Sunday, May 23, 2010


Hey everybody. It's been a great ride, but it's time for us to call it quits. Thanks for all your encouragement and support through the years. We really appreciate it all...

Juuuuuust kidding. We wouldn't dream of retiring just yet.

We are, however, going to take a small hiatus. I project that, come late June, we'll be back in action, brimming with stories, information, and insight about our city.

In the meantime, keep posting events and things on our Facebook page. Some of us will still be in and out of town so we'd be happy to hear from you there.

And until our paths cross again, peace and love to you all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

beware the buses

So yours truly is typing this sentence in a wheelchair. Never fear, dear readers, I'll be back on two feet in six weeks or so. Pelvises take a while to mend. What happened? I've done got a case of "KAT scratch fever" on Friday.

I was riding my usual bicycle commute to downtown on Western Ave. The traffic was light and I was going fast down a hill. I hear rush of wind and look over my shoulder and a teal KAT bus was RIGHT THERE. Moving fast (over the speed limit) and filling the whole lane we were supposed to be sharing. To avoid getting hit I tried to move as far to the right as I could. With the roar of the engine right beside me I hit the curb, hit an awkward drainage vent, and jackknifed my front wheel. I went flying and hit the street hard, and broke my f'ing pelvis.

I feel fortunate that I didn't get hit. I'm an experienced cyclist and have ridden that route hundreds of times in all weather and traffic. All kind of cars have passed me, some cussing at me, but most doing the right thing. This bus driver, who ought to be one of the best drivers around, dangerously disregarded the rules of the road. Is this a trend?

Let's get this straight: bicycles are allowed on the road. They are legally considered vehicles. Cars (and busses) have to slow down to pass bicycles and give them a three foot buffer zone when they do. If a car can't pass safely, they have to remain behind the bicycle until they can. This is similar to how tractors on the road are treated in rural areas. If you have a problem with the current rules, contact your state representative have them try to change it. Until then, this is the law.

Those of you who drive out there, be careful around cyclists- especially Downtown. One feature of our recent urbanization is that there are are more people using bicycles to get around our town than ever before. So please watch out for us.

And for those of you who are bicycling out there to get to work, go to a show, or do your errands- don't let your guard down. Even places you bike everyday can suddenly become dangerous if one yahoo driver is added in the mix. Assume they're going to not see you. Get blinky lights for nighttime. Get a good helmet. And watch out for huge streaks of orange, teal, and silver.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hey Y'all!

Hey y'all, I am Wild Bill and I am new to the Wigshop. I will tell you about myself.

Wild Bill:
Born and raised in Nashville, Wild Bill set off to Knoxville for college.

Freshman: At first it was tumultuous; Knoxville was a hard transition for me, unlike some of my friends from Memphis who fell in love instantly. Lets be honest, Memphis? My freshman year I began to explore downtown. I had the mentality that, "there are big buildings over there, I bet something cool must be going on." Thankfully I left the strip early on. That was when I found the best music venue that I know of anywhere, The Pilot Light. I think that if Stan, the founder of the Wigsphere, was still around he would agree with me. That year was fun and eye opening. Through a series of misfortunes my attempts to move to 4th and Gill were thwarted and I moved to Bearden.

Sophomore: Bearden was ok, I spent most of my time going to shows at the Pilot Light, and studying at Old City Java. I would say that I experienced Bearden culturally in about a week. There is Sitar, and uh other things that I can't think of (now that I am older I went to Union Jack's once and it was ok). When it was over, I moved back close to campus.

Junior: Moving to the Fort Sanders/Campus Area is always interesting. There really is nowhere like the Fort. So many bizarre things going on all the time. It was a good year.

Senior Year (Upcoming): Moving to Old City/Downtown North. See you everywhere. Starting in August.

About me: I am the youngest on this blog by at least 4 and a half years. I am trying to bring youth back to all the old people that hang out around here. The Pol (who is always scheming about the wigsphere) wants me to up our presence on campus. I am majoring in English Literature, minoring in History. Where to find me: during the daytime (on campus or at Old City Java) at night (somewhere between The Pilot Light or my house.

What I want:
1) People to support the local music scene, because you can actually be a part of a burgeoning scene that is doing some cool stuff.
2) People to read more. Start with Cormac McCarthy, and then move to James Agee. Read Agee's "Knoxville Summer 1915"
3) Traveling money.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Green Contagion

A few weeks ago, I pondered over the question, "Could I commit to only buying my groceries from the Farmer's Market this spring and summer?"

I know you will all be surprised to learn that my answer has turned out to be No.

I actually believe this endeavor could be possible for a highly disciplined person, but I'm afraid that is not me. I have also come to terms with my chronic disdain for grocery shopping, and although shopping in Market Square is more glamorous than going to Kroger, it's still grocery shopping.


I finally made it out to the Farmer's Market on both Wednesday and Saturday this past week. I bought a few things but mostly began warming up to the idea of becoming a regular.

I bought some strawberries (which apparently are coming in fast this year and won't be around much longer) from Mountain Meadows Farm, some bread from VG's Bakery (that is freakishly delicious), and some turnip/mustard greens and spinach from Organicism (a farm run by one very hip looking couple).

I know I didn't buy much, but I'm following the advice of commenters/you to start small and I'm OK with that. I did peruse the other items available and am excited about potential future purchases:

-sheep's milk cheese
-maybe a ribeye or two
-more greens...

Saturday is the day to go for all of these items; Wednesday is slim pickin's, but there's still enough out there from which to choose.

It's strange, but walking through the Farmer's Market must have sparked an earthy flame in my heart. Last night I walked to the Co-op to give them my once-every-three-month visit. Each time I go there, I like it more and more. I decided to only buy items on sale, and so it didn't end up being too expensive. The cashier was super nice and talked to me about how even single mothers in ghettos form co-ops, a conversation that amused me greatly (in an intellectually stimulating sort of way). Today, one of my neighbors let me take away a bag full of lettuce from his garden, and later on a walk, my friend talked me into eating my very first mulberry off of a tree on 4th Avenue, which made me feel like a true Urban Land Scout. And this week, hopefully, I will start a garden in the backyard of Mr. and Mrs. Lo.

If anything, I'm learning the whole local/green quest takes more effort (or so it seems from the outside) but it's a lot more exciting, engaging, and tangible than scanning my items at the self-checkout at Kroger. (Please don't hear me say I think Kroger is run by the devil. It's not and self-check out is great, but it doesn't hurt to ask how much distance it may be creating between the sources of our food and, in a social sense, the people that sell our food to us.)

Anyway, I haven't completely turned over that organic leaf, but it's being rustled. I like to think that maybe it's made its way onto its side.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

thank you for being a friend - metropulse best of knoxville 2010

Yesterday we learned that for the second year in a row, our readers have voted us Knoxville's best local blog.

Thank you, sincerely, from all 9 of us. This little recognition means quite a lot to us. What began as a joke between a few friends has, over a few years, turned into something that actually makes us proud. Knoxville inspires us, and we all want to do it justice. Our little blog is growing up, and we are happy to know that a lot of you out there enjoy our ramblings and our musings.

We are working every day to make this place even better. Hopefully we've got a lot of good and fun things in store. You may have noticed that 8 became 9 when Wild Bill joined us a few weeks back. We're always on the lookout for new-to-us spots and old favorites to cover; and I am going to go out on a limb and say that 2010 is shaping up to be our year. So please keep reading and commenting; your thoughts, accolades, and even disdain are what keep this place going.

Congrats, too, to the other honorees in the category. If you haven't checked out these blogs, consider adding them to your list: Blue Streak by Cynthia Moxley (, Frank Murphy Dot Com ( and Frugalissa Finds (

A few weeks ago I snapped this picture when the majority of us met at the headquarters (Sunsphere bar) for happy hour. It's a lot harder than you might think to get all of us in one (physical) place at one time. When we can pull it off, we always have a good time. Cheers to you, Knoxville. Thanks again from the 9 of us weirdos.

Another gift for our wonderful readers

photo cred:

Last week we offered you a discount on tickets to see Ben Sollee; today we offer you discounted tickets to the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They are playing at the Bijou this Sunday night, May 16 at 7pm to benefit the Joy of Music School, where "weekly lessons and instruments are provided to disadvantaged and at-risk kids at no charge." Pretty cool, wouldn't you agree?

Tickets are $35, but Attack Monkey Productions is offering Wigshop readers (i.e. you) a $20 ticket to the show. You must order via phone at 865-684-1200 or physically at the box office, which is located at the Clinch entrance of the Tennessee Theater. (The offer is not available online) You may also receive the rate at the door on Sunday. Just ask for the discounted ticket and they'll give it to you.

I have to admit, I have actually never heard them, BUT I have heard really great things about them. Literally this morning, I saw several FB statuses proclaiming people's excitement about this show. It's also for a great cause, so you can't go wrong.

So in the spirit of celebration and a general warm and fuzzy feeling going around here, buy yo'self, and your loved one(s), some tickets.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

where's the old city? in the bowery

photo credit:

I've been reading Metro Pulse's "Ask Doc Knox" blog and I've been fascinated by the arcane history of this town. And it's brought something to mind.

First off, I love downtown. I work on Market Square, I love my neighborhood Mechanicsville. But... if I have a free sunny afternoon you'll find me heading down to the Old City for a cigar and a pint. I think that sitting in the corner booth of Patrick Sullivan's is maybe as close to the spiritual center of "Knoxvilleness" as one can get. It is the oldest building in the city, after all. The Old City vies with some of the best urban neighborhoods I've been able to find in other cities.

photo credit:

I could go on about the charm of the district, but let's get to the point- as I've grown to love the Old City, I've tried to learn more about it. Jack Neely and "Doc Knox" (if they aren't truly one and the same) have helped me get a feel for its rough and tumble history. And, it it's proper name: The Bowery.

Back in the small original urban renaissance of Knoxville in the 1980s, the Bowery needed sprucing up. Perhaps longer than anywhere else, the "Suttree version" of Knoxville survived at the intersection of Jackson and Central (rumor has it that this area is where you'll be most likely to run into Cormac McCarthy when he's in town). It was a somewhat dangerous place, like the New York neighborhood it was probably named after. I've heard stories of prostitutes keeping shop above the old saloon, dragging half drunk winos up the stairs for business. Most of the gunfights in our city's history happened down there.

You can see how the early urban revivalists wanted to distance themselves from the Bowery's reputation. What better than a new name for the district? So, as I understand it, "Old City" was born. Never mind that near the river is the oldest part of the city. Out with the old, in with the new jazz clubs and lofts.

I'm not knocking the Kendrick and the preservationists. They did what they had to. Under it's new moniker, the Old City has risen, fallen, risen, fallen, and risen again. It has become the neighborhood I love. But it's been twenty years and "Old City" seems to me a bit contrived like "Happy Meadows" is for a subdivision. We need to embrace our past, even the gritty parts, and celebrate it. It's time to have a Bowery again.

From now on I'm calling the district around Jackson and Central The Bowery. Maybe I'm pseudo-nostalgic for a time when I'd probably have been murdered down there. We'll see if it catches on.

Call for Entries: Top Choice 2010

As an artist, I like to assume that some of our readers are artists as well, so...

After graduating from UT's art department, it's been real tricky to find the time and motivation to produce art. I am not a businesswoman nor am I good with time management, so something I've been doing lately is submitting work into local juried shows. It has helped considerably because:

a) it gives me a (much needed) deadline
b) it gets me out of my hermit-crab shell
c) it allows me, more frequently, to be a part of the ever-growing Knoxville art scene
d) it typically puts my work in front of more people than if I was to have a solo show
e) I don't have to do any of the advertising myself
f) it forces me to step up my game as an artist

Here's one I just read about. I copied and pasted it below. Let the games begin.

(05/11/2010/Knoxville) – The Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville announces a call for entries for “Top Choice 2010”, a juried exhibition developed to allow regional artists to compete and display work at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from August 6-27, 2010.

The deadline for digital submissions to be received is Friday, June 25, 2010.

Works will be juried through a unique process: all works submitted (digital images only) will be posted anonymously on a public Web site with the title, size, and medium of the submitted work. Three sectors of people will be asked to vote for their top five selections from among all of the entries: 1) a panel of five jurors from outside of the Greater Knoxville; 2) individual members of the Arts & Culture Alliance (approximately 300 people); and 3) the general public. The 15 works receiving the most number of votes from EACH sector will be displayed at the Emporium Center. The panel of jurors includes: Mark Hall (Maryville College Art Department); Nandini Makrandi (Curator of Contemporary Art, Hunter Museum); Jeff Morton (Covenant College Art Department); Elizabeth Snipes (Missouri State University Department of Art and Design); and Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart (Belmont University Department of Art).

The call for entries is open to all artists. Entries must be original works completed within the last two years in the following categories: Painting, Graphic Arts, 3-D, and Photography. Entry fees are $7 per piece for unlimited entries. Download a prospectus and application at (under Artist Calls & Press Releases), or contact Suzanne Cada, Arts & Culture Alliance, (865) 523-7543, Three People’s Choice Cash Awards will be given at the First Friday reception.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Whoop-Ass Industries became Yee-Haw

Knoxville is so lucky to have the country's premier letterpress print shop located right in the heart of downtown. I love to stop in Yee-Haw Industries' print shop from time to time and just gaze lovingly upon all the kitchy music posters and chat with Kevin, who is never short on energy. I almost always leave with a new set of letterpress greeting cards.

I get especially excited when the world at large acknowledges Yee-Haw's greatness, like last year when they showed at Chelsea Market in NYC. Here's a great video put together by Southern magazine Oxford American on what Yee-Haw's all about. Enjoy.

SoLost: Yee Haw Industries from Oxford American on Vimeo.

P.S. If you're reading this from afar, don't forget you can order Yee-Haw's goods through their site.

Monday, May 10, 2010

a concert under the trees

Last night a fairly large contingent of the Wigshop went out see Ben Sollee perform at the Knoxville Botanical Garden. It was, simply put, wonderful. The Garden encourages you to picnic and BYOB/V at its concerts, so in typical Wigshop fashion we came well equipped with wine and assorted cheeses. (I also found out that I LOVE candied bacon, but that's another post)

Sollee is a cellist- but if you're not a classical buff don't let that stop you... neither is he. Combining an eclectic acoustic sound that could be called "indie folk," Sollee plucks, strums, and bows his cello to get a sound that lies somewhere between jazz, Americana, and Bach. It was great music. I'd definitely catch him when he comes to the Bijou later this year.

But, music aside, I'd like to talk about the venue.

The Botanical Garden is becoming one of my favorite places in Knoxville. I remember several years ago going to Chandler's on Magnolia and seeing a sign for our "Botanical Garden." Knoxville had a Botanical Garden? That was news to me. After lunch I drove up and was surprised by the elegant stone walls, quirky round guardhouses, and the sloping orchards that seem to come from a different era. In fact it is from a different era- this land was given to David Howell in 1786 for his service in the Revolutionary War. After 217 years of serving the Howell family's nursery and horticulture business, the land is now open to the public to enjoy. And one of the best ways to enjoy the Garden is to attend one of the increasingly frequent concerts there. Held on a stone terraced hillside under a canopy of huge trees, you can watch the sun set slowly on the distant plateau while listening to beautiful music. Or, as I preferred, lay on the soft grass and watch the sky darken through the silhouetted leaves overhead. Wonderful.

I would heartily recommend the Garden as one of those not-to-miss experiences in Knoxville. Like most of the good things in this city, it's a little hard to find and not well known, but it will surprise you and keep you coming back.

Now for some more pictures:

The stone terraces.

Mrs. The Pol enjoying the music, if not the chilly weather.

Mr. Sollee and his cello, with accompanying fiddle.

As well as being a politcal iconoclast, The Pol can put out quite a spread.

Friday, May 07, 2010

word to your mother: downtown is the place to be tonight

folks, we're looking at a mighty fine showing of art and culture downtown for this 5th month of the year. mosey on down to the heart of our beloved city and share an evening with friends (and mothers!). here are a few of our favorites to guide your evening.

-- the wigshop's own max and b will be presenting at the flourescent gallery (627 n. central) in no kno

-- remedy will be all chicked out tonight showing the movie mad city chickens to benefit community gardening

-- at the art market gallery (422 S. Gay St.) zophia kneiss presents some totally awesome metal art along with artist marilyn avery turner and live jazz and blues

-- The arts & culture alliance is hosting a reception for seven local artists at the balcony (100 s. gay street ) and the its 2010 members show will be downstairs.

-- drop by the live music show at the visitors center on gay street for ferd's first friday. top secret guests to perform!

-- take a gander at miss kitty's bodacious boots show - which includes a collection of five decades of cowboy boots! - at RALA (323 union next to coffee and chocolate).

-- remember your elementary school art teacher? ut downtown gallery (106 S Gay Street) is featuring knox county art teachers own work 5-9 pm

a complete list of events is here. there may be more events that we're not listing, so feel free to add in the comments! happy weekend, wigshoppers!.

[ck] update:

Ben Sollee was supposed to play Rhythm and Blooms but couldn't make it because of a volcano or something. But he'll be making it up this Sunday at 7 PM at the beautiful Knoxville Botanical Garden (see Max's photos here) which may be Knoxville's best place to see an outdoor concert. Sollee is an excellent and unorthodox cello player with a positive, meaningful message in his lyrics. I would highly recommend going to his concert at full price, but because you're reading this here we'll help hook you up! Go to the ticket site here and enter the password "wigsphere" and viola! $26.50 becomes $5.00! Now you have a cheap lovely Sunday evening experience ahead of you.

Also this weekend: Vestival!

A uniquely Knoxville event- looks like lots of good music and stuff to do, go check it out!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Jive Junket 2010: Introduction

When I turned 21, I lived in a house with six other girls on Grainger, just on the outskirts of 4th and Gill. I'm not sure how it ended up happening, but for some time, every Thursday night we would go to Sassy Ann's to dance. We became obsessed. It was like nothing we had ever experienced before, a place that said, "Come. Dance like the white person you are." The people that hung out there were cool, and you felt like you were in the hull of a pirate ship. It didn't matter what we wore; by the end of the night, we were drenched in sweat anyway. If we made it to 3am when they'd close, it meant we had a great time. We'd be herded out with the others and hang out in the parking lot for a few minutes before going to Kroger to buy Bagel Bites.

But like a lot of good things in life, our little paradise didn't last forever. At one point or another, we all experienced the Sassy Ann's burnout. As a result, we quit going every week.

A month or so would pass, however, and we'd be ready to go back. Each time, though, something would be different: there were less and less familiar faces, the DJ changed, the dance floor would get too packed, you'd have to wait in line forever to get in, the music was not as good...

The last time I went was about a month ago on a Saturday night. I didn't recognize anyone there. I'm not going to lie, the crowd was a little creepy (i.e. older men had their shirts off on the dance floor). It was weird, and I didn't want to be there.


A couple of weekends ago, I went dancing with some friends at 12th and Porter, a place on a shady side street in downtown Nashville. It was hip. It was fresh.

I admit the reason I liked it so much was due to being in a different city and experiencing something new. It made me miss those early Sassy Ann's days.

I realize I don't make the effort to go out with a bang anymore (I'm getting old), but it's time to make a change for my health and happiness. It's time to rekindle my passion for dancing, even if it's only one night a month.

That is why I present to you a new Wigshop quest: Jive Junket 2010. I'm on a mission to find the best place or places to get down in Knoxville. I have some ideas but need some more suggestions on where to go. I am open to any suggestions (within reason).

As I go on this journey, I will report back on what I learn through my research. It should make for a nice summer project.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

You gotta fight for your right to keep chickens in Knoxville

A few months ago ck wrote about the growing interest to change city code to allow hens in Knoxville. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is a small step to creating sustainable urban systems and chickens are integral to helping provide healthy nutrition (by way of eggs) and a rich source of soil amendments (through litter composting). Somewhere way back in knoxville’s history (and probably most cities for that matter) a line was drawn to restrict “barnyard” animals from the city. But Knoxville isn't the pioneering the "hen revolution" (see Seattle, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Denver, Fort Collins, Madison, Cedar Falls, Asheville, and Porland (ME) who have all recently changed this archaic and discriminatory practice against chickens!)

Yes, for a long time we did have only horses to get around, and the sights and smells were far from pleasant (read the first chapter of Superfreakonomics if this piques your interest). Maybe chickens were kicked out because they precipitated the perception of backward, no-shoes, toothless Appalachian culture that city-folk wanted to shake. Or maybe it was because a mayor back in the day got attacked by a rooster as a kid. (note: the city code amendment does not allow roosters, only hens) Who knows? But small backyard animals in small numbers like chickens, when If you think about it though, with good housing and clean bedding, are not much different than our typical household pets. In fact, under the new guidelines, chickens would be more regulated than cats and dogs under current city code!

Here are the highlights of the proposed code amendment: 1) annual permit to keep chickens is $25 2) how many chickens you can keep depends on your lot size (starts at 6 hens) 3) you have to keep it clean and have a nice structure (with a $25 building permit) 4) eggs=yes, meat=no (put down your cleaver, ck)

So, my question is this, Knoxvillians- are you with me?

If yes

Send an email to the police chief, mayor, and city council and tell them in what neighborhood you live and that you support the code amendment.

If no (or yes)

Educate yourself more about urban chickens! Go see the movie Mad City Chickens this first Friday from 7-8:30 in the Old City at Remedy Coffee House located at 125 West Jackson Avenue in the Old City!

Knoxville Urban Hen Coalition is teaming up with Three Rivers Market and the Parkridge Community Garden to screen it as part of the effort to educate Knoxville on keeping hens in the city, and to build support for the Proposed Knoxville Ordinance.

Mad City Chickens is a sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical look at the people who keep urban hens in their backyards. From chicken experts and authors to a rescued landfill hen or an inexperienced family that decides to take the poultry plunge—and even a mad professor and giant hen taking to the streets—it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom. The movie runs about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Donations will go to support the Parkridge Community Garden.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Today is election day, if you're so inclined to vote in the primary.

Find out where you vote here.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Knoxville, A First Impression

One of my favorite (narcissistic) activities is listening to a good friend recount their initial impression of me, and in return, I share mine of them. The best is when one of our stories begins with, "I didn't think you liked me very much," because, obviously, if that was the case then, it isn't anymore, and we are aware of our present mutual fondness of one another.

In much the same way, I like to recount my first memories of Knoxville as my potential home.

It was the fall of 2001 when I drove four high school classmates from Memphis to Knoxville for a college visit. Only parts of the trip still linger in my brain, but I do remember this: It was one of the most not fun weekends of my life.

Memory one: When we arrived into town, we exited onto Cumberland Avenue. We knew we were on the Strip, but we could not figure out how to get to campus where I needed to take one of my passengers. There we all were, finally at our destination, screaming at one another as I drove for what seemed like an eternity through a labyrinth of one-way streets.

Memory 2: That night, my friend (who I shall refer to as) Jane took me to a party at the SAE house, the fraternity to which her brother belonged. My conclusion of this party was that you had to be hammered in order to enjoy it, but I didn't drink. It was like swimming in a dark sea of glazed over eyes and red solo cups. Eventually, I persauded Jane to leave, and as we walked to my car, she tripped in a hole. I've never seen anyone laugh so hard at tripping in a hole.

Memory 3: I don't remember the actual football game Saturday, but I do know that I went to it because of a more vivid memory that happened Saturday night.

I was driving Jane to get keys from her brother, who was located at a bar that was in an old house. I don't know how long we drove around looking for this place, but it seemed like hours. What made it worse was that it was dark, the part of town we were in was scary, and the only people walking the streets were homeless.

Rendered helpless, we pulled over to ask a homeless man for directions. Our conversation was short.

Homeless man: "Are you girls from this part of town?"
Us: "No."
Homeless man: "Get out of this part of town!"

I don't exaggerate when I say that, as Jane and I drove away, we were screaming. Shrill, girlish screams of despair. Where was this bar in a house, and how could it be in THIS neighborhood???

Eventually we found it, and Jane and I walked up to the doorman. When he asked for our ID's, Jane explained that we were looking for her brother, and I told him I would stay with him and wait for her.

As I grow older, so many memories fade, but this one, of me standing in the foyer of that old Victorian house, will forever be etched in my brain. It felt like the house was going to burst at the seams. Beer and sweat-infused college students stumbled through the wood-paneled rooms as 80s music blared from the dance floor upstairs. I stood next to the bouncer, embarrassed because I was still sporting my orange TENNESSEE sweatshirt. And also because I had braces.


It's a wonder I decided to pursue my collegiate education at UT. It's also fascinating that I ended up moving into that dark and scary neighborhood, as well as becoming a regular at the bar in the old house for a year or two.

I like to think those first impressions of Knoxville were like meeting a potential good friend. We didn't get along at first, but for some reason we stuck it out, and now we are aware of our present mutual fondness of one another.