It seemed this Christmas season was busier than ever around downtown. I struggled to list all the events happening around the city in my ten-day-calendar. It’s slowed a bit, now, except for one final blow-out on New Year’s Eve. After that we’ll settle into a slower winter rhythm – assuming winter really does make a Knoxville appearance.
As I hurried about to the various events I’ve either covered or enjoyed with my family, I’ve spotted some of these scenes along the way and others have been destinations that never quite became complete articles. As Christmas fades, I wanted to take one more moment to show you some of the scenes from the season – some seasonal and others just interesting.
During the last few weeks I had the pleasure of attending a “French” themed gathering at Union Avenue Books. Marilyn Kallet read her poems written in France while we enjoyed chocolate French desserts and glasses of wine. That’s really a large percentage of what you need in this world, if you think about it: friends, poetry, chocolate and wine. Marilyn was in France during the recent attacks which added a layer of poignancy to the proceedings.
You see one shot of Union Avenue Books from the outside and another, unrelated, shot outside Five Bar. I prefer eating on patios mostly to watch the hustle and bustle of the city street, or at least near a good window for the same reason. I’ll confess I also enjoy passing large window-fronts of downtown restaurants and watching the people inside. Who is celebrating a long life together, who is just connecting, who is near the end of a relationship long or short. Who is tired, trying really hard to be interesting or dominating their table? I enjoy speculating about the stories behind the faces of strangers.
I also enjoyed events at two of our most historic homes downtown – those of James White and William Blount. Lots of friends and friendly faces greeted me at both events with the spotlight turned on these two special places. The Knoxville Garden Club had decorated Blount Mansion beautifully and the James White’s Fort gathering featured delicacies baked at the hands of the inimitable director, Sam Maynard. These, along with the Mabry-Hazen House which I recently profiled represent important components of our history and need your support. Take a tour and bring a child so they can learn the importance of these special places.
Beyond that, the photos are self-explanatory – just things I saw on the way. Santa sightings weren’t uncommon and the lights were beautiful. I know we had lots of rain (beautiful rain photos of the city here) and not the most festive early winter temperatures, but it was a good season for those who sought it out. I hope you enjoyed it with friends, family and festivities of your own. Next we’ll take a look back at the incredible year downtown Knoxville experienced in 2015.