Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 2011, First Friday

Buskers and Dancers on Market Square

Matt at Downtown Wine pours free samples, Gay Street, Knoxville
My biggest complaint against First Friday is that it ends too early. With most events starting at 7:00 and most shops and activities stopping at 9:00, it's tough to really enjoy everything as much as I'd like. Would it be too hard to stay open to 10:00? Could we be crazy and say 11:00? Seriously, unless you are able and interested in getting a table at 5:30, it's hard to eat and take in very many of the events. I find myself doing a drive-by on most things and not having time to sink my teeth properly into any one thing.


But enough with the complaints, already. My little party had a great time for as long as the lights stayed on. Some events are starting early to get things going when less competition is around. Downtown Wine hosted it's weekly tasting with Matt serving up samples of an unoaked Chardonnay and a couple of nice Riojas which seemed to be crowd pleasers. Henna art started early in front of Fizz served with a smile from a member of the Urban Nation. Both events started at 5:30.

Jazz at the French Market, Gay Street, Knoxville

Drum Contingent in Krutch Park

A Lovely Hula Artist
Dinner at the French Market is usually a good bet. It's busy, but not overrun like some of the restaurants on Market Square. It's also a bit faster and less expensive. Throw in delicious crepes, free jazz music and great people watching on Gay Street and in Krutch Park and you've got my favorite First Friday choice for fine dining. Krutch Park features drumming and hooping and doesn't seem to adhere quite as strictly to the 9:00 PM bewitching hour.

John Black hits the Bela Luna table in his studio, Union Av., Knoxville

Kelsey's Woods at John Black Photography, Union Avenue, Knoxville
John Black Photography on Union Avenue featured music from Kelsey's Woods and food from Bella Luna. Not a bad combination.

Informational tables and art from the Tennessee Reiki Connection




My party made it to the Emporium with only about fifteen minutes to spare. It had obviously cleared out a bit so that made it easier to take pictures of the fascinating art from the Tennessee Reiki Connection. Entitled â€śEnlightenment," and described as a Metaphysical, Spiritual and Energy Art Show and Holistic Fair." Much of the art was three dimensional and/or textured with mixed media.





It's a bit over my simple Urban Guy head, but they had cool art, information booths and a pretty girl with glitter make-up playing a Pink Floyd song on acoustic guitar. I'll admit that brought back some specific memories this Urban Guy will just keep to himself.

Emissions spewing on Wall Avenue
My least favorite sight of the night was of a very large travel trailer which was parked on Wall Avenue with its engine running for hours. How many miles must one Nissan Leaf drive to balance out the poison inflicted on our atmosphere by five minutes from that massive combustion engine? It's rhetorical, engineers. The fact that it appears to have been a Joe Hultquist campaign machine pretty much cuts his chances to about zero for my vote.

Urban Toddler, her fav urban sculpture and Miss Amanda's Animal Crackers
Then it was over. And too early for everyone except Urban Toddler who was up thirty minutes past her bed time and soaked in sweat from the heat and humidity of a hot August night on the town. Two books and one song later and she was dreaming of a fun First Friday.

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6 Comments:

At August 10, 2011 at 9:55 AM , Anonymous Melinda Meador said...

Duly noted, Urban Guy. Henceforth, Union Ave Books will be open until 10:00 p.m. on First Fridays!

 
At August 10, 2011 at 9:56 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Way to go Ms. Melinda! One piece at a time we'll change this little town! Just don't tell your employees that it was my idea they work an hour later! :-)

 
At August 11, 2011 at 12:39 AM , Blogger MagicMonkeyMehendi said...

Fizz stays open til 10 most Fridays and I'm there as well. Left a little early this past Friday due to my son's first birthday the next day, but will be back in full swing next Friday!

 
At August 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

That's two. If we add a third it is officially a movement!

 
At August 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM , Anonymous cmmoxley said...

Greetings from The Blue Streak, Urban Guy! Loved reading your post and comparing it to our own First Friday experiences. We went to a lot of the same places. The 2 things that bug me about the French Market: last time I was there they served on styrofoam plates (which I would think might give you a little pause, as well) and they don't have wine. How can you call it fine dining without wine?

 
At August 12, 2011 at 11:16 AM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Greetings back at you Ms. Moxley! I must say "Au contraire" to a portion of your comment. I just called to confirm my admittedly suspect memory, but the French Market uses recycled paper plates. She said they may have used styrofoam in desperation one night here or there, but they try desperately to be eco friendly and also have recycle bins for the plastic they use. As for the wine, I agree with your sentiment, but with a caveat. They aren't allowed a wine license because they do not have forty seats (outside doesn't count) and that, for whatever bizarre reason, is a requirement to get one. Some older places got one before the current rule. BUT they encourage anyone who so desires to bring their own bottle - which is both less expensive and you choose your own caliber of wine - a pretty good set up for my taste! Maybe we should meet there for a bottle and a crepe - on paper plates, of course.

 

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