Children in the City

Urban Toddler, Recovering Mardi Gras Addict, Dancing on the Square, Knoxville

What makes a city feel like a city? Most people would agree that downtown Knoxville didn’t really feel like a city twenty-five years ago. What about fifteen? Ten? Does downtown Knoxville currently feel like a city?

Skateboarding on the Square, Good thing or Bad thing? Knoxville

Fascinating wheelbarrow technique

When my friend Kevin saw bicycles darting in and out of traffic last Friday night he said that was one of the things that made a city a city. I replied that seeing children playing, skateboarding, riding bicycles and Big Wheels made the city feel vibrant to me. The sounds of laughter, of parents calling to children and, inevitably, the tears before mama kisses it and makes it better.

Square Dancing, Break Dancing, Cool Ricky watches from Swagger

“I really like your accessories.”

The pictures posted here are from the weekend and they make me feel good about the future of downtown. I read a skeptical post on Knoxnews recently in which the writer suggested he would believe living downtown was a decent option when parents could say to their children, “Go out and play.” Well, guess what? Here they are. No, most parents don’t send young children out on the street to play by themselves – they tend to be seen with them – and isn’t that better?

Retrieve the hat and throw it up in the tree again, retrieve the hat . . .

From Coolato Gelato to Rita’s Ice, Pizza at Dazzos, the fountains in Krutch Park, Market Square and the World’s Fair Park and the frequent children’s events like the upcoming chalk walk on Market Square and face painting at the Farmer’s Market, downtown is a very child-friendly place. It’s the city, so of course you watch your children for their safety, but wouldn’t you do so wherever they play?

“Purple rocks!” Bike riding on the Square, Knoxville

I’m not sure how many of the children pictured here are in town to play and how many live here, but there are always large numbers of children out when the weather is good and they seem to enjoy each other’s company. As far as I can tell they all get along just fine. The grown-ups, on the other hand, have had a little trouble playing nicely lately. That will be the subject of an upcoming post.

Urban Toddler and downtowner Elek hangin’ on the square. Knoxville