Friday, August 29, 2008

photo: urban knoxville

Sometimes, when you least expect it, this city is as beautiful as any. I was taking pictures the other day and this angle suddenly caught my eye. I've looked at these buildings for ten years and never really looked at them.

The Union Street end of Market Square is one of the best spots in Knoxville.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bliss Home moves west / sunsphere open!

I just got a postcard in the mail today about Bliss Home's grand opening party celebrating it's new location in The Gallery shopping center in Deane Hill (think Chili's, Stir Fry Cafe, the American Cafe, etc.)

I had no idea Bliss was expanding, but I'm thrilled they are. I love the Home store, even though I can't afford most of the furniture. I like to stop by for accents and artwork, which is a bit more affordable. My bank account would be in big trouble if they opened a regular Bliss store next door as it's walkable from my house.

I'm not sure when the new Bliss Home will be open to the public, but they're grand opening celebration is a week from tonight.

Does anyone have more info?

[additional opening news by ck]:

Look at this!

Time to go have a martini inside a disco ball.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mary in Western Plaza

I'm a girl (it's true). And while I would never qualify myself as a girlie girl, it's fair to say that I like to look good. I'm into hot shoes and high fashion. I'm into paying good money for high quality products (I think fashion is an investment), and I'm also into looking good on a budget.

I hate the mall. Hate it. And I don't tend to like strip malls, and I certainly don't like outlet malls. Sprawl makes me anxious. I cant help it. But this is Knoxville, and we've got to take what we can get. And we're just not going to get the sort of fashion boulevards that cities like LA, Chicago, New York, Atlanta or Austin have. It's not in our cards. This is why you will rarely ever find me in West Town mall, but you will frequently find me hitting up the strip mall (plaza is the fancy word for it) boutiques.

Tulip is out for me. Why? Not really because it's a little too high fashion and too expensive for me (because it is both of those things), but because the people who work there are rude. And I'm not down with that. Kristi is kind of out for me because I don't tend to find items I love there. I do like their Nars makeup counter (Nars is nowhere else in Knoxville), but Kristi and Tulip share ownership; and just based on principles (Tulip is rude) I try to stay away.

I like Bar Denim Blues (a lot, actually), but that's a specialty shop and I force (yes, force) myself to limit my annual denim consumption. I also like the jeans and the staff at Classy Lady, though that's also a specialty shop and I will never in my life need another prom dress (and the shop's name makes me cringe: sorry).

And so Obligato has been the place for me, but I cant commit to being a die-hard fan of the place for two reasons. The first is that I've been there when the staff has been wonderful and accommodating, and I've been there when they've been flat out rude. It's inconsistent. And the thing is, no one want to go spend 200 to 500 dollars somewhere just to be made to feel like shit. It's the Pretty Woman theory. Hey!: high end boutiques! Hey! Be NICE to your patrons! They will actually spend money at your store! I do like what Obligato has to offer brand-wise, but the other issue I take is that the store is stocked almost solely with sizes zero and two. I dont know if we're deluding ourselves here, but not every woman in Knoxville is either a) in a sorority or b) teeny tiny. I wish Obligato would stock more regular sizes (like a 6 or, dare I say it, gasp, an 8). My theory is that about 10 percent of their selection is sized above a 4, and those are the pieces that always go first. Leaving 90 percent of nothing that I (and a lot of us) can wear. Anyway, Obligato is a good store. Don't get me wrong. I bought a great pair of Kasil jeans there before you could find Kasil anywhere other than LA. And they were moderately priced. But those are simply my issues.

And so there's a new favorite in town, and it comes in the form of Mary in Western Plaza (4485 Kingston Pike, (865) 450-9242). This shop is incredible! It's got a huge variety of jeans, including Citizens and Sevens. It's got tons of great labels like Diana Warner, TiBi, Nanette Lepore, CK Bradley, Velvet, BCBG, Theory, Yoana Baraschi, French Connection, Free People, Frenzii, 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent and Morrell Maxie (and two of my favorites - Oh Deer! shoes and Hanky Panky undies). It's got the cutest dresses and tops; it's got regular girl sizes! AND the staff is sooooo very friendly and accommodating. They really are wonderful. Every time I shop there, I leave with a smile on my face even if I dont purchase anything. Mary's tagline is "Collections for every pocketbook," and that could not be more true. If you have a strict budget, you can find something cute at Mary. If you have money to burn, you can find something at Mary. It's a wonderful boutique. Really and truly. I'm about to leave work and head over there right now.

As I prepare to head into retail heaven, I will leave you with the immortal words of Vivian: "You people work on commission, right? Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now." Hey Knoxville boutiques, take a hint from Mary: Be nice to your customers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Olympics and Pollution

I watched the Olympics, which is a big deal because I do not typically watch TV. Not because I am too good for such mindless entertainment, but because I have 3 channels, 2 of which are fuzzy. I do pick up NBC, so for the past two weeks, I would get in my bed and watch rippling bodies compete. And it was really inspiring, as I lay in my bed.

I decided, though, that the inspiration meant nothing unless I actually did something about it, so on Sunday morning, the day of the closing ceremonies, I decided to go for a jog, the first in months.

I took a new route down to the river via the boardwalk that runs along Second Creek and under Neyland, right near the Three Rivers Rambler. I’ve been there before, but have never been so astounded as this time.

The creek, where it meets up with the Tennessee River, is full of trash. It is so horrifying that I felt unsafe even being above it. This is not the first time I’ve encountered Knoxville’s polluted creeks, but this is the first time I felt moved by it. I guess with all the inspiration of the Olympics inside me, I felt it was time to take some action, and that starts with asking some questions:

Where is this waste coming from? The river? Up the creek? From people littering? Is there anyone doing anything about it? How do you go about cleaning up trash from a toxic creek? Does anyone want to form a coalition?

Let’s put our rippling brains and bodies to good use.

Monday, August 25, 2008

the state of the wigshop

You may have noticed a lot of changes going on here at the Wigshop. We've had to say goodbye a few times this year: to our venerable founder, and a few slackers looking for cheap fame and glory. Don't worry- the turmoil is over! We've gotten together a writing lineup with a diverse set of Knoxvillian viewpoints, who will hopefully take this little blog deeper into Knoxville life than it's ever gone before. Please give a warm welcome to The Modern Gal, Big B, and Lo. They've all gotten off to a good start (even if they did accidentally post on top of each other on Friday). Remember to comment on their posts and encourage them as they spread their shaky wings and learn to soar on the winds of the internets!

So, dear readers, keep coming back and see what the Little Knoxvillians are up to.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle

I think one of Knoxville's most under-utilized attractions is the greenway system, now with nearly 42 miles to explore.

The city is doing its best to promote them and may have finally hit the nail on the head: bicycle rentals at Volunteer Landing. River Sports won the bid and will be offering two-hour rentals for $10 a person and full-day rentals for $30. Greenway maps are available at the rental shop, which is just below the pedestrian bridge. Sixteen miles of greenway are accessible from the riverfront, including the paths that run to Ijams, Morningside Park and Bearden.

The hours are kind of funky though: M-Th, 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; F, 2 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sa 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Su 2 p.m.-6 p.m. I guess they have working Knoxvillians in mind with these hours, but if the business picks up enough steam, it seems like they could market to tourists.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The phone's charged and the thermos is full and I stumble down the steps to the sidewalk like every ordinary day in Knoxville. I confess that I ride a short bus to school, appropriately a bright orange one. After a full summer riding the bus, the daily commute is beginning to be a little more comfortable, like a big, soft couch... sound familiar?

But in the first week of classes, things are rarely comfortable. Thousands upon thousands of undergrads eager to get their top bids, not realizing how crazy they look, how funny they smell or loud they talk. There must be hundreds of pounds of perfume out there! As a graduate student, I wish I could just huddle to in the library. But I am subjected to frequent outbursts of cheers, chants and an endless horizon of puke orange. And that's just on my walk to 9:00 AM classes.

In all seriousness, it is pretty amazing that the flagship campus of the state graces downtown. But must everything be so orange?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blackbird Coffeehouse

There's a new coffee shop in town. Blackbird Coffeehouse, opened its doors a few weeks ago and is located at 1208 Kenesaw Avenue in Sequoya Hills. I've been there twice now and would encourage you, if you don't live nearby, to take a little detour and try it out.

Blackbird is named after the Beatles song, as well as some of their menu items. I ordered a peppered chicken, avocado, and tomato sandwich named Sgt. Pepper's, which I think is charming. And, no, they don't just play Beatles songs inside. They actually
have an incredible, easy-to-read-to playlist going,
featuring artists like Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin,
and David Gray.

The inside is quaint with lavender in vases adorning the tables. It's got both the cool vibe of a coffee shop and the warmth of being in someone's home. But it's not just the lighting and color scheme that exude warmth. It's the owners as well.

I've had the privilege of knowing Ali ever since she moved here with Craig, her husband, last fall to open up Blackbird. They've jumped through a lot of hoops to get where they are, but they made it, and it is obvious they are pumped about it. And from what I can tell, their patrons are as well.

Upon observation, it seems like Craig and Ali know everyone that comes through their doors. I think they already have a solid base of regulars coming in, people who they've gotten to know, but I also get the feeling that whether they know you or not, they're going to treat you as if they do. And that makes me happy as a good cup of coffee.

a little knoxville

I am currently working on miniature buildings for Safety City, a program the city has to teach kids about, you guessed it, safety. The center of all this is a 1/4 scale reproduction of Knoxville, complete with a mini-Sunsphere, that has little roads that kids get to drive go karts on to learn the rules of the road. Who knew we had something like this in K'town?

The whole time I've been designing mini-buildings, a scene has been playing in my head:

"What is this, a center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building? The center has to be at least... three times bigger than this!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's where it all begins... and ends

OK so I saw this on KnoxTube which everyone should check out and start using.

Well, the clip is short and a bit campy, but the point is good. I mean Knoxville is where the world begins and ends isn't it?

See the video here

Oh and school is back in session which mean everything from Henley St. to Concord St. is standstill traffic. Good Ol' Rocky Top Whew.

Friday, August 15, 2008

legalize lambert's quarry!

I've been living in Knoxville on and off for ten years, and had always heard about these mystical swimming quarries where college kids swam in harmony on hot humid days. But I never went. That is, until two weeks ago when my brother was in town. We Google Mapped it and found what we thought must be the trail. Winding down through poison ivy and abandoned homeless camps, suddenly, there it was below us:

I wondered to myself why I hadn't come sooner.

Returning with the dogs yesterday evening, we hadn't been floating in the water for half an hour before two policemen came walking down the quarry trail. They asked us and a big group of college kids to leave. They didn't give us a ticket, they didn't even look like they cared about enforcing the rule. One even said to me, "Sorry for ruining all your fun." Huh?

I thought about it for the rest of the evening. It seems to me that Knoxville (who owns the property as part of Fort Dickerson Park) is wasting a awesome resource. Like usual. We spend who knows how much on Victor Ashe Park, which is, for all intensive purposes, a bunch of cow pastures with asphalt walking trails. Yet here is a unique, BEAUTIFUL place, just minutes from downtown, and the city ignores it beyond sending the occasional police patrol.

We need to develop this resource. It's already public land designated for recreational use. Put some parking in off Blount Ave., put in a decent trail and grade out a beach area. Viola! Now you've turned a hidden gem into a legal, tourist-attracting asset. People are begging to be let in, and dozens show up anyway, even though it's hard to find and illegal.

Fortunately, things may be heading in the right direction. The South Waterfront Masterplan has some vague directives about developing Fort Dickerson for more recreational uses. So far, though, nothing has moved forward. That's why I'm posting maps here of the locations of Lambert's (and Meade's, another So-Kno swimming quarry in Ijams Nature Center) so that you can go there. I hope hundreds of people go. I'll personally take you there.

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Make it an issue with the City- say, "We want to use our land the way we want to! LEGALIZE THE QUARRY!"

show your support

Print this out and tape it to inside of your car window if you support swimming in Knoxville's quarries. Maybe if we get a movement behind this, we can afford sticker paper. Remember, nothing sticks it to the man like a bumper sticker.

check out:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Smashing Pumpkins at the Tennessee Theatre

Two posts in one day? I know, what is this blog and what have we done with the Sunsphere?

It's just that Billy Corgan told me last night at the Tennessee Theatre to write on my blog: "he's still crazy, but he can still rock." That was just before he dedicated "Today" to me.

Ok, he didn't really tell me that personally or sing "Today" just for me, but it sure feels that way when you're taking in a rock show at the Tennessee Theatre.

I must confess, I'm not a die-hard Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I adored them at the height of their career and knew that if I ever planned to take in a concert the Tennessee Theatre would be the place to do it. And it was. The theatre in all it's restored glory almost seemed like a sixth member of the band. The soft blue glow of the ceiling and red lights on the walls made me feel like I was an extra in a Pumpkins video.

But of course, the Smashing Pumpkins are not quite what they were 12 years ago. James Iha and D'arcy have gone their separate ways and although they were never the creative forces behind the group and although they've been replaced, it still feels like they should be there.

I bought the tickets knowing that they'd be playing a good bit of stuff from their new album, Zeitgeist. I wasn't terribly familiar with it, but after hearing a few songs off it last night I can say it's OK, not great, but OK. Judging by the crowd's reaction, I wasn't the only one who thought that.

I still got out of the show what I hoped for: a classic alternative rock concert. The Pumpkins don't disappoint in that aspect, and Corgan was sure to let us all know that they'll keep on alt-rocking even as American Idol and emo rock dominate pop music. They also shared a few old favorites like "Tonight, Tonight" and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and closed the show with their own interpretation of a Pink Floyd song (not sure which one) that went on for a good 20 minutes ... or at least felt like it did.

The encore sold me, bizarre as it was. The band pulled out kazoos. And sang Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime." My boyfriend hated it. He was hoping for "Cherub Rock" or something along the lines. But it's those off-the-wall surprises that I go to concerts for.

I'll deduct three wigs for the quality of the new tunes (the Russian judge wanted to take away five) and give it seven wigs.

relaxi taxi

This thing was spotted outside Sassy Anne's on Friday. This is definitely the taxi I want to call after a hard night of bar hopping. I hear they've got another guy in the back that will give you a massage for extra. And aromatherapy candles. Weird.
I looked them up and they are NOT in the phone book*. So "Grab A Cab" at your own risk, dear readers. It might be the best or worst ride of your life.

*also, when you Google "Relaxi Taxi" no taxi company in any city whatsoever comes up, just a link to this HILARIOUS old Friends episode where Rachel and Pheobe have this great idea... remember?! me neither.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shakespeare on the Square

My typical knee-jerk reaction to this unseasonably beautiful weather we're having is to go sit on the porch at Tomato Head/DGB/La Costa or any of Knoxville's fine porched restaurants. The only problem is that everyone and their mother has the same reaction.

Here's another idea to enjoy the weather this weekend that won't cost you a penny: Spend a night (or two) at the stage on Market Square taking in the Tennessee Stage Company's Shakespeare on the Square. This is TSC's last weekend of the summer, so if you don't go this weekend you're going to miss out.

Love's Labours Lost is set for Thursday and Saturday night and The Merchant of Venice is on Friday and Sunday night; all performances begin at 7 p.m. and make sure you bring a lawn chair. Try not to sit on the La Costa side of the stage either as you'll find the porch crowd a wee bit distracting from the performance.

I caught Love's Labours Lost last Friday, and I can assure you will get more than your money's worth. But if the Bard's wit or olde English speak doesn't do it for you then go for the on-stage eye candy. There's enough for both men and women ;-)

Oh, and I say it's free but they will pass the donation basket more than once. If you're blessed with that Catholic-style guilt, you'll probably want a dollar or two to drop. There are some cute T-shirts for sale too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Sunsphere is a Beershop

Yes it's true.

Josh Flory (My favorite writer at the News Sentinel) got a sneak peak at the new sky bar opening at the Sunsphere.

Check out the Story here

I say we organize our first official Wigshop outing here when it opens. Anybody else in?

I'll use a few of his pics (they look fantastic)

Also if you're interested in downtown development, you should definitely subscribe to his emails, The Property Scope

I work with a couple of people who do catering for southern graces and their inside knowledge has notified me that the new bar is set to open in the next day or three.
Also, remember parking will be over across from worlds fair near cumberland or wherever else you can find

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Glowing Body Comes to Downtown Knoxville

How cool is this? A yoga studio, cafe and shop in downtown Knoxville! The building housing The Glowing Body will also be the new home of Magpies Bakery! What's better than yoga and cupcakes!? This is so close to me that I could go for yoga and bring lunch back to the office!

They're set to open in September. I'm totally excited for this!

toot's little honky tonk

The Little Korean himself was on hand this weekend during his 5 city North American Summer Tour.

Here he is, enjoying alcohol not made from rice:

We visited some old favorite places (including a newly revamped patio at Backroom BBQ) but we capped off the evening at a new (to me) dive(ish) in Old North, Toot's Little Honky Tonk. I spotted Toot's last week when I was riding my bike down Anderson Ave to the Time Warp Tea Room for the Old Time Jam. It reminded me of Marie's Olde Towne Tavern (a Wigshop favorite) so I made a mental note to check it out.

The first thing you see is the handwritten sign on the front door decreeing 8, count'em 8 solid hours of Karaoke. Sure enough, the singing hit us like a sonic wall as we entered. Up front the karaoke station was set up by the pool table. Moving to the bar, the place immediately gave me a comfortable down-home feel, sorta like Marie's, with brick walls and a long bar, and a quirky collage of more handwritten signs behind the bar.

The Ralph Waldo Emerson bartender got to us quickly, even though the place was packed. Looking around, Toot's had a great cross section of people, ranging from Old North Yuppies to college students to Lincoln Park Blue Collars. Everyone seemed welcome, and everyone was having a good time.

Toot's has that neighborhood bar feel that so many chains strive for, because it actually is a neighborhood bar. According to the owner, they've been operating for 10 years. I don't know how this gem has escaped my radar for so long. But if you're looking for an alternative to Sassy Anne's and Marie's is too hardcore for you, check this place out. Nestled on the edge of the "Happy Hollow" District of Central Ave and just down the hill from the Old North neighborhood, Toot's Little Honky Tonk is the perfect location for Knoxvillians of all walks to get together and sing loudly off key.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Celebrity Sighting in K'Town

I do not mean to overshadow CK's post about yesterday's election, but this is really important.

Guess who ate at LaCosta, watched Shakespeare on the Square, and then went to Pres Pub last night?

Now guess who met him.


our little experiment is over

Well, the "Write in Spellings" Campaign is over. Here are some thoughts...

Official Response: (By John "Cullin" Spellings)

We are officially thrilled by the response of more than 2% of the voters willingness to stand up for change in our district.

But on a personal note from Mr. Spellings he is saddened by the weak turnout. He hopes that in the coming years the residents of the first district will realize that it will take an active electorate to turn things around.

The Write-In Spellings campaign congratulates Mr. McKenzie for his win and hopes that he becomes an independent and ardently firm voice for the first district.

A new day is coming in the first District.

And John “Cullin” Spellings will be here to support and encourage his neighbors when it does.

Unofficial Response: By Chris "CK" King

This is bull, man.

The entire Knox County system is designed to stifle grassroots
democracy, and should be dismantled as quickly as possible for a new
Metro Government. The fact that independent candidate deadlines are
based on the major partys' schedules shows that the deck is stacked in
their favor. Case in point: the appointed candidate slides easily
through the election to retain his seat.


The system is broken, so badly so that fine men like John Spellings
can't even get attention in the poll results, even when he won a
statistically significant number of votes. The Man is keepin'
him down, doesn't want anyone to realize there's another choice besides
Republican and Democrat.

In conclusion, the Write in Spellings Campaign now realizes that
nepotism in Knox County will only be swept out with the purifying fire
of anarchy, blazing hot through all the old systems until nothing is
left but ashes, from which John Spellings will lead us into the morning
sun of our shining future.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Election Day is Here

Well it's finally here.

Today you can go vote for The Pol (Write-in John Spellings).

I want to encourage everybody to get out and vote today. It's an incredibly important thing to do, not just in principle but in how it will effect your life in the near term.

Knox County is choosing it's new leaders of government, and we have to decide if they will be different.

Write in John Spellings for County Commission seat 1A and you will get new leadership.

Voters in downtown vote at Green School which is up on top of the hill on the other side of James White Parkway (800 Townview Dr)

All other 1st district precincts can be found here

All Knox County precincts here

Now for the cool election graphic (WRITE-IN JOHNS SPELLINGS SEAT 1A)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Great Commission?

My eyes may have deceived me, but this is what I think I saw for about 3 seconds as I was turning onto Hill from Henley on my bike the other day.

I heard someone yelling and I looked left to see that it was a man, sitting in an open jeep at a red light at the Henley/Main Street intersection. He was "preaching" from what I could hear, dropping words like "God" and "Jesus" and "salvation." In the following second before I made my turn, I saw the words "The Great Commission" printed out across the side of his yellow jeep.

As I turned down my street, my brain caught up with what had just happened.


If street preachers weren't already giving Christianity a bad name, now there is a man that preaches from his jeep? Has someone else seen this? Please, PLEASE, tell me it isn't true.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

just for fun: in honor of will

As some readers may know, this blog is named in honor of our good friend Will, who has been living in Korea for the past year. He's home in the states now, but I think he's headed right back overseas in the next few weeks.

I went to LA last week to work and to visit a really good friend. He lives near Korea Town, and he took me to a Korean Bbq restaurant called Soot Bull Jeep. It was delicious! Each table has a little grill built in, and you choose the type of meat you want to grill up. We had beef. The spread included delicious salad with spicy dressing, a few kinds of kimchee, lettuce wraps, rice, and this really delicious soy bean paste that tasted a little like marmite. We also had soju and Korean beer.

I haven't been in Knoxville much lately and hence haven't been able to contribute any Knoxy dialog, so I at least wanted to share my LA Korean experience.

Has anyone been to the Korean restaurant in Knoxville? (I know there's one out by the mall, and maybe there's another one...?) How is it?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Today I Met Keisha

(from Saturday)

Today I went out to try and win a few votes. It's the last day of early voting and so I figured I'd hit the early voting locations in my district. The Old Courthouse, the the UC on campus, and finally Five Points (Harvest Plaza) in East Knox.

Everything was going rather uneventfully until there. I knew Harvest Plaza was in a rougher neighborhood and that it might be difficult to win many votes, but I felt (and feel) it important to go and ask all of the people who I seek to represent for their support.

This is where I met Keisha.

The story itself isn't that interesting. She came up to talk with me, she seemed a little slow, but nice and so we chatted for a few minutes. then she asked me if I was "hooking for anybody"...

The conversation didn't go very far from there because after asking, "Are you sure you don't hook for nobody", the sky thundered and she took off towards home.

And here is The Pol's question for the day:

How is it that we have individuals like Keisha in our city that apparently have decided that their best/ only option for a making a living is prostitution?

I would ask the same question of the drug dealers as well, but have yet to be offered crack so will leave an introspective analysis on that for a later time.

I'm seeking to represent a district that is full of every type of individual every color, every class, every creed, and I would like to begin a discussion about the Keisha's of our community.

How do we go about addressing these issues? Some would say jobs. But would Keisha be able to get a good paying job if there was one available.? Some say law enforcement will stop this type of behavior. But does that solve the core problem, or simply attack the symptom.

I don't know the answers, I'll quickly admit that, but I want to begin searching for them and I would love input for our readers. The Keisha's of Knoxville are our neighbors and we all need to be concerned for their well being, because real growth and success in Downtown has to be coupled with success in Lonsdale and Burlington or else we're just putting lipstick on a pig.

Write-In John Spellings on August 7th

Friday, August 01, 2008

Riches to Rags

I recently started an internship at Knox Heritage, a group that helps preserve our city's historical gems in order to maintain a certain amount of charm to our city. Though I'd like to be rummaging through old abandoned buildings around town, talking to developers about crown molding, my tasks are mostly confined to the office. They have me knee deep in articles that need to be filed away. I usually would be complaining about this, but I'm finding it all extremely fascinating. There is so much Knox Heritage has done to keep Knoxville unique and beautiful. Even before they knew they were Knox Heritage, they were saving the Bijou Theatre on Gay Street.

My delight in working here is tinged with a little heart-ache as well. I've been skimming hundreds of articles since I've been here and I'm noticing an unsettling pattern here in Knoxville. People/ businesses/ developers/ what have you, would rather see miles of pavement than beautiful buildings. I know I live in the parking lot/garage capitol of the world, and I realize their necessity, but I am saddened, particularly as I read about the Smith-Coughlin House that was demolished to make way for a parking lot for Cerokee Country Club. I know this was almost four years ago and I'm just now cluing into it today, but this has been the case for several places in Knoxville.
I am also somewhat conflicted about the importance of preserving older buildings. Millions of dollars go toward development and urban renewal each year, money that could be focused elsewhere, ie, Knoxville's overwhelming problem with homelessness. Should we be saving our energy for more important matters? Can we be concerned with both?