Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

100 Things About Nashville (part 5)

Alright… I tried to make this about things uniquely Nashville, and in a way where folks who aren’t from or haven’t been to Nashville might be able to see why we appreciate these things.

* Honkytonk USA. While many spend their time trying to show the world that there is more the Nashville than country music, there is no denying that is a huge part of our identity. Lower Broadway has been, and always will be, a popular destination for country music lovers around the world, and the CMA Festival is a huge reminder of the power it has on our city’s commerce.
* Marathon Motor Works. The only cars that were actually made IN Nashville. Marathon Village still stands today and is one of my favorite places in the city.
* The Buckle of the Bible Belt. With more than 800 houses of worship in the city, being home to The Baptist Sunday School Board, The United Methodist Publishing House, The National Baptist Publishing Board, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville is without a doubt the “big buckle” in the Bible Belt. We also are home to Free Will Baptist Bible College, David Lipscomb University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Belmont University. Not to mention, the majority of the Christian music industry calls Nashville home and a lot of other stuff that I can’t remember.
* Varallo’s. One of my favorite breakfast spots in the heart of the Nashville on 4th Avenue and Nick is carrying on a wonderful family legacy. The original was located on Church Street. Varallo’s was Nashville’s original Chili Parlor(which was a popular gig back in the day). The Varallo family has been a part of Nashville’s commerce for almost a century. One of their first businesses was a chilled watermelon store. It was the first of its kind! Cutting edge!! The Scene did a great article about the family back in 1998.
* The General Jackson. A replica of a riverboat built in 1817, this model was launched in 1985 and was an attraction at Opryland USA. When Opryland closed, the General Jackson took to the waters of the Cumberland River, bringing identity to the river when most other things associated with it had faded away.
* Fat Mo’s. De-frickin-licious. Uniquely Nashville and a great story of the dream of America.
* Lawrence Record Shop. The other famous record shop in town. For more than 50 years Lawrence Record Shop has been owned by the same family, and it ain’t just country. They have tons of stuff from different decades and random genres. If you haven’t ever been in, drop by and let the Lawrence brothers tell you some stories. They know Nashville. And they know music.
* Opryland USA. I don’t know a Nashvillian that doesn’t miss it.
* WSM-FM. Whether you dig the format or not… it was the first commercial FM station in the country. That’s pretty dang impressive. Side note: WSM stands for We Shield Millions which was the slogan of former owner, National Life & Accident Insurance Company.
* Schermerhorn Symphony Center. While it may not be uniquely Nashville, it is certainly the first world class symphony hall to be in Nashville. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about its planned opening in September. It is surely to open the door for a bright future for the arts in our incredible city.

100 Things About Nashville (part 3)

  • Nashville evolves. What was once a row of too-tacky-to-be-believed souvenir shops is now a run of too-trendy-to-be-cool bars and eateries.
  • Supply and demand. You can get a fully produced, nearly radio-ready song demo done here for a fraction of what it would cost in other cities, and here you can get some of the top session players in the world because they happen to be between tours or studio recordings.
  • Black bean nachos at Calypso Cafe. Need I say more?
  • Radnor Lake. It just rocks. I saw a tussle between two slider turtles there once, and that’s better entertainment than you can get at any writer’s night in town.
  • Live entertainment. Almost everywhere you go, almost any night of the week, almost any day of the year. But it does sometimes mean having to sit through umpteen tear-in-your-beer ballads about cheatin’. All with the same chord progressions and strum patterns.
  • You can party with elephants. The Nashville Zoo’s Adventure Socials series is all about getting adults as excited about the zoo as their kids already are. Works for me, because I’m a huge fan of the zoo.
  • Art scene small but strong. There isn’t as much of an art scene as I would prefer, but things are happening and when events are scheduled and well-organized, they’re well-attended and a lot of fun.
  • Sunday brunch at the Pineapple Room at Cheekwood. Delicious French toast, tomato salad, cheese plate, fresh berries, chocolate cake, etc. Some of the best eatin’ I’ve ever enjoyed.
  • One very influential family. The ubiquitousness of the Frist name can be a bit daunting (particularly if your politics lean left), but their charitable and humanitarian efforts are certainly laudable.
  • Urban living for half the price. You can still get a deal on living downtown or near downtown in Nashville relative to what you’d pay in other cities with as much to offer. And Nashville was rated the “smartest place to live” by Kiplinger’s.

100 Things About Nashville (part 2)

– Nashville played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement with protests and sit-ins happening downtown. When Dr. King visited, he said, “I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in this community.”
– It sucks that West End is starting to look like Anytown, USA.
– The newly renovated Centennial Park
– The upcoming school board race may well be one of the most important elections in the last 20 years. Even if you don’t have kids, or if you pay to send them to private schools, you have a chance to make sure that Nashville’s schools become more equitable and supporting for all students.
– The Tennessean has got to be one of the worst newspapers in the top-30 US media markets.
– Take your pictures now, because downtown will not look the same in ten years.
– I wonder how awesome it would have been to hang out on Jefferson Street before they dumped an interstate there and killed a culture and a community.
– The world is at our doorstep. Take a drive down Nolensville or Murfreesboro Road if you’re not sure.
– Who the hell is buying all these lofts?
Yazoo Beer

100 Things About Nashville (part 1)

  • Old Hickory Blvd forms a circle around Nashville. Unfortunately it is not a very straight circle.
  • Briley Parkway is a smaller circle around the city, but it changes names (Briley Parkway, Thompson Lane, Woodmont Blvd, White Bridge Road)
  • The best cheeseburgers in town are at Rotiers and are served on french bread
  • The Loveless Cafe is not as good as it used to be
  • Half of the people at any given concert are thinking they could do a better job than at least one member of the band on the stage
  • Half of those people might be right
  • Nashville has a great library that is under-utilized
  • The Titans and The Predators have changed the National image of Nashville (though Branson helped too)
  • Nashville may have the most cohesive blogosphere of any city on the planet
  • You are so Nashville if… you only read The Scene for the “You Are So Nashville If…” competition

More to come…

Disclaimer: There was no research in the making of this post. Any actual facts in this post are here by sheer luck.

Can Someone Fill Me In?

I don’t know the entire story about THIS, but can someone please fill me in? It’s going to cost this lady like $25,000 to fix her house… an 85 year old woman. I understand about zoning, property values, and the face of the community, but I wonder if there is some sort of help for folks that can’t afford re-doing work or certain renovations.

Sorry to be clueless, but I would be curious to know more about this particular story if anyone knows.

That’s 50 in Interstate years.

interstate.gif Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Tennessee Interstate System. There’s even an Interstate blog. Did you know that Nashville is one of only four U.S. cities where six interstate legs converge within the city’s boundaries: I-65 North and South, I-40 East and West, and I-24 East and West? Other handy facts here.

Originally sold as something necessary for the defense of our country, the system was (and is) not without controversy, but, there’s no doubt it transformed our nation and our economy.

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived in Birmingham, and, I can remember taking the trip before I-65 was finished. The Interstate sure transformed that trip, but, it also meant we didn’t get to go by McDonald’s in Decatur after that, since it was long before the days of a McDonald’s on every exit.

A Little Stretch of Interstate

Do this while it is still spring. Choose a pre-dusk moment when traffic is at its tamest. In the automobile of your choice, pick up I-40 West. Do so just east of White Bridge Road. Notice, if you will, the green hills ahead and to your right. Pay particular attention to the bend in the Interstate a minute or so past Exit 199. Taste the portrait the light makes upon that bend–even when there is no light. Travel at least as far as Exit 196 to Highway 70. It is a brief jaunt. And it is one of the many things I love about this city.

Do the same thing two weeks into autumn.

Don’t say I never told you anything

logo-coinstar.gif Turn your spare change into gift certificates at a Coin Star machine and you don’t have to pay the coin counting fee.

Of course, if I use a Coin Star machine, I usually need to turn that money into groceries and gas.

Motorcycle helmet law

[begin former ER nurse soapbox]

Don’t even start me on the effort to repeal Tennessee’s motorcycle helmet law. Yes, I know, the government shouldn’t tell us what to do, yadda, yadda, yadda. But, in this case, riders without helmets may cost me money and that makes me mad. The local trauma unit is full of comatose people who were exercising their right to do as they please. Having $10,000 in insurance won’t even cover the labor for cleaning these people’s brains off the road, much less the cost of lifetime care.

Sure, riding a motorcycle or driving a car can be inherently dangerous and, you could end up in the hospital, anyway. But, not taking reasonable precautions is irresponsible (cue people who maintain helmets and seatbelt cause more injuries and deaths) and it affects more than just that person.

[/former ER nurse soapbox]

One ringy dingy…

call.gifI had no idea this fine institution was in our vicinity. I can name a few places that need to use it.

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