Tell Us Something We Don't Know
After visiting your fine city this past weekend I must say I did like it. But I was a little confused and disappointed as well. I'm sure your City Council members have an overall plan for the city but it seemed a little vague to me. Or it may just not be far enough along for me to see it.
We stayed at the Hyatt and the area was nice, sterile even. We walked along the riverfront and enjoyed the fine restaurants but noticed little room for expansion of this area, although I loved the park-like stroll along the riverfront.
Next we went to World's Fair Park, which is undergoing a major overhaul for what I think is a convention center. This should be a nice asset for the area. The area we liked best was the Old City, even though it caters to the late-night nightlife. I saw the most potential for downtown renewal in this area while still keeping it as is.
I am from Greenville, S.C., and our downtown was much as yours until 10-15 years ago when we started to revitalize downtown. You have the most beautiful road front on Gay Street that is a treasure to be polished. In Greenville we took the same street and turned it into a little gem of shops, restaurants, condos, and apartments. It worked really well for bringing people into town and not just for late-night clubbing.
Rip up all that asphalt and put in a two-lane road with angle parking and wide sidewalks with trees and park benches. For a weekly draw into the area you could have free music during the week with open containers allowed in the prescribed area. This would encourage people to stay after work or even come from other places.
In Greenville we have two areas on Thursday nightsone at each end of the downtownthat cater to two different crowds. On Friday nights we have Main Street jazz where we close a block so you can mingle in the street and watch the show. One more nice thing about a street like Gay is you can close it for festivals. We do this twice a year and it is a very big draw.
In no way am I trying to get your city to look like Greenville. It's just that this area has so much potential, and I would love to see an expansion of the Old City.
We also went to your zoo. Very nice!
Get a Grip on Shakespeare
I wonder what it would have been like to see a real life Shakespearean play? You know, at the Globe Theater, the way the play was intended. After seeing Richard III at the Bijou in Knoxville I believe I have an idea now.
The audacity in which Paige M. Travis reviewed the play [Vol. 10 No. 33], with her obvious ignorance of Shakespeare, not to mention her lack of respect for a classic play and playwright is not one that I believe was worthy of publication.
I drove two hours to see the play and was not disappointed. The theater is absolutely beautifully restored. The actors, the set, and the costumes were amazing.
Travis's assumption, and claim, that "American audiences don't have that kind of grasp (or interest in) English history." is not only a generalization, it is also an insult to everyone who appreciates a great play with excellent acting.
Updating or modernizing is very easy; anyone can go to the mall and buy black clothing for a costume, edit the script in some way, or take the play out of its original contextbut that would not be Shakespeare the way Shakespeare was intended. That would be one person's adaptation, and an altogether different play.
Maybe, the next production that Miss Travis should review could be a nice Keanu Reeves movie, which seems like something that she could maybe "grasp."