Sunday, July 31, 2011

Words fail me...

Last night after seeing Cowboys vs. Aliens with the Mrs. (begin snarky remarks) we stepeed next door to the newly opend "The Market" once known as "general store".

My friends i have seen the promised land of urban groceries, and it is good.

I was completly overwhelmed by the finish, the offerings, and the prices. We now have a legitimate grocery store in Downtown Knoxville that is open at good hours.

The first thing you notice is that it feels like a urban grocery. I was recently in Chicago and had a chance to go to some of their nicer mart's that serve some of the small neighborhoods, and that is how i felt walking into The Market.

There is fresh produce, bread, dairy produts, and even a meat counter. I can actually walk to the store to buy what I need for dinner now and not lose my shirt doing it. Mrs. The pol took notice of the prices and was fairly shocked. A gallon of Organic milk for $5! Yes please. I picked up some Bentons bacon as a gift for a friend and bought some meat for Sunday Dinner.

I am thrilled that the people at H.T. Hackney have invested in downtown like this. It really is a needed shot in the arm for our little urban experiment. Hoep everyone likes it like I do.

Please forgive the quality of photo, like i said I was shocked and overwhelmed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A time to chillax

I kind of feel ridiculous writing about this, but whatever...

So I got a massage yesterday, a much much needed one.

I asked around the office where I work for suggestions and was told to go to Nickie Bold, who I know best as the nice server at Pres Pub.

I finally called her a couple of days ago because I was experiencing carpal tunnel like symptoms in my arm and wrist (I'm falling apart in my old age), and she was able to get me in the next day. Perfect.

the above photo is not me nor my significant other

When I arrived at her new space at 108 Summit Hill on the corner of Summit and Central, we sat down and she asked me to tell her what was ailing me. She listened and then proceeded with the massage. I don't have a whole lot of experience in this area, but from what I know, she did a great job and I immediately felt relief afterward. Before I left, she gave me some suggestions on what I could do to loosen up certain problem areas and of course told me to drink a lot of water. The price was only $50 for an hour, a special rate to welcome clients to her new space. I think in August her rate will go back to $75 an hour.

It's a weird thing for me to say, but I'd like to begin carving out time and money every now and then for a massage. I've always snubbed my nose at women who go get their nails done  and that sort of thing because I'm a jerk that way, but I'm beginning to realize why they do it. The obvious reason is because they want their nails to look nice, but I assume it's also to have a little window of time to chill out. I'm realizing I could use a little carved out time every now and then, too, and I want it in the form of a massage.

So, I really liked Nickie and will no doubt return for another visit in the future, but I'd also like to see if any of you have any suggestions on who to go to in Knoxville. Someone recently told me I should go to a male masseuse because the knots in my back are so ridiculous, but then they told me that I'd have to make sure I made it clear that a massage is all I wanted. Are you kidding me? Is this for real?

I'm just scratching the surface of this new world of pampering and need some guidance. So please, share your thoughts and give props to a masseuse you love. My shoulders and back and arms and neck thank you.

Oh, and if you want Nickie's number, email me at I only have her cell and figure I maybe shouldn't put it here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

up on the rooftop bar

Ok, I have a confession to make. I, a little Knoxvillian, have never been a huge fan of Preservation Pub (my fellow Wigshoppers are going to disown me now). But before you scoff at me and stalk off to judge me as you drink your PBR, hear me out. As a nonsmoker, I struggled to tolerate the smoky inside of Pres Pub for long stretches at a time, and unless I was there to see a particular band, the acoustics usually made it too loud for me to talk with my partners in crime if there was a band playing.

But. BUT ... Have you heard about Pres Pub's expansion? As in the new second floor and rooftop lounge?

Having been gone from Knoxville for nearly a month, this was all news to me when my friends suggested a trip to Pres Pub's smoke-free second floor on Friday. "Get out of town!" I said. "Pres Pub has a second floor? Is that why the 'Man who lives here is loony' sign disappeared?' (The answer is yes, and the sign now is posted proudly on a second-floor wall. The second floor has a gorgeous bar and some awesome overstuffed bean-bag chairs in addition to the usual table seating.

Except, when we made our way to the second floor on Friday, we noticed a sign declaring the Moonshine Rooftop Lounge open. So despite the 90+ degree temperatures, we climbed one more staircase to find ourselves on a rooftop oasis in the middle of downtown Knoxville.

Now I've long said Knoxville needed some more public rooftop spots, and this one is up to the challenge. There's a small cash-only bar that serves a few canned beers and basic mixed drinks in plastic cups. There are tables all the way to the railing along the front edge, where you can peer down to the peons below on Market Square (please don't pee on them, though). There is mood lighting. There are pretty flowers. There is a decorative fountain. And most importantly on a steamy summer night, there's a breeze.

I didn't get a shot of the view because all the spots at the edge were occupied, so this is the best I can offer you. You'll have to go and check out the view yourself.

Friday, July 22, 2011

He's got his eye on you

I don't know if Blue Steel is making an appearance or if he's just encouraging you to attend Sassy Ann's tonight.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Reading

Vacation, a time for cold beer, hot sun, and good books.

My Knoxville oriented recommendation this summer is an absolute classic, James Agee's A Death in the Family. I read it just last week and have a new respect for this scion of southern lit.

It was a joy to read about Old Knoxville, walking through the Fort (when there still was an actual fort), shopping on Gay St., riding real trolleys, our city has always offered so much. Not only that Agee has an insight into the mind that is nothing short of impressive. It is beautiful, morose, peaceful, and timeless.

Perhaps check it out here.

I also read McCarthy's Blood Meridian... wow.

Any rec's from readers?