that, compared to the other office drones across the street, my view beats their view.
Unfortunately, my petty triumph may be short-lived. Upcoming plans for reorganization all but guarantee I’ll be relocated to another desk, probably with a generous view of the back of someone else’s burlap-colored cubicle walls. Until then, I’m trying to find more time throughout the day to set aside the mounting pressures, spin ’round in my chair, and spend a few minutes appreciating the world through my eyes as it exists in this moment. All things considered, pervasive parking garages are more photogenic than other people’s motivational posters and Dilbert clippings.