Some of you may know, my family and I moved downtown after thirteen years on Lookout Mountain. Two of our three boys had moved out of the house, and after putting over 200,000 miles on my car, I was honestly tired of all the driving.
Lookout Mountain is an absolutely wonderful community! There are times when I miss it dearly, but downtown has proven to be more enjoyable than I originally thought it would be. Of course I miss the quiet bucolic nights in our Hinkle home. Sometimes the sounds of 2:00 am sirens can drive me a little batty. But the trade off has been worth it.
“Aren’t you concerned about safety?” is a question I get a lot. The short answer is “no”. I know my neighbors well. I live just a few dozen feet from people I now consider great friends. We now must lock our doors and cars up at night, but it’s nothing I even think twice about anymore. We walk our neighborhood most nights, and often see our friends and neighbors out and about. While there are sometimes unsavory strangers walking past my home from time to time, I have grown to be less guarded than I was on Lookout Mountain. Our neighborhood is populated with rich, poor, black, white, brown, devoted religious folks, UTC faculty, Air BnBs, business professionals, students and even a few fraternities. This potpourri of characters has honestly enriched my life and I think it has broadened my perspective of who exactly makes up our incredible city.
Okay, let’s talk about our incredible city! There doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by lately without the announcement of some new restaurant, bar, business or must-see music show coming through town. Just in the past year or so we’ve seen the Edwin and Moxy Hotel open, the incredibly refurbished Read House & Bridgeman’s Chophouse, the Gillman Grille, the State of Confusion, Robar, the Citron Tequila Bar, Mad Priest Coffee & Cocktails….and many more! Art Garfunkel, Chris Robinson, Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, Jason Isabell, Leo Kotke, Donald Fagan….what?! I would’ve never thought this sort of talent would all be within walking distance to my house.
A walk to Nightfall or Riverfront Nights via the Riverwalk with our dogs is a great way to spend a summer evening. If we prefer to grab a pint, we can always let the dogs play with the neighborhood riff raff at Play, Wash, Pint, where a bar literally sits over a dog playpen complete with tennis balls and swimming pools!
Open mics, poetry slams, independent movies, paddle boarding, ice skating, soccer games, farmers markets….activity really just abounds downtown. This ain’t the downtown Chattanooga I grew up in!
Needless to say real estate downtown is HOT. I am finding young professionals, even young families want to walk or ride to work. They also want to be near the ACTION. Everywhere we might walk at night is less than a $5.00 Uber ride home. Everywhere. The tradeoff is, of course, space. There may be little to no yard, more than a three bedroom home or apartment is hard to find and, of course, there is the occasional 2:00 am fire truck that may roll by your house!
I loved my 13 years on Lookout Mountain. But I feel like I am just where I am meant to be: among all the craziness, creativity and curiosity of living in a thriving downtown.
See you out in the Market!