My thoughts after 6 years in Fort Wayne - 7/16/2010
After living in Fort Wayne for 6 years, and now just recently moving off to Indy, one of the largest things I've noticed so far is the change in traffic patterns. I loved Fort Wayne traffic in general because there very rarely any bottlenecks, even during rush-hour, even on the freeway. Plus, as a bonus to my lead foot (and as a consequence of not having a lot of congestion and cops that have better things to do), you can get away with speeding pretty much everywhere you go. In fact, I'd take that one step further in saying that although the people in Indy 'speed' more, it's because the speed limits seem to be considerably lower in Indy than in Fort Wayne.
In terms of gay life, although Indiana is in 'The Bible Belt' of the country, and general attitudes are on the conservative side, I never once felt unsafe displaying gay PDA. There are two primary gay bars in Fort Wayne - Babylon (Babs) and Afterdark (AD). They're owned by the same person, who is almost always a cheap-ass. One important thing to note though is that the crowd and the number of people there in general varies quite a bit from day to day and week to week, so you might be there one time and it's dead as a doornail, and then come back a week later and have it packed to the gills. I believe cover is $3 at both places, and drinks are generally about $5.25. They're not always super strong (remember to tip your bartenders well and they'll take care of you), but very rarely weak.
In terms of other nightlife, I've been really impressed with the number of big-name performers that have come to town, which usually perform at Pierres complex (a huge complex of many different bars, all in one area). In terms of venues, it's beyond me why such big names choose such a small arena, but they must pay them well. I mean, in terms of bars, the place is huge, but in terms of concert venues, it's minuscule.
My favorite of the bars in the complex (especially since I lived in Canterbury Green Apartments, which is directly next door) is a small hole-in-the-wall bar called Peanuts. They've got cheap beer ($5-$6 pitchers of domestic) and generally cheap beer (check out their specials), plus sever pool tables and electronic dart boards too. My only complaint is that the music is solely from the jukebox, which means none of it is free, and although I normally went there on weekdays, I've been told that it can get pretty crowded on the week unless you show up earlier in the evening (8p-10p).
There's generally plenty of street parking downtown, and even if not, there are several garages which due just fine.
Taxis aren't abundant, but they're around if you call ahead of time. And to get from downtown to the edge of the general city limits, it's about $20 or so.
There always seem to be plenty of events downtown during the summer months, and during the winter, they at least keep the streets well-plowed and salted the majority of the time. Some out-of-state people worry about the roads, but unless you're driving in really extreme conditions, you learn how to deal with the wintery conditions. Namely, you test your traction before you get on the road to see how long it will take you to come to a stop, then you give yourself plenty of stopping distance between you and the next person. Also, when approaching lights, you have to decelerate slower than you would normally otherwise. If you do these things, you should be just fine.
Anyway, that's all I can think of, but feel free to post any questions you may have, and assuming I get notified of a comment, I'll respond as best I can.
Tim G.[read more...]