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Move to Chattanooga

for old homes worth restoring

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Miss Betty's Hydrangea
Move to Chattanooga



November 4th, 2012

The Chattanooga Market has been bursting at the seams this year.. They have also expanded and have Saturday Markets at the Aquarium and do a special holiday market at the Convention center. A great place to go do find local and regional food and handcrafted items - for more info go here:


April 12th, 2010

(cross posted from my personal journal)

I love books and I love buying books. And like any real book lover, I regularly patronize used bookstores.  And one bookstore is never enough to feed the addiction. I used to depend on McKay's Books pretty heavily but when they moved further out of town, I decided to go local.

Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with McKay's books. When I moved to Chattanooga from Knoxville in 1995, I was delighted that they also had a McKay's here. They were my #1 bookstore, and as they grew, they were able to provide a greater selection of used books at affordable prices.

But somewhere along their way they lost their soul, their seating, and their cool laid back attitude. Going to McKay's felt more and more like going to Wal-Mart. They ditched their seating they narrowed the aisles, they blare at you for thirty minutes to leave the store prior to closing, and what they give you in trade credit is not worth the gas to drive there. Other people must have felt the same way, as I was finding fewer and fewer books in my areas of interest appearing on the shelves. When they moved 3.5 miles further out of town, I was annoyed, but I kept going (while grumbling under my breath) If only there was something nearby (and with more charm). Then one day I overhead a cashier bitching about the annoying customers who would not leave to the last possible minute. (and this was at the worst of the recession)

I'd had it. They no longer deserved the #1 spot in my rankings. So I vowed to visit McKay's Books no more than once a month.

I turned my loyalty instead to

The Book Co.
3205 Old Ringgold Road
Chattanooga, TN 37412-1244
Phone: (423) 622-1805

They are an old old favorite of mine located on the East Ridge side of Missionary Ridge just of the Ringgold Road tunnel by Log Cabin Antiques.

I've known and patronized the owners for years, they used to have 2 different locations (over the river off Fraizer Ave), and one at the old flea market that used to be off of S. Kelly Street behind Hunan Wok. I remembered countless times standing in the winter cold at their flea market location, thumbing through stacks of books, looking for the latest deal.

They eventually closed both locations in favor of their current address in East Ridge. Their new location was a little more out of sight, out of mind for me, but still nearby. They have many chairs and stools scattered about, and a table or two, They have  charming clean bathrooms, and regularly get fresh batches of books that are very affordable. Every month they have a different special, one month it might be buy one cookbook get one free, another month it might be art books 50% off. And they have a cat. Yes, the book company definitely has a soul.

Then a month or two ago, I was driving down Brainerd Road and noticed what looked to be bookcases in an old building on the Brainerd side of the Missionary Ridge Tunnel... Sure enough, it is a new bookstore and they just opened:

Olde Towne Books
3213 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411
(423) 475-7187

I went down there this past weekend and spoke with owner Jeff Whitley. He has used his skills as a builder to renovate the building. Inside you have exposed stained beams, exposed brickwork, hand built bookcases, and a lot of oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and lots of comfortable seating that give the store a very warm and welcoming (yet pristine) atmosphere. He owns the building and has plans to put in a coffee shop in the adjoining suite. Well-appointed is the term that comes to mind.

Their books are reasonably priced, and they also are developing a portion of their stock do some antique and collectible books (which for me fills a void that was left  behind when the Incurable Collector bookstore in Knoxville closed down in the mid 90's.) Saturday I walked away with an armload of Foreign Language and cookbooks. 

These two bookstores have managed to fill the void that McKays left behind. I feel very lucky to have The Book Co and Old Towne Books, within a mile and a half of my home, although I'm not surprised. I've noticed a lot of people I've met that live on or around Missionary ridge love books and learning.

Now if only someone would open up a diner or cafe within walking distance of Barking Legs Theater, my world would be complete.

April 6th, 2010

This article on Chattanooga recently appeared in the Financial Times featuring some of our older historic areas:


May 29th, 2009

Chattanooga Swing and Lindy will be dancing at the Chattanooga Market this Sunday May 31st, 11am - 4pm

If you have ever wanted to get into Swing Dancing, or just watch it, there is a great opportunity.

They will be handing out flyers to promote their Thursday events that they hold at Rio Picante and Rhythm & Brews.

They also do have Salsa Classes at Rio PIcante!

Chattanooga Swing and Lindy is online at: chattanoogaswing.org/

May 20th, 2009

The city of Chattanooga has a Department of Multicultural Affairs which every year, host a series of dessert receptions throughout the city.

These Dessert Receptions go under the moniker of "Sweet Diversity" and members of the district are encouraged to bring a dessert which reflects their cultural heritage.

On May 14th I attended the District 7 Sweet Diversity Dessert Reception along with with members of the Ridgedale Community Association and the Ridgedale Sewing and Crafts Society:

Here are some of the pics of the goodies Ridgedale brought:

I prepared the Italian cookie tray on the left which included Lemon drops (white), and the almond crescents (both plain and chocolate covered) All of them are almond based cookies, although the lemon drops have both lemon zest and lemon juice included.

On the Right we have Julia with Mini-pecan tarts (she used Phyllo dough and it tasted a LOT like Baklava!) and Lois with Coconut Cake. These are recipes they make for their family all the time.

We also put out a "research library" of cookbooks featuring various ethnic desserts from all over the world, so people could research their culinary heritage. 

The Ladies from the South Chattanooga branch of the Chattanooga public library had some yummy desserts as well, including Stawberry Fuzzies and Red Velvet Cupcakes. The Bethel center was also there with Sweet Potato Pie.

The following Districts will be having their events as follows (District 8&9 have already held theirs):

6/25/09    6-8PM District 6       Shepherd Recreation Center 2124 Shepherd Road
6/27/09    6-8PM District 5       Brainerd Recreation Center
9/17/09    6-8PM District 4       Heritage House @ Heritage Park
10/15/09  6-8PM District 2&3  Big Ridge Elementary School

April 27th, 2009

My knee was still pretty messed up from twisting it earlier this week, so it was late when I hobbled into the Chattanooga Market a little before closing. I managed to get pics of several vendors prior to closing.

They still had a  huge crowd and more vendors than ever:

My friends from Sheerlark Farms were there again: Aside from lamb meat, produce, wool for spinning and felting, and some eggs, they also have some newly forged garden tools and cutlery:

The long garden tool to the bottom left is based on a dutch garden tool they own, and the bottom item in the picture on the right is a hoof picker (yeah, I had to ask). Look at those two flesh forks! Makes me wish I had a cabin in the woods and a fireplace to cook over.

It's early in the growing season,  you see a lot of greens right now, and LOTS and LOTS of plants:


I was really excited to see these two vendors. The one on the left is Ask apparel and they sell organic, natural dyed clothing. Those scarves go for $18 a pop on their website. I absolutely love the brooms on the left. I'm going to try to buy one of them the next time I see them there.


BOG CHAIRS!!! These run $100-200 and are made of various woods such as Cedar or Sassafras. These types of chairs are great for sitting around a fire. But you can also make them from oak or thick pine boards. If they are made like the bog chairs I know the seat slides out and so it is both collapsible and therefore portable (although they are quite heavy).


Steve Cochran is a really great photographer who sells some wonderful photos of the Chattanooga area. Aside from prints, he has taken a few of his photos and had them made into puzzles. Each comes in a tin box with the image on the cover. I almost bought one on the spot, but I'm just too busy right now to relax over a puzzle. Hmmm, maybe I do need a cabin in the woods to escape to!

There were many many talented vendors, And such a diverse range. And I found a new favorite food vendor. There's one who is selling italian ices, (one of my personal weaknesses). That will definitely be one of my regular stops.

April 26th, 2009

Robert Lz  has a really nice set of Chattanooga Photos on Flickr:


About 346 pics all told.
Here are some of the pics I took Saturday of some of the statuary at Forest Heights Cemetery during the cemetery stroll:




If you ever want to Visit Forest Hills Cemetery they are open for the public from 8 am until 6 pm 365 days a year. Their address is 4016 Tennessee Avenue,Chattanooga, Tennessee 37409.

Their website has an online record search.

April 25th, 2009

Every Spring, The Ridgedale Community Association holds a spring event. This year's event was a Fifties Dance.
The ladies from the Ridgedale Sewing and Craft Society made poodle skirts for the event and provided the decorations.
All told, They had about 40 People show up. More pictures to come later.

April 24th, 2009

Chattanooga Swing and Lindy promotes swing dancing in the Chattanooga area. For more information,visit:


Here is their press release regarding dancing and lessons for the 2009 Season:




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