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April 17, 2014

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How to live in Knoxville

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Update (12/18/08): After receiving a number of valid comments that I’m looking unfavorably on certain parts of Knoxville, I’ve decided to write a follow-up entry to this one with my current view of living in Knoxville. The current entry was originally published on my personal site in June 2008 before I had a chance to really explore, and evaluate the city. As a results my opinions of the city have changed. Thanks for all of your feedback — it’s great to hear how passionate folks are about their city!

Update: Looking for a house in Knoxville? I wrote an entry on that too.

Living in Knoxville, Tenn., like most mid-size Southern cities, is pretty easy. Cost of living is cheap, and folks here go out of their way to accommodate most anyone.

But with the good qualities of Knoxville come some bad ones too. Terrible air-quality, overly franchised shopping and restaurants, and poor road engineering can make life in the “scruffy city” difficult.

I’ve been a Knoxville resident for almost two years now. Here is my guide to living in Knoxville.

Where to live in Knoxville

When I accepted a job that brought me to Knoxville, I had no idea about where to live. My fiance and I are huge fans of eclectic housing — old, with character — and didn’t know whether this was available.

Lindsay didn’t have a job at the time so we decided it might be best to look for something out west. Many of the recommendations from my co-workers were in this area.

We looked at several places in the Cedar Bluff area before deciding on Walden Legacy Apartments, located near the intersection of Cedar Bluff and Middlebrook Pike. Unfortunately, these apartments are far from eclectic — they’re your standard shoe-box variety — but they’re clean, quiet and safe.

Our apartment is also three miles from my office, which makes for a cycling-friendly commute. It’s also close to two grocery stores and several decent restaurants.

Hip apartments do exist in Knoxville, but you’ll pay a premium.

For a well-located 2 bedroom apartment in west Knoxville, expect to pay in the range of $600 to $1,000. Just make sure you can stomach the blandness.

Where to eat in Knoxville

Knoxville is blessed with many unique eateries throughout the city limits. Here are my favorites, none of which are national chains:

For those that don’t mind the regional chain, try Calhouns and Mellow Mushroom.

Unless you just need a quick bite of anything, stay clear of the Turkey Creek area near Farragut. This is a franchise-laden abomination that will only frustrate you with traffic and ticky-tacky.

Where to shop in Knoxville

If you’re moving to Knoxville for shopping, do yourself a favor and revise your destination to somewhere else. Sure, we have the usual assortment of chains like GAP, J Crew, Banana Republic and others, but very few original shops.

There are a number of unique places downtown. Some of these are: Bliss, Yee Haw and The Mast General Store. The Bearden area has many art shops and small-scale retail establishments.

Knoxville does have a mall, and you can get your main-stream fix at Turkey Creek, Cedar Bluff or, if you can stomach it, down the interstate in Sevierville, Tenn. Just make sure you take your Tums first.

Personally, I do most of my shopping online.

Where to get a drink or coffee in Knoxville

The first thing my fiance and I ask of a city is “where can I find a coffee shop?” Knoxville is a little lacking in this area, but does contain two coffee shops that are worth a visit.

The first is located across the street from the University of Tennessee campus. It’s called Golden Roast, and feels very academic with old wooden tables and book shelves in back. Parking is nonexistent, so it’s best to find a place on the Strip or walk from campus after-hours.

Golden Roast does roast its own beans, but the coffee is only so-so in my opinion. I think this is due to how they brew it, but I can’t be sure. Also, they prefer cash — credit purchases must be above a certain amount — so swing by the ATM first.

The second option is Old City Java, located in Knoxville’s Old City (near downtown). This shop is more hip than academic and plays some great music. They also source their beans from Golden Roast (I think the coffee tastes better than Golden Roast).

Old City Java is kinda rough around the edges, so don’t expect the Star Bucks crowd here.

Both Old City Java and Golden Roast offer free WiFi, which is a prerequisite for a good shop IMHO.

Also, check out Coffee and Chocolate for a clean, modern place to get your buzz. Beware the high prices however.

If your drink preference is beer instead of coffee, you have several options to choose from in Knoxville. And almost all of them are downtown.

First, check out the Downtown Brewery on Gay Street for local beers that are only $2 during happy hour. None are spectacular, but all are better than the usual fare.

The Crown and Goose in Old City has three locally brewed beers. The bitter and IPA are the best. Both are $2.50 during happy hour, which unfortunately only lasts until 6 p.m.

Other places with great non-local beer selections include:

Note that Tennessee has banned smoking in restaurants/bars that allow anyone under the age of 21.

Where to play in Knoxville

For the outdoorsy types, Knoxville has several options. But beware the bad air quality during the warmer months.

On orange or red days, you will have trouble breathing. This alone should probably deter many folks from living in Knoxville because they occur with such frequency.

There are several parks throughout Knoxville, each with various acreage and options. You can also choose from green ways, such as those in Farragut or near the University.

Though not in Knoxville proper, I visit Oak Ridge’s Haw Ridge trail system to ride my mountain bike often. I believe these trails are the only within a short drive of Knoxville in fact.

I ride my road bike out west because the back-roads tend to harbor less aggressive drivers than those closer to the interstate. I can’t comment on roads in other parts of town.

There are several group rides to choose from including a decent ride that meets every Tuesday and Thursday at Cedar Bluff Cycles, a bike shop at the intersection of Cedar Bluff and Kingston Pike.

Numerous hikes can be had for about an hour’s drive towards the Smokey Mountains — just avoid Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg like the plague.

The good and bad

This guide, like others, is simply a snapshot of my experience living in Knoxville. Others might like it more, some might hate it. I think I’m somewhere in between.

Here are my favorite things about Knoxville:

  1. Low cost of living
  2. Tomato Head
  3. Old City
  4. Nearby Appalachian Mountains
  5. Local cyclocross series

And here are my least favorite things about Knoxville:

  1. Bad air quality and high carbon emissions
  2. Unfriendliness towards cyclists
  3. Turkey Creek
  4. UT orange
  5. Ticky-tacky, sprawling neighborhoods

If you have anything to add to this entry, or if you disagree with any of my points, post a comment and continue the discussion.

Note: This entry was originally published on Patrick’s blog.

Creative Commons License Photography by theparadigmshifter

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  • Joe Bedford

    The coffee shop that does not allow credit card payments below a certain amount is violating their merchant agreement. If you accept cards, you have to accept them, period.

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @Joe

    Yeah, but what can you do? They don’t have to serve you as a customer. You could always go to Starbucks and pay more for crappy coffee.

  • http://www.knoxvilletennessee.com J. M. Payne

    Sure sounds like you are unhappy living in Knoxville.

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @J.M. Payne

    Quite the contrary. My wife and I recently moved to Fountain City, and found a great side of the city that we never knew. I highly suggest folks look north for the “real” Knoxville.

  • Lindsay Beeson

    Wife here! It may help to know that Patrick wrote this a little bit ago and has just now posted to Knoxify.

    I was nodding my head along with him when he first wrote it, but we’ve both experienced the same excitement over the past few months as we looked for houses in the area, then made discovery of several adorable neighborhoods and local shops, and finally found our home in Fountain City.

    I still agree with a lot of what’s here, but through a much more optimistic lens.

    • Nailahhendrickson

      May I ask what adorable areas besides fountain city? I am relocating there so looking for a nice area

  • Meg

    Man, what a snobby elitist post! Unusual for Knoxify. I happen to live in Farragut, and the walking trails, wonderful public library, great schools, and amazing people make it worth something. You’re right, it’s not old and doesn’t have as much “character,” in the ways 1950s and older homes and neighborhoods have character, but it’s still a wonderful place to live – particularly if you have children (like many of your readers, I’m sure, do). You can always visit downtown and fountain city (as well as other older Knoxville neighborhoods), and it makes it easy to do so when there are a million nice teenagers in the next neighborhood to babysit.

    And, although I agree that Turkey Creek was a misstep generally (I grew up in Farragut in the 70s/80s/early 90s when TC was still wetlands and wish I had lived here to protest it when they were building), it would be better to support it now that it’s here rather than allow it to turn into a bunch of abandoned strip malls.

  • Meg

    And the “real” Knoxville? C’mon dude. It’s great that Knoxville has so many different facets to it – all of them “real” in their own way.

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @Meg

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to by “elitist.”

    I know there are some nice places in West Knoxville. I just prefer the characteristics of North Knoxville.

    But just because the city has different “facets” doesn’t mean that I must accept what comes with them.

  • Meg

    Elitism: The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

    i.e. the “real” Knoxville is superior to the “fake” knoxville and you should only consider the “real” knoxville in making choices about what to do around town/where to live/etc.

    I’m not really sure why I got so worked up about this post – maybe it comes from years of living in a city that thinks itself to be far above any other. I have found Knoxville to be much more open-minded (sorry NYC, you lose on this one), and I was saddened to see a post with such a negative slant on Knoxify.

    No hard feelings, carry on!

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @Meg

    So because I prefer certain parts of the city to others, I’m labeled an elitist? Sorry, but I don’t buy into that faulty logic.

    Nowhere in the entry did I say anyone deserves preferential treatment. Unless, of course, you’re saying that by my spotlighting local businesses that are doing a great job I’m being an elitist.

    I’m sorry you thought this post so negative. My intention was to point out what I thought were the good, and bad, aspects of Knoxville. Those aspects, as you pointed out, will vary with the person.

  • Meg

    Liking one part of Knoxville better than another definitely does not make you an elitist. Calling one part of Knoxville the “real” Knoxville as if the rest of the town is irrelevant kind of does. I fully appreciate differing opinions on what is “the best” of this town we live in. I love hearing them – it opens me up to new experiences. But, calling one part the “real” knoxville, implying that the rest is somehow inferior or inauthentic is where the elitism rears its head. You did highly suggest one part of Knoxville deserves preferential treatment – the “real” part.

    You are 100% correct that there are good and bad aspects of Knoxville, and you are also correct that you are entitled to your opinion. I am as well, and I agree with much of your post. I’m just saying that there is a way to highlight the places you like without sounding like the rest of it is somehow lesser just because its not your favorite.

    Let me add to your list of things you love about Knoxville with a few things I love…

    Aubreys. I remember when it started. It was disgusting! Now, revamped, it’s a great place. My favorite is the location near papermill.

    Table 15. So yummy and great wine list.

    Seasons. Chef is the former chef of Fox Den country club. Food is AMAZING, and a lovely atmosphere that doesn’t try too hard.

    Northshore Brasserie. Excellent Sunday brunch. Closest thing to NYC that I’ve found in Knoxville so far.

    Downtown West theater. I miss the Terrace theater, but thankfully we still have Downtown West cranking out the art house flicks.

    Marshalls, Stein Mart, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby. These stores did not exist in NYC, and I am so thankful that they do. I got 17 billion compliments on an outfit the other day that I bought at Stein Mart and Marshalls (with one item being from H&M). Yay for discount retailers!

    The Farragut Wine store. Great staff, and I love that purchases support the local Farragut economy.

    High school football. With Catholic, Alcoa and Maryville so close, it doesn’t get much better. Plus, even Farragut had a great year!

    I could think of many more, but I’m tired and its time for bed. Night!

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @Meg

    You should write an entry for Knoxify highlighting the virtues of West Knoxville. It’s obvious that you and other folks have some love for that part of town, and it deserves some recognition on the site.

  • Liz

    Two great new restaurants downtown: not chains! On Gay street. Both amazing, if fattening.

    1. The Creperie (The french market): real deal crepes, just like in france. Owners are friendly and really cute. Lived in Paris and import the actual crepe mix from the street vendors there. Close your eyes when eating a gruyere and ham crepe, or a nutella crepe, and you are not inKnoxville for a few minutes. Or read Mme. Bovary while sipping a coffee and snacking on one of their little french pastries.

    Hours are a little confining–closes at 5 on weekdays and saturdays, open til 8 on Friday’s. Great just before or after a matinee. Great prices for what you get (a savory crepe for just 5.95…and it is HUGE) and FAST, just like a french crepe stand would be.

    It is in 526 Gay (I think)–across the street and just south of the christmas tree.

    2. Davvo’s–I hope I have this name right. JUST opened up, on Gay street across from the parking lot just north of Mirage. just Long Island Italian: he cooks like my mom did before she went lo-carb. Great east coast italian accent to go with the food:

    Thin slice NY pizza just like I ate in college (I went to school in NY so I know of what I speak)
    PERFECT calamari. I mean amazing. Forget the breaded crap you get in chains: delicate, chewy, generous.
    Home made tomato sauce for dipping (also good on pasta!)
    The only eggplant parmigiana worth having: just like my italian grandma’s. Seriously good. One of my favorite things ever but most restaurants mess it up–at Davvos: superthing slices of eggplant fried in egg batter (not crumbs, which suck), layered with sauce and cheese. Seriously, you have never had a vegetable taste so good).
    Homemade italian sausage! With anise–really old school.

    Tony Soprano would approve!

    THey are open for lunch AND dinner.

    I found Davvo’s last week the day before they opened–the chef came out and invited my husband and I in for the “last two slices”. They were amazing. My husband ate two more. I had some sausage too…and some eggplant.
    Two bottle of San Pellegrino.

    And he did NOT charge us…he just said–tell people if you think it is good.

    It was great. Went back last night for more and was happy to pay for it this time.

    Do me a favor–keep knoxville interesting and keep these guys in business!

    Next time you go out, try one of these places. I have lived in Toronto, NY, Chicago, and both of these places would kick a$$ there. Seriously.

  • Liz

    Just one more thing: Davvo’s is north of Mirage and just across from the parking lot that is near the Bijou.

    Also, I apologize for the typos. But I am sure you get my drift. I can’t rave about either of these places enough.

    Should point out that on “free sample” night, the chef made a whole new pizza just so my husband could have another slice or two.

    They also have an extensive pasta menu. And I think it is BYOB. Saw another table bring some beer in and they provided glasses. BYOB is a great money saver!

  • Disappointed

    Finding myself downtown today with an hour to kill before a movie and the restaurant we’d planned for lunch closed for the holiday, I was happy to see Dazzo’s (you were close on the name!) open, so we zipped in. That’s about the end of the pleasantries. We asked what today’s soup was, only to be told rather curtly that they “don’t have soup.” I pointed to the “soup of the day” section of the menu and asked if they don’t have soup *today* or in general, and she said they don’t have it at all, yet, because “it hasn’t come in yet.” Apparently it’s on order.

    So I decided to order a salad and a slice of pizza, only to be told that they have to make a whole pizza in order for me to have a slice. Dumfounded again, I pointed to the “by the slice” pizza listing on the menu, but the waitress said that we’d have to order four slices in order to get it, and then suggested that I get two and my companion get two. My friend said she wasn’t interested in having pizza, and the waitress asked me if I wanted four slices. That’s when we decided to leave. I insisted on paying for my drink at least–I’d had part of it and wanted to take the rest of it with me. The lady at the register asked what had happened and when we told her, she just said, “Yeah, we don’t have soup yet.” My companion asked if they’d just opened up, and she said yes. “Today?” we asked. “No, a few weeks ago,” she said, “that’s why we don’t have soup yet.”

    Must be some soup! Glad you guys had a good experience there.

    By the way, as we were driving away, we had to wait at a corner near Market Square while a group of about 8 cyclists crisscrossed in front of us, from road to sidewalk, back and forth, because they wouldn’t commit to one or the other. We finally stopped patiently and just let them get way out of the way and up the road, and as soon as we started again, a straggler came flying down the sidewalk beside Krutch Park and off the curb to cross the street in front of us without even stopping to see if we were going or not, causing us to slam on the brakes so hard that the tires squealed. If cyclists don’t get any respect in Knoxville, that kind of behavior might be why. If you’re going to ride on the road like a car, then ride on the road like a car, and obey car traffic rules. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk where pedestrians walk, then follow pedestrian traffic rules. If a person had been running down the sidewalk and right across in front of a car like that, they would have been hit. Actually, if a person had been running down the sidewalk and chose to cross the street, they would have had the sense to stop and look first.

  • Liz

    The slice thing is weird…my experience was so totally the opposite I wrote that recommendation! I am wondering if the guy who owns it was there or not–he’s the one who made us a whole pizza so my husband could have a second slice.

    The soup thing is weird too. How hard is it to make soup?

    I also told the guy I would recommend the place–next time I am in I am going to tell your story! Seriously, just hearing about it pi$$es me off.

  • Liz

    Another update: I hate having to take anything back. But it looks like the theme of the evening.

    The creperie is still good, but when I went by on Friday night, they had a sign stating that they close at 5 on Friday’s now too (they used to be open until 8 on Friday’s, as stated in my last post).

    In this economy, you think everyone would be trying a little harder.

    Okay, one more: I haven’t been, but if anyone has I would love to hear about it, as it sounds kinda cool.

    The new “Le Parigo” now downtown: apparently they have (had?) a deal where you can get apps and dessert half price after 10 with drinks…and it closes at 2 (the entrees stop being served at 10).

  • Aaron

    “…they close at 5 on Friday’s”

    Friday’s what?

    What is Friday in possession of that they are closing on at five?

  • Liz

    Oops sory no sorrry or is it s’orry? Its or is it it’s (so many people get the its thing wrong and doesn’t that just drive everyone crazy?) a typo.*

    That pesky fast typing means stuff happens.

    Please forgive me for sullying your reading with errant apostrophes.

    *I do indeed know that “its” is a possessive and “it’s” a contraction, just as I know that an ” ‘s” means possessive.

  • Liz

    Please ignore the accidental backwards quotation marks in my previous post.

  • Aaron

    It is actually none of the three. The correct spelling is s-o-r-r-y.

    The panda says, “No!”

  • Liz

    Huh. I had no idea “sorry” was spelled that way. No wonder no one accepts my apologies.

  • http://www.robsellsknoxville.com Rob

    It’s funny, but it’s generally cheaper to own than rent in Knoxville. I live in Old North, there are still a lot of “fixer-upper” homes here in the area between downtown and Fountain City where anyone able and wanting to fix up a home can find some great deals where they can buy a 2 bedroom house in the $50k-$60k range with LOTS of character for less per month than one of those bland apts. The downside is that you have to fix it up. My house on the border of Old North and 4th & Gill was $48k, I have invested another $10k in fix-ups, but now I’m sure, even in this economy, I could sell it today for more than $90k. I’d do that, but I love living here!

  • http://www.knoxmoms.com Barbie

    If you’re a parent, then you have to go to Knoxmoms.com — it’s the end all be all source for all things mom/parent/kids for Knoxville.

  • Tracy

    I am trying to find out what areas of town are the best and worst to live in?? I have heard that the west side of knoxville is the best. But how are the living conditions and crime in the other directions of knoxville. We are moving there for a job and want to know the better areas to buy a house in. Thank you!

  • Tracy

    Also, we are looking for fixer up homes that we can remodel and make our own. So we will be buying a cheaper home, so with taking that into consideration, which areas are no-no’s to buy in, if any in knoxville? Thank you again!

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @Tracy: It all depends on the type of neighborhood you’re looking for.

    If you prefer newer construction, and planned neighborhoods, then you’ll prefer West Knoxville. That part of town also has a lot of the chain retail stores and restaurants that a lot of folks enjoy.

    If you prefer older, established neighborhoods, you’ll want to look at North Knoxville or Fountain City. These homes will be much cheaper than those in West Knoxville, and you can find a lot of great fixer-uppers.

    My wife and I love our Fountain City home — the neighborhoods are great, and it’s convenient to all the shopped we need.

    I would get a map, and drive around the city to get a first-hand look at how it’s laid out. Only then can you get a sense of the bad areas and good areas.

    You should also look up local Realtor Suzy Trotta. Her Web site is a boon for Knoxville home information. You should also check out the neighborhoods section of Knoxify.

  • Liz

    Sequoyah Hills has an interesting mix of homes–it is an older neighborhood on the near west side. There are sections with huge mansions, and other areas with smaller homes, cottages, bungalows etc. A lot for sale right now, some of which may be fixer uppers. It is worth investigating. The local school is also considered quite good. It is also a v. safe neighborhood.

    I think it was first developed at the turn of the century, at which time it was a “suburb” but the expansion of the city generally means that it could be considered fairly central now.

    It is 10 mins from downtown, but also v. accessible to areas further West.

  • http://www.KnoxvilleSEM.com Knoxville SEM

    I have a love hate relationship with Knoxville at times, but after living here for more than a year, I’ll never go back to Los Angeles!

  • http://knoxify.com CP

    @Knoxville SEM: I heard the same comment, about L.A., last night. Glad you’re in Knoxville!

  • Liz

    I just wanted to self-correct:

    I am still happy with the crepe place, French Market–it gets better every time I go there.

    Dazzo’s on the other hand…the food is still really, really tasty, esp. the calamari and the eggplant parmisian. BUT the service is TERRIBLE. Absolutely awful and slow and rude. Could be East Coast style, but whatever. Also, no slices after lunch, which is NOT indicated on the menu, which irritates my husband. We do not want a huge pizza for two people. They should make smaller pizzas.

    My weakness for good italian may keep me going back on occasion, but I am less likely to go out of my way. The goodwill instilled on that first visit is going a long way.

    In this economy, poor service makes no sense.

  • Anna

    Hello,
    thanks for the post; I agree with most. Unfortunately I have lived in Knoxville all of my life except for a year when I got to escape. I grew up in North Knoxville around the Creamery, Duck Pond, Littons and my friends lived in eclectic, old houses. Check north knoxville and near UT campus (behind the Presbyterian church on Cumberland are amazing apts i discovered last night). Other than that, people here hate knowledge or strong opinions, so naturally, you were flooded with a lot of “you elitist.” I guess the comfortable economy traps people in, like me.

  • Nicole VanScoten

    People seem to give you a lot of shit for this post, but I have to say my opinion is somewhat the same. I also live in Fountain City and prefer it to out west. Plus, the price of homes in “Old North Knoxville” is MUCH more affordable than out west. And you can’t beat the character of a home built 50+ years ago :)

    One nice thing about west Knox that you missed in the restaurant section though is Roman’s Pizza (next to the dollar theater near Cedar Bluff). I’m a Jersey girl so I’m used to good pizza. The guy who owns Roman’s is from NYC, so they actually serve REAL pizza…you should check it out!

  • OhioVolsFan

    I miss Knoxville and wish I was there. I grew up in Powell. I lived a good spell in Johnson City, Tn as well. I’ve been gone 7 years. I have a good job in the Cleveland, Ohio area and let me tell you, if you haven’t lived in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton area, then you’ll never appreciate a town like Knoxville. I still make it back for 1 or 2 games every year, see the family and always have my eye open to the job market there. GO VOLS!!! God bless all you lucky bastards who get to live in the Knoxville area.

  • http://knoxify.com CP

    @Ohio­Vols­Fan: That has to be one of the best comments ever left on our site.

  • Aaron

    Do yourself a favor. Take a trip up to Detroit. It will make you appreciate Cleveland.

  • B

    I am so disappointed, and hurt.
    I have grown up here, and I too remember when Turkey Creek was being turned into a commercial area. The protest signs tore up our yard. I understand that you all think that “the mini Pigeon Forge” is a negative, ticky-tacky thing. Please realize that it really boosted the economy for those of us who live here, and it helped Farragut flourish and grow. We attracted lots of people who normally would not have given Knoxville a second chance. No, they might not be the kind of people we wanted to attract, but those people lend to more diversity, which is definitely what the old Farragut needed.
    That “cultural, artsy” area in Bearden? Downtown? They have not always been that way my friends, those are recent developments. Probably from the diverse population brought in by the college and the sprawling suburban areas around Knoxville.
    I grew up there, and I love Knoxville with all my heart. I love football weekends. So do about 300,000 other people. I happen to think there’s probably nothing better than a Saturday football weekend.
    Knoxville was a college town that sprawled into a fairly sizable city (no, not NYC, Detroit, or LA-but I would consider it pretty big); and I am so proud of what we have become. We are not old enough to have all that culture you want! Go to the Fort, where all the college kids live–you’ll find your old houses you wanted to live in; however college kids tore them to pieces and now they are all dilapidated and rundown.
    There are many beautiful qualities in Knoxville, and not just in Fountain City. I know you think Turkey Creek is an abomination(even though there are many specialty shops in there that you can’t find anywhere else–ie, bath junkie, fleet feet, Connor’s, etc), but have you ever been to Campbell Station park? It’s gorgeous.
    I do not really know why all of your posts made me so upset. Maybe because I have grown up here, and I am very partisan. I too, like the OhioVolsFan, wanted to get away, so I went to college in a different state–and I missed Knoxville more than anything. I was glad to move back home to start another degree.
    Now, I have to move to be able to advance professionally. It hurts me very deeply. I am terrified of moving to Nashville, which is probably where I will end up. I refuse to move anywhere out of the state, however, because this is home to me, and I need to be able to come back here. I need the excitement of football weekends, and the Buddy’s Race for Cancer and even my little Farragut parades.
    I am just as slanted in my view about other places as you are about here, and your post has really made me think. I want to thank you, for helping me to be able to let go of what I think, and I’ll try to give Nashville a chance to be my new Knoxville.
    In the meantime, here’s one of the great things about the outlying areas: if you drive for about five to ten minutes in any direction, you are just about guaranteed to find some beautiful countryside. It’s not just the stores to go to; remember that you’re in the wonderful heart of the Smoky Mountains (if you wanted to see past the smog–we’re in a valley dear, the weather stays for at least three days at a time, including the smog!)
    Again, thanks, and I hope you’re able to see what’s great about this horrid city I love someday. :)

  • http://patrickbeeson.com Patrick Beeson

    @B

    Thanks for your comment! My entry was supposed to get folks talking no matter what their take on living in Knoxville. I think we achieved that goal.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Knoxville is a “horrid city.” It’s a fine place to live.

    I do think that folks living here should be free to appreciate, and knock, different aspects no matter how long they’ve been in town. The city is big enough for that.

    My wife and I have lived in Knoxville for more than three years now. We own a house in Fountain City. We have friends here.

    But despite writing this entry more than a year ago, I don’t think I’ve come around to liking any of the things I disliked about Knoxville then. I’m still not a fan of West Knoxville sprawl, imposing commercial developments like Turkey Creek, UT Orange (ROLL TIDE/GO MOUNTAINEERS), or the air quality.

    I am happy with my neighborhood, my community, my businesses, and my Knoxville.

  • cynthia

    my fiance and i live in mpls. he just got a promotion down at UT. we are looking for townhomes to rent what do you guys think of these townhomes? is anyone familiar with them?

    http://www.eaglepointapts.com/home.asp

    do you know of any other ones for around &=$800.00-$1000.00 per month? we have heard the west has nice gated communities and would not mind the north if its a nice, clean and updated area. we do not mind a short drive (10-15 minutes) from the happening areas, but nothing outside of that. keep me posted. thanks.

  • cynthia

    what is all this talk of bad air quality? what does this mean for one’s health? can it cause future health issues. btw, thanks for the this forum. i am never participated in these sort of forums before, but i find it quite helpful. i am a bit worried to move down to the south. my fiance and i are both world travelers and cultured, so we hope that it will meet our needs. i can’t wait to take some time to read everyones opinion on the various subjects everyone brings up.

  • sandraq

    i am thank about mover to knoxille can any one help me is it a goodthan to do aer noy my e mail is cullman288@netzero.com thamk a lone sandra

  • Tukinha

    I live in Knoxville 3 years and I do not like it, but why? Because I lived my entire life in bigcities and I just realized living that I am a big city person!

  • Jay

    Go start your own community if everything is so ticky-tacky.
    And this is coming from someone who lives in an apartment and
    Rides a bike to work. No offence but not exactly my idea of high class
    So who’s to comment on ticky-tacky.

  • Poopyfacetomatoenose

    there is nothing positive about knoxville and the tomato head is gross god you people are idiots and don’t even know what decent pizza taste like

  • Teresinhaembly

    I like live here, but on the other hand , I don’t like.
    Who wrote here the article sounds elitist, probably born
    and raised here. I never saw a city w people so elitist and cliquish

  • Nailah hendrickson

    Im about to relocate to knoxville for work and wanted to ask you what ticky tacky means? Im serious im from up north and relocated to Texas so never heard the phrase. 

  • Carmiradov

    I HATE Knoxville…everyone here is FAKE with their “bless your heart” and “love her” in every single sentence when they do not mean a single thing. If you are not part of a church, you’re out. If you’re not a friend from a long time ago, you’re out. If you are not stupid orange Vols or sports fan, you’re out. They prolong any work to be done, even the medical offices doesn’t have actual people to answer within their business hours and would like for you to call back! I do not know any of my neighbors, not that I didn’t try.

    It sucks to live here that I don’t even want to the grocery store. People park on their lawn. Ignore the crap out of everybody else that is not on their circle. If you are not wealthy enough to live out west, then you are in for a big surprise.

    I used to have friends Everywhere I live as I used to travel. I have more friends in 3 months of traveling than the 6 years that I have lived in this godforsaken place…

    • caseypeters

      It must be tough living in Knoxville (or anywhere else ) with that kind of attitude. 

  • Disappointed

    Shitville is horrendous. Worst city by far in the South. In order to be bike friendly, you have to be car friendly first. Awful neighborhoods, air quality, aesthetics, and downtown. Absolutely nothing to do because no businesses want to move here. Can’t wait to move to a real Southern city like Nashville or Charlotte.

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