Thursday, July 12, 2012

Author Cherie Priest on Chattanooga


Copyright © Libby Bulloff 
It's not every day you get to hear about the goings on in town as described by a very talented local writer. So we were delighted to run across some of Cherie Priest's blog posts that mention Chattanooga. Cherie Priest is a science fiction and fantasy author who got her start while living in Chattanooga, and who set her first three novels here. After several years in Seattle, she and her husband have returned to settle down. Anticipating a flurry of questions from fans all over the country who might not understand her decision to return to a small town in the deep South, she summed up some of Chattanooga's advantages when she announced her decision to move,
"When my husband and I looked in the bank, our savings added up to a minimum down-payment on a mediocre condo here in Seattle … or … a huge portion of a restored Victorian back home in Tennessee; Now, I realize that more than a few of you are probably thinking, “Chattanooga? Really?” and my response to that is simply, “Yeah, so?” I lived there over a dozen years and liked it just fine – if anything, I didn’t realize how comfortable I was until after I left. My husband was born and raised there. The cost of living is low, it’s centrally located to a number of other cities, it’s pretty as hell, and I have oodles of friends (and relatives) in the area."
Their stint in Seattle gives Ms. Priest an interesting perspective on Chattanooga, having taken off just when many of the city's best new features were beginning, and returning to see them flourishing. Here's what she had to say on Pure Soda Works, the Chattanooga market, and more.
"Well, today we went to the Chattanooga Market, which frankly blew our minds. The weekly (seasonal) market had just started up around the time we moved away, but it was pretty damn pitiful. Now it’s a total circus – well stocked, with a lot of great local crafters, farmers, and other assorted people-with-stuff-to-sell. Well done, Chattanooga. Well done.
I spent a few bucks, brought home a few things, and plan to return, but here’s hoping that next week it’s not quite so damn hot. A few thousand people were crowded into a big old pavilion, and it was 95 degrees. 
This having been said, the heat prompted me to sample the wares of a really great two-person soda company offering some seriously fantastic custom syrups. I had a “honey lime” beverage, and would cheerfully go buy another – or try out some of the other flavors. Now I just wish I could remember the company’s name. I’ll keep an eye out for them next time.
[Edit: It was these guys. Pure Sodaworks. Two thumbs up.]"

 She has also commented on several Chattanooga hot spots, including Fork and Pie and Merchants on Main.
"Went to the Fork and Pie in downtown Chattanooga for lunch. I was dubious as I am less of a "pie" person from a non-sweet standpoint ... but I'm glad we went! It was delicious! I would post a picture of how many thumbs-up the husband and I give it, but the phone requires one thumb for picture-taking, so... "
"The husband and I just discovered this and honestly love it so much we almost don't want to tell anyone about it. Super-reasonable prices, lots of great secondhand stuff that's been fabulously restored. Can't recommend them enough. Except that we don't want anyone to shop there so we get dibs on the best stuff. MWOOHAHAHA."
We look forward to hearing more from the perspective of a twice-Chattanoogan!