07 February 2016


An invitation to an eighteenth century party in the wilds of Eastern Tennessee brought Mr. Fuzzy to the sophisticated downtown of Knoxville first.

It has been three decades since mine eyes laid upon old Knoxville - the new downtown is thoroughly delightful. Great restaurants, theatre district, arts district, pubs and bars, parks, plenty of off street parking, friendly people and just a warm ambiance that pervaded everything and everywhere.

Its a very alive area with many people living downtown in five to ten story buildings from (mostly) the 1920s. Based on the paucity of notices of units for sale or rent, it appears the living spaces are well filled.

There are no ugly, run down buildings or empty eye sores. It seems the area has become very popular and for good reasons.

One goal was to visit Boyd's Jig & Reel, a Scottish pub with live music and over 200 Scotch whiskeys. Its just the right size to be intimate but not tiny, with booths, tables and a lovely old wooden bar. Two lovely bar maids in wee kilties held court and were a fountain of information about the various delectable delights in the bottles behind the bar. It might seem surprising but my indulgence was a pint of locally brewed dark beer and it was delicious. The music did not start until my bedtime, 10:00 p.m., so I cannot evaluate its qualities. They will see me again.

There were a number of fine restaurants downtown, for dining as well as early day fare. Breakfast repast was at The French Market, a very popular morning cafe. They had a monstrous selection of breakfast and luncheon foods but my eye had already settled on the substantial crepe menu, finally alighting on the salmon and cream cheese. Oh my it was tasty. A sign of a fine cafe is not only the best of coffees but likewise the best of teas, and they did not disappoint.

Readers who know the author well also know he seeks out old and photogenic cemeteries. The First Presbyterian Cemetery, in the core of downtown, was begun circa 1790. As one might expect of the staunch Presbyterians of that era, headstones tend to be very modest in scale and design, nonetheless, there were many of visual and historic interest.

Knoxville is an easy four hour drive from Floyd and based on this visit, another shall follow before the year is over. Should you find yourself in Knoxville, follow the evaluations on Zomato and Tripadvisor and you cannot go wrong. Have a wonderful time there.


John Barnier said...

Looks like a great city. I used to know a lady who played violin in their orchestra and she liked it there -- except for crazy fast drivers. She's from St. Paul so she likes the weather, too. Btw, what camera did you use for the gravestone? The dof looks 8x10.

Mr. Fuzzy said...

Panasonic GX7 (micro 4/3)/ Lens: Olympus 20mm @ f/1.8