Archive for July, 2007

A Big Deal for 100 Oaks

The much-ballyhooed redevelopment of 100 Oaks Mall could finally be underway – and it’s not exactly what you’d expect. Instead of turning 100 Oaks into the true mixed-use, live work and play enviroment that it could be (ala Atlantic Station in Atlanta), the mall’s new owners in Dallas have decided to lease over half the property to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Now this isn’t altogether a bad thing. It will certainly rejuvenate the area, bringing in more daytime workers, boosting sales at the other retailers in the mall and in the surrounding areas, and probably raising property values in the neighborhood to boot. But it’s also a sad case of what could have been.

We could have gotten a true redevelopment: a mixture of apartments or condos along with new office, medical space, and retail. The groundwork was already in place with Southeast Venture’s Armory Oaks mixed-use redevelopment next door, and with one of the country’s largest movie theatres right on the property. Instead we got a bunch of clinics and backoffice uses.

100 Oaks has, geographically and access-wise, one of the best locations in the city. It’s a shame that it won’t be put to a higher use.

Briley at the URA

I stopped by the monthly Urban Residents’ Association meeting. Here’s a quick recap:
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Enough!

I’ve touched on this subject before, but I think it deserves a post all to itself. The new Nashville City Paper website is terrible. I’m not even going to link to it here because I don’t want to dignify it. At first I thought the redesign was awful on purpose because they wanted to force me to create an account and log in. Well, I did that, and it’s still awful. When there are actual HTML articles the pictures overlap the words, but for the most part you’re forced into this “e-paper” nonsense.

Please, City Paper, admit your mistake and go back to the old format. Or at least fix this one enough to make it passable!

An Old Saw That Cuts True

You know that hackneyed complaint that all the street names in Nashville change arbitrarily depending on what part of town you’re in or what river or creek you just crossed? We long-time Nashvillagers just deal with it and accept that Hwy70/Harding/West End/Broadway/Main Street is usually busy at rush hour and that Old Hickory Blvd. has two exits on three different interstates.

But even I have to admit that this one threw me for a loop.

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The Boner Boondoggle

Tom Wood writes a great summary of a period of Nashville’s history most would probably rather opt to forget: the rise and fall of mayor Bill Boner.

Wood concludes by summarizing Bredesen’s rise through the ashes of the imploded Boner administration:

Nashville’s old elite got comfortable with Bredesen, and the sting of its failure to mount an adequate challenge to Boner in 1987 would gradually abate. As years went by and another northern-born good-government type, Bill Purcell, took the reins of the city, there was a growing confidence that Nashvillians could henceforth be counted on to make discriminating choices in the voting booth.

I hope this is true — certainly there’s no Boner in this race, but I think this election is going to have far-reaching implications for Nashville’s future. This city is at a real turning point, and the next Mayor will have an immense voice in determining in which direction we turn..

Crap Ballet

The installation of Ghost Ballet continues on the bank of the Cumberland at a Briley Parkwayian pace.

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I figure we’ve spent a good five hundred bucks of the $250,000 earmarked on the project for scrap metal and a little acetylene work.
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It is officially true that the new state bird of Tennessee is the crane.
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An unfortunate side effect of the lackadaisical pace of construction is that someone has already tagged a major piece of the sculpture with some half-assed grafitti. In retrospect, it might actually have improved it.

While I was down there, I thought I’d bike over to LP Field to see the tent city waiting for Titans single game tickets that the media has been all hysterical about. Maybe they were all taking their tents back to the car or it was breakfast time, but 1 1/2 hours before the tickets were due to go on sale I only counted 13 people in line. Maybe they got wise and decided to just go home and use the internet. Like me.

I scream, you scream, celebrities scoop the ice cream!

bmpbicentennialpic.jpgJust heard on the radio (while running out to get my beans and three from Couva Calypso Cafe) and tracked down the info (PDF link): free ice cream at Belle Meade Plantation on Sunday!

3rd Annual Ice Cream Sunday/Family Fun Day
Free Ice Cream and celebrity scoopers. Games/Rides for kids. Entertainment.
Gate fee $2 per person; tickets for rides will be sold separately.
10AM-4PM
Contact: Tina Tackett, 615-356-0501

Wonder who the “celebrity scoopers” will be? Anyone have the scoop?

Refrieds Revisited

And, apparently, we may have to revisit again. Earlier this week I gave you all the heads up that Rosario’s was opening at Villa Place. Professional food reviewers usually give a new restaurant a few weeks before visiting for the first time.

I should have been so patient.
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Heads-up: Music City Brewer’s Fest

2007-bflogo.jpgI’ve been meaning to attend this ever since I moved here four years ago but it’s never worked out that I could go. (Maybe this year, although true to tradition, I have a possible conflict.) The usual locals are represented, along with some non-local classics. Get your tickets here.

Have you attended the Brewer’s Fest in the past? If so, what did you think? Worth the $30/$40? Tell us in the comments.

How to Save Two Hours of Your Life and Your Sanity at the Same Time

It’s about three weeks until Nashville’s Metro Council and Mayoral election. And that’s just the first one before the inevitable runoff.

The campaign coffers of each of the major candidates are full and ready to be dumped into the market in the form of media buys during your evening newscast/dinner time. Figure that’s about 5-10 minutes per day for the rest of the month. Prepare to be numbed.

Or you could exercise your most sacred right and just vote early and get it over with.
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