Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great Sunday morning. You may have heard about a book set in Indianapolis that was just released as a film. You know just a little thing called The Fault in Our Stars. Unless you’ve been living in the middle of the Mojave Desert, I imagine you may have at least a passing acquaintance with this story.
I freely admit my level of acquaintance with it is far more than passing. I won’t bore you by listing all of the reasons this story is so important to me and my family. What I will say is that one of the big reasons we love it in the Cangany household is the setting-Indianapolis.
I was born and raised in Indy and, thought it has its problems like any metropolitan area, I love it. So I got a real kick out of the fact that the characters in TFiOS live in Indy. What’s even more awesome is that much of the story takes place in the part of Indy where we live!
Shoot, my older son RC went to the same high school, North Central, that Augustus attended. And so it was that last weekend RC and I drove around the area to take photos of some of the real-life landmarks mentioned in the book. I’ll give the filmmakers credit, they got the North Central wall hanging in Gus’s basement right, with the proper red and black colors and panther logo.
Next, we paid a visit to infamous 86th & Ditch gas station. I real life, it’s a Speedway that I go to a couple of times a month.I’ll never forget the first time we drove past it after RC had finished reading TFiOS. He got all worked up and started hitting me on the arm, saying, “He Dad, that’s the gas station from the book! That’s the gas station from the book!” While I’ll admit that the “gas station” scene in both the book and in the film is heart-breaking, the Speedway at 86th & ditch is very nice. I even took this photo while I was gassing up and then went in to get RC and me snack and drinks for the rest of our journey.
Which then took us to the wonderful Holliday Park. My wife and I have been visiting this park for years. The nature center there was even our polling place until a few years ago. We ridden bikes there, picnicked there, watched our guys play on the playground and walked the nature trails there. This is a shot of the ruins Hazel mentions in the book. They were brought to Indy from New York and are quite unique. And just for the record, in case any of you were wondering whether or not I’ve mis-spelled the name of this wonderful facility, here’s proof that I got it right.
The park is named in honor of John Holliday, who donated the land that became the park to the City of Indianapolis in 1916. RC and I concluded our little picture-taking trip with a visit to The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s outdoor Art Park, 100 Acres. An incredible facility unto itself, 100 Acres is the home to a handful of outdoor out exhibits, including Funky Bones, which is features so prominently in both the book and the movie.
If you look closely at the photo to the left, you can see 100 Acres even has a lake that serves as host to two exhibits. To get to Funky Bones in real life, you will have to walk a little farther than Hazel and Gus did in the movie. But that’s okay, because the walk isn’t far and the exhibits you pass on the way are incredible. Another point in the interests of full disclosure is that like in the book and film, visitors are allowed, even encouraged to, play on Funky Bones and many of the other exhibits scattered throughout 100 Acres.
Well, that brings me to the end of my little tour of The Fault in Our Stars real-life landmarks. I hope you enjoyed my little tour. RC and I had a blast driving around and taking the pictures.If you’d like to learn more about some of these landmarks, you can checkout these websites.
Holliday Park – http://www.hollidaypark.org/
The Indianapolis Museum of Art, home of 100 Acres – http://www.imamuseum.org/
Thanks again and until next time, tailwinds! Oh, okay, how ab out one more shot of Funky Bones. See ya!