Living in Central Indianapolis As a Young Professional

By Katie Noble

Uncover what a day in the life is like for Orr Fellows who live in Fountain Square and downtown Indy. 

You might be wondering: what would it be like to live in central Indianapolis as a young professional?

Whether you’re new to Indy or have lived near Indianapolis for years, the best way to learn about living here is to ask the experts. We may all work and live in Greater Indianapolis, but it’s the neighborhoods that provide you a lens into everyone’s day-to-day life. Follow along to understand what makes downtown Indianapolis and the Fountain Square neighborhoods a place to kick-start your career. 

Fountain Square

Alea Rashid, Kiwanis International, lives on the outskirts of Fountain Square. 

Alea explains, “it’s the perfect balance for our phase in life. You don’t get too much of downtown, but it’s still accessible. You can find newness there.”

A popular spot for many fellows to move to, Fountain Square is only a mile and a half from downtown Indianapolis, located at the intersection of Virginia Avenue at Shelby and Prospect Streets. The first commercial historic district in Indiana, Fountain Square offers an artsy appeal with independent restaurants, great nightlife, and as Alea shares, “coffee shops with unique menus. They even put herbs, like thyme, in your lattes.” 

For Fellows living in the area, it’s a walkable location. In the mornings, Alea typically meets another fellow for an Orr Coordinator meeting on the Continued Learning initiative.

 “I may have an Orr Coordinator meeting in the morning, so I will walk to Calvin Fletcher Coffee. You have to try their pistachio latte.” 

In the evening, coffee turns to ice cream. “On Monday nights during Bachelor season, a group of Orr Fellows and I get together and have a few appetizers. During the commercial breaks, we would even grab ice cream from Square Scoop.” 

For Alyssa Kane, UKG, it’s the quiet and eclectic places that help you “find your space.” One of her personal favorites is Square Cat Vinyl. The back end is a little coffee cafe shop, and in the evening, there’s stand up comedy and a bar.

 “I also love Bovaconti, where I have most of my Orr Coordinator meetings for Civic Engagement.”

After work, Alyssa tends to explore the neighborhood. “Once work is done and I am ready to decompress from the day, one of my favorite things to do is to just walk up and down Fletcher and look at what they’ve redone. I live a few blocks away from the ‘Good Bones’ HGTV show host Mina Starsiak, so it’s nice to look at the beautiful, historic homes they’ve redone.”

On the weekends, there’s more than enough activities to plug into.

“I am a real sucker for a good brunch. That’s where I look for something like Milktooth. Would look at Bluebeard for dinner. Outside of food, Duckpin Bowling is a good time. We are also a short drive to Garfield Park, which has places to play tennis and string up an Eno Hammock.” 

Once the sun sets, Fountain Square comes alive. “The night-life is great,” Alyssa says. “We have Upland Brewery, Chilly Water, and Hotel Tango, which has liquors distilled all over Indy.” 

Downtown Indianapolis

A little north of Fountain Square, you’ll notice Fellows living along Mass Ave, Pennsylvania Street, and Market Street. For Lucy Welhage, Ascend, downtown Indianapolis was an opportunity to take a bit of a risk. “The reason I wanted to be downtown was because growing up in Indy and going to Indiana University, I was surrounded by a lot of the same people. My older sisters had gone and moved out of Indiana, so this was my chance to make my big move.”

There are endless choices when it comes to filling your evenings and weekends.

 “I love to grab a cup of coffee and go for a walk along the Canal Walk. Having access to parks and the ability to get outside was really important to me when deciding where to live. I find downtown to be very walkable.”

In the evening, you can easily find a sporting event, a new restaurant to try, concerts— and the list goes on. “My favorites are the Garage Food Hall, which is about a 20-minute walk from my apartment,” says Lucy,  “and the Rathskeller, another popular spot for concerts and enjoying the nice weather.” 

Eduardo Garcia, Roche, often hops between Fountain Square and downtown Indianapolis. A Bronx-native, Eduardo speaks highly of the cost of living in Indianapolis, and the intimate aura of smaller cities. There’s a sense of belonging and community when you run into familiar faces. 

“I live downtown and spend a lot of time in Fountain Square. Smaller cities offer a different aura than bigger cities. I have gone to a Newfields networking event and later recognized someone from the event out in Indy. You don’t feel like you’ll never cross paths again, which is helpful for a young professional building a community.”

On an ideal day, Eduardo would start at Gallery on 16th. “That and Oakmont are great places for brunch.” Then, he would swing down to Fountain Square and find himself at La Revolucion for dinner, finishing off at Radio Radio or a dive-bar called Sam’s Silver Circle, owned by people who live in the community. 

Eduardo shares, “what initially drew me to downtown was how close it was to everything. Not only Orr Fellowship events, but also the start-ups.” Proximity is a key perk for many fellows. Living in Fountain Square and downtown Indy allows you to feel the energy of the city, while also staying plugged into Orr events and other opportunities.

The pockets of Indianapolis offer a wide range of opportunities, but just because you live in one, doesn’t mean you are limited to that part of the city. If anything, the Fellow experience is widely diverse, and this city is an ideal environment for personal and professional growth. In the next few weeks, we will be highlighting the other areas of Greater Indianapolis to showcase the variety of locations and interests for Fellows. Follow along our social media to stay up to date – Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

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