Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A great local fail

A silly post but entertaining none the less.

Enjoy... and don't try to duplicate.

Friday, June 26, 2009

let the sun go down on sundown

Let me preface this post with a disclaimer.

I love people coming to downtown. I think anyone who comes to our little, loveable, live-able city will see why we here at the Wigshop have a deep and abiding desire to see it grow and thrive. That said…

I am so glad Sundown is over. That sham of a music event has become nothing but an excuse for sleazy 40 year old men to buy beer for half-dressed 14 year old girls. The city has created an environment in which people come into the city only to trash it, get drunk, and not patronize any of the local shops.

What started out as a summertime music show in the old city, has turned into a joke. The fact that I, and many (if not most) downtowners, avoid being anywhere around where we live on Thursdays is a great example of the problem with it. Market square, which looked beautiful this spring with a beautiful lawn and open space turns into a cattle yard where anything and everything that can be destroyed, is.

I made the mistake of trying to go to LaCosta for dinner last night, not only could I not get through market square, but the patio was taken up by people who had water, no food, and only one person had an empty beer with no apparent intention of getting another, but were they going to move along and let others eat, no. They set up shop from 6-10 actually decreasing the amount of business that LaCosta does in a night.

I can’t stand to walk by 200 emo tweens who are sneaking a smoke off their grandmothers Virginia Slims and trying to suck down a 40oz Miller lite before the security guard catches them.

The city does great street festivals, has family friendly events like Shakespeare and Movies on the square, but has let this event turn into a colossal waste.

Scale it back or move it. It’s no longer an appropriate event for the venue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I just read about this controversy on Market Square and was wondering what all of you think about it.

The owner of 37 Market Square, the location of the Gus's Restaurant on Wall Avenue, wants to demolish the building within sixty days. I was surprised to hear that even the city is okay with this with the justification that the building has lost its historical significance because it has undergone so many changes over the years.

Of course, Knox Heritage has had something to say against this plan, and Kim Trent the executive director was quick to ask the owner to rethink his choice of demolition. In his defense, the owner has said the new construction will be one that he thinks the community will embrace and will maintain the integrity of Market Square.

I guess I'm just surprised it would be this easy to tear down a building in Market Square or that people would continue to overlook historic preservation as one of the main factors in the revitalization of downtown.

What do y'all think?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


RouXbarb is sometimes easy to forget about since it's tucked away in it's unassuming location on Northshore Drive next to Union Jacks, just north of Kingston Pike. Rest assured, The MG will not continue to make that mistake.

blurry photo by the incapable MG.

Chef Bruce Bogartz is a familiar face on the Knoxville restaurant scene, but his Bogartz restaurant in Homberg didn't exactly suit my college student budget back in the day, so this was my first experience with his food, and it was, well, amazing.

Bogartz focuses on using fresh, organic, often local seasonal food and you can taste the difference. His menu of Southern-style items reads like a creative writing assignment, but the unusual combinations seem to work. Between my dining companion and myself, we covered the redneck brioche appetizer (black-eyed pea hummus, pimento and pickles served with foccacia bread), pork tenderloin, king crab-stuffed filet (a special) and bread pudding dessert and would recommend it all.

Don't get too attached to anything on the menu, though. It changes seasonally, and he buys limited amounts of everything each day, so the best things -- like, say, the duck -- are bound to run out before the last guest has been seated for the night. I've seen mixed reviews about the atmosphere, but I loved it. I prefer restaurants that aren't overly pretentious, and RouXbarb has a warm, homey feel to it. The service was great too.

If you plan to go, know these things: reservations: don't leave home without them ... prices: you're going to spend about $25 on one entree, but I assure you it's worth it and you will get a hefty portion ... adult beverages: bring your own.

RouXbarb also does lunch, with a different menu and slightly more affordable prices if you don't quite want to commit to doing dinner. I don't know if you need reservations for lunch, but I would call ahead before going so as not to risk it.

130 S. Northshore Dr.
Lunch: Tues-Fri 11-2 p.m.
Dinner: Tues-Sat 5-10 p.m.
Website (there's a menu there, but it's last season's)

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Theft??

I noticed this gaping wound the other day...

So I wondered if someone decided it would make a nice table. Especially since it looks like it was simply ripped out of its mount with a crow bar and a tow truck.

But then I found this...

It was simply moved half a block away. Its new placement, though rather grave-marker-ish, is fine. Which leads me to wonder, is the old supreme court building close to being sold? One can only hope so.

Also does anyone know who maintains that property, which city department?

UPDATE/ Addendum

This plaque marked out the building, it's construction date, etc and I had been eyeing it for a possible counter top. That's why I was disturbed when I saw it was missing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Attention Knoxville Shoppers!

Have you been stagnating for months? Are you unsure of the current season (rainy spring or hot summer-who can tell these days?) Well if you're in need of an image revamp, look no further than your friendly neighborhood 100 Block! 

A new boutique (French for 'place to buy stuff') has just opened opposite NAMA and Little Havana. It's called Eleven, and has the goods for ladies and the gents - denim, t-shirts, shoes, dresses ... you know the drill. 

The owners are recent grads, and, while one of them is busy in LA running his record label, Pete the counterpart is holding down the fort. They have great taste, and offer clothing beyond the usual homogenous-southern-college-town-cargo-shorts-and-polo look ... if that's even something you're interested in. 

There are music-themed t-shirts designed by their record label Ubiquity, and with each t-shirt bought, you can download 5 free songs from the label on iTunes. 

Also of note, they carry extremely rare Nikes that are basically the bee's knees of footwear (Pete showed me some that sell for $750). 

So get on down to Eleven this weekend. They had a soft opening a couple weeks ago, but things are definitely in full swing. 

saturday June 20

I will not be in town this weekend, but if I was, I'd go to Barley's Saturday night to see Trampled by Turtles and The Hot Seats play. They are both high energy, bluegrass-y bands. Both have a fun and unique stage presence that are enjoyable to watch.
Also if you're in the mood to be outside tomorrow night, the Mabry-Hazen House is hosting their Summer Solstice Concert from 7-10pm. It's a picnic, so take some food and blankets and enjoy live music and lawn games.

All proceeds go toward the preservation of The Mabry Hazen House. You can call 865-522-8661 if you have any questions.

Happy Summer Soltice, Knoxville! (it's officially the 21st, but whatevs)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just use your imagination

I pass Ft. Sanders Regional Medical Center on a daily/nightly basis. I have always thought that it looks like....

Forgive the poor photo quality. The best angle is from the interstate and you can't really stop and snap a photo out there.

Just use your imagination.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Downtown movie mania

I'm a huge, huge movie nerd when it comes to classic films. It's not uncommon for me to stay in on a Friday night to catch something on AMC or TCM. But even better than staying in to see a classic flick is to see it on the big screen in a grand theatre the way God intended.

Which is why it is SO AWESOME that both the Tennessee Theatre and the Bijou are showing films these days.

Tennessee Theatre's offerings are part of its Summer Movie Magic series. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for kids. The same film is shown Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. As part of your admission, you are treated to a mini concert by Bill Snyder, the resident organist, on the Mighty Wurlitzer. It's well worth the price of admission, and they've got some good offerings. Check the calendar here. I cannot wait for Robert Redford in The Sting and Elvis weekend (which just happens to coincide with Elvis week in Memphis).

Movies at the Bijou has been ongoing for a few months now. Some friends of the Wigshop and I caught The Big Lebowski there a while back, which came complete with patrons dressed as the Dude. Tickets are only $5, and the same film is shown Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. And in many cases, you'll get a double feature, like Easy Rider and Two Lane Blacktop in middle July and Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club (you'll find me there) at the end of July. Schedule is here.

No word yet if the Knox County Library is doing Movies on Market Square this year. Does anyone know?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reason No. 72 that I love Knoxville

World's Fair Park. Why this place is a ghost town, I'll never know. Get out and enjoy the weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Because we're all in this together...

OK, so I commute west to Pellissippi every morning. In my daily comings and goings I have come to a realization that police are, at times, rather predictable. They tend to go back to their same spots in order to catch speeders and rarely deviate.

Then I realized, well if I notice this other people must too. So here it is. An interactive map where you, the reader can get the heads up before getting pulled over or "taxed" by a redlight camera.

Make comments as well if there is a specific tip that we should all know. But some detail in there as well. Times most likely to see the police and where. Also if you know of other locations of the afore mentioned "cameras" please note them too as I have a cute icon all lined up.

View A Cautionary Map in a larger map

Sorry, the pol is not really tech savvy so you have to zoom in.
[update: ck is, so no worries.]

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

an ode to pulled pork nachos

Hello, CK here. I don't usually write for our "BBQ Quest" series, but last night I unwittingly stumbled on what I think is a dish worthy of blog consideration. I went to Aubrey's at Paper Mill Rd. with some of my more West Knoxville oriented friends. And apparently Aubrey's is the DTGB of Bearden on Tuesday nights- with $2 pints and outside seating, the bar side was packed and loud. We repaired to the quieter restaurant section and my eyes quickly found "Pulled Pork Nachos" on the appetizer side bar. Doth my eyes deceive me?! It wasn't really much of a decision. Skipping ahead, this is what came out a little later:

They were delicious! A sweetish BBQ sauce with sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream- c'mon! What's not to like here? The pork seemed good quality to me (really soft and disintegrating, MG) and made surprisingly good nachos. Since I'm not from God's BBQ Country, I'm all for reinterpretations of it (see "Fix, The" of Backroom BBQ fame). Think of it as the Deep South meets the Really Deep South. And while I found the atmosphere at Aubrey's inoffensively suburban 'meh', I'll be trucking back west just to get me some of these heavenly nachos.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

mcghee tyson gets a facelift

photo credit: MHM Architects

So I'm a pretty frequent flyer, and I spend a LOT of time at Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport, as well as various other airports around the world. If you've ever read my blog bio (right sidebar), you would know that McGhee Tyson is, in fact, one of my favorite things. Why do I love it so much? When you spend a lot of time in and out of airports, you want three things: convenience, speed and cleanliness. TYS has all three. Almost nowhere else in this country can you leave your house at 5am and make it in time to board your 6am flight. It's incredible.

See, I'm from Ann Arbor/Detroit, and while I absolutely love where I am from, I do not love a big city airport. Detroit is one of those cities where you really do need to arrive over an hour in advance of your flight. Add to that the 45 minute to an hour drive from home. That's a lot of wasted time just trying to get to where your trying to get. And big airports aren't clean. I can't bring myself to sit at the gate and wait for flights. You just never know what was there before you were.

And that's why McGhee Tyson is one of the best places on earth. Convenience. Speed. Cleanliness. It's 1 terminal with 12 gates. And it has rocking chairs!

Sure, a smaller market often means pricier flights and an inability to claim allegiance to one airline. Since we're nobody's hub, you've got to spread your miles around. I'm okay with that. I can almost always make it work so that I'm flying on the Star Alliance. Despite the few cons, TYS has so many pros.

So I was thrilled to hear that TYS was diversifying its dining selection. Ruby Tuesday is great, but a coffee shop it is not. And since a 6am flight requires mass quantities of coffee, TYS needed a little something. That something is the brand new Starbucks that opened a few weeks ago. Besides Starbucks are a new Quiznos and Cinnabon. And there's a cute new and clean dining area next to the Starbucks. ..just a little variety for one of the greatest places on earth.

I flew out at 6am this morning and wanted to take some pictures to put up but I forgot my camera. Maybe next time I fly, I'll snap a few to share with you.

Monday, June 08, 2009

my kind of people


If I could 'tag' this post with those words I would, but alas we are trying to reduce the cumulonimbus tag-cloud, and I'd probably get in trouble with the powers that be. (wow, how's that for a lead-in?)

Anyway, the reason we're here is that I recently got to know a couple of folks who share a similar love for Knoxville, and are 100% invested in its success. What's more, is that they are actively shaping our town, and you've probably even seen them on many an occasion. Well, you've seen their work on many an occasion. 

Photo Credit Adam Brimer

They are Nathanna, the creative force responsible for branding so many of Knoxville's local businesses, and what, may I ask, is a business without an identity?

Ever heard of LOX Salon? Gypsy Hands? Old City Java? Exactly. They are the one's responsible for the mid-century modern graphics of Old City Java's recent rebirth. 

The designer duo is Jesse and Lauren. Knoxville natives who possess the crucial pairing of artistic talent and solid business sense - a combo easily not found. It's that mix that has helped give them so much success in town, and that's why new businesses (or one's looking for a revamp) come 'a-knocking. 

The mixed media masters have a good deal of their professional and fine art work up on the site (that's iPhone compatible - I told you they were multi-talented). Here's one of my favorites: 

Most recently they are working with Edible Revolution, the people who do edible kitchens and gardens, and are probably overdue for a WigShop post. B? ck?

Let's give it up for Nathanna. Truly the people behind the curtain, making this city great, one business at a time. 

Friday, June 05, 2009

I mean.... SERIOUSLY?!?!

And yes that is metal bindings holding the two boxes together. This was taken in the lot across from the Hilton.

Hope it wasn't something of yours.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm ready for my close-up: Marble City 10 hour film festival

One of Knoxville's most fun events is this Saturday. It's the Marble City (5th annual) 10-hour film festival! All you filmmakers and actors get ready to hit the town and shoot some brilliant 3 minute films. What can you come up with in just 10 hours? Pre-registration ends today, so get on over to marblecityfilmfestival.com and check it out!

Don't worry; if you can't register by today, you can register on site. And if you don't have a team but still want to participate, just show up and you'll be added to a pre-existing team.

If you are not a filmmaker, it's definitely worth it to check out the screening at the Bijou Theatre at 8pm on Saturday night. Go see for yourself what Knoxville filmmakers are up to!

This wigshopper is thinking of getting a team together and getting to work!

Shooter in the City

If outlawish country/Southern rock is you're thing, then I'm sure you already know Shooter Jennings is playing Sundown tonight. I presume everyone is acquainted with Shooter? If not, just know that he's the only son of Mr. Outlaw himself, Waylon Jennings, and Jessi Colter. He lived his early days on their tour bus and portrayed his father in the Johnny Cash biopic, 'Walk the Line.'

It's not exactly going to be Sundown as you know it tonight, thanks to the impending thunderstorms this evening. The powers that be at AC Entertainment have relocated Shooter and his opening act, 1220, to the Tennessee Theatre. The show is still free. It's a first-come, first-serve thing, so if you're really banking on seeing Shooter tonight you might want to go a little early. Doors open at 6 p.m. Attendance capped at about 1,600. I don't know what they're doing about beer sales.

Having watched the masses flee in the middle of the Gavin Rossdale show a few weeks back, I'd recommend everyone thank AC for the pre-emptive decision to move.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Fight the Dominant Paradigm

This post is NOT about the GM bankruptcy. Well maybe just a little, and only insofar as it relates to our little city and our state in general.

Perhaps you are like me and wonder, "Hey KPD, why don't you institute some good design into your repertoire?" Often as I walk past the City-County building I notice the unsightliness of the current fleet of police vehicles. Not that they are hideous, but they could be sleeker, more aggressive looking, and inspire a bit more of a sense of pride in our community than they currently do.

Current Picture (thank you flickr)

The bulk of the KPD fleet is currently Ford. Let me quickly clarify that I have great respect for the leadership at Ford that was able to turn their problems around and become the last American car company I would buy from. That said, the design is still lacking. The Crown Victoria, though iconic in it's use as a police cruiser, is inefficient in it's gas mileage and jarring in it's looks.

There will come a day, in the not to distant future, that the Knoxville PD will need to look to upgrade it's fleet. The current crop is approaching a decade in age and will soon need to be transferred to every 22 year old who feels the need to have a spotlight attached to their vehicle.

My proposal is to support local industry. Buy product made right here in Tennessee by Tennesseeans. Let's turn all of our Ford cruisers into sleek German/ East Tennessee crime fighting machines.

Artists Rendering (Thanks to Stan for help with the photo.)

VW is opening a plant in our back yard. They build a full size sedan that could serve our purposes and on top of it all we can transition to their TDI models. (Turbo Diesel) Those cars not only get better gas mileage they have more power and acceleration and can run on bio-diesel, another local product.

This sounds like a win win for everybody. We get clean, more fuel efficient, longer lasting, better designed vehicles, that are produced by a company that is supporting our local economy. We can't say that about Ford, GM, or Chrysler.

Knoxville can lead the way to better design for public services, and by also supporting local manufacturing, continue to encourage companies to relocate to TN and provide good jobs.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Knoxville Inspired, No. 1

He walked from his usual route, never to return to the regularly scheduled program
acrylic and varnish on canvas
Beth Meadows

Alright, class. Can anyone guess what Knoxville icon inspired this painting? Discuss amongst yourselves. (you may have to zoom in on the figure)