Accessibility Stories

Circle Up for A Great Visit to Indy

BY MELODY COOPER

I have lived in Indianapolis for 27 years now, and I love it here - the people, the things to do, the places to go. It’s a great place to live and also to visit. When my family visits from Georgia, they love it here, too. For the past 11 years, I have worked for The Arc of Indiana, and our offices are in downtown Indianapolis. Downtown is the best place to work and exploring downtown, especially Monument Circle, is my recommendation when you visit.

One of my favorite things about Indianapolis is downtown at Christmas time. I work near the Circle and it’s beautiful during the holidays with all the lights on the Soldier and Sailors Monument. I like to get hot chocolate from Starbucks or the South Bend Chocolate Company and look at the lights all around the Monument. It’s free and a great way to celebrate the holidays. You could even catch a Yuletide performance from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra which is also right on the Circle.

I also love how many festivals and activities happen around or near the Circle. Almost every week there is something going on. There is the Farmer’s Market every Wednesday in the summer at City Market, the 500 Festival Parade in May, and the Annual Strawberry Festival in June, where you can get the best strawberry shortcake. In the fall, Indianapolis hosts the Circle City Classic, which is a football game that features two historically black college teams that play in Indianapolis. The Classic has a great parade and concert. It’s a day where everyone comes together and has a good time.

I also love to shop, and there is plenty of shopping both at Circle Centre mall and on Mass Ave. Sometimes I will go over on my lunch break or after work to do some shopping. Circle Centre mall has a lot of national chain stores, while Mass Ave has a plenty of local unique stores to check out.

There are also some fun ways to explore Indianapolis, especially if it’s your first time visiting. A few years ago my coworkers and I rented one of the HandleBar Bike Bars to celebrate my birthday. It was really a good way to see Indy. It was about a 30-minute ride, but we went all over downtown. It was also fun to be able to hang out with my friends and enjoy a summer evening. You can also take a horse and carriage ride around downtown Indianapolis. My husband and I did that after our wedding, and we really enjoyed it. You can also travel the Indianapolis Canal by foot, bike, paddle boat, or kayak, which is another way to get around and see what Indy has to offer.

I also really love to eat and go out to different restaurants. I eat out a lot for lunch to get some fresh air and take an office break. One of my favorite lunch places is Punch Burger which is a local casual burger place. They have really great hamburgers and the best waffle fries ever. I also enjoy going to Scotty’s Brewhouse with co-workers after work for dinner or drinks. I usually order a burger (I love burgers, if you hadn’t noticed) and their fried pickle chips. Scotty’s also makes an effort to hire people with disabilities at all of their locations, which is pretty cool. The Indianapolis City Market is also a really cool place to hang out and find something good to eat. There are a bunch of restaurant booths set up at there and you can get any kind of food you want like pizza, hamburgers, Mexican food, Greek food, and so much more!

If you are visiting Indianapolis, downtown Indy is the place to be - there is always something going on. You can attend a Pacers, Colts, or Indians game, enjoy some of the events on the Circle, do some shopping, and eat some delicious food. No matter what you are interested in, there is always something fun to do.


ABOUT MELODY

Melody CooperHi, I am Melody Cooper. I was born with cerebral palsy. It can affect people in a lot of different ways. For me, it sometimes affects how my hands move and my walking. It also affects my speech somewhat. When I was little, having a disability was hard to accept, but now that I am older and wiser, I have learned to accept my disability and live life to the fullest. I don’t let it stop me, it’s just a part of who I am. I am the Self-Advocacy Specialist for The Arc of Indiana, where I have worked for 11 years. I love to advocate for people with disabilities to give them an opportunity to live their lives just like everyone else. I have been married to my husband, Joe, for 12 years. In my spare time, I like to shop, go bowling, and to movies, and I especially like going out to eat with my friends.

Fun facts about me:

  1. My favorite movie is Independence Day starring Will Smith.
  2. Chocolate cake makes a meal complete.
  3. I can chef up amazing fried chicken.

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RICHARD PROPES

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Anne and I are so proud to call Indianapolis home for the past 19 years. Certainly, Indianapolis is well recognized for our hospitality and motorsports at the awesome Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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JOYCE AND SHARON POWELL

We were asked to recommend five experiences in Indy that we ourselves enjoy. Selecting just five is somewhat difficult because there is so much to do in our city.

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BRANDON SCOTT

No other city can be called "The Amateur Sports Capital of the World" and host to "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

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DR. DAVID GEESLIN

Outdoor recreation is wonderful exercise for our bodies, and can be educational, too. We all have different interests and abilities. Often, the most enriching experiences happen at places with a variety of sights and activities.

Melody Cooper

Circle Up for A Great Visit to Indy

MELODY COOPER

Downtown is the best place to work and exploring downtown, especially Monument Circle, is my recommendation when you visit.

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