Archive for February, 2006

Donut dreams

donut.jpg Maybe I’m poor, hungry, simply prone to daydreaming, or, all three, so, I like to read news about local business franchises, and, plan what I’m going to do when my idea becomes the next big thing to catch on. Just between you and me, Internet, I’m going to retire on the colossal income I’m going to make when I open a chain of nail salons in airports. Think about it, after you’re done in the bar (humor me, pretend that you can be done in the bar), there’d be some time left over to get that manicure you don’t seem to have time to schedule.

My other fantasies are more local. For example, someone needs to open a donut place in Bellevue. Young families and churches galore, what better target customers? Donut shops have come and gone, but, none have stayed. Sure, you can get donuts at the grocery or the mini-mart, but, there’s no donut shop ambiance, no donut shop coffee. It could be big, I’m telling you! My other idea is opening a McDonald’s in Belle Meade. There’s not one nearby, there’s lots of traffic, it could be landscaped nicely to meet the area’s standards. Costs? Capital? Labor? Shut up, it’s my fantasy and all that’s taken care of already. What would your imaginary venture be?

The Bachelor Makes Nashville Connection

Arc de Triomphe

It looks like The Bachelor flew all the way to Paris to make a love connection that could’ve happened at Johnny Jackson’s Soul Satisfaction (if it was still open). ABC is a bunch of suckers. I could’ve produced this for about $15 and a wad of gum. Oh well, keep your eyes open if you’re driving down Belmont. Rumor is Dr. Bachelor and his new squeeze, Sarah, live in the area.

I’m a looser baby…

Hello world! This is my first entry and I wish I could have gotten on this thing sooner…but let’s skip to the good stuff.

Here I am sitting at work with only an hour left in the “work day.” Then from 8pm to 10pm I’ll be on the air with Daina, a good friend from college.

Everyone else I know in the world will be at Flying Saucer for pint night…sigh…oh well. It’s not my fav watering hole in Nashville anyway.

This weekend I started early by cutting work and going to Boot Country and then lounging times at Centennial Park. I also made it to Le Peep and Bar Twenty3.

Thanks again Nashville for a beautiful sunny day!

Stereotype City, USA

nashville.jpgNashville and country music is getting Farked today, but, Shania Twain pictures keep interrupting the discussion.

Nashville should be proud of it’s country music roots, a lot of great things happen here. You don’t have to like country music to appreciate the history and the talented musicians and writers. But, it does get old when people assume the city is nothing but it’s musical heritage or that we don’t wear shoes. I most certainly wear shoes. As a matter of fact, just put them back on to write this. And, no, they weren’t cowboy boots. Mine don’t fit me anymore, besides, they take the attention away from my very large Western hat.

When I was a freshman in college, my roommate from Connecticut was unpacking at the beginning of the year, and, she had what seemed like a year’s supply of soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc. When I asked her why she bought so much of that kind of stuff at one time, she told me that she wasn’t sure we had stores down here. I really think she may have thought Hee Haw (which I love) was the prototype reality show.

American Apparel Downtown

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Introducing the new face of downtown Nashville’s newest retail clothing establishment. Not what you expected? Well, learn to expect the unexpected, I guess. It looks like American Apparel, the increasingly popular and controversial clothing store, will be opening a store right smack in downtown Nashville, on Broadway, next to the Global Cafe.The controversy and hype circulating around American Apparel stems from two main things:

First is the fact that they are a clothing company that pays their employees remarkably well. Employees make an average of $13/hr, and also enjoy “paid time off, healthcare, company-subsidized lunches, bus passes, free ESL classes, on-site masseurs, free parking, proper lighting and ventilation, and the most up-to-date equipment”. For a textiles company to have such an overtly pro-labor stance is pretty kick-ass. BusinessWeek has a good overview of the business, including its success and controversy.

Second is the source of the aforementioned controversy: their advertising. It’s sometimes bordering on pornographic, sometimes, well, just plain pornographic. But one man’s pornography is another man’s clothing ad, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting their bottom-line.

It’s interesting to see a clothing store choose Lower Broadway in Nashville for a location — I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash if I had heard they were opening up, say, in Green Hills, or Cool Springs, or something. But having a store choose downtown Nashville is a positive sign for the re-re-revitalization of downtown Nashville — a perpetual process, it seems.

So how will relatively conservative Nashville, the city that recently enacted a 3-foot no-contact rule for its strip clubs, react to having a racy, pornography-slinging, pro-labor clothing shop right in the middle of downtown? I can’t say for sure, but personally I think it’s going to be great.

flying saucer

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Ah, the Flying Saucer. I have a tortured relationship with this bar. This place is somewhat of an enigma to me.

First, the premises. This bar is located in one of the coolest buildings in Nashville next to Union Station itself — it’s inside what I believe was the freight building for Union Station, the L&N railroad terminal. It’s a gorgeous building that feels (and nearly is) as old as Nashville itself.

Second is the beer — over 200 beers on tap, and more beyond that in bottles. It’s a beer connoisseur’s wet dream.

Third is a bit of a curveball: the food. For a bar, they have awesome food. The beer cheese soup is simply divine. It’s a heartattack in convenient bread-bowl form factor, but when you fall over, writhing in pain, dying of coronary angina, you’ll go with a smile on your face, and know it was all worth it. The turkey meltdown sandwich is also one of my favorites — generous slabs of smoked turkey on french bread with avocado and cheese. It’s hard to go wrong.

So where am I going with all of this? Despite all these obvious pros, I never go to the Flying Saucer, because of one big fat giant con:
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I hope there’s baseball in heaven

A Nashville institution, Mr. Joseph E. “Black Cat” Reilly, died earlier this month. Black Cat was a very simple man who spent most of his life selling newspapers downtown, but, his passion was for sports, especially baseball. His friends included former Nashville Sounds owner, Larry Schmittou, and, New York Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner. He also had a special place in his heart for Father Ryan high school, attending nearly every football and basketball game for many years. As far back as I can remember, he was always on the sidelines at the games, making sure everything was going as planned for the Irish.

I know you may not have known him, but, I hope you’ll take a moment to read some of the nice things that have been said about him by the Tennesseean here, and, here and at Father Ryan High School.

Rest in peace, Black Cat.

Edited to add: My 74 year old father told me that Black Cat attended all his (my dad’s) high school games, too.

Local educasts

podcasting.jpgIf you’re into this sort of thing, I just stumbled upon Vanderbilt’s podcast page. I may have to listen to the one about lawyer jokes.

That so totally rocks out loud.

As Fabulous February gives way to Maxin’ March, Mayor Purcell tells us that we can look forward to Awesome April. LIke. Oh. Muh. Gawd.

Island Eats And Burrito Treats

Two of my favorite restaurants are Calypso Café and Baja Burrito. I can eat at either place any time. My wife and I will routinely fall back on either establishment if we can’t decide where to eat. We love them both that much.

Recently, both of these restaurants have started to expand throughout the area via franchising (franchises are called Couva Calypso Café and Blue Coast Burrito). This is awesome for people who haven’t been able to experience one or the other. It’s also great for me since it allows me to indulge in more locations–even though I only live five minutes from the Baja and Calypso in 100 Oaks.

With expansion comes a few growing pains. Over the past 6 months since each restaurant has been growing rapidly, I’ve noticed a slight drop off in food quality. I don’t know if it’s the fact that they were forced to switch distributors to accommodate, or if it’s just the new staff in the franchise locations.

Whatever it is, I keep going back hoping it will be different this time. There’s just no place else that makes Jerk Chicken with black beans and greens like Calypso. And I can never pass up the fish tacos at Baja Burrito (it’s the baja sauce, not the fish sticks). For fast casual dining, you can’t beat either one of these eateries.

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