Have you arrived in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl yet?  Gotten drunk in Broad Ripple? Shaked your arse at the Wild Beaver?

You ain’t going to St. Elmo…from what I hear the NFL has taken over reservations for that shit the next four days.

Can’t get Jimmy Fallon tix? Too fat to try that zipline thingy?

Drive your arse a few hours north and visit Northwest Indiana. Spend an hour, half a day, stay overnight. Here’s a few places worth checking out.

Stop by in Merrillville and check out the coolest liquor store sign you’ll see this side of the Mississippi.

boozin’ in NWI

Stop in and buy a six-pack for the road back to Indy. The dude working there, who looks like the lead singer from Crash Test Dummies, is a trip. If he’s in the back and the store’s empty and hears you walk in he starts swearing. You’ve interrupted something. But don’t fret, he’s pretty decent at the cash box. What a great name – it’s even right there on the door. I can’t get enough of the drunk WC Fields -looking arsehole on the sign.

You probably want to see Michael Jackson’s childhood home in Gary. The dude lived there for like 5 minutes and really didn’t give a shit about the area after he left. In fact, I believe the only time he visited was for some court case or legal bullshit or something. So instead keep driving down Broadway. If you don’t get a flat with all the potholes or sewer bumps gutting out of the road you’ll make it to the Sheraton Hotel downtown. It’s a giant dump that’s been empty forever and it’s supposed to be torn down later this year.

the lovely downtown Sheraton Hotel

You know, actually in this just-taken pic it doesn’t look half bad. Next time I’ll climb some balconies and show you the shittery. One of my best friends, Joe Doll, says his gramps stayed there once during it’s heyday and had sex with one of the Supremes.

Let’s jump to Porter County and Valparaiso now real quick. On Friday night the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team has a game. Once they made it to the Sweet Sixteen or whatever. But I recommend going to see what may be the ugliest cheerleading uniforms ever.

Brown? Brown? Still cute? I guess.

You almost can never go wrong with a cheerleading uniform. My friend Joe Doll used to say that even ugly gals look good in them. But brown? USC gets those Song Girl uniforms and NWI get’s brown? Now I think these are the colors for the football season. The basketball ones may be yellow or gold. But if brown is your thing I’m sure you’ll find plenty of it at the game. Hey, that one gal in the middle looks like a ginger.

Back to Lake County and Crown Point, home of the Johnny Depp Dillinger Jail. Right next to it is Crown Brewing. This is a good thing. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts. Stop in for a Special Forces IPA or Celtic Coffee Stout. Good pizza too!

Crown Brewing and the Dillinger Jail behind it.

One of the reasons for this odd/long shot is I had to get the dumpster in where my friend Joe Doll threw up last St. Pat’s day. He was actually at Diamond Jim’s, one of many watering holes in this area, which is just to the right of said dumpster.

While you’re in Crown Point,  head a few blocks north and visit Fricke’s. It’s a cool dive bar that has a small bowling alley attached to it. If you go on Friday night your likely to see Jessica and her lovely tattoos working the bar. Cool chick. One I was there and for whatever reason my legs were crossed funny while sitting at the bar stool and this womany woman who may have been drunk asked me if I was “a fagola.”

Fricke’s – bowling and beer

Back to hotels, and Merrillville. The hotel of hotels in the region is the Radisson which is right off of I-65 and on US 30.

If you’re staying the night, this would have to be the place. Let’s just call it the Chateau Marmont of Northwest Indiana.

The Chateau Marmont of Northwest Indiana

Part of the hotel is the Star Plaza Theatre. I’m not sure who’s performing in Indy Friday night but here you get this music earful: A Salute to the ’60s with Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, The Grass Roots, and The Buckinghams. Meh. There ya go. It’s not my thing, and if it’s not yours, then stop by the hotel’s authentic fake Irish bar instead, TJ Maloneys. On Saturday they actually have an Irishy-band playing (from what I’ve read about them) so that’s not bad.

I don’t have a pic, but an interesting place to go in Lake Station (never thought I’d say that) is an LGBT bar, Encompass. Supposedly it’s the only LGBT bar in Northwest Indiana. I doubt you’ll find this joint in Indy. I’ve been there, it’s actually pretty cool. I saw a transgender in there one Christmas sing “Suzy Snowflake” and the image is still seared into my brain.

And back to Hobart, on Saturday night at the Art Theatre downtown they do that live midnight production of The Rocky Horror Show. So you’re guaranteed to see some lass in fishnets and a fat guy in a diaper running around.

The Horror

So that’s it. There’s an arseload of other places but you have to get back to Indy.