30 May 2007

Chattanooga: More Than a Choo-choo

How memorable was your holiday weekend? Mine was grand — filled with cocktails and conversation, art and baubles, restaurants and hotel rooms, books and movies, quiet and noise — exactly how a holiday weekend should be spent.

I hope my readers to the north and across the ocean enjoyed a lovely spring weekend, even if they didn’t get Monday off for Memorial Day.

One of the highlights of the weekend was an overnight trip to Chattanooga, a couple of hours north of Atlanta. Chattanooga’s a lovely town, surrounded by mountains and the Tennessee River. The architecture is different than Atlanta — more mid-century, Rock-and-Doris buildings.

Chattanooga’s going through a bit of a renaissance, with the Arts District coming to life since my last visit (maybe 1999?). Lots of little galleries and inns overlooking the river.

Bakery in the Arts District, shot from the sculpture garden


Another photo of the Arts District, also from the sculpture garden


One cool part of Chattanooga is the pedestrian bridge across the Tennessee River. The bridge was closed to traffic years ago, and it’s cool to be able to walk across that long bridge.

The building with the glass triangles is the Tennessee Aquarium, which revitalized tourism in Chattanooga. Now you can see fishes and Rock City.

A bridge too far, from the pedestrian bridge

From the other side of the pedestrian bridge


Another funky side of Chatta-boogie: On the other side of the pedestrian bridge, Northside’s Frazier Avenue has bronze dance steps embedded in the sidewalk:


Everyone wants to copy that cool Canadian cat Dale, it seems. Grooviness knows no nationality.

Here's a photo of the aquarium, from the Street o' Dance Steps. It looks like a giant kitty is about to pounce the other side of the river.


I, of course, came home wanting to pack my dancing shoes and move to Chattanooga.

I almost forgot! On the way home, we stopped for a late lunch in White, Georgia:

I don’t care if it was a roadkill burger. That was one helluva great hand-shaped patty.

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24 Comments:

At 5/30/2007 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Great post and photos! We are always happy to have our friends from the South visit and even move here:)

 
At 5/31/2007 12:54:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

I've been to Chattanooga a couple of times, but it was a very long time ago. My parents pre-warned us that they would not be buying us any tacky souvenirs. That is pretty much my memory.

 
At 5/31/2007 08:27:00 AM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

Cool trip. The pictures are really good. Wish I could take pictures like that. Glad you had a cool Memorial Day. I think I might have to visit Chattanooga just to see those bronze dance steps for myself.

 
At 5/31/2007 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Beth, thanks for visiting my blog. Did you see Robert Goulet in Chattanooga? :)

I've never been there, but it sounds like you had a wonderful time. And the weather was perfect, huh?

 
At 5/31/2007 09:03:00 AM, Anonymous HollyC said...

Great trip idea, I love Chattanooga.Love their aquarium and the way it starts with a creek and ends up at the ocean.. Did you go up to Lookout Mountain? I could live THERE

 
At 5/31/2007 09:34:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

KAREN: Find me a cheap house near the arts district, and I'll write glowing reviews of Chattanooga every week!

TENACIOUS S: But tacky souvenirs are the best part!

ARTFUL DODGER: C'mon over to Chattanooga, and I'll meet you for a tango and a twist.

DAN: I love your blog! I kept an eye out for Robert Goulet, but sadly didn't see him. Weather was perfect, although a bit hotter than in Atlanta.

HOLLYC: We should go up together sometime. Didn't make it up to Lookout Mountain this trip, but I love it, too. And real estate is pretty darn affordable up there. Maybe that's where we can find our retirement cul-de-sac.

 
At 5/31/2007 09:36:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

I know! It made them that much more tantalizing.

 
At 5/31/2007 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

How do the lyrics go?

"Track 39
It's leaving on time


Wow, what a town and I've never seen it on TV or in film. Thank you very much for posting those pics and I imagine that the art department for "Stranger Than Fiction" modeled Gylenhaal's bakery after that one.

What dance is that, mapped out on the sidewalk?

 
At 5/31/2007 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I love Chattanooga - each year the "Trail of Tears" motorcycle rally starts there and goes to Oklahoma with many stops (concerts and lots of booze!) along the way.

It commemorates the deadly and humiliating trek the Cherokee's and other "civilized" tribes had to make in the U.S. government grand relocation scheme for the Indians. No matter that 70% of them died along the way.

Sorry, didn't mean to get on my "our government is full of shit" bandwagon.

Bottom line is that Chattanooga is a very cool place and I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday!

 
At 5/31/2007 03:59:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Looks like you had fun.

We had some great snow for some Memorial Day skiing up here.

 
At 5/31/2007 09:58:00 PM, Blogger Bubs said...

Wow that looks beautiful.

I can't wait to quit everything here and move south. Only 3-5 years to go.

Sounds like you had a cool weekend!

 
At 5/31/2007 10:03:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Mmm, roadkill burgers, sounds tasty. Glad you had such a great weekend. Love the hair shadow at the foot of the dance steps too. If only I could actually dance.

 
At 5/31/2007 10:07:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

TEN S: If only your mama could see my floating pen collection ...

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: I believe that's the Tango. For some reason, the other shots of dance steps didn't come out. My favorite is the Kiss: Two pairs of shoes (heels and men's) facing each other, with LIFT on the woman's left shoe.

KEITH KENNEDY: Do you make that ride every year? We should meet for a Roadkill burger!

CHRIS: Memorial Day skiing is just plain wrong, child.

BUBS: You'll love the South! We have wonderfully weird crime down here, too. I'm counting the three to five ...

DALE: I gave up Francine Reed for Roadkill burgers. But she plays here all the time. And I'm glad someone noticed my fuzzy-headed shadow; I guess that's why you're still my favorite blog crush.

 
At 6/01/2007 01:07:00 AM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh now I'm starving for a good roadkill burger!

Actually when I was in university there was a professor in the Dept of Natural Resources, Roadkill Jill, who did in fact regularly eat roadkill. I was never to supper at their place, though.

 
At 6/01/2007 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

Ok Beth. I'll let you know when I make it over there for that dance. Hey I took dancing lessons once, so it should be fun.

 
At 6/01/2007 03:42:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I was in Chattanooga twice. It scared me. I don't travel through mountains - even smallish ones - very well.

 
At 6/01/2007 04:03:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

If I ever get to your neck of the woods, I insist you take me for a Roadkill burger, a Francine Reed show and a look at your shampoo. Oh, and a dance.

 
At 6/01/2007 05:14:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

BARBARA: She sounds like a character straight out of Lady Oracle!

ARTFUL DODGER: Pack up your storage bin and come on over. We can test those dance lessons of yours.

GRANT MILLER: You silly Midwesterners. You don't know how to live.

DALE: Have I told you I own a bottle of Elvis Presley shampoo? It gives me the kickiest curls! I'll be sure to send you Francine's schedule.

 
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