Photography

Views from the tallest building in Indianapolis

My friend and colleague Charlie has worked with me at two different software companies. He’s a skilled engineer who specializes in site performance and test automation. He currently works for Salesforce, the giant software-as-a-service company. They have a large office in Indianapolis in the city’s tallest building, renamed Salesforce Tower when they moved in.

Charlie and I met for lunch not long ago, and he took me to the top floor of Salesforce Tower so I could see the views. Here’s the entire north side of Indianapolis. In the center near the bottom you can see the Indiana World War Memorial, and north across the long plaza from it is Central Library. Behind it, I-65 cuts across the landscape. I can even see the Michigan Road running off at a diagonal at left, a little north of center; can you detect it?

Northside of Indianapolis

On the south side of the building, this is the view of Monument Circle below. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, at 284 feet, 6 inches, was the tallest structure in town until the 372-feet-tall City-County Building was completed in 1962, a couple blocks away. When you see photos of Indianapolis from many years gone by, the Monument towers over everything. Today, not so much.

Looking down on Monument Circle

Other skyscrapers went up in the decades that followed, crowned by Salesforce Tower at 811 feet tall. It’s not just the tallest building in Indianapolis, but also the tallest building in all the Midwest outside Chicago and Cleveland and the 58th tallest building in the US.

Salesforce Tower was completed in 1990. It was originally to be the headquarters for American Fletcher National Bank, but before construction even began, Bank One bought American Fletcher. Later, Chase bought Bank One. Salesforce became the building’s biggest tenant in 2017, which gave them rights to put their name on the building.

View from the Riley gravesite

Here’s a view of the Indianapolis skyline from the highest elevation in Indianapolis, where James Whitcomb Riley is buried inside Crown Hill Cemetery. It’s about five miles away as the crow flies. Salesforce Tower rises above the rest.

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Photography

Interesting light, captured on iPhone

I’m still using the iPhone 6S I bought in 2016. That’s ancient mobile-phone history, but it’s been a good phone and I don’t see any reason to upgrade. Its battery is starting to wear out, but the Apple Store will install a new one for $49. That’s a fraction of a new iPhone’s cost.

The new iPhone 11’s camera is supposed to be startlingly good thanks to big advances in computational photography. I’m sure I’ll find out all about it someday, but not as long as my 6S continues to perform well.

The 6S’s camera is pretty good, anyway. Here are some photos I’ve made with it lately that I think turned out all right. What they all have in common is that I found the light to be interesting, and the iPhone was the only camera I had on me.

I made this photo through the windshield of my car as I drove out of my subdivision after a snowy night.

Snowy road

I made this through my car’s windshield too. I’d just left work and was stopped at a light on Washington Street (the Michigan and National Roads) at Meridian Street.

Westbound on Washington

We got some delicious late-afternoon light one weekday afternoon so I went to the nearest window and made this photo of the neighboring City-County Building.

The City-County Building

I was reading one evening as the sun set. I looked over and noticed these wonderful colors through the back door window. I wasn’t motivated enough to get up and add a photo to my Sunset Over the Toyota Dealer series so I zoomed in a little with my iPhone and made this.

Kitchen sunset

I made this at Crown Hill Cemetery on the day I shot a roll of Fujifilm Velvia there.

Crown Hill path

Margaret and I met her son Zach in the hip Fountain Square neighborhood for a night out. We stopped by Hotel Tango, which distills their own spirits. I stood in line waiting to order us a round of Old Fashioneds.

Order Here

Finally, where I work everyone who completes five years of service gets a rubber chicken. This service award is far less puzzling than the one given for ten years: a tin can with a plastic spoon sticking out of it. I’m sure that when my time comes for one of these awards, someone will explain them to me.

Rubber chickens

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Travel

A visit to Woodford Reserve Distillery

Woodford Reserve Distillery

My camera’s battery died just a few photographs into our tour of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, between Frankfort and Versailles in central Kentucky. It’s a shame, because the place is so picturesque. I would have liked to photograph it extensively.

The distillery is also historic, one of the oldest in Kentucky. Known previously as the Labrot and Graham Distillery and before that the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery, whiskey has been made here since 1812. Woodford Reserve is a Johnny-come-lately on the scene, having been distilled only since 1996.

Thanks to my iPhone for making it possible to document this visit at all. Here are Woodford Reserve’s famous copper pot stills, and also my wife Margaret from behind.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Those pot stills make up only part of Woodford Reserve bourbon. The rest of it comes from the column stills of the Brown-Forman distillery in suburban Louisville, an hour to the west.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Its rickhouse, where the bourbon barrels are left to age, is unusual in that it’s made of stone. So many are made of wood.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

One odd thing I noticed is that barrels in the rickhouse, the ones I could see anyway, carried distillery number DSP-KY-52. But newer barrels, including ones recently filled, bore the number DSP-KY-15018. This must be something quite new, as an Internet search on DSP-KY-15018 turns up nothing. A search on DSP-KY-52 returns all sorts of references to the Woodford Reserve Distillery. I wish I’d asked the tour guide about it.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

As a fellow who is seriously into bourbon, I appreciate a bar with a wide selection that includes some esoteric whiskies. But Woodford Reserve is a very nice bourbon, and most every bar carries it. Anywhere I go, I’m perfectly happy with a pour of Woodford Reserve. Neat, of course.

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Photography, Travel

Favorite photos from New Harmony

My main camera on our trip to New Harmony was, as often happens, my little Canon PowerShot S95. I did take a film camera, my Olympus XA2, loaded with Ultrafine Xtreme 100. But it simply turned out not to be a black-and-white weekend. I shot but nine frames. In contrast, I made 175 photos with the S95.

This is New Harmony’s Main Street. It’s perpendicular to the road that you have to use to enter New Harmony, which is Church Street and also State Road 66.

Around New Harmony

We got a spectacular sunset that night. In the shadowy foreground is the Lenz House, built in about 1820. Read a little bit about it here. That page mentions the Harmonists, a group that tried and failed to build a utopian society here.

Sunset over the Lenz House

Here’s one photo I made with my iPhone 6s. We were walking back to the house we’d rented after dinner one night when a fellow invited us to a jam session. We were surprised that it involved mostly cellos and violins! A guitarist later joined.

Jam session with cellos

I shared these two photos in my post about the Roofless Church.

The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church

A double log cabin — two cabins sharing a conjoining covered deck — provides this view. It’s on the same property as the Lenz house.

Lenz house property

Finally, a lovely yellow flower.

Yellow bloom

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I’ve been writing about New Harmony all week — but for those of you here just for the doors, it’s a historic town in the southwestern tip of Indiana. Its founders tried, and failed, to build a utopian society here. Today it’s both a typical small Indiana town and something of an artist’s colony. It makes for a lovely long weekend, as my wife and I found out recently. And now, herewith the doors of New Harmony.

Around New Harmony
Around New Harmony
Around New Harmony
Working Men's Institute
Around New Harmony
Episcopal church
Episcopal church
Opera House
The Roofless Church
Photography

Thursday doors: New Harmony, Indiana

Some of the doors from New Harmony, for the Thursday Doors feature.

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Road Trips

Working on both the Michigan and National Roads

My new office is on Washington Street in Downtown Indianapolis — the only place where the Michigan Road and the National Road share an alignment.

My desk is on the 12th floor. Here’s the view from the nearest window, after a violent storm passed through. That’s the City-County Building at left, and the city’s new bus terminal at right. Between them, the National Road is headed east and the Michigan Road is headed south.

A portion of the roof is set up like a patio with outdoor furniture. Here’s the view towards Monument Circle at the heart of Indianapolis. The Monument itself rises above the Circle Tower building near lower left.

I’ve already taken a couple Downtown photo walks on my lunch hour. After I’ve fully settled into the new job I expect I’ll take many more.

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