Triple Bill: Knoxville vs. Paris vs. London Smackdown

London’s Most Famous Clock

What do you get when you take 7,000,000 people out of the population of London? A city that is still larger than all of Knoxville. If the word “city” is used to describe London and Paris, should the same word be used when referring to downtown Knoxville?

Knoxville’s Most Famous Clock

These are the kinds of questions passing through my mind as I return from visits to these cities. I’m joking, of course, when I imply that we are going to compare the cities in some sort of competition. It’s the kind of thing one would never say except tongue-in-cheek, like “We are going to make Knoxville’s school system a world-class system,” – but wait that was actually said out loud. Bad example, but you get the point.
I’ve never traveled much outside of our country, though I’ve seen most of the states of our union. When I was eight-years-old my parents loaded the Chevy with parents, me and my brother, grandmother and uncle and drove from Mobile, Alabama to Montreal, Canada. When I was nine they took us to Mexico City and Acapulco, Mexico. In 1990 I spent a week in Tokyo and in 1997 I took my family to Monterey and Chijuajua, Mexico.

Paris’ Most Famous Structure

Until a couple of weeks ago, that was it. I longed to travel to Europe for years. After years of planning, hoping and saving our money and finally made it. My wife and I spent a week in London and a week in Paris. Of course, the entire time I was there, I thought only of you, my readers. OK, that may be a bit of an exageration, but I do write a blog about a little city and those are big cities and my mind did turn often around the connections and disconnections between them.

Knoxville’s Most Famous Structure

So, over the next days or weeks, depending on what strikes me as I consider my experiences, I’ll share a few observations about those cities in relation to this one. I’ll mix it in with my regular posts until it plays out in my mind. For those of you who don’t care about Paris or London or who know far more about each than I’ll ever know, please indulge me. I’ll get it out of my system soon enough.