Top Posts of 2013, Part One

J.C. Penney Building Prior to Sidewalk Cover, Gay Street, Knoxville
J.C. Penney Building Prior to Sidewalk Cover, Gay Street, Knoxville

I thought it might be fun to look back at the year that just ended and track what you guys were most interested in. I know from comments I get in person, via email and on the blog that the interests of my readers range widely. I’ll often have a post that doesn’t draw as many readers as some others, but I’ll have a person tell me it was one of their favorites. Conversely, I’ll have a wildly popular post that someone will question why I devoted the time to it at all.

Of course, unless I tell you what is most popular, you have no way of knowing. The comments are some indication, but very often do not tell the story. An article can elicit no comments, but be widely read. Apparently it’s interesting, but there isn’t that much to say beyond what I said. Other times a core of people really want to comment – and do so – but most other people decided it wasn’t a topic they wanted to read about.

So, which kinds of posts are most popular? I’ve said many times, as a sort of joke, but it has been true that when I write about music no one reads and when I write about beer or business everybody reads and if I write about a beer business I break all previous records. Based on this year’s most read articles, I’m going to have to soften that statement a bit. Business is still probably on the top with six of the top fifteen articles focused on business. Three were about preservation, two were about development, two were actually about music, one was a personal profile and one was about an issue that I investigated. That’s a pretty good mix.

There are a few other things worth noting. First, most of the top posts (seven of the top ten are August and later) were written late in the year, which makes sense as the blog has added so many new readers. That does sort of skew the results. Also, the most read post of the year was actually written two years ago: Knoxville Christmas Parade 2011: The Top Ten Floats. I can only assume there are some high-powered links out there somewhere or Google loves it. It actually dwarfed the rest of the list and is the all-time most read post on the site, but I’m not listing it because it wasn’t written this year.

Here are the honorable mentions: #15: The Finished Product: Top Floor of the Arnstein Building Inside and Out, #14: One Business Closes, One Re-opens and One Makes Big Changes, #13: A Discouraging Day for the City, #12: New Knoxville Residents: A Feel-Good Story, #11: Updates on Development Projects and a Major Event Announcement.

Shono's In City, Market Square, Knoxville, April 2013
Shono’s In City, Market Square, Knoxville, April 2013

Number ten was Shono’s In City Re-opens. The article almost didn’t happen. The evening I wrote it I sat at home pondering my next post when I got a message from my friend Jayne tipping me off that it was going to open the next day and that the owner and staff were in the restaurant right then. Owner Willy Rosenberg agreed to talk with me and I ran down, talked to him, took photographs during staff training and had my tenth most popular post of the year. Have I mentioned how much I appreciate tips?

Hot Bagel Company, Oak Ridge, May 2013
Hot Bagel Company, Oak Ridge, May 2013

Number nine was Hot Bagel Company Set to Open Downtown. This also resulted from a tip via a friend. In this case, since the business originated in Oak Ridge, it was an Oak Ridge friend. An interesting side note to this story is that months later when I wrote about it actually opening at last, it didn’t get as much attention as the first article. If you haven’t made it there, yet, you really should. The bread is amazing and they are located in the Whittle Building just off Cumberland. They are only open early in the day.

Food Trucks at the Market Square Farmers' Market
Food Trucks at the Market Square Farmers’ Market

Number eight was Downtown Knoxville Food Fight. That was actually one of my favorite headlines of the year. The article centered on the issue of Food Trucks and the tension between them and the brick-and-mortar restaurants in the center city. Again, and you may be noticing a theme here, I was stopped on the street outside Suttree’s for a conversation that resulted in the article.

Subtle Clutch, Market Square, Knoxville, July 2013
Subtle Clutch, Market Square, Knoxville, July 2013

Number seven documented a great new band in Subtle Clutch is the Buzz Downtown. The young guys caught the attention of quite a few of us as they busked around downtown this summer and they’ve continued to garner attention and gigs ever since. Not only is the music excellent, but the boys just seem so darn nice! Of course, I loved the fact that you liked an article about music so much. If you haven’t heard them, you should look them up.

Destruction of 710 and 712 Walnut by St. John's Episcopal Church, Knoxville, September 2013
Destruction of 710 and 712 Walnut by St. John’s Episcopal Church, Knoxville, September 2013

Number six will finish us for this post and it is appropriately entitled It is Finished. Unfortunately, it was the final story in the destruction of 710 and 712 Walnut by St. John’s Episcopal Church. I still get sick when I think about it and can’t hardly stand to walk by the gaping hole that could have been two vibrant and interesting structures. I’m not sure how many readers got the title, but those are the final words attributed to Jesus as he hung on the cross dying.

Well, that’s not exactly an uplifting way to end and I’ll admit there is more serious fare to come in the top five – which I’ll bring you in the next post.