I have several things today, including what I think are a couple of significant upgrades to your experience – one immediate and one which will play out over the next months. I also have a request.
For starters, as my readership has evolved and downtown has blossomed, it has become obvious that tremendous interest exists in downtown properties. Readership surges when I write about new businesses or renovations of buildings and other development projects. This is why several months ago I added a “Downtown Properties” link at the top of this page. I’ve been slow to figure out exactly how to utilize it.
This leads to the biggest news of the day: I’ve entered a new partnership with Kelly Smith of Coldwell Bankers via his new venture “Market Square Realtor,” which finds him focusing on downtown and surrounding properties. As a beginning point, Kelly will provide interesting downtown property statistics and other content on my “Downtown Properties” page. I will also include links on that page to recent articles about downtown properties, allowing, for the first time on this blog, a spot to browse numerous articles on that specific subject.
But the most exciting feature you’ll find on the page is an excellent MLS database which includes all downtown and surrounding properties for sale at any given time. It is updated constantly, so if you don’t find what you are looking for today, it may be listed tomorrow. It is searchable by neighborhood or price. Details including photographs and all MLS information are available by selecting a property, clicking details and the small arrow at the top.
Honestly, I’ve had a hard time not getting lost in the listings and playing with the database. Yes, I’m nerdy, but on the other hand I know from the emails, comments, page views and conversations on the street that this is a very high – maybe the highest – interest topic for many of you. If you are looking to buy a home downtown or simply like to dream, this is the place to do it and Kelly is a link away if you’d like to investigate a bit more deeply. Check out the page and let me know what you think.
The next item may not be as big in your world as it is in mine, but you, as a reader, will benefit in the long run. I started writing this blog with little idea that photographs would be so important. I must have figured my words would be amazing enough – but we are a very visual culture at this point, so I used my Kodak camera to take photographs to accompany my posts. That camera got me through the first year.
I noticed other people had larger cameras and lenses and I scoffed a bit. The Kodak camera died on the streets of Paris and I replaced it with a very similar Fugi that I bought while on that trip. That camera, pictured above, worked for me until I began to understand its limitations. I admitted that maybe size does matter a little bit and after using a point-and-shoot camera for the first year-and-a-half of this venture, I upgraded to a Canon Rebel t3 in February of 2012.
That camera has been a great workhorse. It was with that camera, after using it on ”automatic” for about a year, that I took with me to my UT photography class with Tom Geisler. The class was an eye-opener for me. It was about the third iteration I’ve gone through with my photography in which I realized how much more there is to learn. But I did learn and, I think, my photographs got a bit better. I was happy with my photography – for about another six months.
I realized I was missing certain photographs because of my camera. Sure, I was missing and will continue to miss photographs due to skill limitations, but sometimes I was trying to do something that my camera could not deliver. This is particularly obvious in low light. I decided I had to step up, again. This time I bought a Canon 6D which, I sincerely hope, will carry me through a number of years. It should perform much better in limited light as well as in cold temperatures, which has been a particularly important thing for me recently, all of which should mean a better product for you.
So, will you immediately see an improvement? It’s doubtful. I took the photographs of Mardi Growl with the new camera and realized I’ve got to adjust to the lens I’m using now and it will take quite a while for me to master the various controls and features. Truthfully, I’ll probably never master them completely and my photographs may actually get a bit worse before they get better, so hang in there.
Finally, it’s the time of year when Metro Pulse conducts its annual Readers Poll. You were kind enough to vote “Inside of Knoxville,” which was actually “Stuck Inside of Knoxville” at the time, as best blog in the city and runner-up for best Facebook Page and Web Page. I don’t ask for you to do much other than enjoy the blog, but I do appreciate your support in this annual poll.
Only the online version has the categories for Best Blog/Blogger and Best Facebook Page, so you can’t vote for me via paper ballot. Remember you must confirm via an email link after you vote that you are a legitimate voter or your vote doesn’t count. As was the case last year, there are kinks in the system. Comcast, in particular, seems to be having some issues with delivering that confirmation link. If you have trouble, please contact Metro Pulse.
So, that’s it for the day: Search the Downtown Properties! Enjoy the Photographs! Vote for this blog!