In the 1980s Chattanooga was reeling from local recession, deteriorating schools and housing stock, and rising racial tensions. Today it’s an example of revitalisation which is praised by ‘quality placemaking, unusual anchor institutions, and a highly collaborative innovation ecosystem’, praised by experts
. The former railroad junction enjoyed investments and programs for reviving the economy.
The US election results show that even in the South, Democrats win in major cities, while rural areas are a Republican stronghold. Chattanooga, which is on the cross-road of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, could be exactly such a place, with a General Lee portrait at hipsterish Airbnb, a place of a usual divides where people with opposite political views do not mingle together, live in different neighbourhoods and have no place to meet.
As everywhere on the road I buy a local paper. Though it takes time to find where to get it. 'To give the news impartially, without fear of favour’ is a slogan of the paper, which is quite unusual for a regional daily, ‘Chattanooga Free Press Times’ with an awkwardly long name.