Hot and Sweaty Chatty Summer

Summer's just around the corner in Chattanooga. Before we know it, It's going to be 95 degrees with 60-70% humidity. The minute you step outside, you'll feel the beads of sweat rolling down your face. Your shirt might dampen with out much physical movement. You'll think to yourself, "damn, this is gross." Sounds awful doesn't it? Well yeah, but here's the catch. Chattanooga, despite the overwhelming heat and humidity, is an awesome place to be in the summer. There's  an endless amount of water activities ranging from swimming holes, rope swings, rock hopping, rock jumping, paddling, SUPing, you name it, as well as free music events, cold beer, and city wide parties to wash all that hot humid disgust away. Summer in Chattanooga can be a lot of fun. 

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A typical summer Friday in Chattanooga goes something like this: Wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, maybe go grab an extra cup of coffee at our favorite roastery in town, Velo Coffee Roasters. Check them out. Once you're awake and fully caffeinated, it's time to go venture out to a swimming hole. You have a number of options whether you just wanna go take a quick dip in Suck Creek, head out to Foster Falls and swim in that massive pool of water, or go on a longer hike to some of the less traveled swimming spots (we can tell ya where to go) . Whatever you do, make a day out of it. Bring some snacks or a sandwich to go. After you get your swim in, head back to the city. You'll probably be needing a cold beer at this point. Check out Hutton & Smith or Heaven & Ale.

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Now, maybe it's time for a nap to get ready for that hot and sweaty Chatty summer night. Summer Friday nights are a blast. Nightfall music series is a free outdoor music series bringing in a lot of great acts every Friday night in our favorite part of town. Some of the acts that have played Nightfall in years past range from Foxygen, Kishi Bashi, to Dr. Dog. It's a great time, and after that, you're right there on MLK Blvd which will be bumping with nightlife. You can catch a show at JJ's for a time you're sure to remember or go hang around the corner in the hipster alley at Bitter Alibi. Whatever you do, be safe, and have fun! En Root House loves summer in this city. 

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Mural Residency

It's been awhile since any content on here, so we figured we'd make a post about our mural artist residency here at the hostel. 

These murals are all part of our mural exchange residency. Traveling artist's are offered a two week stay and genuine experience of Chattanooga life while they work on a mural in the back yard.  It's a growing project that's sure be a sight to see in years to come with incredible diversity in artistic styles from people all over the country and world.

The three artist who have already graced the fence with their work are Jeff Niesen based out of Minneapolis Minnesota, Stephen Michael Hass from Harrisburg PA , and Savannah Roddy from Akron Ohio. 

We currently have two more artists scheduled to come this summer to add to the magic. If interested in participating yourself, check out https://www.arcresidency.org/en-root for more information. 

Music & Art @ En Root House

Music and art are held dear to our hearts here at En Root House.  Since opening we've had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with the local arts and music scene as well as traveling artists and musicians who happen to find their way here.

Here are just a few examples of the magic we've encountered thus far.

October of last year En Root House hosted artist Ryder Richards during his month long artist residency with ARC. We were lucky to be involved with this great local non-profit organization during their first year. Having Ryder at the house was a superb experience. Get a glimpse into his residency here https://www.arcresidency.org/past/ .

Roots of a Rebellion (live acoustic set) & Live recording of Open Mic Spotlight. ROAR is a Nashville based reggae band that played a small acoustic set for us and all the other guests one Sunday morning. There were pancakes, coffee, good vibes, and Heather Leigh Holt from local podcast Open Mic Spotlight recorded her first live audience recording of the podcast. You can listen to it here

Bombadil (live living room set) . This was one for the books. One of those most magical nights you always hope for. Bombadil, a wonderful band from North Carolina, played an intimate set to a small crowd in the living room. The show was organized by Kristy Graves of Chattanooga House Shows

Jeff's mural exchange. We offer a small ongoing residency via ARC for backyard murals. Artist Jeff Niesen showed up on our porch one day ready to paint. He's been the first taker for the mural exchange and has chosen to tackle the entire back fence panel in the backyard. He's still in the process and has about two more weeks to go. We can't wait till it's done!

Community

Hostels can be many things and they all differ in their own way, ranging from size, vibe, location, ect. That aside, there's one common theme that should tie all hostels together: Community. This is the heart and soul of "hostel life" . One of our favorite things to do at En Root House is to gather everyone around the table, eat, laugh, drink, and share stories. We may be a super small establishment , but we're always down to share with you, whether we have a full house or just one or two guests. We're eager to hear your story and we'll gladly tell you ours. So, if you're ever passing through Chattanooga please come stay with us, sit, have some coffee, tell us a story. Everyone has one :) .

The People You Meet and Places You Go

Lizzy and I were lucky enough to take a little trip to Taiwan this winter. We were inspired to visit by one of our guests who happened to be from the small Asian nation. Although he was only in Chattanooga for a couple days, we became good friends from the start and were able to meet up with him in Taipei, the city where he lives.

Taiwan was never a place we thought much about, but you see, that's the beauty of meeting new people, they lend you an alternate perspective and instill new wonder and curiosity. We spent two weeks circling the island. It's a beautiful country, with an incredible amount to offer like adventure and scenery as well as being a culinary paradise. The food is no joke. But beyond the food and scenery, it was the people that really left a mark. We were treated with nothing but kindness and enthusiasm the entire time. Taiwanese hospitality is alive and well. I'd like to imagine we were able to harness some of that energy.

 This blog post doesn't seem to have much focus. I guess whereI'mtrying to go with this is that , travel, or life in general, is all about human interactions. Those interactions shape our experiences in any given situation. Here in Chattanooga we have a lot of outdoor adventure opportunities but I'd like to think we have much more to offer as well. I hope visitors are also inspired by the people they meet here, whether it's another visitor or a local of 50 years. Ihope guests of ours are able to learn something new or be inspired to go somewhere they never imagined during their time here, whether it be from another guest, us, or someone out in the Chattanooga streets. Peace.

MLK BLVD

Mlk Blvd, in my eyes, is the most important street in Chattanooga right now. It's an area seeing quite the facelift, as is much of the city, but it's historically been a street full of heart and soul and whether it maintains that or not is incredibly important to the integrity of Chattanooga.

It's always a thin line between revitalization without overt gentrification, but it's not impossible. While I'm enthusiastic about the new breweries and hip bars coming to the area, it's important that this street sustains the people and businesses that are true to the area. Go to Lamar's. Go to G's. Go to Uncle Larry's. Go get a haircut at one of the many barber shops. Also, you can't forget JJ's. Some of these places may not be ones you would normally wander into, but I urge you to give it a shot.  There are also many places popping up that sway closer to that gentrification line, but they're great none the less. Some of Chattanooga's finest. The Bitter Alibi, Hutton & Smith Brewery, and the highly anticipated 2 Son's Kitchen & Market to name a few. This is a Chattanooga street with a lot to offer. I love it so much.