Community Focus Group: What’s Your Take On The Former Thermal Site Renovation?

Want to add your voice to help plan the future of downtown Nashville? Here’s your chance from a group of Vanderbilt students working on a proposal to Gresham Smith & Partners:


Site Photo

I need some advice from Nashvillians who are concerned with the future development of downtown.

I’m a part of a team of university students involved in a month-long business program at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management.

Currently, our team is involved in a project to consider viable alternatives for the 10-acre waterfront property between the new Gateway Bridge and the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. You may know this piece of land as the “site of the former thermal plant.” And you probably know that it came close to being developed as a joint-use baseball stadium for the Sounds along with a retail, office and residential development before the financing package of the project fell through.

Our team is working on a project that asks (and we hope, answers), “Now what?”

So I wanted to ask the best experts — Nashvillians — what your ideas are for what should become of this city-owned prime location? What’s missing from the downtown experience? As a Nashvillian; what are your thoughts, ideas or concerns for the future of the site?

Post your thoughts to the comments of this blog, all will be credited with your screename (and email, if you prefer) as a part of our “community focus group.”

Your input is greatly appreciated and we look forward to posting more with our progress!

– Ann Parker & Team (Vanderbilt – Accelerator Summer Business Institute)

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Remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark Coming to Nashville

Ever try to make your own movie when you were a kid? How about a shot-by-shot recreation of your favorite film? Yeah, mine was a disaster. Good thing I didn’t dream of going to film school.
The Adaptation

In 1982, three kids from Mississippi decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark. Seven years and countless adventures later, they finally finished it. In 2003, the adaptation was discovered by director Eli Roth and hit the film festival circuit where it has gained much notoriety, including a personal letter from Steven Spielberg raving about the film.

On Thursday, June 5th, at 7:00 pm, director Eric Zala will present the film in person at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville.

That’s right. The kid who made a shot-by-shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark will be in Nashville to screen the film for you.

“This remake has everything—the rolling boulder, the live snakes, the heart-thudding truck sequence, and everywhere flames, flames, flames. With a few inventive substitutions—a puppy dog stands in for a monkey, a boat for a plane—they didn’t skimp on production value by including a submarine, a truck on fire, a melting face, and even the same copy of a 1936 Life magazine used in the original.” Or so say the promotional materials.

This film, and the story behind it, are a feat to behold. Wired calls it the Ultimate ‘Indy’ Flick. Producer Scott Rudin purchased the rights and is making a movie about it. built a website about it.

Watch the trailer and then see for yourself.

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Walk with the Living Dead

Nashville Zombie Walk -
This coming Saturday, May 10, the living dead will descend upon Nashville to terrorize and amuse the city. And this is your chance to join them. Isn’t it great how the undead keep a schedule? They even have a MySpace page.

This will be the second annual Zombie Walk in Nashville, following the inaugural walk in April 2007. For the uninitiated, a zombie walk is an event in which many people dress up as zombies and stalk the streets for hours of undead fun.

In Nashville, the undead will begin assembling at Riverfront Park (map) on Saturday at 5:00 pm and begin the walk at 6:00. If you would like to join the living dead, conveniently, registration is not required—just show up. Nearly 500 people have joined the Nashville Zombies group on MySpace, but turnout for the walk is difficult to predict without advanced registration. Currently, 23 people have indicated on the Facebook event that they will attend.

Naturally, t-shirts to promote and commemorate the event are available to order online.

For information and updates, connect with organizers on the MySpace page:

Recycle Old Gear at Dell Today

In celebration of Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 25), Dell is partnering with Metro Public Works to host a giant recycling event today at Dell’s Nashville campus near the intersection of Donelson Pike and Murfreesboro Road [map].

Recycle -- It's Nashville's NatureFrom 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Dell will accept computer and computer-related equipment, including laptops, monitors, printers, keyboards and mice, of any brand. They will also accept gaming consoles and mobile entertainment devices. Electronic items that will NOT be accepted include: televisions, stereo equipment, cell phones, appliances, etc.

Drop-off is free, and all plastics and metals will be recycled, and other materials, including heavy metals, properly disposed. Be sure to remove all personal data from the equipment in advance.

The first 1,200 people to participate will get a free tree sapling ready for planting.

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Cyclists Celebrate Opening of Pedestrian Bridge

This Saturday, April 12th, you can celebrate the unofficial opening of the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge by throwing on your finest sundress and riding your bicycle across the bridge.

Cross-dressing the Bridge RideDan Hensely, organizer of Nashville’s Cross Dressing the Bridge Ride, hopes the event will “bring attention to cycling in the city and the use of bicycles as viable forms of transportation, as well as bring attention to more opportunities for road and mountain biking. We will have a petition on hand to help gain more mountain bike trails in Davidson County.”

Participants should meet at noon on Saturday at the Public Square near the Woodland Street Bridge and Second Avenue (map). The course will follow Davidson Street in East Nashville to Shelby Park and along the paved path in Shelby Bottoms Greenway to the pedestrian bridge. Riders will take a break for snacks on the other side of the bridge before returning via the same route to downtown and then on to the Yazoo Brewery for the post-ride cool-down.

Sponsors of the ride, including Urban Velo Magazine, Walz Caps, and Swift Wick Majic Socks, will provide some give-aways for participants.

According to Hensely, the idea for the ride originated in discussions with his friends about the lack of a bicycle culture in Nashville. “There are a lot of people cycling, but not a lot of fun, free events. We were tired of waiting, so we just decided to do it ourselves.” Johnny Crowe, who coordinates the regular Sunday Ride, organized last Sunday’s Nashville Scavenger Hunt cycling event and Hensley took the lead for planning the bridge ride. “The idea of a costume party theme came to mind and it just went from there.”

Hensley encourages riders to dress in drag or a costume and to wear a helmet, but notes that fashionable attire is not required. The ride is free and open to the public and will proceed rain or shine. Hensley notes that organizers have planned a casual group ride and not a race, so cyclers of all abilities are welcome.

For more information, see the website.

UPDATE 4/10/08: Metro Parks and Recreation has not yet opened the Pedestrian Bridge to the public. Hensley still plans for the group ride, but is not planning to cross the bridge if it has not been opened to public traffic by Saturday.

MetroBlogger Video Scoop – Gigi’s Cupcakes

Click Here To View Video

Gigi’s CupCakes
1816 Broadway
(615) 342-0140

Up the street from Corner Pub, Broadway Brewhouse and Lime, a new shop just opened up that to bring Nashville a new way to celebrate life’s little occasions. Gigi’s Cupcakes is not only a surprising addition to the West End strip, but its also attracting a steady stream of Nashvillians, eager to see what’s cooking.

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Blizzard of Ought 8 Blankets Nashville with Snow

Snow in Nashville - photo courtesy of Chris WageLooks like we got some of that snow they were predicting after all. Check out more photos of the snow in Nashville with this Flickr slideshow.

Snow in Nashville photo courtesy of Chris Wage.

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Online Network Created to Link Local Professionals

NSIDE Nashville BusinessA new online network has been established to connect business professionals in the Nashville area. Merrell Ligons, Director of Interactive Media at News Channel 5, created NSIDE Nashville Business to foster business relationships and the exchange of ideas in the local market. Ligons hopes the network will become “a lot of very intelligent, influential people gathered in one place sharing ideas, doing business, and making what I hope to be life-long friends.”

In addition to his responsibilities at WTVF, Ligons also writes the New Media Marketer blog where he discusses how the Internet is rapidly changing the advertising industry. In the blog, he encourages readers to share real world experiences, ideas, and opinions about Internet advertising and new media.

Participation is key to the success of the new business network. “The thing about networks is that the more people that participate, the more each member gets out of it,” says Ligons. “Because NSIDE Nashville is about making connections, the more people that participate in the NSIDE Nashville network, the more we will all benefit.”

Sound interesting? Join NSIDE Nashville.

New Site Design, Authors Missing

Hey, look, we have a brand new look for the Nashville Metblogs site! Okay, so all the Metblogs sites got the same make-over. Get the scoop at the main Metblogs site. What do you think of the new look?

And by the way, has anyone seen any of our authors? Seems like we all disappeared with the old site….

Groundhog Day Roundup!

GroundhogstockpicsOnce again, it is time for us to turn our heads towards the earth to seek advice from that all-knowing weather man; the groundhog. Like consultants, there are plenty of them out there. Also like consultants, all of them are willing to give you their opinion wether you like it or not.

The question is, who do you believe?

By far, the most famous of these prognosticators is Punxsutawney Phil from Gobbler’s Knob, PA. His prediction this year is that we are in for six more weeks of winter. Then again, he is from Pennsylvania so let’s seek another opinion.

Unfortunately the local Nashville groundhog, Lil, died on January 17th. That leaves Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary, the typical source for Nashville’s groundhog prediction, without a mid-Tennesee indicator.

That leaves us with my favorite groundhog predictor of all time: General Beauregard Lee, Ph.D., the official groundhog of the Yellow River Game Ranch in Atlanta, GA. Beau wakes up every Groundhog Day to a plateful of Waffle House hash-browns (scattered, smothered and covered, of course!) and has been slightly more accurate than Phil. (Don’t ask me for supporting data, the journal article I found on the subject was bias and excluded multiple rodent indicators.)

Anyway, Beau says we’re getting an early spring and judging by the weather today, I believe him. If you need more proof that Beau is the man, 80% of the general groundhog population agrees with him this year, leaving Phil in the minority.

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone!

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Metro Provides Identity Protection Service for Registered Voters

Nashville Breech Victims Click Here

Letters were mailed on January 11 from Mayor Karl Dean to all Davidson County registered voters whose identifying information was likely listed on the laptops that were stolen from the Davidson County Election Commission offices over the Christmas holiday. The letters offer a year of identity protection service from Debix Identity Protection Network at no charge. Included in the protection are: warnings by phone whenever someone attempts to open credit in your name, optional placement on the National Do Not Call Registry, and $10,000 of identity protection insurance (although the Debix website indicates $25,000 of coverage will be provided). In addition, Debix will place a fraud alert on your account with each of the three major credit bureaus and renew that alert every three months.

I received my letter recently and went to the Debix website to learn more.
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Get Connected at PodCamp Nashville

I'm Going to PodCamp Nashville

Following on the success of last summer’s BarCamp new media “unconference,” tech-savvy musicians, marketers, bloggers and developers will gather next month in Nashville to discuss new media and podcasting. PodCamp Nashville, which is free to the public, will be held at the historic Cannery Ballroom on Saturday, February 9, and is designed for anyone interested in online media to share ideas, hear from industry experts, and participate in discussions and demos.

“This is all about building community,” said Dave Delaney, one of the local PodCamp organizers. “That’s what we’re trying to do here. By attending PodCamp Nashville, members of the blogging, podcasting, marketing, development and business communities will be able to join forces to put Nashville on the digital world map. After the huge success of BarCamp Nashville, it’s clear that Nashville’s tech community is alive and kicking.”
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Lot 7 Can Bring The Beat, Defies Chic Lounge Steryotypes

After reading Andrew’s pre-opening prospectus on Lot 7, I was intrigued when a friend of mine chose it for her bar-de-birthday. To continue MetBlog’s intrepid coverage of all things nightlife, here’s how they are doing now that they’re open:

Lot 7

125 12th Ave N

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 251-9519

Standing outside Lot 7, your first impressions may lead you to believe that its just another chic ultra-lounge. It’s off-the-strip location and frosted exterior doors may lead you to believe that it’s desperately attempting achieve an air of exclusivity, reserved only for celebrity fly traps.

Inside, however, is a whole different ball game.

The first thing that hits you is that Lot 7 pulses with a distinctive beat, in part because of its brilliantly designed, conversation-friendly sound system, but also because of its great balance of style and intimacy. Using the space remarkably well, Lot 7 may feel a bit cramped once the party gets going (sometime around midnight) but otherwise it’s lounge-like tables and banquettes beckon both trendy as well as “trendy-lite” Nashvillians.

The Good

Heading up any list of this lounge’s features is service. From the door guys to the friendly and attentive servers and bar tenders, Lot 7 gets it right. Without pretension, without over-complicated menus the staff makes everyone feel welcome while reinforcing the style and sophistication of the venue.

The Bad

Though its a non-smoking club, avoid the “patio.” It’s a roofed space off the main dance floor that’s great for smokers (it actually features its own bar) but asphyxiating for almost anyone else.

The Bottom Line

Lot 7 definitely impresses. Crammed once it gets going, Lot 7 retains its stylish composure with affordable drinks and a great dance DJ. Check it out, bring your friends (with reservations, hopefully) and have a great time.

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Dear Davidson County Election Commission: Tell me you’re kidding with this …

The following post is courtesy my friend, Sam.

To read more of Sam’s rants,
click here.

Pc01-IdSaturday afternoon my wife received a letter in the mail from the Davidson County Election Commission. As she had recently changed her name legally, along with the fact that there’s a primary looming on the horizon, we thought little of it. But rather than the expected updated voter registration card, we got the following (copied from

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 47-18-2107, the Davidson County Election Commission is notifying you that there was a breach of the security of the data in the Office of the Davidson County Election Commission and personal information about you is reasonably believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person.

The letter goes on to say that a laptop containing sensitive personal data, including names, social security numbers, and addresses (or as I like to call them, the “Take a Credit Card Out in My Name Trifecta”) was stolen.

Conspicuously absent from this letter or, for that matter, any of the subsequent press releases, was any mention of data encryption.

I mean, seriously, how many laptops containing sensitive personal data have been stolen in the past year or so? And how many pundits and prognosticators have come out in favor of data encryption?

As Luke Froeb likes to say, perhaps the people at the election commission should be allowed to move their assets to higher value uses …

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Truckload of rodeo bulls recoverd; Circus clowns city-wide breathe sigh of relief.

Is it just me or does anyone else find this incredibly disturbing: Truckload of rodeo bulls stolen in downtown Nashville?

Apparently, while loading 12 bulls slated the Professional Champion Bullriding show, the truck carrying said bovines was hijaked. Let me repeat that…12 bulls, the kind I assume have their you-know-whats tied in order to make them angrier, were loaded into a truck, that was ALREADY RUNNING, when some idiot jumped in the truck’s cab and drove off.

The truck was recovered this morning, according to WKRN on the interstate with all of the bulls (apparently valued at over $100,000 each) intact.

The thing I can’t get over is the closing line to the original story: “I just hope he doesn’t go out somewhere and set them loose.”

Way to go, Tennessean! Responsible journalism, as always.

Though I seriously can’t stop thinking that running of the bulls on Broadway on a Saturday night might be worth the price of admission, I am glad the thief didn’t stick around long enough to pick up a newspaper.

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