The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 10 of 10: An Epilogue of Film, Fowl, and Facades

Several dishes on a wood table in a hardwood restaurant. Meal details are described later in the entry.

Welcome to The Eagle! That’s the name of the restaurant, not the main dish.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do…

Thanks very much to those of you who’ve followed along with my eight previous, glacially posted galleries that comprised our October journey around Indiana’s original state capital Corydon. Whereas the first chapter was a prologue about a donut shop we tried along the way, so too is our epilogue connected to the main storyline only by our timing and our desire to add still more festivities to Anne’s autumn birthday weekend. As a capper, we spent Saturday on Massachusetts Avenue, downtown Indianapolis’ premier upscale restaurant hub. On one end of Mass Ave we planned for lunch; on the other, a film for a special occasion. All told, the meal was better than the movie.

Our day began at The Eagle, an Ohio-based company with six stores in five states. Their Indy location is one of many, many, many fried chicken restaurants that have sprung up here in town and the adjacent counties over the past several years, as if Mother Earth had a few trillion plump new chickens lying around and needed some outlets to thin their ranks. The Eagle’s big claim to differentiating themselves is how they brine all their chicken in a concoction of their own making. We were the first customers in the door when they opened at 11 a.m. and were escorted to the first booth in, which was on a raised platform and required us to sit on the same side of the table, which is so weird to us.

The brick building housing The Eagle Food & Beer Hall. A round sign has an eagle head on it.

Opened in 2015 in the former home of The Front Page Sports Bar.

Our lead photo contains most of our dishes. We may have gone overboard. In front, you can see my meal — one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever eaten, topped with spicy mayo, cole slaw and pickles. (That brine really made the meal.) Our sides included iron-skillet cornbread with maple butter, 5-cheese mac-‘n’-cheese with garlic breadcrumbs, and horseradish mashed potatoes with herb-filled chicken gravy.

Two pieces of fried chicken served in a small metal pie pan.

Anne’s main dish: that chicken.

four strips of fried bacon standing in a glass.

Our appetizer: Maple Sugar Bacon with a spicy seasoning.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we didn’t hesitate to eat an another Eagle when we attended Galaxycon Columbus two months later. Because comic-con-related entries are given the highest possible MCC posting priority, we created a narrative time paradox in posting pics of our second Eagle visit before we at long last posted just now about our first Eagle experience. Fortunately nobody ever holds me accountable when I foreshadow events and delay the payoff for months or even years, just like Chris Claremont used to do in Uncanny X-Men.

We were glad their service was quick, because our film’s showing was set to begin in less than 30 minutes at Living Room Theaters, a cinema we’d never visited before. We walked three-quarters of a mile northeast on Mass Ave, got stymied by a large construction project in our way, had trouble finding the theater’s front door, and eventually stumbled across it with a few minutes to spare. We finally got the chance to do something we hadn’t done in over a decade: catch a feature as part of Indy’s own annual Heartland Film Festival. We’ve talked about them over the years with every intention of participating more actively in their soirees, but we kept procrastinating or, more often than not, always found ourselves with zero free time throughout the month of October. Our last HFF screening was in 2011, which I should really write about sometime, because I don’t believe I’ve ever shared that story online. Eleven years later, we were overdue for a follow-up and wanted to make time for at least one official festival entry.

A lawn sign advertising the Heartland Film Festival.

In front of a Bru Burger Bar, a sign along our path heralded our destination.

A large 20-paneled window whose six central panes have decals advertising the film festival.

More festival ads in the theater’s windows.

A large painting of King Kong along the entire wall of a long staircase.

A King Kong painting looms over you as you walk upstairs to their screens and concession stand.

One of the ushers knew our last names, implying that we were the last advance-ticketed patrons to arrive. Moments after we were seated, the festival folks welcomed everyone and thus began our feature presentation. This year’s roster boasted a number of forthcoming buzz-worthy films as The Banshees of Inisherin and The Whale, but their showings were close enough to sold out, unless we wanted neck-straining front-row seats. That’s our fault for not jumping on the bandwagon more quickly. Instead we wound up seeing a much smaller, lower-profile film with plenty of available seats called Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets. We hadn’t heard of it, but we recognized a few names in the cast. Not until after we’d committed and bought our tickets did we do the research and learn that (a) the film had been released to video-on-demand months prior, and (b) we could’ve watched it for free at home on Hulu anytime (and still can, as of this writing). That deflated some of our excitement for the whole “film festival” theatrical concept, but we nevertheless showed up and hoped for the best.

Longtime MCC readers can relax here: I promise not to burst into a 1600-word stream-of-consciousness movie review. It concerns a teenager with mental health issues (Lucas Jade Zumann from Netflix’s Anne with an E) whose parents (House‘s Lisa Edelstein and the great Jason Isaacs) have their own problems that make things even harder on him. Our Hero counterbalances his troubles with some incessant quirkiness he bought from a Wes Anderson store. He digs Walt Whitman, he takes advice from an imaginary talking bird voiced by Tom Wilkinson (hence the title), and he takes dating advice from truly awful fellow male teens. The object of his desire is Taylor Russell (Bones and All, the Escape Room series), who deserves better.

A teen boy on a psychiatrist's couch looks askance at the imaginary bird doctor he's talking to.

On the bright side, imaginary bird psychiatric sessions are free. That’s a sweet deal. Even Lucy van Pelt charges a nickel for her services.

We’re not fans of stories centered on characters who think sex and romance are interchangeable synonyms, we cringed a lot through this, and I rolled my eyes at several bleeped profanities (as if we were watching this at home on Comedy Central), but we did eventually appreciate some of the interplay between actors toward the end, as we learned the flawed father was not in fact an abusive drunkard as was faintly yet falsely hinted, nor was Mom sinless in all this, albeit not quite to an alienating Ordinary People extreme. For value-added extra credit, other known faces along the way include Roger Dale Floyd (Gerard Butler’s diabetic son in Greenland) as Our Hero in even younger flashbacks, and Scream‘s David Arquette for a single scene as an obnoxious yet welcome red herring. And no, there’s no scene after the Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets end credits.

Hopefully at the next festival we can find something more to our liking, one that: (a) has decent seats available; (b) stands poised on the cusp of imminent Oscar attention; and (c) isn’t a misfit that Redbox declined to carry. But the important thing here is we supported an actual film festival, and we did it together as a happily married couple. That’s what these birthday outings are all about.

On the way back to the car, Mass Ave scenery abounded. It’s quite the art-covered stretch of street. We also ran into one of my coworkers and chatted for a few, which was nice.

A former Shriners temple, now a longtime concert venue.

Old National Centre, formerly known as the Murat Temple. My last visit there was in 2015 to catch Weird Al live.

An old firehouse with stone monuments out front.

The Indianapolis Fire Fighters Museum, which we haven’t checked out yet.

A giant human head made of bricks, surrounded by dirt but shaded by several nearby trees.

Brick Head 3, a 2004 sculpture by James Tyler made from 550 ceramic bricks.

Indy's famous Kurt Vonnegut mural.

The famous mural of hometown antihero Kurt Vonnegut, which we’ve seen before but still appreciate.

Mari Evans mural on brick, very tall

Down the street, a 2016 30-foot mural celebrates author Mari Evans, painted by Michael “Alkemi” Jordan.

After we retrieved the car and took off, we decided to go looking for more extra-credit murals before heading home. Once upon a time in 2012 Indy was covered in new murals as part of our big Super Bowl XLVI hosting gig, many of which Anne and I found and shared. Some of those are no longer with us, but a few new pieces have been added here and there.

mural: Reggie Miller from the Indiana Pacers with basketball and preparing for a jump shot.

Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller.

A Madam C.J. Walker mural with so much added verbiage that for weeks I thought it was a billboard.

In honor of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, who was the subject of the 2020 Netflix miniseries Self Made starring Octavia Spencer.

Eva Mozes Kor writ very large on a brick wall.

Holocaust survivor and speaker Eva Mozes Kor, who passed away in 2019 and was only 4-foot-9 when we met her in 2015.

A mural of a guy putting up wallpaper over a building.

A much better shot of Michael Cooper’s “Indy’s Always on a Roll” than our hasty 2012 attempt.

…and then we went home and declared the birthday weekend finished. Ditto this miniseries.

The End. Thanks for reading! Lord willing, we’ll see you next birthday weekend.

Other chapters in this very special miniseries:

Part 1: Unrelated Pastry Prologue
Part 2: Welcome to Corydon
Part 3: Halloween and the Hallowed Tree
Part 4: A Capital Pack of Markers
Part 5: Hooked on Butt Drugs
Part 6: Cozy Corydon Cuisine
Part 7: William Henry Harrison Slept Here
Part 8: The Battle Cabin in the Woods
Part 9: Indiana Caverns on $0.00 a Day

(Ironically, with the addition of this parenthetical, now it’s a 1600-word entry. You’re welcome!)

What do you, The Viewers at Home, think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: