Sunday, November 30, 2008

Deus Ex Machina

Yes, this is an inferior plot device designed to get me through Sunday - an archive shot of a wonderful machine in all its chrome-and-pipe glory from this summer on Market Square.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Water Lights

Here's an abstract for you: lights from the Henley Street Bridge reflected in the Tennessee River. I'm listening to Handel's Water Music. But not from a barge on the Thames.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ice Cube Clouds

I love reflections. This one really made me smile, first, because it looks like clouds are frozen in a tower of ice cubes, and second, because the sky around the building looks cloudless - but wait, how did those clouds appear in the reflection? No, they were not photoshopped. It's all au naturel. Happy Sky Watch Friday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Thankful

It's Thanksgiving Day in the US today, and I'll bet this photo was the last thing you expected to see - it's not a parade, or food, and definitely not turkeys in any sense of the word. I've been reflecting on the things in my life for which I give thanks. And although I'm thankful for having food on my table, and for the ability to watch a parade, and even for turkeys, I am also extremely thankful today that I could exercise my right to vote in the national and local elections this month.

That came to mind as I passed the monument to our Tennessee suffragists on Market Square one evening. It was only 88 years ago that the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, giving women in this country the right to vote. And that was made possible in part by the women memorialized here in bronze. Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the amendment, which cast the deciding vote to pass the amendment into law. Out in front you see Lizzie Crozier French who founded a suffrage society in Knoxville, and behind her are Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville, and Elizabeth Avery Meriwether of Memphis. I'm thankful to them for giving me the gift of a voice in my government.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Neon Calling

The signs call to me, seductive sirens of neon. Alas, it's too late in the evening to get a cheese steak at Lenny's, so I'll opt for some jazz at 4620 nightclub.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rainy Night in Knoxville

Cold November rain has descended on the city. But rain can make things beautiful. Here's an archive shot of the Tennessee Theatre to prove my point. No, I wasn't out wandering about in the rain last night - I was at work.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Not bagpipes. Weird, scary open ended pipes sticking out of a wall. What do you think they're all about? I haven't a clue. Any guesses?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A few months ago I posted some photos of the Treble Clef sculpture downtown. And now just look at it. Someone left a Clef out in the rain. Or maybe I just found another odd angle that made me giggle.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Green and Gold

Here's one more look at autumn. The colors this year were spectacular. But all things come to an end. The leaves are dropping to the ground now, and frosty mornings are upon us.

Friday, November 21, 2008


There's nothing like a beautiful sunrise to life one's spirits.
And if this doesn't cure what ails you, check out Sky Watch for a big dose of beautiful.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Would you be caught dead in this outfit? I would, but only if it included the lamppost reflection above the skull.
This is Reruns consignment boutique downtown, and it always has the best window displays.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still Life With Cork

This is how you open a bottle of wine, at least when you belong to one of the book clubs I'm in:
1. Put corkscrew into cork.
2. Pull gently.
3. Watch nothing move.
4. Curse creatively at whoever invented plastic corks.
5. Pull harder.
6. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
7. Get a pipe wrench and pull top of cork.
8. Hooray! Movement!
9. Rats. It stopped.
10. Repeat step 4.
11. Get a pair of pliers and a hack saw just in case.
12. Pull cork with pliers.
13. Hooray! The cork came out!
14. Repeat step 4 for good measure.
15. Take a photo - it makes such a charming still life tableau.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Half and Half

I do love geometric designs. Funny, I wasn't very good at geometry in school. But I like to say "hypotenuse." And "dodecahedron."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Towers and Clouds

The towers of downtown are stretching up to touch the clouds. Perhaps they need to be a wee bit taller.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Patrick Sullivan's Saloon is a landmark building in the Old City at the corner of Jackson and Central Avenues. It's been there since 1888. The original saloon was closed down in 1907 by a local anti-saloon movement; I guess the upright citizens of Knoxville were pretty well fed up with all the trouble these saloons had been causing.
After the saloon was shut down, rumor has it that some enterprising entrepreneur established a brothel on the second floor, but no one has been able to prove this yet. Still, it makes a good story.
The building was bought in the 1970s by Kristopher Kendrick, a local businessman who saw the potential for historic preservation at a time when the status quo was "tear it down."
Today it's a restaurant with a music venue upstairs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Saw the Light

Yes I did see the light: the reflection of the sun on the windows of the John H. Daniel Co. clothing manufacturing factory and warehouse. This is one of the few working warehouses left in the Old City. Most of the other buildings have been rehabbed into condos or turned into shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. And that's OK by me, because I've lived here long enough to remember when it was a pretty desolate and kind of dangerous place. Historically, the Old City was yet another area full of saloons and brothels and used to be known as the Bowery. Tomorrow I'll post a survivor from that era.
Oh, and the moon is just a little lagniappe for y'all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lower the Curtain

Here's a recent archive shot of the clouds moving in over the city for Sky Watch. You might recognize the Sunsphere, the pedestrian bridge, and the shiny red bricks of the UT Convention Center from some recent entries this week. I took this while waiting for the elevator in the Locust Street parking garage. I especially like the faint reflection of the overhead light in the window - a stealth flourescent spaceship hovering over the Sunsphere.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pressing Matters

Ever wonder how they get those designs in concrete? Well, wonder no more, here's the secret: they press a mold into the wet concrete. This is an archive shot of the reconstruction of the Church Street viaduct downtown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This is a very forthright photo of one of the open rail cars of the Three Rivers Rambler, a restored steam locomotive that gives excursion trips from the waterfront at Volunteer Landing to the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers where they join to form the Tennessee River. The trip is about 11 miles up and down the countryside and rivers and lasts ninety minutes. It's been years since I've taken the trip, but I can recommend it highly for some very beautiful East Tennessee scenery.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Wings of Eagles

It's Veterans Day in the US, the annual holiday honoring the nation's veterans. It originally began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I and its veterans. President Woodrow Wilson called it "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace." In the 1950s, the observance was changed to honor veterans of all wars and was renamed Veterans Day.

Unfortunately, it looks like the cause of world peace has taken a beating over the decades.

This macro shot of the stylized Art Deco eagles on the doors of the downtown post office is my offering to all the veterans out there.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Perspective 2

This is the pedestrian bridge over Henley Street. There is also a pedestrian crosswalk at street level, but I fail to understand why anyone would want to brave eight lanes of rip-roaring traffic that has little to no respect for pedestrians.
This is another experiment with perspective. Look at the design the lines create! Look at those tiny, tiny people going through the eye of the needle! Also, I decided to leave the photo as is with a bit of a tilt so it looks like the bridge is listing to port. Uh-oh.
Friends, I am dealing with some big events in my life right now, so I'll be on autopilot and timed posts until things settle down. I miss visiting your blogs and commenting on all your creative photos, but I'll at least scan the portal to see what's going on in CDP-land!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Down the Ramp

The ramp down Jackson Avenue leads to the Old City entertainment district. The row of old warehouses you see on the right have all been condo-ized. I like the crumbly ramp and the uneven paving on the street that goes off into the distance.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


It's red. It's shiny. It's kind of like modern art. It's the UT Convention Center on Henley Street.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Instead of Sky Watch, I'm doing Ground Watch today. But I'm watching the ground from the reflections of the panels on the Sunsphere.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rummage Sale

The society recently had its annual rummage sale to raise money for improvements to the Center. As you can see, our members are not shy about advertising. When I wasn't doing the photo shoot for the event, I was at the chili booth in front of the window.
Heh, photo shoot - makes me sound like a photographer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sign of the Times

Tai Chi is looming large in my life right now, especially for the next few days. Chaos is too kind a word to describe them.
Retreat to ride tiger. Ahh, my chi is so much better now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

British Humour

My friends from the UK think this is a very funny sign. I'll bet my CDP friends from the UK will get the drift too.
But really, truly, this dance group that meets at Swizzles lounge at the Holiday Inn in West Knoxville probably doesn't think it's funny.
This dance is similar to west coast swing dancing (no, no, no, the dancers are not swingers). I first encountered it when I moved to South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is the centerpoint for dancing, and "beach music" calls the tune.
So the next time you're singing "Under the Boardwalk", think of this dance. I will, but I'll be stifling my giggles.
Also, that thing that looks like a truck tire suspended from the ceiling is a heavy duty fan that's supposed to suck up cigarette smoke. It's an anachronism now that smoking is banned in the lounge.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm practicing perspective in photography. Thanks to all you professional photographers out there who are opening my newbie eyes to this interesting aspect of your craft. Where I stand to take a photo matters. Like this photo. It looks like the Old County Courthouse on the right is taller than the BB&T Tower on the left. Wrong! The BB&T Tower - well, it towers over everything. A different angle would give a different perspective. But to someone who knows the reality (Hello, Hope! Hello, Leedra! Hello, Farm Chik!), I hope this photo will amuse you.

I also like the new and old rubbing architectural shoulders.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Autumn In the City

The leaves are finally starting to turn here in the valley. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Theme Day: Knoxville By the Book

Oh, I am taking Theme Day so very literally, so very literary.

Books and reading have always been a huge part of my life. Whenever I moved to a new community, one of the first things I did was to seek out books about the area, fiction and non-fiction. Knoxville is a veritable goldmine when it comes to literature, so today I'm sharing my personal library of Knoxville-related books with you.

There are, of course, the coffee table picture books about the city - I love how they become history books as the city changes, and these books capture a moment in time.

Then there are the collections of older historical photographs, such as local historian Jack Neely's The Marble City. I use that as my guide to the interesting cemeteries in the area. Jack has also collected his weekly column of essays on some of the more obscure stories of Knoxville's history in Knoxville's Secret History. Volume I is out of print right now, but go get a copy of Volume II, it's good stuff. Disclaimer: Jack did not pay me to say that.

Knoxville is also a rich setting for fiction - local boy James Agee's autobiographical A Death In the Family recounts his life in the Fort Sanders neighborhood near the University of Tennessee, and the impact of his father's tragic death on the life of his family. Local author Jack Mauro weighs in with some quirky stories of the eccentric goings-on along Gay Street. Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy's early novels are set in Knoxville and the surrounding area. Suttree is a hard read about a man adrift on the seedy side of Knoxville in the 1950s, but he tells the story with dignity and grace.

And finally, there's my autographed copy of Death's Acre, Dr. Bill Bass's history of the University of Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Center Outdoor Research Facility. You might know it better as the Body Farm.

So there's Knoxville between the covers of some very good books. Now go forth, if you haven't already, and find some good books about your own communities.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants