I have a new disorder, OND, otherwise known as Obsessive Nashville Disorder. I have written about Nashville several times before and here I am again. I can’t get enough of this city that I have never visited. What’s not to like? It’s Music City, USA! The consensus is that Nashvillians are warm and welcoming people; you can find any type of cuisine to your liking; the cost of living is good; weather, usually mild, although they did have snow last week. Having grown up in NYC, Nashville seems like a perfect fit for me; a cosmopolitan city with a cozy feel.
It’s easy to understand why David likes Nashville, too. It has a completely different vibe than other big cities like, Los Angeles. The hustle-bustle that is felt in Nashville is all about music. The town has respect for and is a very nurturing community for musicians. You can’t walk 5 paces without running into someone who plays music or works in the business in some capacity.
“In Nashville, we don’t bug the celebrities when they are in public; it is an unwritten rule of decent behavior and respect. This is one reason why the celebrities like it here.” ~Emifriend, The Voice
Although David hasn’t told us that he’s in Nashville, he doesn’t have to. He was spotted at a restaurant by the name of Tazza last week and Stephanie Mabey tweeted that she had a writing session with him.
Don’t miss this video “36 Hours in Nashville” from The New York Times, sent by Emi.
credit The New York Times
My curiosity about Nashville this time led me to research the lesser-known places than the famous Ryman Auditorium or The Grand Ole Opry. The places to browse, to eat, to learn, to play, to see shows, to spend one’s waking hours; the interesting places that David may find if he does some exploring when he gets a chance, in between writing sessions. I’m sure Nashville has them; doesn’t every city?
I started digging, but as soon as I got going, our Nashville resident extraordinaire, Emifriend appeared with some great suggestions and I picked up speed! Choosing which to include here was a daunting task but someone had to do it and I’m glad it was me. haha The following list, in no particular order, is a compilation of places I found from research, and suggestions from Emifriend.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
I would love to see their current exhibit, Kenny Rogers “Through the Years”, depicting the singer’s life in music. Throughout the museum on display there’s everything from Elvis’ gold Cadillac to Taylor Swift’s costume changes from her last tour. And part of the grand tour is a visit to RCA Studio B, where hits like Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” was recorded. http://countrymusichalloffame.org/
Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles
I remember David tweeting about how much he loves avocado popsicles. I’m sure he can find them here. This Mexican popsicle shop makes natural creamy and fruit-only “paletas,” and customers can dunk their popsicles in fresh chocolate. The smooth avocado and Mexican caramel flavors seem to be the most popular. “Made in our store’s kitchen, Las Paletas offers “cream” paletas that have the texture of an ice cream bar and “fruit” paletas that have the texture of a traditional ice pop. Using fresh, ripe fruit, vegetables and other ingredients including grains, nuts, flowers and herbs from community gardens, we offer 20 or more flavors each day.” http://laspaletasnashville.com/
Centennial Park has a one-mile walking trail, biking trails, gardens, winding paths and a replica of the original Greek Parthenon with a life-size statue of Athena. The Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s art museum.
Pancake Pantry is a Nashville tradition! David has had breakfast here when he was in Nashville. Family owned business since 1961, has a down to earth atmosphere with 23 different pancakes on the menu. There have been celebrity sightings here and it’s Vince Gill’s favorite place for breakfast. http://www.thepancakepantry.com/
credit: Tide Guy
The Bluebird Cafe and other such establishments have open mic nights. What is open mic night? It’s a live show in a small club where audience members may perform at the microphone. It’s an opportunity for songwriters, singers and musicians to get the experience of singing to a live audience while trying out new material. I can just imagine David going with some songwriters to open mic night at The Bluebird. Hopefully he would get up to sing and when the audience hears his voice they will be blown away! http://bluebirdcafe.com/index.cfm
Gibson Guitar Factory George Gruhn trades guitars from all over the world here and is world-renown for his expertise with guitars. For trades/repairs/sales, the home of Gibson electric guitars today is “Gibson USA,” built in 1974 in Nashville specifically for the production of Gibson’s Les Paul guitars. The entire guitar industry went through a slump in the ’70s but the spirit of hope remained strong at Gibson.
The Groove Record Shop sells new and used vinyl records and cds. It specializes in hard to find records. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, The Groove will probably have it the next week. There’s always something new to see. They also host in-store performances from bands visiting the area. They offer hours of browsing pleasure. Sounds like a place I could get lost in. http://thegroovenashville.com/
Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant
(Love this one! Thanks Emi!) “Where the main ingredients are Real Food, Real People and Real Atmosphere! Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant in Leiper’s Fork, TN is more than just a place to enjoy a good meal. It’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. With mismatched tables and chairs and an eclectic clientele of tourists, farmers, songwriters… Puckett’s stage has recently held Tanya Tucker, Rodney Crowell,…Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers…and many more hit songwriters.” http://puckettsofleipersfork.com/history/history.php
The Franklin Theater, where you can see plays, movies and concerts. In 2014, The Franklin hosted sold out concerts for Art Garfunkel, Bret Michaels and Sheryl Crow. http://www.franklintheatre.com/
Tango Grill Parrillada
I hope David finds this restaurant. The chef is from Uraguay and specializes in South American gourmet food. Homemade empanadas are on the menu among other Argentinian dishes. Take a look for yourself. http://www.tangogrillnashville.com/
To find out what concerts are playing in the venues in and around Nashville, this link is helpful: http://www.nowplayingnashville.com/
So did I sell you on Nashville yet? haha With any luck David will visit some of these places.
Thank you, Emi, for your contributions!