Once upon a time in Nashville
The Barest of things...
The Barest of Things followed Greenville County School District’s weather advisory last week and closed operations for fear of being engulfed in a tidal wave of ice that would deliver us all to certain death. I apologize for any inconvenience as we can now return to regularly schedule programming with our normally balmy January temperatures.
That is a lie, of course. The next time I am afraid to drive in Greenville snow will be the first time. The actual reason for my lack of production was that The Wife and I were in Nashville, Tennessee for both work and play. Never having been to Nashville we did not know what to expect but were both pleasantly surprised. A few takeaways from the long weekend…
Downtown Nashville and the surrounding neighborhoods reminded me more of a Midwestern city than anything I expected to see in Tennessee. The layout, the architecture, the grit, and the friendly nature of the people we met all felt more like Indianapolis and Chicago than, say, Charlotte or Atlanta. We stayed in East Nashville which was totally walkable, offered plenty to do, and was only a $6 Uber ride to downtown. If I ever found myself moving to Nashville, this is exactly where you would find me.
Nashville Hot Chicken is the real deal. The Wife had hers from Hattie B’s Chicken and I had mine from Bolton’s. A return visit with additional sampling will be required to determine which is better. Also, Five Points Pizza had the best Stromboli I have eaten since I was making my own at Ferrara’s Pizzeria in college 20 years ago.
It is not called Music City without good reason. Downtown bars and restaurants feature live music in the middle of a weekday afternoon and evidence of the city’s rich music history can be seen everywhere. Stumbling upon The Johnny Cash Museum, the George Jones Museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Ryman Auditorium all in a single unmapped or planned walk around downtown was pretty darn cool.
Everywhere I went, especially in East Nashville, I was pretty sure I was going to run into Todd Snider, one of my favorite singer/songwriters since I was in high school. That never actually happened, of course, so if there was anything resembling a disappointment on the trip that would be the one.
Last, and absolutely not least, I was able to be present when fellow Upstate publication edible Upcountry was recognized at the annual edible Communities awards ceremony. Out of 91 publications printing between four and six issues a year, judges found my friend Ashley Warlick’s story about Travelers Rest’s Blue Ridge Creamery worthy of the “Best Local Artisan Story” award for 2017. This, to me, speaks volumes about her talent, the quality and creativity of the food producers in our community, and just how well a single Greenville publication measures up against those from nearly every midsize and large city in the US (plus a few in Canada). Huge congrats to all parties involved!