I’m back at critical mass with photographs which never quite made it onto a blog, so I’m giving you some of them on a rainy Friday. Hopefully you will find some of them interesting, as did I when I spotted each image. Some of them caught my eye because they were interesting in terms of the city, while others were simply visually appealing.
I often include photographs of unusual cars, and today’s entry into that tradition (seen above) is the first Tesla I’ve ever seen. I believe a friend tipped me off that it was on Market Square and I should get down there and check it out. I always appreciate tips about something happening in the city.
This is one good example of seeing something every day and never thinking about it until it changes. Obviously we should not have trash cans and recycle cans sitting on our sidewalks making the place look trashy. But I’d never really thought about it until the city began placing these barricades around them. They aren’t everywhere, just yet, but they are a thoughtful improvement to the aesthetic appeal of the sidewalks and I appreciate the city taking care of the matter.
Here’s another example of seeing something, but not really seeing it. I consider myself to be a semi-observant person – particularly when I’m looking at downtown – but I never noticed the reality of the 700 block of south Gay until Greg, a long-time reader and sometime guest blogger mentioned it in a comment. He noted that the building is in worrisome condition. Being one of our most complete and diverse retail blocks, I’d never really looked until he mentioned it. It turns out that, like other buildings downtown, the bottom is being used, but the top floor seems to be deteriorating. Let’s hope someone does something before it’s too late.
I continue to be impressed with the quality of buskers we are currently attracting. There seem to be more every time I turn around and the quality is generally very good. I also like the variety, ranging in these photographs from classical to bluegrass. The girls were very good, singing a very nice harmony. I do love harmony. Tip the good ones, folks, we want them to keep playing.
If there is one thing downtown Knoxville seems to be good at, it might just be sprouting new churches. While some old-line churches seem to be alienating downtown citizens, there is a newer brand of church that is reaching out to them and pulling them in. The photo above is of the Ignition Church sign sitting outside the Emporium where they meet. An outreach idea of a church out west turned into a branch church all its on when the response to services downtown were so strong. Of course, we have two churches meeting in the Square Room and another non-traditional church meeting in the Bijou after outgrowing the backroom of Remedy Coffee.
The sign above is from Central Street in the Old City. I should have included a shot of the entire building, but it’s the descendant of Big Don’s Elegant Junk which used to be in the Old City (I dug through many nasty bins of vinyl albums there in the 80′s). It was located across the street. This iteration of the store includes costumes, but the building has been shut down by the city and declared unsafe. I know there was a fire there in the last few months, but I’m not sure how that played into the current condition of the building. It’s another one that is in what feels to be a well developed section, but it is in danger.
The first guy above just struck me as a cool, different kind of guy. I strolled right through the middle of the Hola Parade and I snapped his picture. The army guy is a new fixture and I’ve heard a lot of people speculating as to whether the army guy might also be Spiderman or Hulk or Purple Guy or any of the other similar buskers we have. I’m not sure everyone does, but I love them, think they are cool and creative in their own way and I’m glad they hang around.
I’ll end with another set of very talented buskers. I’m not sure who they are, but this trio had the south end of Market Square in the palm of their hand. A little Latin, a little reggae, a little rap – they had it all going on. The guitarist was excellent, percussion was good, rap was solid. They also had a great vibe about them and very high energy, which the crowd responded to. The performance was marred a bit by an obnoxious farmer who drove through the middle of the audience in his massive truck to get to his tent in the Farmers’ Market. It wasn’t so much that he had to drive there, which he did, as it was the disgust on is face and his unapologetic behavior. He looked as if he thought they were vermin. My only complaint about them is that I’ve not seen them but once. I wish they were a once or twice a week staple for downtown.
I hope to see you around downtown this weekend. I’m really hoping the weather folks are wrong and we can have a dry Christmas Parade and First Friday tonight. I’d also hope a little dryness for the Victorian Home Tour in Old North. I’ll likely be there for both, driving rain or not. I hope you’ll come out as well.