Photos From Around the City

Blooming Trees, South Knoxville, Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, March 27, 2020

I’m taking a lot of walks (and assiduously avoiding proximity to others). Of course, I always take my camera, often looking for scenes emblematic of the current situation. But not always. Sometimes a scene is simply pretty. Or interesting. Despite what is going on in human world, Spring is springing in natural world. It’s worth a walk and (so far) they tell us that is ok. It was a little eerie at first, but it can also be comforting.

View Inside a Windowpane, Henley Street, Knoxville, December 2019 (Hi Brian and Bran)

With fewer people out, it’s a bit easier to notice little details and nuances of the city. I love noticing something new and surprising in a spot I’ve passed dozens of times before. It’s like an Easter egg hunt, but more like a charm hunt. Just little charms inside windows or down alleyways. I like to think I’ve always looked for those things, but now is a special opportunity.

Boating, Tennessee River, Knoxville, March 27, 2020

And what is it about water that makes us happy, gives us comfort, and inspires us? These people show that social distancing doesn’t have to be a drab experience. Of course, those of us who don’t have a boat will have to do with walking across a bridge or walking along the river, but that’s not so bad. Get to some water, if you can, and let it comfort you.

Knoxville’s current Poet Laureate, Marilyn Kallet, wrote a poem to inspire us during this difficult time. WBIR put these wonderful images with the poem. April is national poetry month, and I think this poem and these images fit nicely right here. I hope you enjoy Marilyn’s words. I’m thankful Knoxville has her to lift us up just a little.

Construction, 726 Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, March 27, 2020

Construction, 726 Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, March 27, 2020

Construction continues to happen. Whether you can see it in the picture or not, there are workers present. I hope they are staying safe and I will say that they seemed scattered about. The other thing I see in these photos is a continuity that I need right now. Plans are being made, the future is being built. There will be another day.

Inspirational Message at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 27, 2020

I really appreciate the inspirational messages appearing here and there. The Bijou and the Tennessee are doing a good job of offering hope and encouragement to passersby. The best inspiration I find when I walk around the city are the furtive little smiles, as if we are somewhat uncertain to open up to each other at this point, but we can’t help it. It feels good to see other people, even from six, ten, or twenty feet away.

Photo Session, Krutch Park, Knoxville, March 2020

This was an interesting scene, medical students posing in scrubs with stethoscopes in Krutch Park. They were too close for my comfort, but it was a group of fewer than ten, so they are technically within the guidelines. I was happy to see their joy. I assume they are graduating soon. I thought about what they are facing and moved on with mixed feelings.

Mural in South Knoxville, Sevier Avenue, February 2020

Mural in South Knoxville, Sevier Avenue, February 2020

If you haven’t experienced the murals along Sevier Avenue, it’s worth the walk to check them out. I know some of them were done or organized by Perry Hodson and an event dubbed Knox Ill that painted a number of the walls. I’m not sure they did these, but it’s a great walk, it’s free, and it was simply done to make the community a bit cooler. It makes a walk from the city over to Suttree Landing Park or one of the businesses along the Avenue a bit more interesting.

Empty Elementary Playground, South Knoxville Elementary, March 27, 2020

South Knoxville Elementary, Sevier Avenue, Sign with Inspirational Messages

South Knoxville Elementary, Sevier Avenue, Sign with Inspirational Messages

Finally for today, there’s something profoundly sad about an empty playground at an elementary school, particularly when it should be filled with running, laughing, and screaming children. Joy silenced. Still, it is waiting for them on the other side, which is a hopeful note. And the messages left by staff on their marquee deliver love and hope throughout the day and night. I hope the children are reading. I long for them to have a happier day, playing with their friends on the now empty playground.


  1. Excellent Images .

  2. Your perspective and words gave me such comfort and hope. Thank you.

  3. Enjoyed your walk photos!!

  4. Thanks! Great photos as usual and we’ll get there. And sooner, if people would just listen better. 🙂

  5. Thanks! You brighten my day!

  6. Alan, thank you for caring about others. So many people aren’t doing that right now. I appreciate your broad view and mindset. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos with us.

  7. Thank you for continuing to be inspired to write your blog— I anticipate it with eagerness each day.

  8. Nice heart felt report and images. Thank you!

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