Alan and I lived in Farragut’s Concord Hills neighborhood for about eight years. Following that, we lived in Sequoyah Hills for another eight years. Both are lovely, charming neighborhoods which we enjoyed immensely. We had a lot of friends in both. But, guess what. Never have we lived in a more truly neighborly place than we have since we moved downtown.
Case in point. A couple of weekends ago, our friend Gay Lyons called us up on a Friday afternoon. “What are you doing Sunday?” she asked. “Why don’t you all just walk over to our place around 11 and we’ll have a little frittata brunch.” And that’s just what we did.
Sunday dawned bright and hot. We rolled out of bed, drank a cup of coffee, read the News Sentinel and glanced at the New York Times and then leisurely strolled the few blocks over to the Lyons’ condo at Kendrick Place. Our mutual friends Larry and Jane Martin came, too. After a late Saturday evening event, they and their little dog, Tuck, had spent the night at a downtown hotel, so they ambled over to the Lyons’ as well.
Brunch was absolutely lovely. No stress. No agenda. Just a few friends spending a couple of hours together on a pretty Sunday. At around 1, we all went our separate ways.
Don’t get me wrong. We’ve gone to friends’ for brunch before. And we’ve had folks over. But it’s always been more planned. And you have to get in the car and drive somewhere. Downtown is the only place I’ve lived where get-togethers are so casual. On Monday, I ran into my buddy Mickey Mallonee, also a downtown resident, on Gay Street. She was on my list to call and catch up with. “Got lunch plans?” I asked. She didn’t, so we walked to the Bistro at the Bijou for a nosh.
In the suburbs, you don’t often run into your neighbors, even if you are friends with them. Everyone just pulls into their drive, opens the garage door, drives in and closes the garage door. You don’t often just run into them.
Jack Neely has called Market Square “a place of serendipitous meetings.” (Click here for a story about that.) But I think all of downtown is. When Governor Bill Haslam was mayor here, he called downtown “everybody’s neighborhood.”
I’m sure glad it is mine.