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#LovingtheLocal with #RunChattanooga

This week we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Bird, who is at the center of an enthusiastic group of people interested in running, #RunChattanooga. It’s free, it looks like a LOT of fun, and it’s guaranteed to get you moving. Courtney is the executive director of the group and she is serious about inclusiveness and camaraderie. If you are looking for a way to get fit, have fun, and make some new friends — without touching your bank account — keep reading!

The current #RunChattanooga schedule looks like this:run chattanooga group

Monday group run at 5:45pm
Tough Love on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 6:30am
Speed work at the Red Bank High School track on Thursday nights at 8pm (this time will change when the seasons change)
And a Saturday morning group run that we do with the crew at Front Runner Athletics at 7:30am
To find out more about whens and wheres, Courtney encourages everyone to get on the #RunChattanooga email list, and to follow on either Facebook or Twitter: 
Email: http://runchattanooga.org/join-the-club/
If you choose to get involved you can expect encouragement, laughter, and to sweat! Everyone, regardless of level, is invited to join. All workouts can be tailored to fit anyone, so even if you haven’t run since elementary school, you’ll be able to keep up. Several members even bring their kids — who love it! The Tough Love workouts are 30 minute, high intensity workouts that involve pushups, crunches, and always some stair climbing, because, Courtney says, “Climbing stairs is good for your butt!”
Tough - but  fun - love

Tough – but fun – love

Partner work is part of many #RunChattanooga workouts

Partner work is part of many #RunChattanooga workouts

When your workout feels like playing games, it's better!

When your workout feels like playing games, it’s better!

 

 

 

Chattanooga Teams

 

At&T Field

View from the stands at AT&T Field. 

Last week, we talked about where you can go to play sports in Chattanooga. This week: it’s all about where you can go to watch sports. Chattanooga may not be a big city, but there are plenty of teams to cheer for!

First, there are the most well-known teams. Right now it is baseball season, so you can see the Lookouts at AT&T Field, which is a fine way to spend an afternoon.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has the Mocs, who you can see play football at Finley Stadium, or basketball at the MacKenzie Arena. The Lady Mocs are also an amazing team.

Less well known, but equally worth your time, is the Chattanooga Football Club – the CFC. On July 12, became the Southeast Conference champions for the fourth time. They are an exciting, winning team! You can catch the south region playoffs this weekend. It’s Chattanooga FC versus Miami FC Friday, July 18, at 6pm. Tickets are only $10 at the gate.  Get out, have some fun, and support your hometown team.

For something a little different, but lots of fun, go see the Chattanooga Roller Girls. These girls are tough — and they play hard. Home bouts are at the downtown Convention and Trade Center and are exciting!

No matter the time of year, there are teams to watch in Chattanooga — collegiate, semi-professional, and professional athletes representing our city well!

Sports in ‘Nooga

Whether you are interested in playing sports yourself, or seeing professional matches, Chattanooga is a good place to be! Here’s a look at a few places Chattanoogans (and visitors) can get out and play:

Climbing gyms — There are three climbing gyms in Chattanooga: TBA (Tennessee Bouldering Authority) in St. Elmo, Urban Rocks on Appling Street, just off Riverside Drive, and Highpoint downtown. All three are good for beginners or experienced climbers. All three offer a football fieldvariety of classes.

Outdoor Chattanooga — Located in Coolidge Park, Outdoor Chattanooga offers all sorts of ways for residents and visitors to be active and have fun outside. Want to try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, or climbing? This is the place. You can also rent bicycles, and learn about different classes and events.

Chattanooga Sports Leagues is for adults who love team sports — kickball, basketball, soccer. It’s a way to still play all the games you loved in school. They welcome both individuals and teams, so if you’ve been fondly remembering high school P.E. and all the fun you had, check them out!

The Chattanooga Flying Disc Club is for ultimate frisbee enthusiasts. They are always seeking new players!

If running is your thing, the Chattanooga Track Club has all the resources you might need. They have running groups, sponsor races, offer discounts, help people find running partners and much more.

There is no doubt we have left out some fun, interesting, and exciting ways for Chattanoogans to get out and play. Tell us what we missed! And stay tuned for next week’s post on where you can go to watch matches and games!

#LovingtheLocal with Area 61

Area 61 is part of the burgeoning arts scene on the Southside of Chattanooga. Originally, the gallery was going to feature works of art made from wood but it quickly evolved to include all sorts of beautiful, handcrafted art. From jewelry to painting to sculpture to furniture, you’ll find it all — and much, much more! Owners David and Keeli Crewe have done a fantastic job of creating a comfortable atmosphere that is a bit unusual for an art gallery. You’ll probably want to pull up a chair and enjoy the ambiance for awhile when you visit.

On May 5, 2014, Area 61 celebrated their five year anniversary. Having opened during a serious economic downturn, things were touch and go at times, but by finding and showcasing gorgeous work from local artists and craftspeople, as well as by contributing to the community, Area 61 pulled through the most difficult period for most new businesses.

A fun time to visit the gallery is during the Southside Stroll, the last Friday of each month from 5-8pm. (It’s the perfect thing to do just before Nightfall!). Many of the artists are at the gallery during the Strolls. The next Southside Stroll is Friday, June 27, and Area 61 will be featuring a new body of work by local artist Bob Fazio, called Italy Reimagined.

Take a look!

area 61 door, logo

Come on in!

 

 

David and Keeli Crewe

David and Keeli Crewe

 

There's a LOT to see!

There’s a LOT to see!

 

Every corner is filled with beautiful things.

Every corner is filled with beautiful things.

 

 

#LovingtheLocal with Southern Star Restaurant

If you like meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, pork chops, and other delectable southern food, you need to visit the Southern Star. With two SouthernStarlocations — one on the Southside, and one on Signal Mountain — the Southern Star makes it easy for Chattanoogans to get a fix of southern cooked goodness.

Operated by Rick and Nancy Adams, the Southern Star offers up the best kind of comfort food. Menu items are all house-made, and taste like someone’s grandmother is doing the cooking. One of the things that is special about the Southern Star is the carry-out convenience they offer. You can purchase a fully-cooked entree and side items to take home and reheat, in sizes that vary from a single portion to a family-sized serving.

The Broad Street location is a full-service restaurant, with a smaller carry-out section, while the Signal Mountain location is more of a carry-out shop, where you can have items heated if you want to eat in. Both locations offer special orders and catering, whether you want to buy a whole cake, or have a black-tie event catered.

Whichever location you visit, do yourself a favor and have dessert! Cakes, pies, and perfect banana pudding keep customers coming back for more. But, it’s not all sweets and fried foods — the deli cases have plenty of fresh, healthy options. The kale salad, and the quinoa salad are both low in calories but extremely flavorful.

 

 

 

(Half of) the Mega Post of Things To Do in May

This post is so big that we are breaking it into two posts. Today, we offer a whole bunch of events going on in Chattanooga through Mother’s Day. If you know of something awesome, interesting, fun, or cool happening in or around Chattanooga this month that we have left off or that you’d like to see in the second half, please let us know in the comments. We’ll be happy to add your event!

Without further ado, here’s (half of) the mega list:

May 1 – May Day

May 1 – Artists of all stripes will gather at the Heritage House for the Ambi Artists Creative Cluster.

May 1 – Scenic City Roots Live at Track 29. Tickets are $10 and the show includes music from a wide variety of genres.

May 1 – Sound and Image: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights and Beyond at the Hunter Museum. UTC Professor of Saxophone and Hunter curators will explore the current special exhibition. Event begins at 6 pm.

May 1-3 – 24th Annual Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival. If you’ve spent much time in Chattanooga, you’ve probably seen the white bumper sticker with the silhouette of a man playing a stand up bass. This festival is a Chattanooga favorite!

May 2 – Sister Rosemary, subject of the book Sewing Hope, will speak at Christ United Methodist Church. Sister Rosemary has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Admission is free, and the event is non-religious.

May 2 – The Appalachian Pig Pickin’ Block Party at TerraMae. Tickets are $20 and include dinner and one drink. There will be music and plenty of fun!

May 2 – Here Come the Mummies at Engel Stadium. The show will raise money for the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at UTC.

May 2 – Seether at Track 29. Tickets are $29 in advance and $32 the day of the show. This is a standing room only show, and restricted to those age 18 and older.

May 2 – Nightfall Kickoff with Forro in the Dark. Chattanooga’s favorite free concert series gets started with some lively Brazilian dance music.

May 3-4 The Green Thumbs Galore Driveway Sale — if you love plants, you’ll want to make it to this sale. The owners are friendly, knowledgeable, and love to talk about plants. Plus, their yard is gorgeous!

May flowers

May flowers

My 3 – 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge for all the bicyclists.

May 3 – The 8th Annual Children’s Hospital Dragon Boat Festival. Help support the Children’s Hospital and enjoy some dramatic boat racing fun.

May 3 – Make Your Own Zine at ArtsBuild from 9am to noon. Spend the morning creating your own work of art. The class will be taught by Aggie Thompson, professor of graphic design at UTC.

May 3 – Friends of Stringer’s Ridge will be holding Burger-Pint Night from 6-10pm at the Gear Closet. Tickets are $15, and all ages are welcome; ID will be required for beer.

May 4 – Bike to the Park – The Chattanooga Lookouts help kick off National Bike Month with this fun promotion. Ride your bicycle to AT&T Field and enjoy valet parking.

May 4 – The Chattanooga Market will feature authentic Mexican food, salsa dancing, and cerveza on el Cuatro de Mayo.

May 4 – First Free Sunday at Hunter. Enjoy the museum and have some fun — for free!

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo

May 7 – Society of Work presents Nuts + Bolts: The Psychology of Business. Shelley Prevost will speak about the psychological aspects of starting a business. Tickets are $10 and the event is from 5:30-7pm.

May 9 – Nightfall – Packway Handle Band

May 10 – Tennessee Aquarium Sleep in the Deep Family Sleepover – An overnight adventure and behind the scenes look at the animals in the Tennessee Aquarium. Ticket prices range from $60 to $73.50

May 10 – Indigo Dyeing Workshop. Spend an evening learning something new, enjoy a meal and cocktails, and have a great time. Tickets are $60, and the event is in Lafayette, GA.

May 10 – Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival. Beer lovers rejoice! There will be food, and lots of beer to sample, and Soul Mechanic will provide music. Pre and post parties to be held at the Terminal Brewhouse. Tickets are $50, no children or pets.

May 10 – If you prefer wine, you may want to check out the Spring Wine Fest at The Georgia Winery. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

May 10 – A music series for kids, the Grasshopper Concerts will take place at various parks throughout the summer. The first one will be at Riverview Park at 2.

May 11 – Mother’s Day

May 11 – Mother’s Day Celebration at the Chattanooga Market. There will be a special performance by the CSO!

May 11 – Moccasin Bend Brewery Tour and Tasting

Coloring Eggs? Try These 5 Techniques

Coloring Easter eggs is fun and easy enough. Nearly everyone has some food coloring and vinegar on hand, and there are all sorts of commercially manufactured kits available. But maybe you Eggsyearn for something a little different. If that’s the case, you may want to check out one of these tutorials!

1. Color eggshells instead of hard boiled eggs. They won’t spoil, and you can use them as decorations or give them as gifts. Here’s a nice, step-by-step guide from firstpalette.com for getting the egg out.

2. Use leaves and twigs to make botanical Easter eggs. These eggs look super fancy, but aren’t all that difficult. Martha Stewart has a great tutorial.

3. Wax your eggs. Eastern European tradition calls for using wax to create complex, beautiful designs on eggs, but you can create a similar effect using crayons. Simply draw a pattern on an egg with a crayon then dip it in dye. The dye won’t adhere to the wax. For a more in-depth and true-to-tradition method, read about how to create Pisanki Easter eggs.

4. Tie them up. Buy old 100% silk ties from the thrift store, wrap your eggs in them, then boil them, let them cool, and unwrap. The pattern will be transferred to the egg. Here are the step-by-step, detailed instructions. You’ll have the coolest eggs at the hunt.

5. Color your eggs with Kool-Aid. They will turn out bright, and you’ll be transported back to childhood by the smell. All you really need is water, Kool-Aid packs, and small cups — check out the super simple instructions here.

There are plenty of resources out there with other amazingly creative ideas for decorating. Do you have a favorite technique? Whether or not you celebrate Easter, dyeing eggs is fun and offers a nice, crafty activity — plus, you get to eat the eggs!

 

#LovingtheLocal: The Longhorn Restaurant

Not too long ago, our friend @ModernSauce posted a photo of The Longhorn Restaurant on Instagram. That got us thinking about how many awesome local businesses there are in Chattanooga, and how they get overshadowed by the chains so often. Everyone knows about The Waffle House, right? But not nearly so many people know about The Longhorn Restaurant. You’ve probably driven past it on North Market:

Longhorn sign (correct)

photo credit: ModernSauce

 

 

You may be wondering what’s so great about The Longhorn? Here are just a few things we love about it:

  • The look — the vintage decor sets the mood for an excellent diner meal.
  • The food — it’s just GOOD.
  • The service — friendly and thorough.

The Longhorn is only open for breakfast and lunch, and is located at 129 North Market Street — in the same plaza as Taco Mamacita and ClearSpring Yoga. You can’t miss the oddly shaped building.

In an effort to share some of our other favorite local spots, we are starting a new series called Loving the Local. Each week, we’ll feature a business, organization, or citizen who helps make Chattanooga a great place to live.  Our friends at Pearl & Associates Real Estate have decided to show some local love, too. They are giving away a $25 gift certificate to The Longhorn Restaurant (plenty for breakfast for two!) on May 1. There are two ways to enter the drawing:

1. Subscribe to the Pearl & Associates newsletter. You’ll get emails once or twice a month about all sorts of local real estate topics — how to sell a home faster, what kind of credit score and savings you need to buy a home, special programs, taking care of your house, and much more.

2. If you are already subscribed, you can still enter the drawing. Simply forward the Pearl & Associates newsletter to a friend.

Do you have a favorite locally owned business that you’d like us to feature? Let us know in the comments!

The Mega Post of Things To Do in April

Spring is most definitely in the air! Spring in Chattanooga is great — especially if you don’t suffer from allergies (if you do, it’s still pretty nice, but you need to keep the antihistamines close at hand). It seems like the warmer the weather gets, the more fun things there are to do in the Scenic City.

April in Tennessee

April in Tennessee

Here are a few options you may want to consider for April:

The Chattanooga Lookouts season opener is April 3! An evening at AT&T Field in the springtime is a fine way to spend some time.

Also on April 3, you can hear some fantastic live music at Track 29 during Scenic City Roots. The show will feature Billie in the Woods, Sarah Portenza, John Oates, The Dirt Daubers, and Mountain Heart. Tickets are only $10, unless you are a student, then they are just $5.

Throughout the month of April, you can enjoy and learn about jazz by attending one or many of the events of Jazzanooga. Events are scheduled at various venues all over the city and headliners include such notable musicians as Lalah Hathaway and Gregory Porter, among many others. Check out their master schedule to learn more about ticket prices, venues, and times for events.

The Chattanooga Film Festival will be held at multiple venues downtown April 3-6. This event is being held to support film as part of the growing Chattanooga arts scene. Filmmakers, film lovers, and the general population is invited to attend, learn, and enjoy!

The Spring Break Safari Hunt is taking place all over the city. It started on March 15, and lasts until April 20. Various businesses are offering two scavenger hunts: one outside their doors, and another inside the establishment (usually with a paid admission). Participants use clues to find particular objects, then take photos of the object to claim prizes. Check out this guide for all the details!

For folks who want to combine music appreciation and camping, the Back Porch Hootenanny at Cherokee Farms on April 4-5 will be just the thing. Tickets are $50 through Thursday, April 3, and $65 at the gate, and that price includes your camping spot.

Until April 6, you can see Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None at the Chattanooga Theater Centre, and from April 11-May 4, The Pump Boys and the Dinettes will be performed. Check out their Dinner and a Show promotion for a special deal!

Rock City’s newest show is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves magic and fairy tales. Fairytale Nights began on March 28 and will run through April 20. Check out the video for a taste of what to expect!

The Creative Discovery Museum hosts a free family fun night each month, and in April it is on Thursday the 10th. From 5:30 until 8 pm, families can check out the exhibits free of charge.

The 4 Bridges Art Festival is a crowd pleaser! This year it will be held April 11,12, and 13 at the First Tennessee Pavilion. Artists are selected from across the country (competition is fierce!) and 12,000 visitors are expected to attend. One day tickets are $7, and two day tickets are $10.

VW enthusiasts will not want to miss Bug-a-Paluza 16 on April 12 and 13 at Camp Jordan in East Ridge. This annual festival has grown to become one of the largest VW events in the region. Spectator tickets are just $4 and all proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chattanooga.

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County present the second annual Master Your Garden Expo on April 12 and 13 at Camp Jordan. Tickets are $5 for adults, and there will be free lectures, door prizes, demo booths, and plenty of activities for kids.

On April 17, as part of the Film Noir Series at the Heritage House Arts and Civic Center in Chattanooga, you can see The Most Dangerous Game (1932). The movie starts at 2pm, and is sure to be entertaining.

Record Store Day, on April 19, is for owners, employees, and customers of independently owned record stores around the globe to celebrate the unique position of record stores within the community. There are several participating stores in Chattanooga.

The Bun Run is a free flash mob 1 mile fun run and 5K. It’s not a race, just a fun run. The idea is to be silly while being active and having fun. So get out your pastels, your bunny ears, and your running shoes!

Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine will be April 26 and 27, as well as May 3, 4, and 10, at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. For everyone older than 2, tickets are $22 on Saturdays, $20 on Sundays. Group discounts are available when arrangements are made in advance.

Fans of locally grown produce will celebrate on April 27, opening day of the Chattanooga Market for the 2014 season. Shop for local foods and crafts and enjoy live entertainment by Louise Mosrie and Jennifer Daniels from 11-4.

Have we left out anything? Let us know in the comments if you are hosting or aware of an event you’d like to share!

Chattanooga Shopping, Adventure, Films, and More!

A week of wonderful weather had Chattanoogans out enjoying the beautiful city. The good news: there’s more warm weather and fun stuff to come. The bad news: spring in the Tennessee Valley is wildly unpredictable. In the past month we’ve had snow, thunderstorms, rain, ice, sunshine, high winds, and temperatures over 70 degrees! Local meteorologists

Signs of spring!

Signs of spring!

do their best, but spring time offers them a true challenge when it comes to predicting the weather.

Whatever the weather does, there will be plenty to keep you busy around town for the next month or two, as outdoor events crank up. One exciting announcement last week is that the Chattanooga Market will be open on Wednesdays this season. Beginning May 7, the market will be open from 4-7pm on Wednesdays. Look for a round-up style post about all of the local markets in ‘Nooga in the near future.

If you are interested in Stand Up Paddleboarding, or you enjoy stories and photos detailing exciting adventures, you may want to go hear Ben Friberg speak at Outdoor Chattanooga. Ben paddled the Yukon (238 miles!) and will be sharing stories about that trip and others at an indoor event this Wednesday, February 27 (that’s TODAY!).  Bring your own chair if you attend!

Film buffs will want to be sure to attend the Chattanooga International Film Festival, from February 28 to March 2, downtown. Registration is at the Sheraton Read House, and events will be held at both Carmike Majestic Theater and at the Tivoli.

On March 1, the Hart Gallery will host a fundraising event that includes a five course meal. This unusual gallery provides a venue for homeless people to sell their artwork.

These events, and many others, are featured on a few websites. We like to check The Pulse calendar for events, as well as Chattanooga, Take Me There, and the Times Free Press Community Section. If you know about a local event that you’d like to share with our readers, please send me an email (davaleestewart at gmail dot com) and we will be happy to feature it here on thenoogalife.com!

Are You Suffering from a Heart Hangover?

After Halloween, there is too much candy around the house, the office…everywhere! After Thanksgiving, most people are tired of turkey, and afterValentine’s Day, you might be suffering a heart hangover. Too many candy hearts, too many declarations of love and affection might have you feeling ready for something different. Maybe you are ready for some physical activity.

Chattanooga has some wonderfully walkable neighborhoods!

Chattanooga has some wonderfully walkable neighborhoods!

This weekend is the Scenic City Half Marathon, 5K, and Charity Challenge. Online registration will remain open until Wednesday, February 19, and people can register in person at the packet pickup location on Friday. Although there will be no in person registration for the half marathon on race day, participants in the 5K run/walk are welcome to register Saturday before the event begins. A portion of each registration fee goes to one of a number of charities.

If yoga is more your style, check out the Chattanooga Community Yoga group on meetup.com. The group posts inexpensive or free yoga events on their page. This Saturday there is a restorative yoga workshop with free wine and chocolate! Focus on breathing and moving and balancing.

Maybe the path to recovering from your heart hangover involves a little less exercise and a little more science fiction, horror, fantasy, anime, or convention-prone genre? In that case, you should definitely check out Chattanooga’s Multi-Fandom Convention, ConNooga. From February 21-23 the Convention and Trade Center and the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex downtown will be packed with exhibitors, authors, filmmakers, gamers, and fans of all stripes.

Whatever you do this weekend, take advantage of the beautiful vistas and excellent atmosphere in Chattanooga!

 

Play Games! Thoughts on Hosting a Game Night

Game night is a fun way to spend an evening at home — an appealing proposition for most people during the cold month of January!  Whether you choose to host a poker game with beer and chips, or a more family-friendly board game night, there is no end to the games you can play.

Even the youngest kids can play GoFish or CandyLand, and Trivial Pursuit or Scattergories are fun for most adults. If you prefer a

Even a simple game of cards can be fun.

Even a simple game of cards can be fun.

more high tech game night, something as simple as a WII bowling tournament can be exciting. Even a tic-tac-toe tournament offers a chance to laugh together.

There are endless Pinterest boards and lists of games online, but in the end, the games are not the important part of game night. Game night can be a great way to get to know your neighbors, or a way for parents of small children to enjoy some entertainment.

The point have fun together. Day to day life is stressful. Between work and school, relationships and housework, families are busy. Carving out time to play and laugh and relax together is important.

On New Year’s eve, I attended a party. The hostess had gotten a vintage Spirograph for Christmas — the kind with a whole bunch of pieces that will make about a gazillion different designs. As the clocked ticked down to midnight, a group of people sat around a coffee table choosing colors and laughing when the pen slipped.

In a completely unscientific, unstructured, and possibly unreliable online poll, I asked friends and acquaintances about their favorite games. Monopoly was the clear winner as an overall favorite. Apples to Apples and Scrabble got the most votes for word games, and people also mentioned Dominoes, Twister, and Clue a few times.

What about you? What are your favorite games? Do you do participate in a regular game night?

About the Author: Dava Stewart is a resident of Signal Mountain, freelance writer, mom to two adults, avid reader, and a fan of kids’ movies. You can contact her at dava@smilingtreewriting.com.