The Athens of the South Once More

September 10, 2006

Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center had its formal opening last night, a symphonic shindig to celebrate the opening of the country’s newest center for classical music.

The $123.5 million Center is a welcome addition to downtown, expanding the center of downtown gravity of downtown in a more southerly direction and closer to the Cumberland River.

It was interesting to see how–or if–any country-sounding notes would play in this stately hall on opening night. Bela Fleck, who might be described as a banjo soloist, played with a trio in an especially commissioned concerto. The Tennessean’s reviewer of the evening, Evans Donnell, wrote: “While the piece could have been more potent in a shorter timeframe, it
nevertheless mixed some moments of lively earthiness with haunting
passages of ethereal beauty.”

Ethereal beauty. There’s a phrase for the music and for the building.

BRAVO! – Nashville, Tennessee – Sunday, 09/10/06 – Tennessean.com


Knoxville Hotels: Moving up and adding Personality

September 10, 2006

The News-Sentinel reports on hotel construction in and around Knoxville with the news that travelers want something more than a cookie-cut, franchise overnight stay.

Twenty-two new projects are underway, some updated versions of tired motels and others serving i[ brand new construction. What travelers want, according to the piece, is “indoor room entrances and more upscale bathrooms and bedding.”

Absolutely. The last time I spent the night in a Knoxville area motel, the bathroom was a stark chamber with a crumby sink with so little counter room that I wound up putting my toilet kit on the floor. Yet this was a “deluxe whirlpool room” that cost me something like $140.

Travelers also want interesting things to see and do outside of the play they rest their heads, ideally within walking distance. I’ll be watching and reporting on downtown hotels and what they offer.

KnoxNews: Business