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cdarr

Kudos to Chattanooga

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My soon-to-be in-laws live outside of Chattanooga and this weekend we made the trip over from Memphis for a visit. Although I had passed through Chattanooga several times, usually on the way to Atlanta, I had never visited downtown until this visit. I was totally blown away. I've heard for several years how downtown Chattanooga has been revitalized, but I had no idea just how nice it is. Everywhere we drove was neat and clean without being sterile, virtually every building seemed to be either in use or under renovation, and the wide variety of structures (civic, offices, retail and tourist-oriented) blend together very well. Also, the street architecture (signage, lights, benches, etc.) adds a very nice touch.

But what really strikes me about Chattanooga is how it seems to be an "everyday use" kind of downtown - lots of coffee shops, retail establishments, a movie theater, small parks, walking paths, you name it. It reminds me of a very large version of the old small-town square. We were there on Saturday night, and there were people of all ages walking around doing various things. Incredible diversity of activity. Oh, and it felt very safe.

Here in Memphis, we are proud of the Renaissance of our own downtown, and its true that we have some big-ticket items (Beale, FedExForum, Autozone Park, Peabody Place) as well as lots of cool restaurants, hotels, and other joints. But what Chattanooga has is something very different, and very good. Those of you in Chattanooga should be very proud...keep it up!

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My soon-to-be in-laws live outside of Chattanooga and this weekend we made the trip over from Memphis for a visit. Although I had passed through Chattanooga several times, usually on the way to Atlanta, I had never visited downtown until this visit. I was totally blown away. I've heard for several years how downtown Chattanooga has been revitalized, but I had no idea just how nice it is. Everywhere we drove was neat and clean without being sterile, virtually every building seemed to be either in use or under renovation, and the wide variety of structures (civic, offices, retail and tourist-oriented) blend together very well. Also, the street architecture (signage, lights, benches, etc.) adds a very nice touch.

But what really strikes me about Chattanooga is how it seems to be an "everyday use" kind of downtown - lots of coffee shops, retail establishments, a movie theater, small parks, walking paths, you name it. It reminds me of a very large version of the old small-town square. We were there on Saturday night, and there were people of all ages walking around doing various things. Incredible diversity of activity. Oh, and it felt very safe.

Here in Memphis, we are proud of the Renaissance of our own downtown, and its true that we have some big-ticket items (Beale, FedExForum, Autozone Park, Peabody Place) as well as lots of cool restaurants, hotels, and other joints. But what Chattanooga has is something very different, and very good. Those of you in Chattanooga should be very proud...keep it up!

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