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Thread: What's the best way to visit Gary, IN

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    What's the best way to visit Gary, IN

    Im going to be in Chicago soon, to research urban history in the Midwest. I was interested in visiting Gary briefly, pehrpas just seing the US steel works. Any ideas what the safest and most informative way of doing this would be. Id have no car.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Not sure what you mean by "safest," but the South Shore train runs down there http://www.nictd.com/ from Downtown Chicago. You can't see too much of the steel mill from just walking around, as they don't let people get very close. Perhaps if you call ahead they might let you in though.

    I took the train down there and took these pictures some time ago: http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us/a...egion/Gary_IN/

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Nice photos, cant believe how empty those streets are.

    I said the "safest coment", because I was trying to show that I am ignorant of the area. A sorta, if there is anything I should avoid tell me. Not a "how do I get an armed guard and bulletproof vest and get out as quick as I can". Does the train take one by the airport. Id like to get some photos of it too.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mokbubble
    Im going to be in Chicago soon, to research urban history in the Midwest. I was interested in visiting Gary briefly, pehrpas just seing the US steel works. Any ideas what the safest and most informative way of doing this would be. Id have no car.

    The best way to visit Gary, IN is with an open mind.
    Last edited by the north omaha star; 04 Jan 2006 at 4:48 PM.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    I would rent an armored car if I were you.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    I would rent an armored car if I were you.
    How did I know it'd be something inappropriate when I saw that you'd responded to this thread?

    Quote Originally posted by mokbubble
    I said the "safest coment", because I was trying to show that I am ignorant of the area. A sorta, if there is anything I should avoid tell me. Not a "how do I get an armed guard and bulletproof vest and get out as quick as I can". Does the train take one by the airport. Id like to get some photos of it too.
    I just went down there and walked around. I guess I'd say don't go hungry as there's no place to eat.

    The train does go near the Gary-Chicago airport, but it's a different stop (the downtown stop where I got off is called Gary Metro). I believe there's a shuttle bus you have to take to get to the passenger terminal of the airport. The train doesn't have transfers or anything so you have to pay a full fare every time you get off, also they run with 1-2 hour gaps outside of the Rush Hour, so if you're going to stop at the airport, plan on sticking around for a while.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I have driven around Gary by day (in my car with Wisconsin plates) and never felt particularly unsafe, no more so than in any other urban area. Some of my explorations involved just mindless wandering and others were for such things as researching the routing of the Yellowstone Trail, which takes about the longest direct (no backtracking) drive through Gary as is physically possible. Although I do have yet to confirm parts of it, from east to west, the YT most likely followed (from Hobart) Old Ridge, Ridge (crossing over at Tennessee St?), Broadway (IN 53), 5th (US 12/20) and Cline Av (IN 912) into East Chicago.

    Also, yes, there are some interesting structures in Gary that are in good repair and are in use. One that stands out in my mind is the city's fire station on US 12/20 by the exPRR crossing, a short distance west of the downtown area.

    I agree that the best way to visit it is with an open mind and after taking the time to study the area's maps and high-resolution aeriel photos, such as are available on http://maps.google.com and http://www.terraserver-usa.com . It is a fascinating place of urban archeology to explore and once it does hit rock bottom, could be an interesting place of redevelopment.

    Mike

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Go on a Sunday morning, and walk around the downtown.....because the bad people are still sleeping off the previous night.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Always gets me how beautiful the architecture there is. Lot of it in disrepair, but beautiful nonetheless. I dont like the fake stucco of Southern California.

    I was interested in seeing the airport, because it seemed liek a good idea gone bad. If they dont have transfers, that would be a good example of why it isnt working. I loked for tickets for flying into Gary and all I found was Hooters air. My god that is sad.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    What a bunch of wusses, yes wusses. Gary is just a beat up old town. This is still the midwest and people are generally friendly folks. I've never had a problem there.

    You may also want to check out its casino district on the water. There may or may not be cheap buses you can take from Chicago or other areas if you just use them to get to Gary. I know Amtrak stops really close to the casinos, but you should check if your train does.

  11. #11
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I'd go with jordanB's suggestion that you take the train from Chicago. I stopped in Gary the last time I headed up to the Toledo area (a little out of the way because I had never seen Chicago). It really didn't strike me as the violent anarchy that so many portray it as. Everyone I met was quite nice and very helpful. I did have a tough time finding a good local place for lunch that wasn't a chain. The casino area is probably a worthwhile stop as well.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Just a little further east there is

    Indiana Dunes State Park

    and
    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    How did I know it'd be something inappropriate when I saw that you'd responded to this thread?
    What are you saying?
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- That I knew your statement would be racist and narrow-minded based on previous experience?

    mokbubble: I don't mean there aren't transfers to the busses to the airport. I mean that you can't buy a transfer on the train back onto the train. If you get off at Gary-Chicago Airport and then get back on and go one more stop to Gary Metro, you have to pay another full zone fare.

    The airport isn't really a mistake or a failure. I believe it's the most heavily used General Aviation airport in the Chicago region. Passenger line service is sparse for obvious reasons, but it is a very popular airport for charter, cargo, and personal use. Pretty much you can go to any mid-sized city, check out their airport, and you'll see something very similar to Gary-Chicago.

    DetroitPlanner is right. Gary is just a beat-up little town. No, it is not a war zone, and no, you are not likely to be shot at or even molested in any way. I got off the train there and walked down Broadway a ways, then into the residential district to the east, and then tried to get some good views of the steelworks. I also bought some batteries at the convenience store in the bank. Everyone I spoke to in Gary was very nice to me.

    The dunes are worth seeing unless it's winter. But remember the transfer thing, and the headway on the trains. It takes an hour just to get to Gary from the Loop, so figure just seeing it is a 4 hour trip. Go any place else and your whole day will be shot. If you go to the dunes, Dune Park is where I got off, and it works nicely. There is a neat station there with educational dioramas in it. Across the tracks from the station is a trail leading into the woods, that eventually leads up to the road into the park. The road itself has a shoulder you have to walk on (not very pedestrian friendly at all, but what can I say? It's Indiana!) and the beach is maybe a mile to a mile and a half from the station.

    I've also heard that it's very good to get off at Beverly Shores to see the dunes, but I've not done that.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmm....

    At 3AM on a Saturday night in July wearing nothing but an orange speedo and carrying $500 in cash.

    I've only driven through, but next time I'll stop.....
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    You may have gotten me on Gary airport. I got the impression that it was supposed to be an alternate for Midway.

    Finally, for the record, I have no problem walking through town. I have never been there
    so I was curious what you all thought. When I was in San Fransisco I was in Hunter's Point at night and this guy drives up to me and tells me to get out cause I didnt want to be there at night. Turned out I met the friendliest people of the entire trip there. In contrast, when I was in fancy Berkely a woman screamed at my girlfriend and told her she was going to stab her, and the music store we were in had a bomb threat.

    Still can't believe someone who actually lived there pulled up to me and said get out.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    ^-- That I knew your statement would be racist and narrow-minded based on previous experience?
    WTF are you talking about? I made a joke about the crime level of the city (not the only one who did this by the way).

    When have I been "narrow-minded and racist" before? Don't make B.S. accusations like that unless you're going to back them up.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    At 3AM on a Saturday night in July wearing nothing but an orange speedo and carrying $500 in cash.

    I've only driven through, but next time I'll stop.....
    You're looking for trouble anywhere dressed like that! You could get bum rushed by a bunch of Mormons in Salt Lake City, or strung up by the Amish in Intercourse!

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    At 3AM on a Saturday night in July wearing nothing but an orange speedo and carrying $500 in cash.
    Your looking for trouble wearing Illini orange in Indiana, you'd be much safer in Hoosier red

  20. #20
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    ^-- That I knew your statement would be racist and narrow-minded based on previous experience?
    Quote Originally posted by jread
    WTF are you talking about? I made a joke about the crime level of the city (not the only one who did this by the way).

    When have I been "narrow-minded and racist" before? Don't make B.S. accusations like that unless you're going to back them up.
    Moderator note:
    Yellow cards for jordan and jread.....play nice, don't make it personal.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

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