I love Nashville. I think there’s a little more country in me that I like to admit. I love the southern-ness and the music and the people. Nashville has a nice mix of southern charm and business so people here are polite but can actually define the word “urgency,” even if they don’t like to demonstrate those attributes in their off time. They’re also remarkably calm about their crowded downtown driving conditions, which are possibly the worst I’ve seen since LA.
I got a lot of errands done today (despite the traffic) and spent the rest of my afternoon seeing the sights and going to the Country Music Hall of Fame. I’ve been to this museum several times because my best friend’s mom is a docent there and I can always get tickets. Now I just breeze in to see the newer exhibits because I’ve already seen the rest of it. But I always take a walk through the glass cases full of country star clothes. I love the fearless way these old school music stars dressed. It’s sequins on top of sequins and when you run out of room, throw a handful of rhinestones at it. Still not there? Perhaps I can recommend some fringe? Don’t forget your eyelashes and your fake nails! Now put on those pointed toe boots, tease up that hair and sing like you mean it!
And yet all these stars considered themselves down home country girls at heart. Consider this display of hand picked cotton in a crystal dish from Tammy Wynette:
It’s the great paradox of country music. Flash and glitter with a side of mama’s biscuits. Kinda like Nashville.
After the museum I wandered up and down Broadway and got my fortune told by Elvis and Willie Nelson.
Elvis recommended that I be true to myself and said I was “coming out of a fog” so I think he might be a little bit psychic. Willie said “so much happiness is in store for you that the most brilliantly lighted stars will be put to shame by the brightness of your life” and then said he’d be happy to follow that up but I needed to give him more money. How could he possibly come up with anything better than that? Ever since I saw the movie Big I’ve been a fan of the fortune teller in a box so I think I’ll take these fortunes to heart for the rest of this trip.
I visited Hatch Show Prints and bought some postcards. Loved this one particularly:
And then went to get some Texas style barbq at Judge Beans. I sat at the bar, which I’ve done often on this trip. I find I have a much better chance of meeting and talking to people at the bar than at a table. The minute I sat down the woman next to me looked over and said “Hi there honey, you want something to drink?” And I thought, “Customers serve customers here?” But instead she (Mary) is the catering director of the restaurant. She’s been in Nashville for 17 years and is ready to get out of here and move to Costa Rica and open a restaurant/bar on the beach.
So Mary and I talked on and off between the times that she’d run off to deliver food and seat people. I think fellow travelers recognize each other so we exchanged cards at the end of the night and she said “Let’s keep in touch and when you’re in Costa Rica you can stay with me.” A year ago that would have sounded strange coming from someone I met an hour ago but last month I spent a night at esta’s place in New Jersey and I met her in a restaurant in New York 2 years ago when we were both sitting at a communal table. I’ll also see Greta in Albuquerque who was my manicurist in New York about 3 years ago but is also a writer and a painter. So you just never know.
And as for dinner:
Doesn’t that look delicious? Smoked brisket with potato salad and green beans and I poured spicy barbq sauce all over it. Finger licking good! But it’s about time I get out of the south before my Bikram output and my food intake cease to equal each other.
I’ll leave you with a Nashville landmark, nicknamed the “Penis de Milo” by the NashTrash girls, for reasons somewhat un-obvious in this picture so use your imaginations.
I’ll be posting somewhat sporadically over the weekend while I’m in Cabo chasing the sun but I promise some beach pictures. I’ll be back to Nashville on Monday and on the road by Tuesday. Next week I’ll be in the Midwest: Indiana, Chicago and Missouri.
Have a great weekend.