Archive for August, 2006

Shake’s Frozen Custard

Shake’s Frozen Custard (next to The Copper Kettle) will put you on your ass.

That cold treat with its buttery consistency is delicious, affordable, and worth your Saturday afternoon. But beware: it’s heavy on the stomach, so you’ll be ready for a nap about 2 mintues after you’re done.

Downtown residents mixer

Karsten and I attended a downtown residents’ mixer sponsored by TPAC the night before last. Technically, we’re not downtown residents since we live in Germantown, but 1) the announcement stated that current downtown residents as well as those interested in living downtown were invited — so we qualify in an abstract sense, and 2) Germantown is near enough to downtown that we patronize downtown businesses on foot and on bicycle throughout most of the year, so that ought to qualify us anyway.

Matt from Past Perfect talking with downtown residents at TPAC Downtown Residents Mixer

And since no one checked credentials at the door, we slipped in undetected, free to mix and mingle, and sample food and drinks from downtown vendors like Capitol Grille, Melting Pot, and Past Perfect. It was also a great opportunity to meet Skip from the Urban Residents Association (who said Germantown was just beyond the boundaries of their group), and a few other really cool people. We had a chance to meet and talk with Matt from Past Perfect. Matt is a really likable person who happens to be from the Chicagoland area, just like Karsten and me. His restaurant has tasty food, late hours, a savvy business plan, and a kickass location that will pay off as soon as the Symphony Center starts drawing late-night crowds. We’re definitely going to check it out soon — maybe even this weekend.

The guys from H. G. Hill behind their popular exhibit booth at TPAC's Downtown Resident Mixer

A couple of guys representing the forthcoming H.G. Hill location downtown were there as well (I didn’t get their names — and their exhibit booth was pretty crowded almost all the time, which suggests that other people are as excited as I am about the opening of this grocery store). Their planned opening date is in November. I tell you, it’ll be great to have an alternative to the Kroger on 8th Avenue North. The guys say there will be a generous selection of natural and organic products, which is all I needed to hear. Maybe it’ll reduce the number of trips we make to Turnip Truck in any given week.

Imagine how much more crowded a mixer like this will be once the Viridian opens, once the Signature Tower is built… the mind reels. But that density of residential life downtown has the potential to really add vitality to this city.

Are any of you considering making the move to downtown? Why or why not? Tell us about it. What factors are influencing your decision either way?

nashville murder

There are a lot of regular faces in downtown Nashville — some of them are neighbors, people that work downtown, the homeless, the panhandlers, the cops. You spend enough time here and you start to recognize everybody. There’s one girl I see nearly every day — small, shy, usually smoking or holding the snuffed butt of a cigarette, and always wearing an olive-green down jacket and wool hat. Always. Even in this last week of 90-100 degree heat. I was never clear if she was even homeless at first, or just a “street urchin” raver kid killing time between nights at some after-hours club. But after a while it became clear she was indeed living around here. — spending most of her time curled up in a near-fetal-position ball in a doorway. I’m not sure what her story was. I’m not sure anyone did — and apparently no one ever will:

She was petite, young and extremely shy. She wore a ski cap and jacket even in the heat of summer. One man who knew her said she “wouldn’t hurt a tick on a dog.”

But around 3:30 a.m. Friday, seemingly for no reason, two men rolled her off the edge of a dock at Riverfront Park where she had been sleeping. More than 12 hours later, her body had not been found.

Jesse Masters said he was sitting on a bench on the dock when he saw two men jump over a railing near the river’s edge, where the woman often slept. They shoved her and ran off.

Two men tried to save her but nearly drowned, themselves. I can’t even fathom what would possess someone to do something like this.. The two men were spotted by witnesses shortly before the murder, one of whom was hit by a beer bottle they threw. Please pray to whatever deity you think can get things done that they catch the sick fucks that did this.

Attacks and hostility towards the homeless in Nashville have been on the rise, but I think (hope) this is unprecedented.. I’m in shock, and I’m ashamed for our city.

Walk of Fame (or Shame)

Mayor Purcell announced today that Nashville will have its very own Walk of Fame, just like Hollywood.

This seems like a good idea to me. After all, Nashville is continuing to grow to ‘national city’ status, our country music rings in the ears of New Yorkers and Idahoans alike, and some of our celebrities grab headlines just like the California ones do.

Then I read that this walk will extend from the new symphony center all the way to Music Mile (Demonbruen Street for the locals).

For those not in the know, these two places are nearly a mile apart. Hollywood’s walk is short, and stars are packed in for tourists to take pictures and have a moment. How in the hell are we going to stretch country music from Downtown to Music Row? How many one hit wonders will be emblazoned in brushed steel?

Stick around until November to learn who gets their star first. My guess: Earl Scruggs, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Cletus Judd.

Broadway Brewhouse

Also, while we’re on the topic of Broadway Brewhouse, allow me to just say: Most Overrated Bar Ever.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s a nice bar. But it’s hardly deserving of the zombie-like devotion to its guarded status as god’s gift to beerdrinkers that everyone seems to throw its way. I mean, come on. It’s just a bar. It’s usually too crowded. What? They have more than 2 beers on tap? Woopdeedoo. If it wasn’t for Flying Saucer’s Brain-Damage, I don’t think anyone would even go to Broadway Brewhouse at all.

Has anyone been to the Brewhouse on lower Broadway yet? It looks like it has attracted the 40-something biker tourist demographic, so far — sorta like Brewhouse West.

Name the Place

A bit of fun, here. Everyone seems to love those “identify this picture” games, so I thought we could try that here. Here’s our first:


Can anyone identify this location? Winner buys me a beer.

UPDATE: Sarcastro got it in one: It’s the Wall O’ Beer at Broadway Brewhouse. Sarcastro now owes me a beer. (Always read the fine print).

How much do I love being home?

Karsten and I had a long weekend in Minneapolis to visit some friends. Minneapolis is a great place and it was lovely to see our friends, don’t get me wrong, but I’m thrilled to be back home and I’ll be glad if we don’t travel for a while.

100 Things About Nashville (part 7)

Sorry for the delay, but, here’s the next installment of “100 Things About Nashville”:

Cheekwood in Nashville is home to the Swan Ball, one of the premier charity events in the country. Said event was much more interesting before they moved the entrance to Cheekwood off Cheek Road where I may or may not have participated in lawn chair sitting with poster board numbers “rating” the swanky passers by. I refuse to talk about the fact that there are places where, say, one could, in the distant past, have crawled under the fence as a kid and let themselves into the party area because I have no idea what the statute of limitations is in matters such as this.

Rotier’s is one of the last truly family owned businesses around. My parents used to go there in college, and, though she’s not around a lot anymore, Mrs. Rotier remembers them to this day. It looks the same as it did when I was a kid, and, I learned to play Space Invaders there.

Harvey’s Had It – It was a sad day when Harvey’s closed. Not only was my father out of a job he held for 33 years, Nashville lost something uniquely Nashville. I always got my birthday cakes from the bakery there.

Saint Cecilia Academy is the oldest continuously operating school in Nashville. RIght here in North Nashville is the Motherhouse of the Saint Cecilia Dominican Sisters. The Motherhouse is filled with history dating back to the Civil War. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, you should.

The Capitol Building is one of two state capitol buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. I think the other is in Pennsylvania, but, I can’t remember right now. It’s also haunted.

If you ever get the chance to take a plant tour at Purity Dairies, you should. You get an ice cream sandwich, and, oh my dog, there is nothing like one right off the line. I think you can buy stuff from the dock, too.

Nashville’s City Cemetery is the oldest public cemetery in town. Like the Capitol Building, i is on the National Register of Historic Places and many of the people who made Nahville what is is are buried there. It’s an interesting place to visit or to take students on a field trip.

Nashville is home to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, allegedly the largest non-casino hotel in the world.

The Belle Meade Plantation, known as the “Queen of Tennessee Plantations” was also renowned as a thoroughbread horse farm. Belle Meade was home to Iroquois, the first American bred reacehorse to win the English Derby. Among his descendants are 52 Kentucky Derby winners, including Secretariat. (Bonus trivia: I am a descendant of the Harding family).

Houston’s restaurant began in Nashville. It is no longer in Nashville, but, you can find them elsewhere around the country. I’m not bitter. Much.

Get your veggies here!

I’m in the news! Live from Vandy…my back side. Check out the article and learn about what’s going on in your community.

The Cottage Gate

I ate lunch today at The Cottage Gate, the little cafe and bakery next to Bobbie’s Dairy Dip on 53rd Avenue. It’s delicious. Their sandwiches are unique, and they offer some orginal menu items, all with their own flare. It’s very affordable, but they don’t take credit cards. Enjoy.

Link: Kay West’s Nashville Scene Review of The Cottage Gate

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