Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 7, 2015 The Streets of Nashville with Friends, Family and the Homeless

Another beautiful morning in Nashville. So I grab my camera and begin hiking. My first stop is the roundabout down the street from my hotel. This seems to be a tribute to songwriters because listed in the brick walkway are several songwriters and their most famous songs. 

Another shot of the naked people statue.
There are a lot of construction cranes all over Nashville. I've seen more here than any other place I have visited in the past 10 years.
Since I have already walked up Demonbreun St and Broadway, I decided to cut across 16th Avenue South and walk up Church St. this morning. I love walking through neighborhoods. It is the only way to really get to know a city. Down by highway that circles downtown Nashville, it is a bit run down. But I found some interesting artwork on abandoned buildings.

Then there is this newer looking housing first thought was it looks like a more colorful East German / Russian Cold War era building. But most new construction is soulless but functional.

Speaking of's a selfie taken with a zoom lens from across the street.

Destruction that leads to construction in Downtown Nashville. As I headed towards the Nashville Public Library, I began to see more homeless people, mostly men, on the streets. I talked with several of them because they were very polite, (as most people in Nashville have been to me), about saying hello or good morning as I passed by. I usually take a few pictures because most people never venture to areas like this, so I like to show people that they do exist and there are real human beings suffering on the streets. But today I didn't take any pictures. I just had short, pleasant conversations with a few strangers on the street. Now that I think about, no one asked me for money or tried to run a practiced story of misery by me. We just talked to each other for a few minutes. Maybe that's why I never felt like I should take a picture and maybe that's why nobody asked me for money. 

I ended up having breakfast in a fantastic French cafe, the Provence Breads & Cafe, inside the library. I also bought a few coffees and pastries and offered them to the homeless across the street in a small park. Then went inside to check out the library. On the stairs up to the Grand Reading Room, there were historical maps of Nashville. Being a history buff, I spent about 30 minutes on the stairs...

...reading the maps...

...learning about Nashville.

The Grand Reading Room

An interesting art exhibit in the library where people create their own self portrait and digitize it. There were some interesting interpretations of faces in the exhibit.

Back on Church Street heading toward the river.

This was the only sign I saw downtown about this walking tour. I will check this out on my next trip.

I had read about Printers Alley before I got here. It's an historical area of bars and theaters that is being threatened by "redevelopment". Apparently several businesses were forced to close because a boutique hotel is being built in their place. Just what the world needs, another place trying to cash in on a cool location by destroying that cool location.

Printers Alley

Unfortunately, I didn't make in down here at night on this trip. I feel shame but promise to get here next time.

More pictures on my way to the river.

Two of my favorite things...candy and twisted humor.

99 Flavors?

Commemorating the founding of Nashville.

Fort Nashborough on the Cumberland River. It was closed for repairs but I didn't see any work being done.

There were lots of old warehouses across 1st Ave on the river.

The melting snow from the storm that dropped over twelve inches of snow upriver in Kentucky was flowing downstream and flooding the lower levels of this riverside park.

Commerce is still conducted on the local waterways.

Re-purposing old warehouses along the river.

I grabbed a cab and headed back to my hotel. Perfect timing, because my high school friend Dan arrived there at the same time. We haven't seen each other in almost 30 years but thanks to Facebook were able to get together in Nashville. We walked back downtown and caught up over lunch. Then a few beers at a couple of places with live music.
Enjoying live music and a cold one with an old friend at Layla's. So it turns out that all the years between visits didn't seem to matter. It was just two friends getting together and having a good time. Such a good time that we never stopped to take a picture together...that's my excuse for not having any photos of Dan & I.

Cowboy Boots everywhere...

...I know I took the same picture yesterday but I liked this one better. 
Dan & I met up with my cousin Karissa & Jordan. We had dinner at Etch. It is an upscale place that seated us without reservations when I told the hostess that my under dressed group would be gone in an hour because we had hockey tickets. The food was amazingly good. Easily the best meal I had in Nashville. 

Then we watched the first place hometown Predators play so poorly that I compared them to my men's league hockey team. I don't remember seeing a pro hockey team play that poorly. It was still fun to hang out with family and friends. 

After the game, Dan & I walked back to the hotel to drop of my backpack. Then headed to Cannery Row for some live music at the High Watt. 
Dan suggested this show because he has seen one of the acts, Kansas Bible Company in the past. Strange turn of events occurred. Buffalo Rodeo seemed to be the headliner because it was their record release party. By the time we got there, Buffalo Rodeo was playing so we figured we missed KBC. After a few songs, we agreed to check out music at another club. Luckily, before we headed out the lead singer says stick around for our friends Kansas Bible Company. I am damn glad she said that because KBC was great. I love a good horn section. I love bands with multiple singers. I love high energy shows. I love when bands mix styles and swap instruments. KBC did all of that. What a great show. Check this band out...a guaranteed good time. Thanks Dan.

An amusing sign on our way back to the hotel. Another good day in Nashville.

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