May 22nd, 2015

An Urbanite is Born

by Ethan Jackson

I grew up wearing cowboy boots, riding horses and spending hours every day playing in the creek behind my house. I lived in Southport, about ten miles south of downtown Indy, an environment about as anti-urban as you can get within city limits. And most of my childhood and adolescence, that’s what I was: an anti-urbanite. I had always considered the city to be intimidating, loud and crowded, a stark contrast to the environment at home. That was before we moved.


During my sophomore year of high school, my parents decided we would move to 46th and Illinois in the Butler Tarkington area of Indianapolis. Although I had been exposed to a very select portion of Indianapolis on a constant basis from preschool until my eighth grade year at The Oaks Academy, I had always somewhat looked down on the city and never understood why someone would choose to live there. But over the first few months living in the city, my prejudices eventually gave way to admiration, and I found myself actually enjoying the noise and crowds. Noise meant people, and being the last of the children in my family still at home, things tended to be lonely. I had expected that people in the city would be unfriendly, but I found it quite the opposite: people wanted to belong to a community. The impossible had happened. I was now an urbanite.


Ethan Jackson is a senior at Park Tudor School who volunteered for the City Gallery, and made it his goal to learn a bit more about urban living. Ethan plans to attend Purdue University in the fall.