Images from the City, Fall 2012

Urban Girl and Bee, Market Square, Knoxville, Late Summer 2012

I take thousands of photographs each year of downtown Knoxville. It isn’t entirely unusual for me to take more than a thousand in a month. Some of them die an ignoble death, as they deserve. Many live on in a post about something I’m documenting. And then, there are all the others.

Young, Mustached Hooper on Market Square, Knoxville, Late Summer 2012

Xylophone Guy and Good Parents, Market Square, Knoxville, Summer 2012

One of Many Recent, Beautiful Knoxville Sunsets, Summer 2012

These photographs deserve to see the light of day, but don’t necessarily fit a narrative I’m constructing about a certain event or idea I’ve considered. I think the captions pretty much explain them. I wish I remembered the name of the singers at the WDVX Blueplate Special. All I remember is that the couple smiled more than any entertainers I’ve ever seen in my life. I guess the fact that I can’t remember illustrates the riches we have in musical entertainment.

Urban Woman and Urban Friends Enjoy Coolato Gelato, Gay Street, Knoxville, Summer 2012

Urban Friend Trying on a Little Hair Styling at Rococo, Knoxville, Summer 2012

Duct Tape Design at Rococo, Seen from Below, Knoxville, Summer 2012

These pictures are from late summer or very early fall. I’ll have more posts like this very soon as I clean out the files and get ready for the Christmas and winter images to come. It turns out that of the people who land on my blog by searching, most are doing image searches, so I suspect some people will look at these pictures and never read the words, as I think is pretty common.

Urban Girl’s First Urban Bike Ride, Market Square, Knoxville, Summer 2012

Singer-Songwriter on Blue Plate Special, Knoxville Visitor’s Center, Summer 2012

Musicians at WDVX Blue Plate Special, Knoxville Visitor’s Center, Summer 2012

Music City Roots Bus, Union Avenue, Knoxville, Summer 2012

What about you? Do you typically read the words or are you a picture person? I guess the picture people will never know I asked the question! :-)

Finally – A Downtown Spot Where Stacy is Welcome, Knoxville, Summer 2012

Friday Business News: Rococo Opens at 2 Market Square

Rococo owner Courtney Coffey with duct tape mural

Well, not quite at this moment – but tomorrow. Owner Courtney Coffey will open her new boutique in the prime corner location on Saturday, June 2. After a number of months with a vacant store-front and rumors of a mattress store that excited no one, the right store seems have converged with the right place for a great new addition to the square.

Earrings at Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville, May 2012

Courtney says, “There’s a story behind everything in the store,” and she’s not exaggerating. As we walked around the store the stories spilled from her like the fountain of knowledge she is about the various pieces of art. She has carefully cultivated the relationships with the artisans that produced the works on display at every turn inside the store.

Rainboots, Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Ties on Cool Wall, Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Most of what you will find is unique to her store, a fact of which she is very proud. Re-purposed bullets have become earrings.  Men’s ties – which is an item hard to find downtown in any case – take on specialized designs and are displayed on a wall adorned with sliced tree branches. Handmade baby booties include the unexpected – an ice skating version, for example. Monogrammed rain boots for women command their own space.

Courtney shows custom etched leather designs, Rococo, Knoxville

Bullet Necklaces, Rococo, Knoxville

Unique Necklaces, some made of Tintypes, Rococo, Knoxville

While there may not be something for everyone, there is something for most of us. From baby gifts to women’s accessories and men’s ties. From household accents to pieces of furniture. From somewhere around $15 for a small gift to $2000 for a beautiful piece of furniture. One set of jewelry features tintypes made into necklaces, guaranteed to be one of a kind.  Skateboards hand-painted by artists offer beautiful wall hangings – or gorgeous skateboards if you are so inclined. Of course, there are plenty of items featuring a certain color of orange for those of you who are so inclined.

Skateboard Art and More, Rococo, Knoxville

Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Courtney’s short life has been jam-packed with experiences which have prepared her for this moment. She’s from Knoxville, so she knows what we’re about. She studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she received her bachelor’s degree. She earned her MA in Fashion Design while studying in Florence at the Palimoda Institute. After her stay in Italy she became a professor for four years at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville. And now she’s ready to be home.

Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

You won’t be able to enter the store without thinking of amazing – if whimsical – art. Often playful and witty, like it’s artistic namesake, it starts with the massive portrait on the wall. The work is personally designed and executed  – in duct tape. I could hardly believe it. Now she says, “I have several duct tape commissions. It’s a little crazy, a lot fun, very much art and an exciting addition to the city. Check it out starting this Saturday.

Courtney Coffey, Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Let’s Get Down to Business: The Casual Pint, Rococo and more

The Casual Pint in West Knoxville - Coming to Union Avenue

With everything that’s been going on in the city I’ve fallen quite behind on my business news. I’ll try to sprinkle more of that across the next couple of weeks, though the pace of what’s happening in the city certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing. For today, let’s look at some of what’s happening on Union Avenue.

One of the puzzling pieces of Union Avenue for many casual observers has been the lengthy vacancy at 2 Market Square since the departure last year of Reruns to an address farther west at 521 Union Avenue in the Daylight Building. Rumors swirled of a mattress store which got a strong “unlike” from the Facebook Crowd. More months passed with no news and within the last couple of weeks a “Rococo” sign was posted in that window and this week they released a press release indicating the business is owned by Courtney Coffee and that the store will include “whimsical invitations, rare jewelry, hand painted picture frames, screen-printed ties, furniture and more! Knoxvillians can expect a personalized shopping experience in a store where art meets design.” You can read more about it on Josh Flory’s Property Scope Blog. The opening will be June 1, with grand opening celebrations planned for the following day. I hope to have more about the shop later this month.


The New Union Shops have recently hung several small posters along the store fronts noting the businesses soon to call those addresses their home. The Tree and the Vine was the first business to sign a lease in the new construction and at least initially projected an opening date of June 2012. I wrote more comprehensively about them here and here. Another recent sign indicates the advent of “Nothing Too Fancy.” Their Facebook page promises, “screen printed items, re-purposed furniture, jewelry and so much more.” I hope to have more about them soon, as well.

The Casual Pint, Knoxville, West Location


The other business slated for the New Union Shops, just across the alley from the Hotel Oliver and occupying the largest space in that building, will be The Casual Pint. This is actually a business with a store in west Knoxville, so there being a ready source of information, I sacrificed for you, my readers, and got in a car to drive there and investigate. I’d gotten the impression it perhaps had a grocery component. That turned out to not be the case. The store sells beer and, well, more beer.

The Casual Pint, Knoxville, West Location


The Casual Pint, Knoxville, West Location

While the west store sells t-shirts, glasses and other accessories, the downtown store, which will be a bit smaller will focus only on the beer. It will function as a retail space for carry-out as well as having extensive seating for enjoying a brew from the extensive tap. While there will not be food served, free pretzels will be available and customers are welcome to bring food from other establishments and enjoy the onsite libations while eating what they bring.

Sample Beer Offerings, The Casual Pint, Knoxville, West Location

Sample Beer Offerings, The Casual Pint, Knoxville, West Location








Cara, who tells me she’ll likely be working the downtown store, was very friendly and helpful in giving me the information she knew about the store. She indicated that the emphasis is on the “casual” and that the store out west enjoys patron’s bring birthday cakes and enjoying other celebrations with their libations. She also said the new store will have a store front that can be opened up to the street making every seat in the house feel like a sidewalk seat. They hope to be open by July 4, so we should soon see a raft of openings.

Cara, The Casual Pint, Knoxville, West Location

Finally, on a different topic, thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Metropulse Reader’s Poll. Stuck Inside of Knoxville once again won honorable mention for “best blog.” Congratulations to winner Frank Murphy.