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Afternoon Walk

August 1, 2009

The town I live in is not well laid out, looks pretty dirty and slightly old (and not in a charmingly classic kind of way) and is basically one big eye sore just south of the beautiful, beautiful music city I like to claim as home, even though technically I really can’t.  I’ve become kind of immune to it, which makes me a little sad, but also seems necessary for the survival of my contentment.

Still, the other day after pulling myself into a parking garage right off of one of our not-so-charming main drags and finding my way into the library from there, I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to use the outside door to leave the building and walk around for a bit, just so I could get a feel for the actual location of the place, since it was my first time there.  I found myself in a sort of brick and stone courtyard, wide open, complete with steps perfect for sitting and eating a lunch time sandwich, a beautiful fountain, and dirt and stone paths leading into a garden speckled with old wooden moss covered benches.  I wandered through every inch of that place I could find, coming across large bronze monuments to fallen Confederate soldiers (I will never get used to the reverence toward the Confederacy around here) and even across a large plaque commemorating the years this town was the capitol of the State of Tennessee.

Huh.  I didn’t know that.

I emerged on the other side of this little grove to find lines and lines of buildings that reminded me of something one could only be reminded of if she’d grown up in eastern Montana or in North Dakota– Medora.  It wasn’t Wild West-ish or anything, but just the way the buildings were stacked up next to each other, the age of them, it made me feel like I’d stepped right into the past the way Medora has a way of doing.  It was truly like I was very suddenly in another place.  I wandered around just drinking in my surroundings– they only seemed to go a block or two in each direction, and sadly enough, the beautiful old buildings housed mostly law firms and barber shops.  Law firm after law firm, barber shop after barber shop.  Strange, kind of, and I wish the city would take better advantage of the vibe of that part of town and put in a few more cute cafes, soda/ice cream/fudge shops, independent clothing stores.  There were one or two, but mostly office space.  Wasteful.

But on my feet, using crosswalks lined in stone and not obnoxious white paint, I genuinely fell in love with the city I live in.  This was a place I could see myself calling home, finding every day charm within, really settling down in.  Making mental note of a cafe and an antique shop to come back to when I had someone to share a coffee and a day of shopping with, I headed back toward the library and my car parked in the garage.

And as I pulled out of the garage, there I was once again on Church Street, which sounds charming enough but the pleasantness really ends there.

And I remembered.

And I thought I’d just have to make friends with some lawyers.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mastadonominous permalink
    August 1, 2009 12:59 pm

    There are very few methods of inactivity I like more than drinking coffee at an outdoor café. If only every city got their act together, and put one/some in!

    This café-less neightborhood with the library sounds like a job for Starbucks! But of course a real café would be better.

    -Brian

  2. warriorpoetx permalink
    August 1, 2009 4:21 pm

    As a yankee just about to move to North Carolina, I hope I can deal with the South. But the Confederacy worship thing will almost certainly freak me out. Also, any references made to “the good old days.”

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