Getting settled in Bristol

I’ve been in Bristol for about ten days and work for a week, so it’s time for an update. This blog wasn’t intended to be an update on my life. It was supposed to be my thoughts on the world, but the change is okay considering the circumstances. Yesterday, you read about work, and before that, moving. It’ll go back to being what it was supposed to be very soon.

Don’t worry. This one will have lots of pictures.

Perhaps the neatest thing about the area is that you’re always traveling between two states, Tennessee and Virginia. I live in Tennessee but work in Virginia. There are no big bridges like over the Hudson or Delaware. There’s just a little, two-lane road, called State Street. Part of it separates the states.

State Street facing east,  towards downtown, with the famous sign in the background. Virginia on left, Tennessee on right.
State Street facing east, towards downtown, with the famous sign in the background. Virginia is on the left, and Tennessee on the right.
This is one of the fine establishments on the Virginia side, but probably just as popular among Tennesseans.
This is one of the fine establishments on the Virginia side, but probably just as popular among Tennesseans.
The famous guitar and countdown to the Virginia Tech-Tennessee football game on September 10, 2016. They're outside the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, which serves both sides.
The famous guitar and countdown to the Virginia TechTennessee football game on September 10, 2016. They’re outside the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, on State Street, which serves both sides from Tennessee.
This is what you see when you cross it.
This is what you see when you cross State Street.
You can tell which state is on which side by the white abbreviations on street signs, or by which state's lottery tickets are for sale.
You can tell which state is on which side by the white abbreviations on the street signs, or by which state’s lottery tickets are for sale.
Cross-streets have different names.
Cross-streets have different names in the different states (click the picture to see better)…
.. except for Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., which is the same in both states.
.. except for Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., which is the same in both states.
I work off MLK Blvd., a half-block onto the Virginia side.
I work off MLK Blvd., a half-block onto the Virginia side.
2015-03-15 inside wcyb
This is me, just inside from the lobby.
Across MLK Blvd. is the Bristol Train Station. It's not for passengers anymore, just conferences and banquets.
Across MLK Blvd. is the Bristol Train Station. It’s not for passengers anymore — just conferences and banquets.
2015-03-15 bristol va seal w tn also
Across the street to the north is the Bristol, Virginia, Courthouse. Click on it and you’ll notice the city seal also mentions Tennessee.
Bristol, Virginia, is proud of several things, including its intelligent people. (Again, click it to read.)
Bristol, Virginia, is proud of several things, including its intelligent people. (Again, click it to read.)
Both sides ask us to Keep Bristol Beautiful. Notice the Welcome to Tennessee sign on the left.
Both sides ask us to Keep Bristol Beautiful. Notice the Welcome to Tennessee sign sticking out on the lower left.

You saw the reference to football, but the people of Bristol are really NASCAR fans. On Wednesday, we learned driver Kurt Busch‘s suspension was lifted, but a co-worker noticed something else. Unfortunately, Internet Broadcasting posted a story from CNN that showed a picture of Kurt’s brother, Kyle, on our page!

2015-03-11 kyle busch

We quickly removed the story and the picture was replaced, shortly after. I have a lot to learn about NASCAR!

People in Bristol are also very religious. There are many, many churches in the area. They’re more saturated than 10th Avenue in North Miami Beach with Orthodox synagogues.

One of my favorite signs.  There was a nice wintry mix when we got to town.
One of my favorite signs. There was a nice wintry mix when we got to town.
Can you find what's wrong on this sign? (It's on the Tennessee side of State Street, with Virginia in the background.)
Can you find what’s wrong on this sign? (It’s on the Tennessee side of State Street, with Virginia in the background.)
Jesus is praying for us, and hopefully also protecting us. This is a few doors from the outside of our complex. You can't get here without seeing it.
Jesus is praying for us, and hopefully also protecting us. This is a few doors from the outside of our complex. You can’t get here without seeing it.

The nearest Dunkin Donuts is in Johnson City. That’s why it was so hard to bring a box of coffee on my first day at work. I went to Manna on State Street (Tennessee side), took a carafe, and they trusted me to return it a few hours later. I did. (Little did I know, there is plenty of coffee in the break room at work.) Turns out, Manna is affiliated with a messianic organization. I found out while waiting for the coffee.

Unfortunately, recycling is not a priority around here. It’s not picked up. There are only a few bins around town.

I have to get used to the grocery stores. I’ve been to Food City more than Kroger. I’d never seen it before but at Food City, you slip your cart behind so the cashier takes your stuff out, rather than you putting it on the conveyor belt.

Dollar stores are very popular. Unfortunately, it seems the economy isn’t too good around here. The Bristol Mall (Virginia side) is pretty much dead. There’s a Sears, but a lot of vacant space.

This store looks like it's going out of business in eight days.
This store looks like it’s going out of business in eight days.

Despite any problems, most people are very friendly. I’m learning how to be nice on the road, even though it can be hard to know where I’m going sometimes.

Try figuring this out!
Try figuring this out!

So that’s Bristol. Coming up at some point, visits to the other Tri-Cities of Johnson City and Kingsport, but now, back to work for my second week.

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10 thoughts on “Getting settled in Bristol

  1. Glad to see you are getting settled in and starting to adjust. Just think of the the positive impact you will have on the people around you. The economy may not be good but think of all of the money you’ll save.

    Liked by 1 person

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