Tuesday, April 01, 2008

J's mega mart IS a wigshop


I finally went into J's Mega Mart on Gay Street today and scoped it out. In the interest of not being mistaken for a shoplifter, I only looked around for a few minutes and took a few covert pictures. At first it seemed like some kind of run-down convenience store, with groceries, cigarettes, and candy bars. But then I turned the corner glimpsed what J's is all about... wigs. [see above] And not just a few wigs. A LOT of wigs.

Add to the mix pimpin' zebra hats, full-body panty hose, an ENTIRE AISLE of hair gel products... I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore.
Located in the beautiful Kress building at one of the best commercial locations in downtown, J's Mega Mart is an anomaly, to say the least. A leftover from the shabby era when the Bijou was a porno theater, J's doesn't really fit in withe the new gentrified downtown Knoxville. And I think that's OK. The odd mixture of people and places is what makes a city a city. It's good to have a heterogeneous culture around us. I, for one, may never need a wig, but it's good to know that J's has my back in that department.
This isn't a treatise for a "Keep Knoxville Weird" campaign. I think that the existence of a place like J's Mega Mart proves that Knoxville, among it's other traits, has no problem keeping itself weird. That's part of what makes it so endearing to Downtowners (coined!) and so strange to Farraguttans (double coined!). Even Cthulhu is welcomed into the mix.

Here at the Wigshop (which is not a wigshop) we'll keep digging up the weird stuff. If you see anything funky and/or weird around town that you think deserves our attention, email: c.king@mac.com

10 comments:

stan said...

epiphany: everytime [once] i go into J's, i feel like i'm in walgreens with wigs. but maybe i've been wrong all this time. walgreens is really just j's WITHOUT wigs.

Missybw said...

Walgreens is a soulless J's without wigs... and so is CVS.

The Pol said...

I've never been in there. But it's not because I'm scared to or anything... seriously.

ck said...

know thy district, pol.
and it's hard to believe you haven't walked the wig aisle daydreaming about having hair.

Shauna said...

Dude. I bought batteries there once. It seemed like the tile was missing from the ceiling in like half of the store - the half over the fake hair. I felt totally uncomfortable the whole time I was in there. Sometimes I feel like I might overly romanticize Knoxville in my mind, so it's good to be reminded there's some weird stuff to be experienced there.

Anonymous said...

the irony of you "downtown bloggers" just discovering this is mind blowing. incredible

stay hip

em said...

Hi anonymous. You are just a little mean, no? But here is my defense: i have been a patron of Jay's for as long as I have lived in Knoxville. So I am a downtown blogger who has not just discovered this.

stan said...

one time, i came upon a group of people having such a good time enjoying the mundane and strange aspects of life that i became angry (and jealous). how dare they write about such things! so i left mean-spirited comments which made me feel superior for recognizing how childish those bloggers were. my comments were lofty and removed--fixed upon realty. i know that i showed those bloggers the error of their ways. how silly those little children were!

anonymous, you can tell us about the things that you find interesting, enjoyable, or weird whenever you want. or you can keep writing clever little attacks. it's that they don't make me laugh now and again, it's just that they're so tired and empty. what's the point?

ck said...

yeah, i think i might have been the only JMM "virgin" who writes here. even though i've lived here for the better part of ten years, for some reason i've never gone in there 'til yesterday. now i know what i was missing!

adam brimer said...

i think i went in there when i was twelve. so i'm like a veteran. am i still hip? gosh i hope so.