A Christmas Day Walk Through the City

Balcony on Market Square, Knoxville, Christmas 2011

If you don’t enjoy close proximity to other people and the hustle and bustle of downtown streets, the city probably isn’t your best place to spend time. We’ve certainly seen our share of high intensity activity in recent days. I’ve never seen downtown stores and sidewalks more crowded than they’ve been the last few weeks. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

Decorations in 36 Market Square, Knoxville

Still, it’s nice to have a break from the crowds now and again. Most Sundays are pretty quiet in downtown Knoxville. Holiday Sundays are beyond quiet and Christmas morning was no exception. By the time I roused myself for a long walk in the afternoon, there were increasing signs of life.

Preservation Pub, Knoxville, Christmas Day 2011
The Hotel Oliver seems to have done a good business this holiday season and I saw several families coming and going from their doors. I passed about a half-dozen people in Market Square. The ice rink and every business was closed, though a sign outside Preservation Pub promised they would open at 7:00 on Christmas night. I didn’t check, but I bet faithful patrons appeared at the designated hour. I noticed decorations I’d missed when moving among the masses.

Regal Cinemas, Gay Street, Knoxville, Christmas Day 2011

Tennessee Theater advertising V-Roys’ New Year’s Eve Show

Gay Street showed the most life as it had the only open business I saw all afternoon: Regal Cinemas. You know, the business that will never make it. It had a large crowd waiting for tickets. Couples walked up and down the street or sat in Krutch Park. I met one lady there who deserves a post for herself sometime soon.

A man casts a long shadow on an empty street.


A Porsche Boxter in the Old City, Christmas Day 2011

The 100 Block and the Old City were similarly shut down. I passed a few people including my neighbor and our deputy mayor, Bill Lyons out for a walk with his family. A couple of dogs ran about in Dog Park on Central while their owners waiting for the animals to spend their energy. Garbage cans and recycle bins needed emptying. The sun began to set and the air grew cooler. Warm soup and a good book called my name. It was a very good day in the city.