IN the previous post in the Hands Over Sands, I mentioned there was one other bike rider. His bike drew me not just because it was the lone other bike but because it was an awesome commuter with wooden rack and Brooks leather saddle. I unfortunately had forgotten my camera and didn't take a picture with my cell phone that I knew wouldn't do it justice.
I had to identify who owned such a bike and soon found myself talking to Phil Gates. His wife, Deborah, was also there having walked over from their Northshore condo. This friendly couple was soon telling me (after gentle prodding from me) their Chattanooga story. Like many people, they moved from Atlanta to get away from-well, Atlanta-the size, traffic and whatever else that Atlantans seem to find objectionable. They bought a house and fixed it up and lived in it for several years until they decided the house was too big and too much upkeep, so they sold it.
After giving it some thought, they decided that no place else could beat what they could get right here in Chattanooga-the livability, walkability, bikeability and just the plain friendliness of the people. They bought a condo on the NorthShore and have been living the Chattanooga downtown life ever since.
I always find it interesting to hear how Chattanooga is viewed by those who come from other places. I have always lived here so it is hard for me to be objective about it all. Really, since I have never lived any place else, I have nothing else to compare to. So when people who do have something to compare it to say how wonderful Chattanooga is, I am grandly pleased.
Phil and Deborah, you certainly add to the friendliness of Chattanooga. I enjoyed coming the Mercatino's for breakfast for your World Cup gathering. I am sure our paths will be crossing often!