Saturday 2 September 2017

Day 58 of Mentor on Road, USA

“There is a glory in happiness; there is a glory in suffering.
- Swami Vivekananda

Day 58 of Mentor on Road was a travel day. We started our day in St. Louis by visiting the magnificent Gateway Arch.

At an astounding 630-feet tall, the magnificent Gateway Arch remains the tallest man-made national monument in the United States. Its unique shape and stainless steel facade remarkably represent the history made in the city of St. Louis.

An enclosed tram inside the Arch takes one to the top, where one can experience breathtaking views of modern St. Louis – up to 30 miles in each direction on a clear day. Along with the surrounding Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Gateway Arch opens up a world of history about how St. Louis served as the Gateway to the West for early settlers.

In 1947, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association conducted a contest to create a structure that would commemorate Thomas Jefferson and those settlers’ expansion into western America. Renowned architect Eero Saarinen won the contest with his concept of a stainless steel arch. His vision was completed in 1965 when workers installed the last exterior shell piece of the Gateway Arch.

It cost $13 million to construct the Arch. The foundations extend 60 feet into the ground, and in its entirety, the Arch weighs 17,246 tons, including 900 tons of stainless steel. Built to withstand earthquakes and high winds, the monument may sway up to one inch in a 20 mile-per-hour wind.

Since its completion, other enhancements have been made to the Arch, including the addition of museum exhibits, a Grand Staircase and exterior lighting. Even today, 
projects to improve the Arch grounds are underway.                                             

Mentor on Road is now on its way to the next destination, Indianapolis.

We started driving on 4 June, 2017 
from Boston and passed through states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and St. Louis. Driven 12,921 kilometres / 7,968 miles till now and will drive 15,450 kilometres / 9602 miles in total. We have now entered the 33rd state of our journey, Indianapolis. 

, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. It is in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States. With an estimated population of 855,164 in 2016, Indianapolis is the second most populous city in the Midwest and 15th most populous in the U.S. 

Indianapolis was founded in 1821 as a 
planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. The city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile (2.6 km2) grid adjacent to the White River. Completion of the National Road and advent of the railroad later solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Indianapolis is within a single-day drive of 70 percent of the nation's population, lending to one of its nicknames as the "Crossroads of America".

As of 2016, three 
Fortune 500 companies were based in the city:
  • Health insurance company, Anthem Inc.  
  • Pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly  
  • Simon Property Group, the largest real estate investment trust in the U.S.
Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins opened its Global Distribution Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis in 2017. Two Fortune 1000 companies are located in the city: hydrocarbon manufacturer, Calumet Specialty Products Partners and automotive transmission manufacturer, Allison Transmission. Two more Fortune 1000 companies are located in the suburb of Carmel: financial services holding company, CNO Financial Group and KAR Auction Services.

life sciences and health care are major sectors of Indianapolis' economy. As of 2016, Eli Lilly and Company was the largest private employer in the city, with more than 11,000 workers.

hospitality industry is an increasingly vital sector to the Indianapolis economy. Indianapolis has long been a sport tourism destination, but has more recently relied on conventions.

Indiana Convention Center (ICC) and Lucas Oil Stadium are considered mega convention center facilities, with a combined 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of exhibition space. ICC is connected to 12 hotels and 4,700 hotel rooms, the most of any U.S. convention center. Since 2003, Indianapolis has hosted Gen Con, one of the largest gaming conventions in North America.

According to real estate tracking firm CBRE Group, Indianapolis ranks among the fastest high-tech job growth areas in the U.S. The metropolitan area is home to 28,500 information technology-related jobs at such companies as Angie's List, Appirio, Formstack, Genesys, Ingram Micro, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

In 1999, Indianapolis designated six cultural districts to capitalize on cultural institutions within historically significant neighborhoods unique to the city's heritage. These include:

  • Broad Ripple Village 
  • Canal and White River State Park 
  • Fountain Square
  • Indiana Avenue
  • Mass Ave 
  • Wholesale

Indianapolis is home to dozens of annual festivals and events showcasing local culture. Notable events include the "Month of May" (a series of celebrations leading to the Indianapolis 500), Circle City IN Pride, Indiana Black Expo, Indiana State Fair, and Historic Irvington Halloween Festival.

Hope the journey ahead stays as effective as it has been till now.

Jai Ho! (Let victory be yours)

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