In the News

As you will read below, this post is a week late. My bad. Such is life. In the meantime the family had a great Thanksgiving and order was restored to the universe.

After spending most of the week in the unreasonable cold of the upper Midwest, it was nice to be back in the relative warmth of the Scenic City. With the soccer travel season having just ended, the family looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home. Everything was going to plan until Saturday morning when I read that tickets were still available for the Alabama game. Being highly suggestible, I immediately corralled the family (including the sole Awbun fan), hustled them into the car, and hit the road. Never mind that tickets can always be found for a game, and that the opponent was an FBS school that the Mocs blew out 51-0,  I had to go because TICKETS WERE STILL AVAILABLE! By the time I regained my sanity we were passing through Trussville, so I just rolled with it.

This was the first Bama game for our youngest. I hoped he and I could go by ourselves to his first game (the same way that it happened for his brother) but life had other plans. In any event, everyone had fun, there was no fighting, and the Tide overcame a slow start to win going away. All of this is to say that my take on matters of urban design in Chattanooga has been gleaned solely from the media.

I was going to label these three things the Good, the Bad, and The Ugly. Aside from that being cliché and overused, however, I’m not even sure that’s a perfectly accurate description. Let’s just say that I had three gut reactions: a positive one, a negative one, and one feeling of revulsion (not covered in that order, mind you).

Big news of the week is a bad thing- a multi-million dollar housing project had some buildings collapse after a stiff wind. I have no comment on site plan or building design, so feel free to draw your own conclusions on those. The problem the developers now face is that (fairly or unfairly) the project may be perceived one with inferior product. Not a good thing- I definitely hate to see that.

A tangent to that incident induced my feeling of revulsion. This has nothing to do with the development and everything to do with our community. I came across the TFP article on the collapse via my Facebook feed. Let’s be honest, the comment sections of online articles are often more informative and entertaining than the articles themselves. In this case, the thread was a sad commentary on the level of discourse in our community.  The comments moved swiftly from thoughts on construction quality, to how unsafe downtown is, to the ethnicity of the construction workers, to the legal status of the construction workers, to immigration policy, to how bad the president sucks, in no time flat. The comments were as xenophobic as they were uncivilized.

Brighter note: things are moving right along in Center City. I saw this article regarding an adaptive reuse of a vacant building. Add this to the list of projects (like this, and this) that follow our work on River City Company's Center City Plan. I’m excited about the future of the heart of downtown- great things are in the offing.

I am very much looking forward to the week ahead- celebrating blessings and cosmic luck with family and friends. Ya’ll be good and have a great Thanksgiving!

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