Monday, May 11, 2009

Tennessee State Mutual Admiration Society

We did not go to meeting last week in Germantown hosted by Senator Thelma Harper to preview plans for what her office is calling the the "Avenue of the Arts," along of a four-block stretch of Jefferson Street (shouldn't it be dubbed more accurately, "Street of the Arts"?). The meeting was designed to update "Germantown" on the Tennessee State Library & Archives, Tennessee State Museum, Museum of African American Music, Art, and Culture, and Bicentennial Mall State Park.

The invitation arrived a couple of days before the event and I did not pay much attention because the big title ("What's Happening in Germantown!") looked like the dozens of real estate advertisements we have received this year. So, we did not go.

After talking to a Salemtown neighbor who went, I'm glad that I did not go. I needed an evening relatively free from bunkum. Reportedly, Senator Harper and State Parks Commissioner Jim Fyke came across as self-congratulatory about how "fast" the state moved to install emergency call boxes at Bicentennial Mall State Park after a Germantown resident was raped there in September 2007. If by "fast" they mean "one year," then I fear to imagine what "slow" would have looked like. I completely fail to understand how Jim Fyke is due all of the praise, given that he derided my own suggestion of call boxes during a phone call a mere two months after the horrible event.

However, to the point of christening Jeff Street "Avenue of the Arts," I would raise the question of whether that name has already been taken by a more north-south artery, including a 2002 Civic Design Center proposed extension across Jeff Street on 5th Avenue into Salemtown that would incorporate student-created street mosaics and "pocket" parks with public art.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, there is even a marquee on the side of the Sommet identifying it as part of 5th Ave; the Avenue of the Arts.