I hadn’t intended to write about this, but I always have my camera around and, as it turned out, Urban Woman and I had a great time this past Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. In the midst of it, we kept saying, “Man, this has been so much fun. No way would we be doing this if we hadn’t moved to the city. So, here it is. Part normal, part exploring and some of it just wouldn’t happen in a non-urban location.
We used our Nowait app for the first time to get a table for us and friends at A Dopo Pizzeria. First, on the app, I recommend it. Several downtown restaurants use it and when you open the app, you get a list of the participating restaurants starting with the one closest to you (yes, it knows where you are standing) and gives the wait time for each. You can get in virtual line and it will tell you the time you should arrive. It wasn’t perfect for us – we still had about a 20 minute wait when we got there – but it cut down on our wait time.
Arriving at the restaurant on Williams Street, we stood outside while we waiting and I looked in every direction and marveled a bit at how far the area has come in recent years. My first visit was to the Steampunk Carnivalle and I thought I was in a distant part of the city. Now it’s in sight of the Mill and Mine, Public House, Tennessee Valley Bikes, future site of Regas Square Condos, GEO Hair Lab, Paulk and Company, First Christian Church venue, FORK Design and more. Just around the corner we saw the wonderful River and Rail production of “The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph’s Baby.” Sure, there’s remaining barbed wire across the street providing the urban edge, but it’s a rapidly developing area.
After a great meal at a very good price, we walked across the street to GEO Hair Lab, while our friends walked to the current glass exhibit at the Emporium. You might marvel that we would go to the salon on a Friday night for a little trim and color, but no, it’s cooler than that. Inner Voices Stringed Quartet played selected quartets – including those of Samuel Barber – for a crowd of about 80.
Sound strange? Yes, a bit – the four women played their instruments near the sinks while some of the patrons sat in the large salon chairs. But it was about ninety minutes of wonderful. I couldn’t imagine a better way to enjoy a Friday evening. We talked on the way home about what we’d have been doing if we still lived in our old subdivision. Answer: Watching TV and eating bad fast food.
Saturday morning dawned incredibly warm causing me to wonder of the ethics of enjoying strangely warm January temperatures while still being concerned about its cause. Ethics aside, we walked from our home toward the first Nourish Knoxville Winter Market of the season. But we took lots of detours.
Walking through the 100 block, Urban Woman wanted to window shop at Nest Knoxville, which resulted in entering the store and buying candles we’ve enjoyed since. Down Jackson and into the Old City, Urban Woman surprised me when she suggested we take a look in DreamBikes. Five minutes later she’d closed a deal on a retro-bike and got a free basket thrown in. We picked my jaw up and walked on.
We walked through the Fourth and Gill neighborhood and over to Hall of Fame. Urban Woman looked around Scappin’ in the City for a few minutes before we walked into our destination: the KARM Thrift Store. That’s where I broke the bank on a cool new butternut colored vest (watch for it around town) for $5.
We took an alternate route back through the Fourth and Gill neighborhood just to see some different homes. So much beauty and so many homes lovingly restored always inspires us. We finally made it to the Winter Market, made our purchases and grabbed tamales from Good Golly Tamale which we enjoyed in our usual spot on the front steps of the church before walking back to Nest for the candle and home.
I ended the weekend with an outing with Urban Girl and Urban Boy who is finally getting old enough to take to the mean streets of the city. Lot’s of climbing on sculptures, running around Krutch Park and climbing on their downtown favorite who we call “Row Man,” followed by slipping down alleyways Urban Girl thinks are her own secrets.
She thinks she owns the city. She’s spent a large amount of her lifetime downtown since we moved here when she was four-months old. Urban Boy will be the same. The city has left a permanent mark on their lives. They aren’t the same people they would have been otherwise. Neither are we and we are so thankful for our little slice of urban life.
Congratulations are due to the winners of our recent ticket giveaways: Gordon Coker won the two tickets to Big Ears and Mitchell Beason won the two tickets to Rhythm n Blooms. Congratulations to both. And look for more giveaways later this week.