I’ve got a new job and with it a new residence. I’m living in Carmel, Indiana — a town known for its wealth. I’m not wealthy by any means, but I’m doing my best to fit in. Carmel is a very different kind of town from Marion.
For one, there are about 80 roundabouts in Carmel. That isn’t an exaggeration — Carmel really has replaced 78 traffic signals with roundabouts in the past few years. In Marion there is one roundabout and every time it gets used (which isn’t often) someone is going the wrong way around. It took a few days, but I’ve started to appreciate them. They sure beat sitting at a stoplight, but so does the flu. The only real problem with roundabouts is that a lot of people aren’t comfortable with them and they make it dangerous for everyone. Today I saw a woman sit on the edge of one for several minutes looking for a big enough opening, not realizing that she had room to go at any time. I also saw someone nearly turn directly into another car because they entered the roundabout while texting.
For another, they sell home brewing kits at the local grocery store. Seriously!
Houses are bigger, that’s a given. This town has more mansions than ranch-houses and more castles than bungalows. Almost every house in town has a three door garage. I assume this is so they can own a BMW, a Cadillac, and a Mini-Cooper. There is nothing like driving down a road is a car you’re proud of owning and realizing that every car in sight is worth 3 – 10 times more. There is also nothing like looking out your workplace’s window into a see of Minis.
Carmel is filled with art galleries. Marissa and I have made it a point to visit as many as we can. We’ve even made friends with some of the owners and artists. It’s a very cool community. I’m actually living just outside Carmel’s “Arts and Design” district. The galleries range from charming, personal, and beautiful to pretentious and ugly. One gallery contains several pieces that could be done by anyone with a commercial printer in a matter of minutes. They have the gall to ask $30,000 dollars for those pieces. Not to worry, real art is nearby.
The district is home to a number of outside statues. Here is my girlfriend with a statue we’re calling “The Face of Boe” in reference to the Doctor Who character it most closely resembles. (It’s a dead-ringer, really.)
So far I’m liking Carmel. It’s a bit too homogeneous and pretty uppity for sure, but it’s far safer and prettier than Marion.
That isn’t to say I’m not leaving some nice things behind. Here is a summary in one picture:
From left-to-right, that’s my former roommate DLH who is in to the same awesome/terrible movies as I am, my girlfriend Marissa who is wonderful and staying in Marion, and her roommate Erin. Who is a person that is in this photo. She’s cool, really. They’ll all be living over an hour away, and I’m sure to be a little bit lonely.
I’ll post more about Carmel later. It really is a different kind of place.