Author Maria Cornelius, left, with Lady Vols basketball coach Holly Warlick. Warlick is a former Lady Vol player and was Pat Summitt’s assistant coach for 27 seasons. (Photo by Pam Rhoades)
I was lucky enough to receive one of the first copies of “The Final Season,” the new book about University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summitt’s last season coaching the legendary Lady Vols. The early copy was a gift from its author, Maria Cornelius, my friend and colleague at Moxley Carmichael.
As you surely know, Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I basketball, passed away this summer after a five-year battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
I tore into the book the first Saturday after I received it. By page 13, I was weeping. Pat Summitt is not only an inspirational basketball coach, but an overall inspiration. Maria, who covered Summitt and her teams for many years as a reporter with the Knoxville News Sentinel and Inside Tennessee, was privy to Summitt’s inner circle and that’s where she got most of her insights. Continue reading →
Here’s the view from our table Sunday night as sun was setting on the “Dinner on the Bridge” to celebrate Knoxville’s 225th birthday.
What a great idea this was!
To celebrate Knoxville’s 225th birthday, the Arts & Culture Alliance hosted a dinner on the Gay Street Bridge Sunday night complete with keyboard music by Carol Zinavage Shane of the Knoxville Symphony and a reading of his inaugural poem by Knoxville’s new poet laureate, R.B. Morris.
The poem was called, “A Birthday Card to Knoxville,” and it was sweet and moving. Well-known auctioneer Sam Furrow auctioned off a painting of the Gay Street Bridge by well-known artist Mike C. Berry. And Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero announced that “contrary to speculation,” she would not be leaving her post early to accept a position in the Clinton administration should Hillary Clinton be elected president.
Former Knoxville mayor and ambassador to Poland, Victor Ashe, who was in attendance Sunday night, has been promoting that idea for months in his weekly newspaper column in the Shopper News. Continue reading →
Which one of these things is not like the others? That would be my husband, Alan Carmichael, posing with sculptures from a gallery called Marlborough, which has locations in New York, London, Barcelona and Madrid. This was at Expo Chicago.
We saw so much art in such a short period of time that it was impossible to process. The core of the trip was a visit to Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, an annual event held at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier. The expo featured 145 of the world’s leading art galleries from 22 countries and 53 cities and included works by more than 3,000 artists.
The purpose of the trip was to look at modern and contemporary art, some of which is coming to Knoxville next year and some of which the museum is looking to acquire. Of particular interest were works by Knoxville native Beauford Delaney. Continue reading →
One of the best salads I’ve ever had was at Chicago’s Blackbird at lunch. It consisted of endive, dijon and pancetta in a crispy potato nest topped with a poached egg. Unbelievably creamy and full of flavor on top of the crunchy potatoes.
Sixteen hardy Knoxvillians have just returned from an action-packed trip to Chicago. The purpose of the trip, organized by the Knoxville Museum of Art for members of its Collectors Circle, was to take in a wide variety of art, some of which will be coming to Knoxville within a year or so and some the museum has an eye toward acquiring.
The next post on the Blue Streak will show you some of the art we saw. But this post will deal with another kind of art — the culinary kind — that obsessed us almost as much as the framed and sculpted variety.
Chicago is home to many great chefs and many great eateries. With just a couple of exceptions, the trip planners at the KMA wisely left time on the schedule for our group of travelers to split up and make our own dining plans. Alan and I did research and then made reservations in advance for four to six people at each meal, figuring we could always adjust our reservation downward if no one was interested in joining us at the places we picked. Fortunately, we didn’t have to do that. Others took the same approach, resulting in different groups dining together at a different fabulous restaurant at every meal. Continue reading →
Downtown dweller Bill Lyons, left, with new Knoxville Symphony music director Aram Demirjian at the final stop of our progressive dinner Saturday.
On the first stop of our downtown progressive dinner last Saturday, I tapped my cellphone to my wine glass in order to get everyone’s attention for an announcement. “D-flat,” stated Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony‘s new conductor, in a matter-of-fact tone. “What?” I asked. “That’s a D-flat,” he said, referring to the sound that emanated when I tapped the glass.
Demirjian, who along with his new wife, Caraline Craig, was a guest of honor for our dinner, explained that he has what is known as “absolute pitch.” That, according to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge), is “a rare auditory phenomenon characterized by the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone.” Researchers estimate that about 1 in 10,000 people have absolute pitch.
This, I thought, is not a bad characteristic for a music director. On the other hand, however, Demirjian related that he is color blind.
As many readers of the Blue Streak know, a group of us downtown residents hold a progressive dinner a few times a year, and we often invite an extra couple to join as our guests. Our motive in this is to convince the invited couple to follow our lead and move downtown. We have been very successful with this strategy. Now we have Aram and Caraline in our sights. Continue reading →
But Demirjian started his week in a much more pastoral setting with the 31st annual Symphony in the Park at beautiful Ijams Nature Center on Sunday. The weather could not have been more perfect and, as the sun set and the moon rose, it was almost magical to hear the ambient sound — cicadas and the occasional high-flying jet — mingle with the ethereal melodies wafting from the bandstand.
While attendance was down this year — something apparently was going on in Bristol the evening before! — those who made it to the 300-acre urban green space were treated to music ranging from that of Rossini and Elgar to Nat King Cole. And local composer and pianist Ben Maney, one of the guest artists, provided three works of his own, one performed by the riveting vocalist Yasameen Hoffman-Shahin. Continue reading →
Dawn Ford takes on a heap of crabs. They didn’t stand a chance!
When Alan and I decided with our friends Dawn and Richard Ford to visit Baltimore Labor Day weekend, we had a serious goal in mind: Eat the best crab cake we could find. And we did.
Of course the trip also featured visits to the National Aquarium and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The guys took in an Orioles/Yankees baseball game at Camden Yards. And we loved our afternoon touring the harbor on a water taxi. But, for the rest of my life, one thing will always come to my mind when I think of Baltimore: crabs, crabs, crabs.
When I tell folks we just got back from a pleasure trip to Baltimore, we mostly get this question: Why? Well, a few months ago I visited Baltimore for a convention. My hotel was on the water and I could see the beautiful harbor. But I didn’t have any time to enjoy it — except from afar. I thought it was such a shame to visit one of America’s great cities and not really be able to experience it. So, when I got home to Knoxville, I mentioned to Dawn that I wanted to go back. “Well,” Dawn said. “You know I’m from Baltimore.” Duh! I had completely forgotten that. Although she had not been to Baltimore in 16 years, she agreed to be our tour guide. We picked a weekend when the Baltimore Orioles were playing the New York Yankees (Richard’s favorite team) and made the arrangements. Continue reading →
Grilled North Carolina catfish, Carolina gold rice, tomatoes, squash, basil pistou and tomato vinaigrette. This was my order and it was fantastic. Beautiful, too, don’t you think?
I awoke this morning to the terrible news of a fire in the building housing J.C. Holdway, the thrilling new restaurant that was opened just last night by James Beard Award-winning chef, Joseph Lenn.
J.C. Holdway, located at 501 Union Ave., in the historic Daylight Building, is named for Lenn’s late bachelor uncle, a great socialite and raconteur who dined out for every meal. The opening has been much anticipated as Lenn, formerly executive chef at The Barn at Blackberry Farm, is among our area’s small cadre of “celebrity chefs.”
It is unclear at this moment when the restaurant will re-open. But, rest assured that when it does, you will want to have your name on the reservation list.
The space is spare and lovely with a large open kitchen rimmed by a bar on two sides. A dining area on the Walnut Street side of the space, which used to be a photography studio, leads to a larger dining room in the rear, which is where my husband, Alan Carmichael, and I were seated last night. Continue reading →