It was six months ago this month when I announced my intentions to more or less hang up my blog hat, so to speak. The post had a “goodbye-but-hopefully-not-forever” tone about it, and I did hint at the end that I may pop up every now and again with the occasional update. Aside from today’s entry, and from my February 18th Oscar predictions post – an annual rite of passage that began in 2012, all has otherwise been silent on the blogging front.
I still send the occasional Tweet courtesy of my @gringopotpourri feed, although ceasing production on the blog while simultaneously suspending my Facebook account all but derailed any substantial Twittersphere engagement.
All of that having been said, I thought I’d pop up from the void to let you know that I am still alive and well.
Continue reading “Greetings from the Nadir”
The time has come to say goodbye.
It has been over six years since I started this blog. It has been a fun ride, blogging about Mexico City, Tennessee, travel in general, various top ten lists, and life’s strange journey. Posts have run the gamut, from Kilimanjaro climbing adventures to “Where am I?” guessing games to humorous musings on our last presidential election to emotional tell-alls in the weeks leading up to my mom’s passing in 2016.
But the all-things-Scott experience that is GringoPotpourri has run its course, and it seems that I have no more stories to tell. Okay, so that’s not entirely accurate. I have a million stories to tell, but this blog no longer provides the format that I need to tell my stories the way they need to be told.
Continue reading “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen”
My, what a crazy year this has been.
Thanksgiving is normally a time for introspection and reflection, for remembering everything that you have in your life, and for spending the day – or at least the afternoon – with friends and family.
I will be spending my Thanksgiving alone.
This is probably for the best.
Continue reading “Thanksgiving Reflections – 2017”
It has been four years since I made a year-in-review post such as the one you’ve just started reading. But 2016 has been an interesting year. I was promoted twice, took a few day trips, and bought a car. On the other hand, my mom passed away, as did countless artists and celebrities, all of them before their time. Additionally, my general stress level seemed to increase tenfold. There have been times, during these last two months in particular, when it seemed as if 2016 would never end.
2016 highlights and lowlights
What a year it’s been!
Continue reading “2016: A Year to (Not) Remember”
November has, thus far, been rife with disappointment. On a personal level, I have slowly been making peace with my mother’s passing, less than two months ago, while weathering a relationship break-up that felt like a sucker punch. Regarding the former, it took several weeks to even register the fact that my mom was gone. As for the latter, I’ve been trying to assess what I must have done wrong, but am slowly coming to the conclusion that I will never know for sure. All I can say is that I haven’t been sleeping well.
On the world stage – and for the second occurrence in my lifetime – the better candidate for the United States Presidency won the popular vote but lost the election. And the other day, I logged onto social media to learn that one of my favorite mood poets, Leonard Cohen, had passed away at age 82.
At times like these, I tend towards the melancholy. I spent much of yesterday doing some archiving and came across a few blog posts from 2013. I realized that it was Election Day, 2012, when I moved to Mexico City and established gringopotpourri.com. My blog has changed a lot over the years. For one thing, the writing is better now than it was then. Darker, perhaps, but also better. The regionality of the content has also shifted from being mostly Mexico-focused to being largely Tennessee-focused.
To “celebrate” my blog’s four-year anniversary, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite posts for you, along with comments on how those posts either came to be or how they hold up today. And as always: Thanks for reading!
Continue reading “Onward and Upward: Four Years of Blogging”
It was perhaps 16 months ago when I visited, and blogged about, the oldest town in Tennessee. That would be Jonesborough, once part of North Carolina and today just a stone’s throw from the redrawn state line. I remember walking around the antique shop-lined Main Street on a hot, sunny day, walking past centuries-old churches, some of which still feature separate seating for slaves.
The weather was decidedly different – autumnal, cold, and sporadically rainy – when, two weeks ago, I visited Dandridge, the second-oldest town in Tennessee.
Continue reading “The Second-Oldest Town in Tennessee”
Memphis has traditionally held the title of “Tennessee’s Largest City,” ever since westward expansion post-Civil War brought settlers across the Mississippi River. But that honor changed hands not long ago. Nashville, the state capital, is now 25,000 people greater than Memphis in population. In fact, Memphis actually has fewer residents than it did in 2000!
What is going on here? How can a city decline in population? And which city is the better one, really? Over the next several paragraphs, I’ll give my $0.02 on which city reigns supreme in categories of location, food, museums, parks and gardens, sports, nightlife, and – most important of all – overall livability.
Continue reading “City Showdown: Memphis vs. Nashville”
The picture above is of Main Street in Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee. Jonesborough, founded in 1779, during the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, pre-dates Tennessee as a state, and was established as the capital of Washington County, North Carolina.
Tennessee itself finally gained statehood in 1796, with Knoxville, located in the eastern third of the state, serving at the state’s first capital. As Tennessee – and the U.S. – expanded westward, the capital eventually moved to Nashville. But the earliest seeds in what later became known as “The Volunteer State” were sown in and around Knoxville. Nearly all of the state’s pre-Civil War towns still exist. The luckiest thrive as tourism towns for history buffs, day trippers, and antiques collectors. Jonesborough, which I wrote about in more detail last August, is just one of several. Here are four more.
Continue reading “Tennessee Main Street Towns”
Tennessee is gorgeous in the fall. The eastern third of the state, which sees the Smoky Mountains rise to heights of almost 7,000 feet, is stunning. The fall colors peaked just last week, and as you remark about the crisp weather and the fallen leaves, don’t be surprised when you discover that fall’s harvest season carries with it a sense of community and, in rural parts of the state, a throw-back to simpler times.
I have spent the last two weekends taking in a sampling of this culture firsthand, albeit in somewhat of a staged environment. Mountain Makins’ is an annual fall festival of music, arts and crafts, and food. The Museum of Appalachia, meanwhile, is an open-air museum of highland culture that ranks as one of the best folk museums in the world.
Continue reading “The Mountain Culture of Tennessee”
These are fried green tomatoes. Intrigued? They are exactly what their name implies, and are a perfectly healthy-yet-not-healthy appetizer. The dip you see in the picture above is a tangy mayonnaise that isn’t spicy persay, but has just that right amount of zip to really make the meal.
Continue reading “Southern Food”