Thanksgiving

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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!

 

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AAG 2018 New Orleans

I don’t remember if I’ve spoken about Jamey Essex on this site, but he was my first Geography TA way back in ’01 (pronounced ought-one). Here, he breaks down the gritty dynamics of AAG in a joking-enough manner. This may be helpful for those of you who are wondering what we talk about when we talk about AAG. If Raymond Carver had been from NOLA, that would have been a perfect title. Though Jamey and I only ran into each other briefly (he entering the Sheraton Hotel and I on the way out), we had a nice chat that broached a couple of the subjects he traverses here. Sometimes, it’s reassuring to know that even people much more advanced in their career than you are still fighting many of the same battles.

Jamey Essex

I recently returned from the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. I skipped last year’s meeting, the first one I had missed since I first attended in 2000, that year held in Pittsburgh and myself as a newbie MA student at Syracuse University. I passed on the 2017 meeting in Boston because I was on sabbatical, didn’t have much of anything in my research quite ready to present at that point, and just needed a break from the conference. (Also I had tickets to the Final Four in Phoenix, and took a jaunt to the Grand Canyon, which was far more fun than the conference anyway.) It was therefore rejuvenating to go to this year’s conference and see friends and colleagues I had not seen in a long time, and to present some original research. And it’s hard to pass…

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Checking in Again with the Farragut Hotel

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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 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.

Thanksgiving 2017

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.

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Reagan Bombs – Wind Me Up

Hometown Sounds

Though he moved to LA a few years ago, superstar DJ Jesse Tittsworth can’t escape the pull of the DC music he grew up with. Partnering with filmmaker Scott Sanders, known for the 2009 blaxploitation comedy Black Dynamite, Reagan Bombs updates DC’s indigenous go-go sound with Techno and House influences to create “DC GoWave”. Their self-titled album was released on cassette and digital by the DC label Swedish Columbia run by Shelby Cinca, formerly of the DC bands Frodus and The Cassettes. The album’s first single is “Wind Me Up”, a well-known go-go catch phrase, and Sanders edited this music video with some of the same classic go-go VHS footage that contributed to the samples in the album.

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The Union of Socialist Geographers Newsletter, 1975-1983

I have a new post coming soon with information about the classes I’m teaching this upcoming semester. For now, this socialist geography time capsule (1975-1983) just came through the wire, and I figured I’d pass it along.

AntipodeFoundation.org

We’re pleased to announce that AntipodeFoundation.org is now the home of the archive of the Union of Socialist Geographers!

Thanks to the tireless work of Jim Thatcher (University of Washington Tacoma), Eric Sheppard (University of California Los Angeles), and Clark Akatiff (one-time Professor/life-long professor of geography), we’re able to make available the USG’s Newsletters, published from 1975 to 1982, as well as its final publication from 1983, “Society and Nature: Socialist Perspectives on the Relationship Between Human and Physical Geography”.

The archive will remain here for research, education and scholarship, freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license. As you’ll see in their introduction here, Jim, Eric and Clark have reached out to a number of editors, authors and contributors, and they–and everyone here at Antipode–would like to sincerely thank all those who responded. If you have anything to add to the archive, or have any queries, please contact…

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Knoxville Area Transit to improve 13 bus routes

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