The last few weeks have been great for long, sometimes solitary, walks. Today I’m sharing more of the photographs from those walks. As I walk, I’m enjoying the beautiful spring we’ve had this year and photographing that. I’m looking for signs we’re still moving forward into a good future. My travels also show me scenes that speak to what we are currently going through. I hope you enjoy some of the same sights that caught my attention.
The sculpture of the Beloved Woman, a Native American reference, in the courtyard of the Federal Courthouse, is my favorite sculpture in the city. I love our sculpture and statues. I’m proud to point out to visitors that our city has a stature of an African American Author, two suffrage sculptures, two depicting Native Americans and another commemorating a Russian pianist, among others.
Easter was stranger than the average recent Sunday, each of which are strange for the absence of worshipers. I saw the gentleman above adding the drape to the cross that would largely go unseen by parishioners. I saw the same ritual being followed at First Presbyterian. The display of faith in the face of the pandemic was striking. Humans are driven to maintain the ritual that gives our lives meaning.
The flowers have been beautiful. I’ve never learned the names of flowers, trees and birds and wish I had. Still, the beauty isn’t in the naming of them and maybe if I knew more I’d marvel less at what I would then know are common flowers, so maybe I’m better off. All I know is that the flowers have been dazzling this spring and that sometimes, when the light hits them perfectly, so are the trees.
Even though the photos above don’t show workers, I think they do show the progress being made. For those of you who don’t live downtown and haven’t been here since before the Safer at Home and Stay at Home orders were issued, I think there will be noticeable differences when you make it down here again. As I’ve said before, this turned out to be a good time for the ramp construction since the Old City has been so limited due to the pandemic.
It’s also comforting to me to continue finding the little oddities that are charming about urban life. Sometimes it’s a surprising look a person is sporting or a new angle for garnering attention. More recently, with fewer people around, that isn’t as likely. But then, as I walked down the sidewalk, I spotted the object above. I’m at a loss. A toy? Anybody know?
Many of the downtown area churches are beautiful and more than one of them feature unusual architecture for churches in the southern U.S. St. John’s Lutheran Church on Broadway is one of the most unusual with its set of spires where one might more commonly see a cross. I’ve only seen one like it elsewhere and that was in Newark, New Jersey. Set it off with a beautiful dogwood and it’s one of the prettiest sights of spring in the city.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the first round of gift card giveaways. The idea is that those who can need to give in this difficult time. As a part of that, I’m purchasing local gift cards and giving them to readers. Buying gift cards from local businesses is a good way to support them through this difficult time. Check out their web pages, or if you want a one-stop shop to purchase gift cards, you can do so on Knoxville Page with thirteen local businesses represented. You can also have your business’ gift card included. Just email me if you are interested at KnoxvilleUrbanGuy@gmail.com. At lease one more business is coming, soon.
For the giveaway I asked everyone to “like” Knoxville Page on Facebook, donate at least ten dollars to a COVID related cause and send me an email telling me that you’ve done both, along with the amount and cause. It gives us a chance to see how much help we can join together to spread around. Congratulations to Connie Flachs who won the $25 gift card to Sapphire. She’s recent to Knoxville, so welcome! Congratulations also to Janice Houser who won the $25 gift card to Knoxville Soap Candles and Gifts.
Collectively, the readers who entered donated:
$5 for PPE for Health Care Workers in New England
$5 to the CDC COVID Relief Fund
$25 for a Union Avenue Gift Card
$15 to Ruby Tuesday’s Fund to Purchase Lunch for a frontline worker
$15 for a first responder’s lunch
$30 to a musician who appeared on the Blue Plate Special
1 Local Love Box Purchased
$20 to Project Be Kind
That was fun, right? So, let’s do it again. For this round I’m going to buy a $25 gift card to Union Avenue Books and another $25 gift card to the Art Market Gallery. All you have to do to enter is send an email to KnoxvilleUrbanGuy@gmail.com with the subject header “Union Avenue Books Gift Card Giveaway” or “Art Market Gallery Gift Card Giveaway,” depending on which you want to enter.
Same rules as before: “like” Knoxville Page on Facebook to help us help local businesses and donate at least $10 to something supporting COVID efforts or to someone impacted by the pandemic. Confirm in the email that you’ve done both and tell me how much and to whom you donated. Each entry requires its own donation. If you cannot donate at this time, enter anyway and just say so. It’s all good. I will give you until midnight Friday night this time around.