Archive for November 10th, 2013

RT.11.13.cI won’t lie, I have been enjoying bourbon on my road trip to bourbon country and beyond.  I have tried to find new-to-me labels, but I also like to go to the source of guaranteed quality bourbon, which for me is Knob Creek

Now, we all know I like my bourbon “neat” – but I also like to pair it with a fine sparkling water.  The best all time sparking water for me is Gerolsteiner, which I bought by the case back in the late 90’s and early ‘aughts, but got away from in recent years. 

However, on this trip I rediscovered Gerolsteiner and found it to be even better than I remembered – especially with a few fingers of Knob Creek on the side.


KNOXI reached Knoxville – in central Tennessee – in the mid-afternoon on a glorious autumn day.

I had no real agenda in town, but I had read about The Parlor Music Shop, a vintage musical instrument shop, and wanted to check it out. The shop is like a museum where some of the most beautiful instruments are on display for purchase.

TPKAbout the Parlor Music Shop: “The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into our showroom is that we don’t have a single new instrument in stock. We believe that vintage gear represents the best value, both musically and as an investment. Unlike new instruments, which lose half of their value as soon as you walk out of the store, vintage instruments increase in value as time goes by.”

As one who always thought it would be fun to play the mandolin, I fell in love with this 1920s Lyon and Healy mandolin – which could be mine for a mere $3600.

The Parlor Music Shop is located at 411 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN

RAI next stumbled upon Räla, another shop that looks like gallery, featuring an eclectic collection or works and items from local Tennessee artists.

About Räla: “Räla is a shop of regional and local artisan wares. Part shop, part gallery: a “shoppery”! We specialize in creative gifts for creative people. Art, ceramics, t-shirts, candles, books, cards and prints are a few of the items we carry at Räla. Merchandise is constantly changing. A new artist is featured at every First Friday event.”

Räla is located at 323 Union Avenue, Knoxville, TN

While in town, I did want to check out The Knoxville Museum of Art, which houses regional artists, but was sad to find it closed for renovations. But I did check out the grounds – adjacent to the site of the World’s Fair Knoxville hosted in the early 80’s and where the Sunsphere, the structural icon of the Fair, still stands over the city’s modest skyline.

kmaAbout The Knoxville Museum of Art: “The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, educates and serves a diverse community, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The KMA’s predecessor, the Dulin Gallery of Art, opened in 1961. By the middle 1980s the gallery had outgrown its quarters in the 1915 Dulin House, a landmark design of John Russell Pope, which also lacked adequate parking and public transportation access. A major community effort raised $11 million for a state-of-the-art facility overlooking the site of the 1982 World’s Fair in downtown Knoxville. In March 1990, the Knoxville Museum of Art opened in its current 53,200 square-foot facility, designed by renowned museum architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. The exterior of the four-story steel and concrete building, named in honor of Jim Clayton, the largest single contributor to its construction, is sheathed in the pink Tennessee marble quarried near Knoxville.”

The Knoxville Museum of Art reopens on November 29, 2013.

Next stop… Chattanooga!