Archive for March, 2006


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ADAPT protests

picture of an ADAPT protestor in downtown Nashville
Photo Credit: Tom Olin

Protestors from ADAPT took to the street in downtown Nashville on Monday and Tuesday, blocking traffic and demanding a meeting with Governor Bredesen. They also closed the Capitol, an action blamed on the protestors — an action that many, including Rep. Diane Black, used to condemn their actions as “not helping”. I beg to differ. They chose to close the capitol, citing “the safety of the people who are there and safety of the public in general” (Col. Mike Walker, commander of the Tennessee Highway Patrol). He didn’t explain what safety, exactly, was at risk. Not everyone agreed that closing the capitol was even necessary:

Among the visitors denied entrance to the Capitol on Wednesday were J.C. Kuessner, a state representative from Missouri, and his wife, Patti.

Kuessner, a Democrat from Eminence, Mo., said he was disappointed not to see the House chamber.

“We had similar protests like this in Missouri last year,” Kuessner said. “We didn’t shut down.”

So was the capitol closed because it was necessary, or because it was a convenient launching pad for attacks such as this one, by Department of Safety Commissioner Gerald Nicely:

As most of you are well aware, this evening many state employees working in the Capitol complex and its surrounding buildings experienced significant delays in their commutes home because of the unfortunate actions of a national group of professional protestors who blocked many of downtown Nashville’s streets.

Photo of an ADAPT protestor in downton Nashville
Photo Credit: Tom Olin

Calling them professional protestors is not only disingenuous — it’s insulting, given the inclement weather they endured to be out there. Randy Alexander elaborates:

I am not a professional protester, I am not being paid to be here. All these people that are here are here because they want to be here because their brothers and sisters are stuck in nursing homes. Tennessee keeps people in nursing homes. We don’t need sympathy and pity.

Senator Diane Black responded to the protests by saying that “This is not helping because we are working on a bill that would allow this and people have families to take care of at home and children to take care of including disabled children and this is not helping, we are losing support for this bill because of these actions.”

I respectfully disagree. I’ve now taken the time to investigate what ADAPT is all about, and what they demand. There’s an excellent rundown here of ADAPT’s history and what they’re fighting for. As a result of the ADAPT protests, I now know who they are, It’s a worthy cause, and whether you agree with their goal or not, I think it’s worth being “inconvenienced” for. Next time you’re inconvenienced by a protest on a cold, rainy day, take some time to think about what’s driving them to endure bad weather and make such a spectacle. Take some time to learn what they stand for. I did, and I stand with them, and I strongly condemn the disrespectful attempts by Black, Nicely, and others, to make these protestors out to be “professionals”, as if their only agenda is to inconvenience others. Shame on them.

All You Can Eat for $4.98!

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Two weeks ago I drove home with three of my best pals with the purpose of showing them that Atlanta can be fun! I think I succeeded in reaching that goal.

On the way home Sunday night we took a brief stop at the glorious 4.98. This wonderful Chinese buffet is off 24 and it’s ALL YOU CAN EAT for 4.98. I just tried looking on the web to get more information on this place and came up empty handed.

But if you are ever going down 24 and you are hungry get off at the Harding exit.

PS: My coworker spotted Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman at GH Starbucks this morning. Maybe Nashville will be the next Hollywood…let’s hope not.

Tazza Delivers Downtown

When we lived in Historic Edgefield, we had fits trying to find local (not chain) eating establishments that delivered in the evenings. The food-delivery gods simply were not with us, either due to our ignorance or the vacuum of that service in East Nashville. We have not had any better luck since moving over to the North End, although in fairness, there are not as many established local eateries here as in East Nashville.

Nonetheless, we stumbled upon Tazza (on Church between 5th & 6th), which makes deliveries all the way to the North End, this past weekend when we got back from our Florida vacation too weary to think about active food pursuit. The menu is huge, and the food we’ve had from there was good, relative to the standard fast food chain deliveries. I thought their pizza was tasty, and I would order it again. The fajitas we had on another occasion were okay, except that they were mistakenly served with wild rice. I discarded my rice, which was fine since the actual fajita portions are more than enough. We were able to charge the food to our check card and leave a tip on the card receipt for the deliverer. Ah, convenience.

There are those nights when nobody feels like cooking, while going out–even for take-out–just doesn’t seem worth the effort. It’s those nights that having a decent delivery service readily available is tonic. Because the pickins are slim, Tazza is a viable alternative on such nights. But hopefully more delivery services are on the horizon for the Downtown area. We will have achieved some measure of big-citiness when that day arrives.

I’ll Take My Ten Bucks from the Nashville Scene in Small Bills, Please

In this week’s edition, Scene editor, Liz Garrigan, is offering $10.00 to the “first latte-sipping laptop user” who can name the shortest route to Madison. I’ll take the challenge. The shortest route distance-wise from Downtown is Main St./Gallatin Av./Gallatin Pk. However, because of the traffic lights and the traffic volume on Gallatin, that is not the shortest time-wise. The Ellington Pkwy./Briarville Rd. to West Due West Av. to Gallatin Pk. route takes the shortest amount of time to get to south Madison. North Madison is reached faster by taking Ellington Pkwy./Briarville Rd./Graycroft Av. to Old Hickory Blvd. to Gallatin Pike.

Either way, Madison is never going to crack my list of most favored area destinations. I go to Madison only when I am obliged, even if it means missing the return of the Amqui Train Station.

Sambuca: Not Long for This City

Last night, we made an impromptu decision to give Sambuca a try, at least for a drink or two. I have not heard very good things about this place — not least among the bad reviews coming from none other than Mr Roboto, himself no stranger to the successful Nashville food, drink and entertainment establishments. Despite his rather lackluster review, I had heard from someone that they had decent martinis, which is usually enough to make me put up with just about anything. So last night provided the opportunity to give it a try.

And this is where I would normally expound on the positives and negatives of the restaurant. I’d like to do that, really, but I can’t. Because I didn’t get in. One of my party wasn’t wearing dress shoes, so we were not allowed in. (Well, actually, I was already half-way to the bar, but I got called back for my hastiness in assuming that, you know, they might actually want our business.) Now, dress codes are pretty universally silly, and this was especially evident in the fact that, to be honest, my friend’s sneakers were a lot nicer than my 15-year old wingtips, which at this point look like they got in a fight with a blender and lost.

But in a city like Nashville, hoity-toity pretentions of New York or L.A.-style exclusiveness just don’t fly. We don’t put up with it. Places have been trying it in Nashville for years, and I can’t remember the names of any of them. Why? Because none of them are still in business. Say what you will about Nashville’s various forms of pretentiousness — we are nothing if not laidback. We like comfortable shoes and we like hats, and we don’t like people telling us what we can and can’t wear. True members of the Nashville elite (perhaps one day I will meet them) know that what makes you important is not your shoes, but rather your record contract, your business ownership, or your last name. It’s because of this that I predict with relative confidence that Sambuca will not be in business (at least in its current form) for long. A sucky restaurant in a bad location is one thing — but faux-exclusivity in a city like Nashville is a death knell. Nashville is not L.A., and opening a restaurant that tries to cater to this crowd is buying a one-way ticket to bankruptcy.

Titans Request New Video Screen Scoreboards

Do the Titans really need new scoreboards? I was skimming my Google News Alerts for the Titans when I saw this ridiculous headline. They are expecting the Metro Sports Authority to pony up $3.5 million just for some enhanced video functionality on the scoreboards. I’m guessing the Coliseum GM, Walter Overton, will use his old connections to help move this request through quickly and quietly. Nothing like having the former head of the Sports Authority as the pointman for a deal like this.

From a fan’s perspective, I don’t really give a crap what’s on the scoreboard. Sure, it’s fun to be distracted by the Logan’s Shell Game, the Turnin’ Up the Heat contest or the Kroger Shopping Cart Race every game. What we don’t really need to see is Eddie Fox yelling “God Bless America!” in high definition. It’s annoying enough in standard quality. Here’s hoping the Sports Council rejects this proposal.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

drive.gif The weather may have turned cold today, but it’s nothing like it must have been on St. Patrick’s Day in 1892. So, quitcherbitchin.

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on Friday this year, the evening is shaping up to be a big one for those inclined to celebrate such occasions. The obvious destinations like Mulligan’s, Dan McGuinness or Jimmy Kelly’s (hey, don’t knock it, I’ve spent a St. Paddy’s Day or two pretending I could jig while not spilling my food coloring-laced beer in the parking lot) may have a few people there, but, I’ll bet there’s other places to commemorate the day. Where are you going? Can I go with you?

For real?

Apparently, there will be no more Dancin’ in the District because the organizer has gone out of business. I haven’t been in years, but, it was nice to know I could go if I wanted to. I’ll bet it will be reincarnated as something else, soon. “Shagging in the Streets”? Nah, I guess that would be too awkward. What would you call it?

March Madness in Tennessee

Good luck to the Belmont Bruins in today’s NCAA First Round game, their first NCAA bid, ever! They play UCLA (also the “Bruins”) at 3:55 pm (CST) on Channel 5. Also, the number 2 seeded Vols play Winthrop (who?) today at 1:40pm CST.

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