Sunday, March 20, 2011

What We Need Downtown

This certainly won't be an exhaustive list of what we need downtown. In this post I'll highlight three things that have come to my attention (again) recently. Their absence in the current state of downtown doesn't preclude happiness or make living here miserable, but their addition would make life significantly better in my opinion.

I'll start with a need that has been widely discussed, but about which no one seems to be taking action: Public Restrooms. It's crazy that we promote downtown as everyone's neighborhood and don't give the visitors to our center city a place to use the restroom. Larger events often come with porta-potties, but they are ugly and they smell bad. Couldn't we do better than that? Some attractive restrooms - perhaps made of local stone - could easily be placed in Krutch Park. I know there would be problems to address, but they aren't insurmountable. Let's get that done.

Plunger? Suburban only.
A second need is a hardware store. Need a plunger? Get in your car. Need a hammer and nails? Get in your car. Brackets, screws, bolts, nuts, a hand saw or step ladder? Car, car, car and car. A small hardware store catering to very simple do-it-yourself products would be very nice. It's silly that something as common as a clogged toilet means a drive out of the city.

Urban Dog Needs a Home
Finally, will someone please open a kennel and make a fortune downtown? There are approximately three hundred dogs for every person downtown (this is an unofficial guess). We often need to leave town for a day or two or more. Where can we leave our dogs (and cats)? Pups and Pals on Broadway was the closest, but they have now stopped boarding and only do grooming. For an overnight trip recently we had to take our dog to Lovell Road the day before our trip. If there was a place downtown that boarded or otherwise cared for pets while owners were absent, I think that business would make a ton or maybe even two tons of money.

This brings me to my own Urban Dog (the dog in these pictures) and a personal note. She does not like the city. She was already a bit anxious and the city makes her more nervous. Delivery trucks, buses and other sources of loud noises do not suit her and this makes her very difficult to walk. Additionally, since we live in the city, but work elsewhere, it is difficult to give her the time she deserves. We need to give her a home with room to run around in a yard and she deserves owners who can give her more time. You can read more about her here. Are you interested? Do you know someone who needs a very sweet dog? If so, contact me at

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At March 20, 2011 at 11:37 AM , Anonymous Greg said...

I think dog sitting services have mostly replaced kennels. A quick Google search found several in Knoxville. Much lower overhead for the business, and your dog stays in its own home.

PS really like your blog. The city and the Chamber should give you major kudos for promoting downtown Knoxville.

At March 28, 2011 at 10:21 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

I live in downtown and I use Ginger's Doggie Daycare for boarding when I have to go somewhere overnight. They are wonderful with our dogs and they are not far away at all, on Magnolia street. We have to drive to get there, but it isn't far. In fact I can see my building from their shop. Here is their website:


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