Holidays Culminate with a Happy New Year 2017

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on Market Square, Knoxville, January 2017

Happy New Year to each of you. I hope your holidays were as filled with family and friends, music and great food, as mine. I love me some low-key, drama free holidays and this one fit the bill. A lot of it involved simply enjoying what’s available to us all around downtown. We had guests, parties and traveled a bit and all went well.

Mike McGill’s Christmas Spectacular, Barley’s, Knoxville, December 2016

Barstool Romeos, Barley’s, Knoxville, December 2016

The Barstool Romeos provided much of the musical soundtrack. As I’ve mentioned, I saw them at the Arthur Q. Smith CD release, then I caught Mike McGill’s (of the Romeos) Christmas Spectacular at Barley’s the week before Christmas, had a Romeo come to my home for a picking party involving family and friends and capped it off with a fine show at Barley’s on New Year’s Eve Eve. What a great band. See them when you can and watch for a new CD from them this spring.

Dancing to the Barstool Romeos, Barley’s, Knoxville, December 2016

Dancing to the Barstool Romeos, Barley’s, Knoxville, December 2016

Dancing to the Barstool Romeos, Barley’s, Knoxville, December 2016

Dancing to the Barstool Romeos, Barley’s, Knoxville, December 2016

I also enjoyed Leah Gardner and One Badass Band at Holly’s Corner the Friday before Christmas, followed by a great show by Devan Jones and the Uptown Stomp later the same night at Boyd’s. Devan played both shows and was great, as always, and I’d forgotten how  much I love Leah’s voice. I’ve been told to push for a Devon Jones and the Uptown Stomp CD. Does any of you have influence?

Leah Gardner and One Badass Band, Holly’s Corner, December 2016

Devan Jones and the Uptown Stomp, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, Knoxville, December 2016

We ate our share of homemade gumbo, a family tradition, ate some New Orleans style food on chef Bogartz’ last day at Tata and slipped to the coast for some of our favorite oysters at Wintzell’s in Mobile. Lots of good wine and munchies at multiple parties and friend’s homes rounded out our dietary spiral.

Wintzell’s, Dauphin Street, Mobile, December 2016

New Year’s Eve View of the 100 Block of Gay Street, Knoxville, December 2016

For New Year’s night, we accepted an invitation to a quiet gathering on the 100 block at the home of some friends and enjoyed great conversation, food, wine and beverages with a little fizz. (I’m not big on fizz in my drinks.) The view out their window, which you see here is one of the best downtown, in my opinion. I love the buildings on the western side of the 100 block.

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on Market Square, Knoxville, January 2017

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on Market Square, Knoxville, January 2017

Frank Murphy at the Ball Drop, Market Square, Knoxville, January 2017

I didn’t make it to the Bijou for the Gran Torino show or to the Mill and Mine for the Black Lillies show, though I’m sure both were great fun. I did set out into the rain for the annual ball drop on Market Square which seemed to be enjoyed by all the folks gathered for that. Live music preceded the actual drop. My friend Frank Murphy emceed and lots of kisses and smiles ensued. A steady rain didn’t seem to deter the masses, though it seemed there might have been a slightly smaller crowd. I’m not sure what could be done about it, but the skating rink and the ball drop seem to be cumulatively too big for the square.

Car on Gay Street, Knoxville, December 2016

Window on State Street, Knoxville, December 2016

Hanging Out with Urban Boy, Market Square, Knoxville, January 2017

We also took lots of walks around downtown during the holidays and, as always, spotted some interesting details like the window with the shrieking person on State, the cool car on Gay Street and more. Like many other people, Urban Boy and I got our picture made in front of the mural on the back of the skating rink. The best thing about the walks and the other events, for that matter, is seeing the familiar faces of friends and seeing people like those dancing above sharing a happy moment or two.

Former KUB, Future Tombras Building, Gay Street, Knoxville, 2017

Pryor Brown Garage, Market and Church Street, Knoxville, January 2017

Also obvious in every direction was construction. Many of the bricks have been replaced on Gay Street, though there are holes where pieces and sometimes whole bricks seem to be missing and others don’t seem to be packed down even with the others, so be careful out there – especially if you are wearing heels.

New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on Market Square, Knoxville, January 2017

Seeing the Tombras building quickly changing and the sign on the Pryor Brown Garage served both as a reminder of what happened this past year and some of what we have to anticipate in the coming year. It promises to be another good one for our city. Here’s hoping it’s a good one for you and yours.

Comments

  1. Thanks for all the fun reports and valuable information in 2016. You add a lot to Downtown Knoxville. Best wishes for 2017.

  2. Malcolm Blowers says

    Enthusiasm makes the difference! Thanks for another year of enthusiastic and skillful reporting in word and picture on the welfare and developments in downtown. Your reporting adds immeasurably to downtown’s appeal.
    We finally moved to the South Riverfront in 2016 and love the cycling and walking lifestyle afforded by downtown and the contiguous urban wilderness.
    Please keep up the good work in 2017.

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