The best thing about Knoxville, of course, is that my son is around. But it’s a wonderful city in itself, as we are discovering with the help of our fabulous tour guide. Just for the mere agreeable price of accompanying him (and providing a D.D.), we get the privilege and enjoyment of his company as he proudly shows off and discovers the old and new wonders of this remarkable town. The only thing better would be his extended residence in the area. But we are thankful for the here and now.
Some of the highlights of our explorations in the Old City were:
The amazing, cavernous castle-like Schulz Bräu Brewing Company, with its huge brewing tanks, great German beers and snacks, and large open beer garden with live music.
The fabulous Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain, an actual historical drug store and old-fashioned soda fountain with all the genuine fixings, floats, phosphates, and excellent homemade ice cream.
The trendy new PostModern Spirits craft distillery and tasting room, in the impressive Jackson Terminal Building, where we enjoyed lovely creative craft cocktails with fresh herbs.
In between stops, we strolled through Old City, as our experienced tour guide pointed out landmarks and potential places to check out later. It was a steamy late summer night, and music was pouring out of brewpubs and a wide variety of ethnic eateries with outdoor seating. There is so much restoration, development, art, and entrepreneurial spirit concentrated in this smallish historical section of town. The crowds tend to be a mix of young and older, diversity, and casual friendliness. There is a distinct LGBT presence evident under the straight southern surface. It’s very encouraging and refreshing, after witnessing the depressing decline of midwestern cities.
It seems we’re not too old and boring to be Avdi’s willing research guinea pigs! Fortunately for us!