Archive for June, 2007

portland brew

Portland Brew’s tanzanian peaberry is the best coffee I’ve ever had.

And no, they aren’t paying me.

(But, I do take donations in the form of coffee beans)

More Options at BNA

Okay, so I flew Southwest yesterday and it was miserable… my flight was delayed four hours coming back and I didn’t get home until 2:00am. But never mind that, because the delays were due to weather, Southwest is still a great airline, and they’re adding even more flights from Nashville International Airport. Seems to me that BNA is really an airport on the rise: With the significant renovation project now underway and what seem like constant additions of new flights, flying out of Nashville is pretty pleasant these days.

Be a Smart Alec. Get Published.

Oh wait, that’s what I usually do here at MetroBlogging.

Well, now it’s your chance to get in the game! The deadline is fast approaching for the Nashville Scene’s 19th Annual “You’re So Nashville If” Contest.

While I personally think some of the earliest winners were the best, YASNI is still a chance to share your wry observations about your fellow Nashvillagers. Don’t be afraid to throw in a “Weirdie” to keep the Committee of Insiders on their toes.

I’ve had at least one entry published every year for over a decade in a row now, so how hard can it be? I guess I probably jinxed myself there, didn’t I?

Music City July 4th

The City of Nashville will be hosting the Music City July 4th event again this year and it looks to be a lot of fun. I didn’t make it to the actual concert on the Riverfront last year so I can’t give a definitive review, but I did watch the fireworks from the corner of 8th and Lafayette (which were spectacular). This year’s roster looks pretty impressive, with a lineup that includes Taylor Swift and Van Zant on the Riverfront Stage. More details here. Bonus points to any Metbloggers that get their boat out on the river and take some pictures for us!

Caffeine’s Closed (and I don’t care)

The Tennessean is reporting that Demonbreun coffee shop Caffeine is closed for good.

I tried to go there a week or two ago and it was closed, but the sign said it was being renovated. However, The Tennessean seems to think it’s doors are shut permanently.

Big deal. I though it kind of sucked anyway. Their coffee and coffee drinks were okay, but there’s better atmosphere elsewhere. Their stuff was a little pricey as well, in my opinion. I was always at the bottom of my list of local joints, and I only went there to meet folks when I absolutely had to.

Personally, I think most of the spots on Demonbreun row are getting played out. I’m not sure if the new lofts nearby will spice things up, but as a local, I pretty much steer clear of this area in terms of food and drink, even though it’s close. It’s so 2003.

Then again, if you read the three-sentence story, it does sort of sound like a renovation. Except for the phone thing. Then again, land lines were so 2003.

Gee Sticking Around

Gordon Gee has turned down an offer to retake the helm at Ohio State University. The Tennessean led today with the revelation that OSU had offered the top job to Gee, a position he previously held from 1990 – 1997. As a Vandy grad, I’m happy to hear that the affable and hard-working Gee will continue to serve as Chancellor. We need him to stay as long as he can.

Second Candidate

Chris’ entry on the mayoral debate reminded me to mention that I was at a Briley event in Germantown on Sunday and was fortunate to observe a charming interaction between the candidate and an attendee. Actually, it was the guy who was working there as a caterer, and when Briley and the Caterer Dude shook hands, Caterer Dude said he had heard Briley on the radio that morning, and that Briley had made him think.

Briley casually asked for details: what had he made him think about? But Caterer Dude didn’t really have anything more specific to say – he just reiterated that Briley had made him think.

Still, Caterer Dude said, “I’ve already got my candidate chosen. I’m voting for Howard Gentry.”

To which Briley replied with a smile, “That’s OK. I’d be happy to be your second candidate.”

The Great Debate

I just returned from the Mayoral debate at TSU. My brief impressions:

David Briley: Looked poised and comfortable. Opted not to stand to deliver his answers, which added to his casual demeanor. Had clear and concise answers containing specific ideas to address each question. He was a bit heavy-handed with the emphasis he placed on funding which, while common sense, may not sit well with the resident taxophobes.

Howard Gentry: Good delivery, but pandering a bit in his core focus. He wants a ball park and a convention center. Uh, okay. He also was a bit too vague in his solutions for the city. He talked about changing the culture that leads to violent crime and such. This is nice, but doesn’t really mean anything.

Buck Dozier: I didn’t find him to be as charming or affable as people seem to think he is, but he looked comfortable on stage and delivered with poise. He could have tried a little harder to look attentive when it wasn’t his turn. Big minus points for actually using the phrase “faith-based”. Boo hiss.

Bob Clement: Bob’s faux-folksy charm translates poorly to an actual debate. Canned answers and slogans don’t cut it. Not impressed. He also leaned a little heavy on some talking points about the federal budget/deficit which seemed a force of habit from his days in DC. Not sure that people in Nashville really care about the fedral deficit. (Not that they shouldn’t, but still..)

Karl Dean: Second only to David Briley in his ability to deliver actual reasoned ideas in response to the various questions, but he was a little too vague for me to put my finger on anything I could find fault or praise with. He seemed thoughtful in his answers, though, which plays well in a debate.

The winner?

David Briley

David Briley, hands down. None of the candidates did an outright poor job, but Briley was relaxed and on point. This, combined with real ideas for Nashville he presented in his answers, made him a clear victor.

Hot Air: More Preds Relocation Talk

I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the press coverage of the Predators’ potential relocation, and especially interesting to me are the articles and columns written by our friends over the border in Canada. Consider this recent quote:

The NHL is still stuck with a dead franchise in a disinterested market. Privately, people throughout the league have long acknowledged the inevitability of losing Nashville, in large part because the owners of “have” teams were sick of throwing shared revenue down a black hole.

Now it may be true that league owners have griped amongst themselves about sharing revenue with a money-losing team like Nashville. But I don’t think we have a “dead franchise in a disinterested market.” Far from it. Nashville continues to grow wildly, largely due to transplants from hockey-embracing cities, and if the Preds would spend some time marketing the team instead of re-reading their lease for out clauses they might be able to capitalize on that growth.

Furthermore, it’s no secret that around two-thirds of Preds season ticket holders are individual fans rather than corporate accounts. Which speaks to an important fact: There are more than enough die-hard hockey fans in the city to keep us afloat, but but only if the Predators and Craig Leipold do some serious outreach to the business community and actually sell the corporate crowd more season tickets.

Along those lines, I am glad to hear that fans are staging a rally next month to encourage season ticket sales. And in fact, there have already been over 1,000 new season tickets sold this year. I’m entirely convinced that Nashvillians can support this team well enough to keep them in our fair city for years to come. Last year’s average attendance was less than 200 seats off of the 14,000 necessary to restrict the exit clause in the team’s lease. Add that to the very real possibility that Balsillie will not be able to place the team in Hamilton due to its proximity to the Toronto and Buffalo franchises, and I would say the odds of keeping the Preds as our home team are not unmanageable.

Steaming Mad

“If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all..”

So I went in to get Marta-ed. Yeah, I know it’s not called MARTA anymore; it’s technically emissions testing. But I still refer to all the Macys/Parisian/Hechts/Belks around town as Castner Knott and Cain Sloan, so sue me.

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