With long walks being one of the few safe and soothing ways to pass Coronatime, I’ve taken quite a few. I don’t make it out everyday, I’ll be honest, and say some days I just want to hide in the shadows of my own space. As you might expect, I generally take my camera. The result is a large number of photographs, many of which I’ve shared here.
I’m not sure if this spring has been more beautiful than others. It may be that I’ve just paid more attention, given there are a limited number of alternatives. Perhaps I’ve paid more attention because I’ve slowed down. It may be that, given the stark realities all around us, the natural beauty is more in focus. While I’m not sure how it stacks up to other years, I know it has been beautiful.
I’ve never taken so many photographs of flowers. This year I’ve take numerous photographs of dogwoods, tulips, azaleas, irises, phlox and a host of what are probably considered weeds by more astute and educated observers. To me, they be simply beautiful.
I’m posting a new group today both because I’m falling behind (most of these are from mid-April) and because I think it is a good thing to start off the week remembering the place we love and why we love it. The natural beauty with which we are surrounded is so easy for us to take for granted. I’ll certainly plead guilty.
This set of photographs starts in Fort Sanders where I walked from downtown, up Sixteenth by the lovely Laurel Theater and back, catching the profile of the city along the way. The fireman backed by a brilliant dogwood caught my eye. The photo shoot on Gay Street, while not uncommon in other seasons, felt life-affirming in this one. We’re still moving.
I think the red and purple flowers were in Fourth and Gill along with the raised garden and tulips lining a brick sidewalk. Fourth and Gill has been particularly beautiful spot to walk this spring and I’ve walked there a number of times. A bonus is often seeing friends working in their yards and stopping to talk from 100 yards or so away. Maybe a little closer.
I found Megan Lingerfelt at work on the Dolly restoration and took a quick shot before chatting (from a distance!). I’ve always love finding artists at work around the city. Even before I moved downtown in 2009, I love walking around downtown and finding street art by Cynthia Markert and Brian Pittman. I feel so blessed to have gotten to know them and so many other artists who make this city such an amazing place to live.
The final shot was taken from my balcony. I have a view not many people would love, including two parking garages and a parking lot, as well as two streets and two highways (Neyland and James White), as well as a modern apartment complex. I can also daily check out a KUB substation.
That said, it does have its charm. It’s quieter than the Gay Street side and there’s plenty of life. I have a great view of the Cal Johnson Building, which is getting the love it deserves. I can see House Mountain and Mount LeConte as well as other ridges in the Smokies. I can see the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, which Urban Boy digs. We also get this lovely daily view of the hill across the way at golden hour. The beautiful hillside and the homes on the hillside suddenly turn brilliant like some magical cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde. I am daily transfixed.
Gift Card Winners and New Giveaways
Congratulations to Cindy Spangler who won a $25 gift card to Barley’s and to Leslie Badaines who won a $25 give card to Tree and Vine. Thank you to EVERYONE who has entered and donated, which is the real point. So far, here’s what readers have donated as they entered the various giveaways:
$90 to a home cleaner (to not clean the house)
$65 to the Knoxville Service Industry Fund
$425 to Second Harvest (several credited the Vol Piper for inspiring the gift)
$100 to Collection for 12 Sevier Avenue Businesses
$20 to Central Cinema
$20 to Knoxville Zoo
$20 to the YWCA
$20 to Young-Williams Animal Shelter
$10 to the United Way Covid Response
$100 to the UT Vet College Assistance Care Fund
$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
$15 to Children, Inc. COVID-19 Response Fund
$300 Knoxville Interfaith Clinic
$200 to With Love From Harlan
$50 to the East Knox Free Medical Clinic
$25 to UT Student Life Emergency Fund
$100 Gift Card to Runner’s World
$25 to Americares COVID-19 Response Fund
$15 to Ronald McDonald House Emergency Fund
$25 to Love Kitchen
Total Given: $1,740
This week I’m welcoming partners City People. They are chipping in to purchase local gift cards to encourage others to give. This week they are offering a $50 gift card to Lox Salon in the Old City and a $50 gift card to Royal Bark Social Club. To enter send an email to KnoxvilleUrbanGuy@gmail.com with the subject header “Lox Salon Gift Card Giveaway” or “Royal Bark Social Club Gift Card Giveaway,” depending on which you want to enter. The deadline to enter is midnight Friday night.
Same rules as before: “like” Knoxville Page on Facebook, or City People 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. The contest runs until midnight Friday night.
In the meantime, if you’d like to have access to multiple local gift card purchase options at once, visit Knoxville Page. If you’d like to have your business represented there, send me an email at Knoxvilleurbanguy@gmail.com and I’ll connect you up. During this difficult time, all money for gift cards goes directly to the business you choose to support.