A traditional “napkin wave” started the White Picnic at Knoxville Botanical Garden last Saturday.
In Paris, the traditional Le Diner en Blanc, also known as the White Picnic, attracts upwards of 10,000 folks. In Knoxville, I thought the 150 or so who gathered at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum last Saturday for our version of it was a pretty impressive turnout.
Here’s how it works. The organizers — Debbie Allen and Mary Collins-Shepard — send a “save the date” email a few weeks out. But the folks on the email list don’t know the secret location of the event until the afternoon of the day it’s going to happen. That’s when they get another email telling them where to come.
In Paris, where this all started, it’s so as not to alert the authorities — and to preserve the clandestine nature of the soiree. That’s part of the strategy here, too. When the picnic is held on public property — like last year’s, which was at Volunteer Landing — the laws prohibiting alcohol can be problematic. That’s why attendees are urged not to bring beverages in their original containers, but, instead, to pour them into something else. Continue reading →
Sommeliers Blake Parrish, left, of Citico’s, and Matt Burk of Old City Wine Bar, met in a battle last week.
Who wins when two popular local sommeliers challenge each other to a “battle?” The diners, of course.
Matt Burk of Old City Wine Bar and Blake Parrish of Citico’s met at Old City Wine Bar for a tie-breaker last week after competing against each other at Citico’s in July and coming in even.
Here were the rules of engagement. Both sommeliers were given a list of three courses to be prepared by Old City Wine Bar’s head chef, Sadie Daniels. They were asked to select wines to pair with each course. But a fourth course would be a surprise, and they would have to select wines from the restaurant’s wine cellar just a few minutes before the course was served.
Guests, who paid $75 each to attend, would be asked to vote, course by course, on which wine was the best pairing with the food. This was so much fun! Continue reading →
Finally, bowling has come to downtown Knoxville. Maple Hall is open in the J.C. Penney Building on Gay Street and boy is it fun! We at Moxley Carmichael were looking for a team-building activity and this week we decided to take the whole staff bowling. It was great. You might want to consider it for your own team.
The Moxley Carmichael team in front of Maple Hall, 414 S. Gay St. Front row, from left, graphic designer Erica Beck, intern Jordan Shipowitz, account executive Savanna Howie, senior account executive Amanda Jennings, CFO Shaun Fulco, writer/editor Maria Cornelius and Amy Barger, our manager of first impressions. Back row, from left, graphic designer Katrina Roberts, senior web developer John McCulley, president Alan Carmichael, writer Michelle Henry, director of client services Lauren Miller, me, Pam Rhoades, who will be joining us shortly as our digital storyteller, creative director Charley Sexton and intern Jake Bruce. Only one missing was our vice president, Scott Bird, who was out of town on business.
Host Eddie Mannis with his friends Sherry Jenkins, left, and Renee Repka on the lawn of his Kingston Pike home.
The Summer Swing party held this past Saturday on the front lawn at Eddie Mannis’ house certainly was aptly named. At least the “summer” part. The temperature at the event was HOT! But that didn’t stop attendees from at least attempting to “swing.” And judge a cocktail contest. And make use of a cigar bar. And participate in a live auction. Whew!
The event was a benefit for Positively Living, an organization dedicated to assisting those in our community dealing with HIV/AIDS.
Julianna Texada lives in The Carson on Central Street with her husband, John, and doggie, Isabella. Don’t let having a pet keep you from considering downtown living.
If the hundreds of folks on the Urban Home and Garden Tour this past weekend are to be believed, tons of people are “thinking about” moving to downtown Knoxville. That had to have been the most repeated refrain of Friday night and Saturday afternoon on the tour of eight downtown residences arranged by the East Tennessee Community Design Center. (Disclosure: Moxley Carmichael was a sponsor.)
I’d say that most of the people making that comment were so-called “empty nesters,” people looking to downsize now that their children have grown up and moved away from home. Many are from Sequoyah Hills and other nice neighborhoods.
What they probably found out on their tour is that not all the homes downtown are small. The condo at The Holston on the tour contained 3,700 square feet and the one at Gallery Lofts had 3,200 square feet.
The best thing about this tour is that it demonstrated the diversity of options for downtown living. There truly is something for everyone. Let’s take a peek. Continue reading →
The party started in The Holston on Gay Street, built in 1913 as the tallest building in Knoxville and as home to Holston National Bank. With hors d’oeuvres by Nancy Kendrick and volunteers serving very ably as bartenders, the party was held on the ground floor. Dr. Bill Snyder, the Tennessee Theatre’s organist and chancellor emeritus of the University of Tennessee, provided lovely piano music.
The highlight of the party, to me, was when Lisa Shirey, who has leased the space, described the business, Clinch River Brewing, that she and her husband plan to open there. Not only will it be a brewery, but also a restaurant serving seafood and having a full bar and an outdoor eating area. I can’t wait for that!
Historian Dr. Bruce Wheeler also made remarks and described The Elliot, which partygoers got to tour as a sneak peek of this weekend’s activities. Continue reading →
State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey greets one of her supporters, Tom Hale, at a fundraiser last night.
Stunning river views — and the views of a large number of local politicians — were the highlights of a very successful fundraiser for state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey last night. Held at the beautiful Harrison Keepe home of Steve and Becky South, the event attracted more than 125 folks — and Massey is unopposed in her primary election tomorrow.
Fortunately, the sun was obstructed by clouds for most of the evening and a gentle breeze made the temperatures bearable. Catering was by Chef Rex Bradford Jones. And you always know it’s a good party when you see Jerry Kruse and his bartending staff from The Pour Guys.
The best surprise of the night was the mellow music of Michael Shehan, who targeted his tunes to the baby boomers who constituted most of the crowd.
Massey, a Republican, won a special election in 2011 to fill a vacated state Senate seat and was reelected to a full term in 2012. She also has been the executive director of the Sertoma Center in Knoxville for over 20 years. The Sertoma Center serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Continue reading →
Developers of Regas Square, from left, Joe Petre, Tom Wolf, Doug White and Matt Hasbrouck stand before a rendering of the new development.
It was a heck of a preview party that launched the new Regas Square development on Wednesday evening at the Mill & Mine with more than 270 in attendance and great news coverage. (Disclosure: Moxley Carmichael helped with the function.)
Developers Doug White, Tom Wolf, Joe Petre and Matt Hasbrouck welcomed the guests, who included elected officials, community leaders and friends. Aerialists from Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio provided amazing entertainment while “ambassadors” for the developers showed guests features of the new retail and residential development on two video screens featuring virtual flyovers of the property and 18 easels with renderings and floor plans.
Delicious passed hors d’oeuvres and creative cocktail samples were prepared by Bridgewater Place in West Knoxville under the guidance of Executive Chef Terri Roberts. Continue reading →
Natalie Stair, left, with her mother-in-law, Dorothy Stair, at the opening of Nest Knoxville.
It was a sweet gathering of family and friends last weekend as Nest Knoxville, the beautiful new furniture and gift store on the 100 block of Gay Street, officially opened its doors.
Proprietor Natalie Stair and her husband, Marshall, an attorney and Knoxville City Council member, have been working for months to get it ready. And they made it in the nick of time. In fact, the awning went up just hours before the Friday opening. Whew!
Natalie is from the furniture capital of America, nearby Hickory, North Carolina, and she said it seemed like a natural move for her. You can read about her history in the furniture business in a recent News Sentinel article (click here) and in a blog post on Inside of Knoxville (click here).
What I like the most about the new store is the wide variety of things to look at (and buy). From gorgeous leather couches and upholstered chairs to jewel-like wine stoppers that would be perfect for hostess gifts, the store has it all. Continue reading →