Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Knox Kickball

When I'd hear about another friend of mine in D.C. or Nashville or NYC or various other cities that are larger that Knoxville joining a kickball league I'd secretly be jealous, thinking Knoxville wasn't big enough to have a kickball league. What a silly thought to have -- of course Knoxville is big enough! It just needed someone to step up to the plate (pun intended) and organize a league.

Amy Hubbard is in the process of doing just that, can I get a heck, yeah! Amy, she of Girl House Productions, has nailed down the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum as the site and our friends at Marble City Brewing Company as the sponsor for the inaugural season of Knox Kickball.

Here's the plan:
Games will be on Sundays from May 15 through July 24, at 5-9 p.m. (with the exception of May 22 which will be 1-5 p.m.). Only a couple of teams will play each Sunday, so if you're worried about it being an extensive time commitment, don't. She's hoping for between six to eight teams of 10 to 12 players each for now. You can either organize as a team or sign up as an individual and be assigned to a team. This summer seasons is kind of a trial run, so it's mainly just a time to show up and play some kickball, but Amy hopes to have a tournament-based season in the fall if all goes well.

Want to learn more or just meet Amy and tell her how awesome she is for organizing this? Meet her at the Public House on Thursday (as in tomorrow) at 7:30 p.m. And here's a sign-up form!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who else is really excited about this?

Harry's Delicatessen is opening soon on the 100 Block of Gay St.!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'll take that beverage to go

I have a proposal that has probably been proposed before, but I'll go ahead anyway.

I think it's time for Knoxville to seriously begin talking about travelers, and when I say travelers, I'm talking about a disposable cup full of the beverage of your choice which you can take from bar to bar.

The first time I experienced the beauty of the traveler, I was in Savannah, Georgia. The architecture, the Spanish moss, and the overall quaintness of the town was enough, but then, while at a bar, my friend suggested we buy a beer to go. My mind was blown. It was magical.

Some of my favorite memories are of popping open a bottle of wine next to an outdoor fountain with friends in a different country. It would be so nice to do the same here.

This is exactly what it would feel like!

Today, I live next door to a guy that moved here from New Orleans, so we've been talking about it more because they have open container laws there. I'm not suggesting Knoxville try to be another city. All I'm really saying is that I want to walk outside with a beer in Market Square on non-festival days.

We are traditionally a conservative city, I know, but an open container doesn't have to mean public intoxication. We have police to regulate that. I think it could mean more business downtown, however, which would be a great thing.

So my proposal is that we get this going in Market Square and see how it goes. You say we need cleaner air and to take care of the homeless? Of course! But might I also add to the list that we need more beverages under the sun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bridge Update

For those of you who do not live withing 25 yards of the Henley St. bridge, I would like to give you an update.

First, I would like to thank Britton Bridge Company and TDOT for stopping overnight construction. My life, my wife's life, and my dogs life have been much better since then so thank you.

Second, I would just like to say...


If you haven't seen it recently the bridge has no accessible end remaining and is now being chopped apart in the middle. I am so very confused by this process, and it looks so counter-intuitive, that I crave some reasonable explanation so as to not sound too unintelligent to people when the look upon with stupefied wonder at the seeming ineptitude that is taking place in my back yard.

I know, I have a history degree and sell insurance, I should just trust the experts. Well bridge experts have been known to give us jewels like this:

So perhaps it won't be that bad but please, how can cutting the ground out from underneath the guys jack-hammering make sense? How will that last section get removed without some amazingly complicated fete?

Oh well, I doubt anyone at the bridge company reads this blog, since they can't be bothered to even set up a website.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

More is Better

So walking through the thunderstorm from Aisle Nine in the old city Monday evening, I thought, "man it would be nice to have some option for groceries that isn't 10 blocks away from my place".

Yes I know, we just got our first psuedo-grocery last year and I'm being unrealistic. But this post is about developments, not my grumblings SO BACK OFF!

The next day Mrs. The Pol and I headed for a pint and saw this:

So the crappy "General Store" is getting work done, so what? Well I remembered a conversation I had with a worker there, and an email exchange with the parent company HT Hackney. The "General Store" (hopefully soon to get a new name) is becoming more of a proper grocery store. This is fantastic! #1 it is more convenient for me and #2 competition is always better for the consumer, i.e. me.

Then later on my walk I remembered about this little jewel:

Just Ripe should be a great addition to our little community to provide those fresh ingredients for daily consumption that are otherwise missing from the other providers of foodstuffs downtown, plus be a filler between farmers market days and off months.

I am so excited to see all of this moving forward and our downtown finally coming into its own.

Now if we only had a store where I could play Dungeons and Dragons...

Monday, April 04, 2011

rhythm n' blooms, just what the seasonal affective disorder doctor ordered

Yesterday I went to Rhythm N' Blooms at the Botanical Gardens, and, man, it was exactly what my sun/warm weather/festival deprived soul needed. A good sized crowd came out with blankets and coolers in hand to laze the afternoon away while listening to some good music, and I did the same. 

Here are some photos from the day to give you hope that more days like yesterday are around the bend.

 They moved the stage out into a field, which I thought was a great change.

The view to the right of the stage. Breathtaking.

Yes, my friend brought her cat.

The Whigs. I don't know if it was the outdoor air or what, but this show suited them better than the one they gave at the Bijou last year. They said it was probably the prettiest place they've ever played, too.

Night fell and out came the Felice Brothers. Here they are playing with Diamond Doves.

And nothing says outdoor festival like shelter made from sticks.

Well done, Rhythm and Blooms!!!

Friday, April 01, 2011

it's grown from home

Annnnddd..... it's First Friday!

If you're reading this blog, I probably don't have to explain the basics of First Friday in Knoxville. Art, cheese, wine, people watching...etc.

April's First Friday is usually the first time weather permits for a really good turnout, and the galleries around downtown usually put on their A Game. Tonight is no exception. In a sort of double explosion of creative coolness, concurrent to FF we also have Rhythm N' Blooms Festival this weekend. Definitely check it out.

On the Art end of things, I'd like to suggest two very Knoxville things to go see. Tonight at the Fluorescent Gallery a show called HOMEGROWN is going on. If, like me, you're interested in the way objects are made, or like to explore the fuzzy boundary between design and fine art, or wonder if the South can have as vibrant of a creative scene as either coast... then HOMEGROWN might just be the show for you.

Some art shows here try to be as Brooklyn or San Francisco as they can get, so that you forget you're in Knoxville, Tenn. We aspire to be "as good" as those idolized "creative centers". HOMEGROWN is not one of those shows. Instead of trying to transplant an outside design attitude to the South, HOMEGROWN is trying to show the creativity that's already here... with objects that could only be from here.

I think that soon the draw of "creative centers" like New York will diminish and that the arts and design scene will be more grassroots oriented, spread out across the U.S. in second and third tier cities. HOMEGROWN is a harbinger of that.

Second, also filed under "only in the Knoxville", is the Knox Heritage Salvage Show. Basically, artists (and the occasional economist) are making objects out of Knox Heritage's pool of architectural salvage pieces, and a portion of the proceeds goes to help Knox Heritage's very important work. Thrifty artistic re-purposing of architecture into regional contextual art? Uhhh yes please!

So if you want to see some creativity that will make you proud of our town and region, this First Friday is a must. See you out there!