Anderson County Antics

Anderson County is home to the small towns of Clinton, Norris, Oak Ridge, Rocky Top, and Oliver Springs. Many communities in this area were originally developed by the government as an experiment in urban planning and to support employees of ongoing confidential and/or industrial projects. Nowadays, the secret is out, but the history remains just…

Maryville (Stay Woke)

Just today, I learned that Maryville (mumbled locally as “Murrahvull”) College was founded by abolitionist Isaac L. Anderson and that the city has a rich history in anti-slavery movements. The Society of Friends presence was strong in the area beginning in the 19th century, and one of their core values is opposition to slavery. This…

Seven Future Islands

In Kodak, Tennessee right off exit 402 is a 416-acre state park; a birdwatcher’s paradise where over 200 different bird species have been spotted. The park offers around eight miles of hiking trails and hosts sporadic educational events. Dogs on leads are welcome, bikes are permitted on some trails, and the park has plans to…

Blood, Sweat, and Haggis

I went to the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Highland Games at the Maryville College campus for the first time ever. Despite three layers of sunscreen, I was baked to the core by an unforgiving sun and am struggling to regain energy, but every minute was justified. The SMSF began in 1981 and changed locations…

Khachapuri Dream Boat

Before I tell you about the cheesy dream boat I made, I’d like to share this intense performance art song by The Shin (a Georgian band, as opposed to The Shins) that incorporates moves from “Thriller” and something called dabbing long before it became an ordeal. There is also a tall-dark-and-handsome singing an ode to…

Let us go then, you and I… to Buncombe County

Asheville has always been on the back burner for me. I first went when I was 18 for some of the niche nightlife events, and I met a large community of fascinating people. Mostly I knew the city at night and as a hub for shared subcultural interests. I spent a remarkable amount of time…

Scharf München

Back in my most beloved city, München, the first thing I wanted was to visit the Viktualienmarkt. It is my tradition to buy strawberries at the VM regardless of the season,  just a simple and sweet thing I look forward to. My friend DH and I went to München’s city center and I showed him some…