BARRY COURTER: Lisa, we might have to consider renaming this column. I'm sure you remember the title was conceived as a snarky homage to the fact that although our city continued to offer more and more things to do, the real question burning a hole in the minds of nearly no one in town was, "What would get Barry or Lisa off the couch?"
LISA DENTON: Yes, because sometimes the answer is "a crane." But it's never really been for lack of anything fun or recreational to do around town.
BARRY: Dynamite was mentioned, as I remember. Or food.
LISA: Food for sure. Sometimes the only exercise I get is the trip to the refrigerator and back. The rest of my fitness routine consists of jumping to conclusions, stretching the truth and pushing my luck. I'm quite proficient.
BARRY: As far as entertainment goes, every week seems to get better and better. So much so, I feel we need to quit pointing out how much our city has changed. I mean, though not a city event, it's so close we count it, but Bonnaroo just wrapped up, and Riverbend has six days left. We have Nightfall and Riverfront Nights, which just announced its lineup. And Songbirds, The Signal and the city-owned Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium are killing it every week, it seems, with great shows. Acts that never seemed to come here before.
LISA: You are correct. For a while, the fall festival season and a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving were crazy busy with multiple events every weekend. But now you can find something to do any weekend. Or any weeknight, for that matter.
BARRY: I mean, why do you think that is? The bike lanes maybe? Do you think people have finally gotten the word that you can ride a bike through Chattanooga and not worry about traffic of any kind.
LISA: It ain't the bike lanes. The bike lanes are stupid. And the curbs and flower pots and "Watch Your Step" poles on parts of Broad Street to differentiate between the traffic lanes and the bike lanes? Especially stupid. Tripping hazards, every one.
I would say that's my curmudgeon rant of the day, but you've known me long enough. I'm sure you know to expect more.
I'm not against the bikes, mind you. I especially like the kind with banana seats and high handlebars.
BARRY: They're hard to beat. Seriously, it's not just the bigger venues, or even live music shows that are happening all the time. The Chattanooga Football Club is a success story all its own. And just getting out and walking around downtown is a lot of fun.
LISA: Absolutely. We have parks, fountains, pedestrian bridges, shady streets. Just mind the bicycle curbs.
BARRY: By the way, it's Navy Week across the country, and Chattanooga is one of 14 cities chosen to participate. Riverbend has several events planned in conjunction with the celebration. The U.S. Fleet Forces Band and the Brass Band will perform several times throughout the week, and members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal units, the Navy's Office of Small Business, Navy Medicine, USS Constitution, Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga, Navy Meteorology and Oceanography units, Navy Recruiting, sailors from Tennessee's submarine namesake, USS Tennessee, and even sailors from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123, an E-2C Hawkeye squadron on the East Coast, are all scheduled to participate during the week's events.
There is a lot going on and you can find out more at http://www.outreach.navy.mil/.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.