Dukes and Drives: Our World of Wheels Indianapolis 2017 Photos

2015 Polaris Slingshot!

The 2015 Polaris Slingshot looks like a science fiction car, but is in fact a three-wheeled motorcycle that just needs a matching super-hero to go with it.

This weekend my wife and I attended our very first World of Wheels, a popular car show that holds court in numerous North American cities every year. Friends who know us well questioned this choice at first because they know cars aren’t our thing. When we told them our primary motive, they understood and stopped looking at us funny.

Strangers tend to assume I know cars because I’m male. This is incorrect. I’m not one for knowing makes and models on sight, how to disassemble and reassemble engines, how to change my oil, which olde-tyme cars are the most awesome, which parts are which, why anyone should spend more than fifteen grand on one, or why anyone should run out to buy a new car the exact millisecond they pay off their existing car loan. To me cars can be pretty in the same way that flowers can be pretty, and my familiarity both is largely, equally superficial.

But we had our reasons for giving it a go, for trying something new, and for approaching this great big car show as we would any given comic convention: because my wife is as big a fan of classic TV as she is of Star Wars and Star Trek, and they had two special guests she was rarin’ to meet.

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Our 2017 Super Bowl Deserted Restaurant Getaway

Picanha!

Picanha, a.k.a. garlic sirloin, one of Anne’s favorite bites of the night.

Each year my wife Anne and I have indulged our own special Super Bowl tradition: while the rest of the world is watching football and swapping snacks and beers with best friends and chatting about The Sports, the two of us have dinner at a fancy restaurant we’ve never tried before. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., anyplace without a large-screen TV is usually deserted and totally ours for the taking.

The last few years have also seen Super Bowl Sunday coincide with a local event called Devour Downtown, in which dozens of upscale establishments in downtown Indianapolis offer a limited-time sort of blue-plate special that allows plebes like us to come in and sample their cuisine from a specially selected discount menu. It’s still a bit pricier than five-dollar footlongs, but in our experience the quality has always been immeasurably higher, no matter where we’ve gone. This year the event was merged with several others of its kind, expanded citywide, and renamed Devour Indy. We ended up heading downtown anyway, but it’s nice to know we’ll have more compass options in the years ahead.

Tonight’s feature presentation: Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse with over two dozen American locations in addition to their flagships back home. For one solid price that was more than we would ever dream of paying for non-special occasions, their Devour Indy special offered a buffet of fancy unlimited appetizers, while the waiters approached every table with a few unlimited side dishes and numerous small yet unlimited meat portions all prepared in the Brazilian way, by which I mean they were made of meat. Good enough for us.

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Yesterday’s Entertainment Repurposed

Event Horizons!

We talk, joke, and moan all the time about Hollywood’s constant reuse, recycling, and rebooting of the movies and TV shows of our childhoods and of the childhoods before ours. We enjoy, or just as often roll our eyes, when today’s musicians cover or sample all the favorite songs of previous generations to present echoes of them to new audiences repulsed by old stuff, regardless of its anointed “classic” status.

Last month we found one artist who asked: why stop with cannibalizing the works themselves? Why not repurpose their very containers? What if you take all those shiny, reflective objects that served as portals into our homes for Hollywood and the record labels alike, and converted them into brand new, abstract doorways to imagination?

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Cooking with Alex Guarnaschelli at Indy’s 2nd Fantastic Food Fest

Alex Guarnaschelli!

True story: Chef Alex is the first person we’ve ever met at a show who mentioned jazz hands in a Q&A before we even had the chance to ask.

Last year my wife Anne and I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Fantastic Food Fest at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, planned by its creators at Circle City Expos as an annual event bringing together the best and brightest providers from numerous restaurants, markets, farms, caterers, bakeries, and other tremendous sources of locally sourced ingredients and cuisine under one roof for foodies to gather and escape winter doldrums. Year One’s big show brought in a headliner we loved to meet, Chopped host and hometown hero Ted Allen. If the show was successful, we figured we’d return regardless of the guest list.

As Chopped fans, we weren’t disappointed. Year 2 brought in a related special guest all the way from New York City, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, the Chopped judge most likely to deliver a ruling composed entirely of clever metaphors. Alex summed up the order of the day as she opened her 1:30 cooking demo: “It’s time to eat and cook and forget about a whole lotta other things for a while.”

Right this way for a photo gallery of amazing colossal foodstuffs!

Last Call for Indiana Bicentennial Mementos

Indiana Obelisk!

The centerpiece of the Indiana State Museum lobby is the “Indiana Obelisk” –at just under fifty feet. the tallest sculpture to date by artist Robert Indiana.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: throughout 2016 my wife and I spotted and compiled a number of sights related to the 200th anniversary of our own Indiana earning statehood, nineteenth in a series of fifty, after Louisiana but before Mississippi, Illinois, and Alabama. Between this year’s State Fair and the one-time Hoosier Homecoming, we had ample opportunities to learn more about our heritage, celebrate the achievers who paved paths for generations ahead, reassert reasons for hometown pride, and transcend that one time Indiana Beach amusement park actually had as its official ad slogan, “There’s More Than Corn in Indiana!” Because once upon a time, that was a thing we had to insist.

Earlier in December we attended one last commemorative event: a temporary exhibit at the Indiana State Museum called “Indiana in 200 Objects” assembling artifacts and souvenirs from Hoosier celebrities, businesses, industries, and moments both famous and infamous. Presented here is just over one-tenth of the available displays — a selection of those that caught our eye, spoke to us on some level, and posed properly for our amateur cameras. Not every sight was a wellspring of unlimited positivity (one could argue for trigger warnings on two of these images for more sensitive souls), but even the darkest relics can illustrate how far we’ve come and help us gauge how much farther we have to go.

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Merry Christmas in Seven Scenes from MCC!

Nativity scene!

The prettiest among my in-laws’ Nativity scenes, a handicraft find on one of their small-town expeditions, which they’ve surrounded with a selection of this year’s Christmas cards. I didn’t realize till a few minutes ago that the card we sent them tried to sneak into the shot.

Christmastime is here, basically! With last-minute shopping to do, relatives to visit, presents to give, and fresh-baked cookies to overdose upon, sleeping in heavenly peace may be an unattainable luxury during our three-day weekend. As we’re finalizing our plans and preparing to dive in, please enjoy this gallery of memories from our past four weeks foreshadowing the upcoming celebrations of Jesus’ birth (observed) and all those’ll entail, Lord willing.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Wondrous Weekend from the staff here at Midlife Crisis Crossover.

Right this way for six more quick shots of Christmas!

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