Archive for September, 2006

4th of July in September

Fireworks

Ah, downtown living. I snuggled up on the couch with a book and dozed off — early, for a change, at 8:30PM and slept soundly till 10PM, until my girlfriend dragged me up to bed at 10PM. By around 10:30, I was well on my way to the land of gumdrops and pink unicorns (what, you guys don’t dream about those?). That’s when the booms started. Fireworks? In September? Surely not — must be the opening salvos of World War III. And here I am without a compound, like a sucker.

So, I drag myself out of bed, put on a comical assortment of nearby clothes and head outside to “check it out”. Yeah, it’s fireworks. Big ones. Right on riverfront. Apparently the American Pyrotechnics Association (i think) had a conference in town and they held this show. The show lasted until about 11PM.

It was a little weird — there was no one downtown watching it save for the normal homeless, bar-goers and a few cars that pulled off in the circle on 1st and Broad to watch them. And me, in flip-flops, green shorts and a blue polo, scratching my head in confusion. It was a great show. I just wish they had picked a more appropriate time than 10:30PM on a Wednesday. Not to get all Negative Nelly, but this is not the first time I’ve been woken up by fireworks displays on riverfront for this and that.. It’s not a big deal for me — comes with the territory of living downtown. But if Nashville is serious about its commitment to building a residential community downtown, it does make me wonder if the city will need to start getting more strict about these late night, very noisy events.

Symphony’s popularity about to see a spike?

According to a poll on the Nashville Business Journal web site, Nashvillians may be far more likely to attend symphony performances now that the performance hall is built and open. Or at least, readers of the Journal are. But I think it probably applies across most of the rest of Nashville’s population. I know going to the symphony had never even crossed my mind before in the three and a half years Karsten and I have been living in Nashville.

What about you? Are you more likely to go? Have you been to see the symphony in the past? Where did they play, anyway?

Local Action

I wanted to highlight this Nashville event, which coincides with a BIG rally in New York on Sunday. Things are about to get really bad in Darfur, and unless people get together to raise awareness, thousands will die. Get involved and act.

Tennesseans Against Genocide, in association with Vanderbilt STAND and Belmont Coalition Against Genocide, is presenting Darfur Diaries, a powerful hour-long documentary this Sunday at the Belcourt.

Sunday, September 17 is Global Day for Darfur, a day of rallies around the country and world, including a major rally in New York City to coincide with the convening of the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations, to urge immediate international action for Darfur.

We will also have Klint Alexander, a lawyer specializing in international law, who will speak briefly on what is preventing international action at this time and why action is justified. There will be an opportunity for questions.

Money will be collected for two humanitarian organizations with food programs in Darfur: Mazon and the World Food Program.

The humanitarian situation in Darfur is worse than ever. According to the American Jewish World Service, since June the number of Darfurians without access to food aid has doubled. Due to lack of funding, the World Food Program warns of further cuts in food aid by October, which could affect three million civilians.

Philip Glass Festival?

President and CEO of The Nashville Symphony, Alan Valentine, was quoted in today’s Tennessean talking about a possible mini festival celebrating the movie scores of American composer Philip Glass.

One American Encores composer likely to generate attention is Philip Glass, well-known for his film scores, notable among them “Koyaanisqatsi.” For its Feb. 15-17 concert, the Nashville Symphony teamed with the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, Calif., to commission a new piece by Glass, “The Passion of Ramakrisna.”

That opened the way, Valentine said, to explore some other possibilities. “Next year will be Glass’ 70th birthday, and his ensemble is touring, so we decided to bring them to town, too.” The Philip Glass Ensemble will perform Feb. 18.

Valentine added that the symphony is in discussion with the Belcourt Theatre, which is looking into screening some of the films that Glass scored. The idea, he said, is to turn the composer’s appearance into a small festival. “It’s really incumbent on us to keep looking for new ways to approach our programming.”

This is a fascinating idea, in my opinion, and I would love for Nashville to host something of this sort more often. But, I have to wonder, will Nashvillians respond to such an event?

Titans Predictions

With the NFL season opening tonight in Pittsburgh, the 2006 Titans season is just a few short days away from kicking off at LP Field.

In The Tennessean’s Titans Preview section released today, David Climer writes that everyone should long for the 8-8 days. If you don’t remember, he’s referring to the 1996-1998 seasons when the Tennessee Oilers put up back to back to back .500 seasons. Climer makes the point that this Titans team is closer to 3-13 than 13-3. I regrettably have to agree.

Call me a fanboy or a homer, but part of me wants to believe this team can overachieve and some how scratch out a 9-7 or even a 10-6 season. Then I reflect back on the unproductive preseason, the indecision at the quarterback position, and the helter-skelter personality of this team and I just don’t know if it’s possible. Come Sunday, we will get a glimpse of where we truly are headed.

What do you think?

Recycle That Old Machine

From Vanderbilt’s announcement:

Dell is offering consumers in Metro Nashville and the surrounding counties a one-day, free computer recycling event on Saturday, September 9, 2006 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Vanderbilt University parking lot 74, located on Natchez Trace, north of Blakemore Avenue and across from the Vanderbilt track.

Any brand of computer (CPU), monitor, printer, or other peripherals (mouse, keyboard, scanner, etc.) will be accepted. No other electronic equipment, such as telephones, televisions, stereos and appliances, will be accepted. Please remove all data from your computer’s hard drive.

Local partners for the community event include Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety, Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies, Metro Nashville Department of Public Works, Metro Beautification and Environment Commission, Tennessee Environmental Council, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Dell is committed to responsible solutions for reusing and recycling unwanted computers. Recycling computers instead of disposing of them reduces the amount of waste that gets placed in our landfills.

Take this chance to clean out your attics, closets and garages and recycle your unwanted computers for free!

When possible, dropped-off equipment will be refurbished and reused, but cannot be considered a donation through this event. If residents are interested in donating working equipment to a local non-profit organization, please visit www.dell.com/recycling to find out how the National Cristina Foundation can give your unwanted computer a second life. Donated equipment must meet the minimum donation requirements outlined on Dell?s website.

If you cannot attend the event on September 9, Dell will pick up your old computer at home and recycle it. Find out how at www.dell.com/recycling.

For more information, please contact Johnny Vanderpool with VEHS at johnny.vanderpool@vanderbilt.edu. To volunteer to help with the event, please contact Atulya Tankha with VCEMS at atulya.tankha@owen.vanderbilt.edu.

public park

Brandon mentioned yesterday the Jazz festival this weekend, which will no doubt be a good time for those wanting to check it out. But I have a problem (surprise). Here’s the thing:

fenced

Want to check out Nashville’s lovely riverfront park? Too bad. Am I right to be concerned with the frequency of this sight at riverfront? Riverfront park, ostensibly a “public space” — a park funded with public tax money — being fenced and barricaded off from the public for use for private events that charge for admission. I mean, it was one thing to have the sidewalks blocked off by portapotties when it was for a free festival — like in the heyday of Dancin’ in the District when it was still free. But now, I don’t know. It’s not so cute anymore.

When did Nashville’s nicest downtown park turn into a private music venue?

Jazzville This Weekend

If you love jazz, this is your weekend in Nashville.

This Labor Day weekend features both The Music City Jazz, Blues and Heritage Festival at Riverfront Park and The Franklin Jazz Festival in Historic Downtown Franklin.

Which one to attend depends entirely on your taste. If you like a smaller, sipping vodka at Midnight sound, you will most likely be happier with the lineup at Riverfront Park. If, on the other hand, you prefer a fuller complement of instruments with blazing horns and up-tempo charts I would recommend Franklin. I definitely fall into the latter category and am going to try to make it down to see The Establishment, Half Brass, and The Nashville Jazz Orchestra.

Details for both festivals can be found here and here.

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