Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
It feels strange to be posting this so far away from the land of Norman Rockwell (Western Massachusetts, where I traditionally spend this holiday), but I’m grateful nonetheless to be able to spend the week with family and friends. No matter where I am in the country, this is always my favorite part of the year.
Considering how 2018 has been a tragic year for so many and difficult for most, I hope that this holiday (still my favorite one) gives you all an opportunity to take stock of everything good in your life and prepare for whatever you have coming up in December. At the very least, I’ve got a few posts sitting in my drafts that I’ll hopefully get up before the Winter break.
Take care of yourselves and each other!
A little over a year ago, I joined Knox Heritage so I could attend an open house of the under-extreme-renovation-at-the-time Farragut Hotel building in downtown Knoxville. I hadn’t been able to track down any of the hotel’s official records from 1938 and 1940, the two occasions I have evidence to believe that Ben Irving stayed there. The work that the contractors and development company had been doing, even at that point, was pretty astounding.
A few Fridays back, many of us had the rare opportunity to do another walk-through. It was impressive how much progress had been made. One of my favorite points that owner Rick Dover mentioned was that, although they were building a full kitchen for a morning breakfast buffet, the new Farragut would not have an in-house restaurant. There are too many great restaurants within walking distance, and they were encouraging guests to actually get to know the city around the hotel – a sentiment I can get behind. Here are some photos from the visit.
The beautiful wood finishing on a nook next to the Clinch Ave. entrance that’s going to be a library.
“Better make it quick, kiddo; in 5 minutes, this place is becoming a Starbucks” – Unfunny sarcastic character from the last good season of The Simpsons.
The lobby, taken standing over the original stairs down to the Clinch Ave entrance.
What I can only assume will be the Men’s Room once they install the urinals. The tile floor and dark green stall doors (nice touch) reminds me a lot of New Haven Pizza places from growing up.
If “Die Hard 7” were to take place in the Farragut Hotel…
The first floor’s hinterland.
The building’s official re-opening as the Hyatt Place at the Historic Farragut Hotel is slated to be weeks away, which means that workers are scrambling to get all the holes filled and everything else in working order as I type this. The Knoxville News-Sentinel interviewed the new General Manager (who moved his family from Austin to come and run the show) and gave a pretty good bullet-point history of the building on their site here.
I can’t remember any time in my life when this wasn’t my favorite week of the whole year. Coming soon, I’ll be posting my GEOG 371 mix tape, end of semester retrospectives, and perhaps some best-of-2017 lists. But for now, I’m grateful to take a day or two for myself to slow things down to a crawl (or, laugh until I can’t breathe hanging out with my cousins).
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, wherever you are.
I’m always excited to see small-city bus services expanding, especially in the South. Based on empirical evidence (i.e. my own observations), a vast majority of those who use the bus in Knoxville are not of the 9-to-5 set. There are cultural elements behind this, too, but that doesn’t change the necessity for better public transit for those in the service, retail, and medical industries. Restaurants, department stores, and hospitals don’t adhere so strictly to the increasingly archaic 9-to-5 business schedule, and neither should public transit, especially when relatively few 9-to-5ers use it (compared to bigger cities). I would include University students in that conversation around Knoxville, considering how much they have contributed to the city’s regrowth, along with their ORNL, young-professional counterparts (who we can say for a fact don’t/can’t use the bus too often).
The Knoxville Area Transit is improving service on thirteen bus routes next week.
Source: Knoxville Area Transit to improve 13 bus routes