Friday, June 19, 2009

Music City

Greetings from Nashville! I am posting from The Perch, an adorable coffee shop near my hotel in the suburb of Brentwood. And as of right now, I am eyeing their extensive crepe menu. To be honest, Nashville was never high on my list of places to see. I figured I'd get to it eventually. Well, here I am. My boyfriend and I traversed the highways from Dallas to Music City last Sunday, and while that was a harrowing ride (a semi-truck tire tread did some major damage to my car), my time here has been smooth sailing and very relaxing. 

Since Chad is here for a history grant program, so that leaves me free during the day to peruse antique shops and explore neighborhoods at my leisure. He would be none too happy if I dragged him through as many furniture stores as I have been to. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much high design is here. Yesterday I stopped at Epiphany Design Studio on 8th Ave S. to encounter several fabulous pieces and some of the nicest people I have ever met. I also went into A La Maison, for some beautiful European imports. Both of these stores I found courtesy the article "Elle Decor Goes to Nashville." In the Berry Hill neighborhood, I stopped off at Gilchrist Gilchrist- two shops in side by side houses that boast an all white interior which evokes a 1920's beach house. They had some beautiful linens and decor, but it was all a bit girly to be on display on our bed or throughout the house. I sometimes have to remind myself that a boy lives in the house too. But, the one store which knocked me on my heels was Highbrow Furniture, which is actually inside the store Pre & Post Modern on 8th Ave S. They feature all furniture Mid Century Modern! I walked into my own personal Heaven. As I drooled over the Eames chairs & rockers, Saarinen tulip tables & swivel chairs, I sat down in a Herman Miller lounge chair only to look up and see a George Nelson Bubble Lamp. EEK! And the best part, everything was on sale! The Ghost Stool by Kartell 50% off! Too bad my furniture funds are non-existent right now (teardrops are falling on my keyboard as I type). They do have a website, but you have to specify that you want to buy from the showroom if you want a discounted item, and it's only if they are having a sale. 

Aside from shopping, I explored the Hillsboro Village area, which is my personal favourite. Early 1900's bungalows, some residential, some commercial businesses, a very college/hippy vibe on 21st Ave S. A lot of Nashville reminds me of Austin; this area definitely said "the Drag" and Hyde Park neighborhood to me. Belmont University is nearby, which probably is where the credit for the granola feel is due. Music Row is nearby, which is very cool and worth driving down. Monday evening we ate at Cabana (2 for 1 drafts and pizza). A very hip, young outpost with a nice patio. It was an added bonus to have such great specials going on. If you sit in one of the "cabanas," you can plug in your iPod and play your own mix- how hi-tech! We didn't get the pizza, but instead I had the Tennessee Sliders- chicken or pork on sweet potato biscuits with peach preserves. Tres bien! Fido is a great little coffee shop, ran in there to get out of the tornado like weather one afternoon. The Bookman was a small shop with many twists and turns, used books awesomely piled from floor to ceiling. The couple that own the shop are extremely knowledgeable. And despite books spilling out into piles on the floor, they know exactly where each one is. I was duly impressed! I finally bought the one and only Jonathan Lethem book that I have yet to read, Fortress of Solitude. Another eatery in the same area we tried was Mafioza's, an Italian joint that is PACKED during their Tuesday night special of 2 for 1 drinks (excluding wine) and pizza slices. Delicious pizza, even though the kitchen was turning out custom slices left and right. All I have to say is get there early. 

On Wednesday night we decided to be the ultimate tourists and hit the downtown Broadway area. Even though gift shops abound, it actually has a fairly authentic feel (if you can overlook your fellow tourists). We stopped at the famed Jack's BBQ for some delicious brisket and tried all three of their renowned sauces. After we got a belly full, we popped next door to Robert's Western Wear. It is astounding how many legends have set foot inside that hole in the wall- a few of my faves being King George and Merle. Chad's being BR-549. Robert's is not only known for playing traditional country music, but for the boots lined up on the wall for sale. Not sure how many boots are sold each year, but a neat idea. The band that played was greatness- they covered everyone from Cash to Merle to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Tonight we are venturing back over to the area to check out the band at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge the other very famous C&W bar. I plan to find out the meaning behind that name. Good thing I brought my boots! PS. Parking is something of a myth- we ended up parking at least a half a mile away. And they gouge you at the paid parking lots. The Broadway area absolutely reminded me of 6th St, including the parking situation, but a bit more country oriented and family friendly, and never a cover. I hate to constantly compare Nashville to Austin, but the similarities are undeniable! And I mean it as a compliment, as my heart is still in Austin. 

With only two more days to go, I'll be sad to leave Nashville, but plan to make the most of it. My car will be out of the body shop today- yay! There are a few more antique shops to hit and I will be meeting up with a long time friend this evening- can't wait to see her! The landscape is beautiful here. Now that I have been, I can only hope to return here soon. But, I am also looking forward to coming home. I can't wait to see my Boo-Boo (my dog, for those who don't listen to me talk about him on a daily basis)!

Have a beautiful weekend, and be sure to wish your dad a Happy Father's Day! 

1 comment:

  1. I was only there very briefly but thought it was a totally fun town.