Pawnee, IN…the real Muncie?

Pawnee, IN…the real Muncie?

Pawnee, Indiana is the fictional setting for the TV show, Parks and Recreation. Parks and Recreation premiered on NBC in 2009 and ran for 7 seasons with 124 episodes.  The show follows the adventures of the local parks and recreation department employees, led by Deputy Director Leslie Knope (played by Saturday Night Live alum, Amy Poehler). “Muncie is a lovely city.” – Leslie Knope

There are a lot of people that think Pawnee is based off of real cities of Indiana. In the TV show, the city is said to be located about 95 miles south of Indianapolis and 120 miles southeast of Terre Haute with a combined population of 80,000 people. The map of Pawnee is actually a map of Muncie, but turned upside down and flipped. The show even modeled Pawnee’s city government after that of Muncie and Bloomington, IN.

In Parks and Recreation, Pawnee has a city slogan of “First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity”. Fourth in obesity as in the entire country. One of the local factories employs one-third of the city, the Sweetums Candy Factory. The most popular restaurant in Pawnee is Paunch Burger. In the “Soda Tax” episode, they introduced a 512-ounce drink called  “child size” because it was roughly the size of a liquified child.

There may not be 512-ounce sodas in Muncie, but the two communities do have some things in common. This is not the first time Muncie has been modeled as a typical midwestern town. It was featured in sociological studies, in movies, cartoons, and other pop culture.

Jerry/Larry/Garry Gergich, a character on the show, loves his favorite vacation spot…Muncie, were he and his family has a timeshare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middletown Studies

Middletown Studies

In the 1920s, Robert and Helen Lynd led a team of sociologists in a study of a typical middle-American community. The Lynds chose Muncie as the locale for their field research, although they never specifically identified it as “Middletown” the fictional name of the town in their study. Muncie received national attention after the publication of their book, Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929). The Lynds returned to Muncie to re-observe the community during the Depression, which resulted in a sequel, Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (1937).  The Lynds’ Middletown study, which was funded by the Rockefeller Institute of Social and Religious Research, was intended to study “the interwoven trends that are the life of a small American city.”

The Lynds were only the first to conduct a series of studies in Muncie. The National Science Foundation funded a third major study that resulted in two books by Theodore Caplow, Middletown Families (1982) and All Faithful People (1983). Caplow returned to Muncie in 1998 to begin another study, Middletown IV, which became part of a Public Broadcasting Service documentary titled “The First Measured Century“, released in December 2000. The Ball State Center for Middletown Studies continues to survey and analyze social change in Muncie.  A database of Middletown surveys conducted between 1978 and 1997 is available online from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). Due to the extensive information collected from the Middletown studies during the twentieth century, Muncie is said to be one of the most studied cities of its size in the United States.

In addition to being called a “typical American city”, as the result of the Middletown studies, Muncie is known as Magic City or Magic Muncie, as well as the Friendly City.

Muncie Map Co.

Muncie Map Co.

The Muncie Map Co. was founded in 2017 by Dr. Andy Shears, a Muncie native who’d moved away for an academic career and grown sick of it. Being a specialist in cartography, Andy decided he’d rather be practicing the craft of mapping than teaching it. After finishing that school year, Andy and his wife Amy uprooted their lives in Pennsylvania to come back to Muncie and start their businesses, investing in and betting on his hometown.

Our goal from the beginning was to follow the mantra of Benjamin Franklin, to “do well by doing good.” We seek projects and jobs that serve to benefit our community as much as possible, and we firmly believe our community will take care of us in the same way.

So far, that belief has been proven correct. From its humble beginnings of Andy staffing a card table with a stack of maps at the Muncie Makers Market, the Muncie Map Co. has expanded to a busy custom cartography studio with a brick-and-mortar retail store in downtown Muncie (opened 2018), where it features maps, map artwork, and local Muncie-centric goods that have become a community favorite.

With 2020’s COVID closures, MMC pivoted into e-commerce and now also features an extensive collection of products in its online shoppe.

Today, Muncie Map Co. continues its growth, employing one full-time and one part-time employee, plus several recurring contract gig creatives. We have a combined 25 years of cartographic and 40 years of artistic experience at our fingertips.

111 E. Adams St, Muncie     765-273-8627     http://www.munciemap.com/

Muncie CrossFit at The Arsenal

Muncie CrossFit at The Arsenal

We are a home to a community of athletes of all ages, shapes, and ability. Our primary focus is on safety, proper form and mechanics, mobility, consistency, and building self confidence all while having fun. The Arsenal is Muncie’s leading CrossFit, Weightlifting and Youth Sport Performance facility.

M-Th: 5:30-9AM, 12-1PM, 4-7:30PM
Friday: 5:30-9AM, 12-1PM, 4-6:15PM
Saturday: 10AM–12:15PM
Sunday: Closed

210 E Centennial Ave , Muncie     https://munciecrossfit.com/contact/