Random Ramblings About Nashville

20 04 2007

I haven’t actually lived in Nashville in more than 15 years. Things have changed since I lived in middle Tennessee, and in many ways when I come to Nashville for a few days, it’s like returning home in some respects. Of course, everything has changed although much is the same.

The Predators were not even a glimmer in this city’s eyes back in the late 80s. The Titans wore funky baby blue uniforms and were not the Titans, but the Oilers. They were cleaning 2nd Avenue up and it was a bit more eclectic instead of the touristy place it is now. I remember when 8th Avenue was filled with tattoo parlors and porn shops.

We used to eat at Faison’s and 12th and Porter. Wednesday nights you could buy a beer at The Chute for a quarter. Starbucks was an O’Charleys. The Mellow Mushroom was an Italian restaurant that if I remember correctly, was pretty high-scale. Parking is still sucky in that part of town. The Warehouse, which sat right beside The Chute, was a place I won a Halloween contest one year. The prize: a pitcher of beer. I was dressed as Marsha Brady after her zombification. Yes, campers in Memphis, I have done the undead thing before and I was smashing. Even had a mannequin arm that I hauled around with me all night covered in goo.

Closed. Now an auto parts place, if memory serves me right.

Granite Falls was a place I would go to by myself and eat while reading a book of the day that I usually had purchased across the street at The Great Escape, where I would spend hours perusing cassettes of artists I had just heard of and they were cheap enough I could buy a couple and listen to the whole piece. If I didn’t like them, I’d resell them back.

Hillsboro Village had a sandwich show where you could get a turkey, avocado and alfalfa sprout sandwich on homemade wheatberry bread that still, to this day, stands as one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. You could also buy Orangina there. Belcourt was in dire trouble back then.

Sportsman’s Grille was a restaurant called Spats back then during this time-frame.

I’m sitting in an inexpensive hotel room in the city I cut my teeth on in my twenties and for some reason it’s charming to me on this fine Friday morning.

Observations I made last night was that Nashville has embraced, to a large degree, it’s touristy roots and diligently embraced wanting to be a city that was more than just the home of the Grand Old Opry. Opryland, a place where I think I threw up after riding the Wabash Cannonball, is a mall now. The World’s End, a restaurant and bar you would have found me at least a couple of nights a week because I took acting classes in a shabby little place next door on Church Street, is a just a memory. The studio and the restaurant are gone. For people that didn’t get to experience The World’s End in all of it’s decadent glory, I hate that for you. It had a strange, funky charm about it at the heighth of it’s popularity.
A couple of things I observed yesterday:

  • The Flying Saucer in Memphis is better than the one in Nashville. They have The Dempseys play there quite a bit and you just can’t go wrong when Slick Joe Fick is standing on his blonde upright bass. But, I was pleased to see Drinking Liberally was meeting there last night. I didn’t go over and embrace anyone. I just sent over some liberal karma. Yes, I had a Bass on draft which made life really good as yesterday was a bit of a celebration for me.
  • Gay bar music, at the right place and the right time, is just bloody wonderful.
  • I started hankering for a slice of Pizza Perfect pizza. We loved Pizza Perfect when I was a kid. It had a feel of community about it as you would gaze out across the street at David Lipscomb. I also feel the same way about International Market next to Belmont, where I ate more than my share of steamed dumplings.
  • The friends I have made as an adult that live in Nashville are pretty darned groovy.
  • Traffic still is of the suck.

My last Nashville address was just a hop and a skip around from the Mothership BBQ. And I think today, after I go be a professional adult at a meeting I have this morning, I might just go get some crack and cheese.

Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do, I think.

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13 responses

20 04 2007
Ginger

omg, you brought back so many memories! I loved Faison’s, Granite Falls…do you remember the Stage Deli? Pizza Perfect had the most delicious crust…kind of sweet…and loved the International Market…is it gone? I never go over that way anymore.

20 04 2007
melusina

Ok, you just made me very, very homesick.

20 04 2007
Nashville is Talking » Just Yesterday

[…] The Nashville she used to know: The Predators were not even a glimmer in this city’s eyes back in the late 80s. The Titans wore funky baby blue uniforms and were not the Titans, but the Oilers. They were cleaning 2nd Avenue up and it was a bit more eclectic instead of the touristy place it is now. I remember when 8th Avenue was filled with tattoo parlors and porn shops. […]

20 04 2007
sara sue

Sounds like you’re having a great time … hey find out if TMS will ship me some pulled pork here to Sacramento.

Odd little thing … my hometown is Grantie Falls, NC 🙂

20 04 2007
Nashville Knucklehead

“Starbucks was an O’Charleys.”

And the head bartender at that O’Charley’s?

Me.

20 04 2007
newscoma

You probably served me.
Because, you know, I like beer.
And I have magical spoons.
This world is too frigging weird.

20 04 2007
Ginger

small world…I was a hostess there from 1986-88ish!

I had big hair back then, too…difference is, the Knuck’s hair was bigger than mine (if his picture is a true facsimile thereof). 🙂

21 04 2007
Winston

Dang! Wish I had been alert enough to know you were cruising into town, I’d a bought you a brew. Maybe next time. Standing offer.

Spats had best ribs in town before it became Sportsmans Grill, which has best catfish in town. The Hillsboro Village sandwich shop was probably Jonathan’s. They moved out of the Village to Cool Springs several years ago. Still have all those wonderful sandwiches, big screen TVs, and lots of cold beer. Maybe that’s where I’ll buy you a beer or three next trip.

21 04 2007
newscoma

Cool beans, Winston. That would be more than fun. You’re right. It was Jonathan’s. I couldn’t remember the name of it.
And they had Orangina. As a person who isn’t that fond of orange juice and doesn’t really like soda, I adore Orangina.
Not as much as beer, but that goes without saying.
And I’ll buy you a beer back. Then we can stumble around Cool Springs, head to Plato’s Closet and demand to see Jackson Miller in our revelry.

21 04 2007
Lesley

Not to spark any controversy, but you’re right about the Flying Saucer. The one here is a real let-down. On top of that, the only pizza that comes close to Memphis Pizza Cafe is Joey’s Inconveniently Located House of Pizza in the Arcade.

Mmmmm…pizza.

21 04 2007
newscoma

Lesley, it’s almost a crying shame how much better the Saucer is in Memphis.

23 04 2007
jagadiah

I keep typing a comment then erasing it – I can’t seem to stay on topic.

We’re going to see Sweaty Joe and Brad and cute drummer guy whose name I can never remember in a couple weeks. They’re my favorite Memphis export. “cept y’all, of course. 🙂

3 04 2008
The New Madonna Video Confuses Me « Newscoma

[…] The New Madonna Video Confuses Me 3 04 2008 I am compelled. I’ve never really been a fan of Madonna and there is a lot of good visuals in this video but then again, I found myself with a furrowed brow and a need for bourbon. I don’t drink bourbon. I might start. On one side, I think it’s cool that Madonna is older than me and looks really good. I also love gay bar music. I’ve told you this before. Gay Bar music is the bomb. […]

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