Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Town + City Survey: Nashville

honky tonks all decked out for Christmas

The next city in the Town + City Survey leads me far, far out of my comfort zone: to a land called The South.  Granted, Nashville, Tennessee is part of the "Upper South", but it's still quite foreign to me.  I suppose that's part of the point of moving somewhere new, though, right?  So I carried on with investigating "Music City".  I discovered some pretty sweet attractions and activities.  The first few suggestions are care of my sweet friend, Amira, who recently visited.

  • Bounce from one honky tonk to the next, downtown.
  • Cater to your need for order while flailing your body about, and go line dancing at Wild Horse Saloon.
  • I'd like to watch the recording of A Prairie Home Companion at the Ryman Auditorium in April.  The Ryman was the first venue of the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly country music stage concert.  (And, yes, I had to look that up.  The closest I am to being qualified as a country music fan is the fact that I saw Walk the Line.  Oh, and 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton.) 
  • Dine at Swett's Restaurant.  Personally, I'd try the macaroni and cheese, squash cassarole, cabbage, green beans, collard greens (as long as they weren't flavored with bacon), fried cornbread, and sweet potato pie.  I can't eat much else of southern cooking as a vegetarian.  ;]
  • When Ben and I visited the EMP in Seattle, we saw an exhibition of Hatch prints.  Apparently, the historical print shop, Hatch Show Print, is still operational.  I'd love to go see the letterpress, posters, and shop cats.     
  • Though Nashvillians do not suffer similar average high temperatures as Tempe, I think I'll still have to cool off regularly with ample doses of Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles.  I would not stop till I tried the Avocado, Pumpkin, Pistachio, and Mexican Caramel flavors.  (Not at the same time, of course.)  Ben would be all over the Horchata and Cantaloupe.  
  • This Design*Sponge Guide to Nashville has dozens of suggestions for coffee shops, restaurants, and other cool shops to check out.  Hello, Germantown!
  • And last, but certainly not least, I have discovered the Fest that makes all other Fests feel inadequate: The Tomato Art Fest.  Brilliant!  The tomato jamboree includes: honoring tomatoes through haiku; tomato-flavored ice cream; bobbing for tomatoes; a tomato toss; a Bloody Mary competition; biggest, little, ugliest, and prettiest contests (for tomatoes, not humans); a readhead contest (this time, for humans); recipe contests; and there is a RUN, people—the Tomato 5k (which includes a training program for beginners called Potato-to-Tomato!).  I can get behind a town that celebrates all things tomato and uses puns to describe community programs.

that building on the left—it resembles Optimus Prime's head, no?

Honky tonks image source
Nashville skyline image source 


    1. Nashville was such an awesome place to visit. I didn't want to leave. As a huge country fan, I was in heaven with all the live music. I also love Southern cookin'. But what I didn't like about Nashville was the level of affluence. I'm still trying to figure out why Nashville is such an affluent city (perhaps it's because Vanderbilt is located there, as well as the country music industry), but I felt like the ugliest girl in Nashville; like I just didn't fit in. I did, however, enjoy the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Nashville...but I think that's because they reminded me of Oakland! I don't know, I'm still trying to figure it all out...

    2. thank you for your sincere + honest impressions, Amira! I didn't uncover anything about the level of affluence in my "brief + superficial" research. Or that certain neighborhoods are similar to Oakland! And, for the record, you're one of the prettiest girls in whichever city you're currently in. Total fact. ;]