I've been in Los Angeles since early December, finally coming back home Monday morning for meetings and the Elton John event tonight (of which I'm a co-sponsor).  Getting back made me eager to check out the changes in our city, especially in my own neighborhood on the west side of downtown. Was I surprised!

On my side of town, progress on the new JW Marriott hotel -- a few blocks south of my home -- has advanced remarkably. This new blue, glass-skinned high-rise is beautiful; along with its two adjoining siblings, these three hotels fill in the link between the White River State Park and downtown perfectly -- while helping to frame the baseball park across the street to the south. I blogged earlier about the stunning 15-ton stylized sculpture of a Cardinal which has been installed in the multimillion-dollar plaza at this new hotel complex -- it's worth a read, here.

Closer to home, progress on 'my leg' of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail -- which is one block each way north and west of my home -- has been huge!  The trail is nearing completion along the Canal as well as along both St Clair and Indiana Ave, with beautiful new landscaping (in addition to the landscape beds along the curbs, many large new trees have been planted along the trail) and contemporary lights which have sprung up, one after the other, as you walk along the trail; they are beautiful at night!  Our Cultural Trail sends a message that Indianapolis is an innovative city of choice. This video explains it all!

The new, beautifully-designed Gateway Parking Garage, across West Street a half block from me, will add much needed parking for the IUPUI campus, as well as for the new retail, office and commercial structures which will adjoin it and sit along Indiana Avenue, across from the Madame Walker Theatre.  A few blocks further down the street on Michigan, the new $750MM Wishard Hospital is well under way, with demolition and site prep moving along at a fast clip.

One of the more exciting developments for those of us living along the Canal, is the new Left Bank Cafe, located at Canal Level, below the beautiful new COSMOPOLITAN On The Canal luxury apartment building.  Operated by the street-level Mo'Joe Coffeehouse, which has been across the street at Michigan and Senate for several years, this welcome addition to the Canal is set to open in early May.

It's hard to beat Spring in Indiana. This year, along with beautiful weather, Spring is bringing a lush, green, fresh start -- and several new structural additions -- to my downtown west side neighborhood.

It's a great place to live!

Enjoy a pictorial walk through my neighborhood. Just click on any photo in either of the two sets of photos below, to enlarge, and then flip through a slide show as fast as you want.


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