Rooster and I ride the motorcycle to the Ruins at Holliday Park on our first and second adventure in the new normal, Life is not the same these days. #the Ruins #Holliday Park #Indianapolis #Indiana #Bazbeauz #Pizza #road Hazard
The Ruins at Holliday Park
Rooster and I had enough of the sheltering place mentality when the state of Indiana started to open up for people. Parks and outside dining opened again to make way for individuals who craved the need for fresh air. However, there were still many businesses and locations remaining closed. We climbed on our Indian motorcycle and headed for the city of Indianapolis. We hoped a trip to the Ruins at Holliday Park might cure our wanderlust.
By the way, this adventure unfolds in two stages. The first ride we took to The Ruins at Holliday Park located at 6363 Spring Mill Road in Indianapolis was cut short by a dangerous thunderstorm moving in our direction. Rooster wasn’t sure we’d have a place to take shelter since the state of Indiana moved into the New Normal in stages. Many of the businesses in Indianapolis remained closed. As a result, we climbed back on the bike and headed for home. We didn’t even have a chance to explore the Ruins at Holliday Park.
How did ruins from New York City end up in a park in Indianapolis?
Indeed, the story of how the limestone sculpture from the St. Paul building located in New York City became the Ruins in Holliday Park is fascinating. The St. Paul building, which housed the Western Electric Company in the 1960s, needed to be demolished to make way for a skyscraper. Three sculptures made out of Indiana limestone and created by artist Karl Bitter entitled “The Races of Man” were in danger of being destroyed along with the building. An Indiana artist, Elmer Tafalger, proposed the sculptures along with other building artifacts to be moved to Holliday Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trafalgar won the proposal, leading to the dedication of The Ruins in 1973.
Unfortunately, over the years, The Ruins and Holliday Park fell into decay. The park, named for a prominent Indianapolis family, found itself suffering from neglect. Thanks to The Friends of Holliday Park organization, funds were raised to revitalize the park. Rooster and I were impressed on our next trip to the ruins at Holliday Park. The revitalization efforts paid off. As a result, Holliday park transformed into an amazing place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Amenities to be discovered at the Ruins at Holliday Park
- The Nature Center
- A modern playground
- The Ruins
- Beautiful gardens and landscaping
- Hiking trails
- The White River
The Nature Center is still closed due to COVID-19 but will open soon. The park has events that have been canceled this year. They sound interesting, so I hope sponsors can find a way to adjust them to the new normal.
List of canceled events
- The Holliday Park Trail Run
- Rock the Ruins
The park may still offer Yoga classes, but I’m not certain if they’ve been canceled in the new normal.
Bazbeaux Pizza In Carmel
On the positive side, our next attempt to visit the Ruins at Holliday Park started with a meal at Bazbeaux pizza in Carmel, Indiana. This restaurant makes fantastic pizza; however, Rooster and I haven’t made the trip since the whole social distancing thing started. The establishment closed due to COVID-19. Now that we are living in the new normal businesses are beginning to open their doors. Bazbeaux seating was all outside due to seating being restricted for now. All things considered, we didn’t have to wait long to get a table under the outdoor canopy.
The Bazbeaux Carmel location adjacent to the Monon Trail always attracts a flurry of activity. As a result, if you dine outside, bike riders, walkers, and skaters will flow past your table. Moreover, an occasional person will leave the trail and stop at Bazbeaux for a bite to eat. Dining beside the trail on a sunny afternoon is always a pleasant experience.
Rooster and I ordered a combination pizza. From the variety of choices on the menu, we selected the Colossus and the Pizza Alla Quattro Formaggi. These are our favorite picks at Bazbeaux. Moreover, our son, Richard, introduced us to the Quattro one Sunday afternoon when he took us to dine on Mass Ave in Indianapolis. Bazbeaux has a second restaurant there. Not to mention, the third location in Broad Ripple. Rooster and I fell in love with the pie. The establishment also has a very tasty salad, which we like to order. We decided to skip the salad on this visit.
In the past, I developed a six-point restaurant rating system. I don’t know why I stopped doing it, but I’ve decided to revive the practice due to the New Normal. Because of the COVID-19, I added cleanliness to the list. This rating system goes from 1to 5. Five being the best.
Molly’s Personal Restaurant Rating System
- Cleanliness- The staff at Bazbeaux carefully maintained the stringent guidelines regarding sanitation. Employees constantly washed and sanitized their hands, they didn’t tug at their masks, and hand sanitizer could be found everywhere. The restrooms were clean, and hot water ran from the tap. Thus, I give Bazbeauz a five in the cleanliness department.
- Price- Rooster didn’t complain, so I give them a five in the price department as well.
- Atmosphere- There is nothing better than sitting outside on a sunny day watching crowds of people flow past. If it had turned cold, that might have created a dilemma; still, I give this restaurant a five for the atmosphere.
- Service- The young man who waited on us was fantastic. I can’t say enough about how comfortable he made us feel dining in the new normal. The restaurant gets five here as well.
- Décor- Since the inside décor can be different from the atmosphere of a place, I added this category. Rooster and I liked how the restaurant’s outside dining was setup. We give it a five.
- Food taste and quality- This is the only area Bazbeaux fell a little short. Rooster and I both thought the pie a little lacking in flavor on this visit. There may have been unavoidable factors, such as the shortages in the new normal, making it impossible to obtain needed ingredients. We both gave the food a three rating.
Overall, The meal we ate at Bazbeaux left us wanting to make a return trip when everyone adjusted to the new normal.
The second attempt to visit Holliday Park
Indeed, not a dark cloud hovered above Rooster and me as we rode across the north side of Indianapolis to the Ruins at Holliday Park. Experts tell us to maintain a six-foot distance between one another in the new normal, yet the park crowded with people didn’t seem to be concerned with the regulation. Neither did the wearing mask in the public rule have much sway with the crowd. My thought was either people didn’t know how to behave in the new normal or confusion over the rules existed.
The sculpture “The Races of Man” illuminated against a sun-kissed sky created quite an impression. The images engraved in stone reminded me of the hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil three wise monkeys. However, I’m certain the sculptures have no relationship to the Japanese pictorial maxim. Rooster and I strolled through the landscaped Ruins, enjoying the flowers until we noticed a bench covered with crawdads and frogs made out of stone. In any event, we assumed these tiny bits of sculpture were placed there due to the Nature Center, which remained closed due to COVID-19.
After we had our fill of The Ruins, Rooster and I wondered to the rock garden. Next, we decided to take a walk on the trails that overlooked the White River. The secluded piece of nature amid the city of Indianapolis came as a surprise to Rooster and me. We spent about an hour walking the trail, but the crowd of people passing us created an anxious feeling. After spending so much time social distancing, we discovered it difficult to have so much contact despite being outdoors in the sunshine. We decided to leave the trails behind.
What Rooster and I didn’t like about Holliday Park.
On the negative side, we found it distressing the restrooms remained closed even after the park opened to the public. Next to the playground section of the park filled with children stood two port-a-pots. The only available place to wash your hands was the drinking fountain. Meanwhile, the virus is still out there the same as it was two months ago, yet there was no place to wash your hands or find any hand sanitizer in the entire park. Furthermore, this lack of the ability to perform proper hygiene, even if we weren’t living in the new normal would be considered an unsanitary practice.
I questioned why the city of Indianapolis didn’t take the lack of restroom facilities at the park into consideration before they opened to the public. It seemed odd since we are supposed to be so cautious moving into the new normal. Then I remembered the stolen hand sanitizer at the grocery store when the COVID-19 crisis started. Maybe they thought there would be a wave of hand sanitizer theft at the park. Still, it would make sense for the restrooms to be open to the public.
What we discovered after our ride home
Overall, Rooster and I had an amazing visit at Holliday Park, but it felt wonderful to be in the wind again. We cruised along at a steady 60 miles an hour until we turned off the highway and headed for our daughter’s house. We’ve decided in the new normal it’s not important for us to stay away from family. I don’t remember how the conversation turned toward our motorcycle tires, but when Rooster checked the tread on our rear one, he got a surprise. He discovered a slash, which could have caused a blow out on the highway.
This world is a dangerous place for mortals to live. There are a lot of things plotting to kill you. You should take reasonable precautions, but there is no profit in locking yourself away in your house so you can exist without living. The only thing I can compare it to is crawling into your grave while you’re still breathing. That’s what the world did when we practiced sheltering at home. I will take reasonable precautions. I’ll wash my hands and use hand sanitizer.
Also, I will avoid contact with sick people and strangers. What I won’t do is hide in my house like a coward who has stopped living a life of adventure. And so, remember to be kind to one another in the midst of the danger and the drama. If we all do that, we’re going to be alright if we respect and value one another’s differences. And also, a special shout out to the food workers and people who are underappreciated for their labor.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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2 thoughts on “The Ruins at Holliday Park”
What a great idea to move those lovely pieces of art to their new home instead of allowing them to be destroyed. Great photos and story. Thanks for sharing it.