My City pt. 3

Friday, August 9, 2013

It's been awesome giving y'all (I can officially just start using "y'all" unashamedly now) a virtual tour of my new city, Nashville.  Yesterday I took you through 21st Ave, West End, and Downtown.  Today, we're exploring some areas off the beaten path, starting with another Avenue, not too far down from where we started yesterday.

The area of town deemed "12 South" is quickly becoming the new 21st (though they each have their unique qualities, and with the growing population of young-somethings in Nashville there won't be any need for these areas to compete).

Twelfth Avenue is greatly re-gentrified since I lived here last.  It's riddled with hip small businesses, giving you a taste of the local scene and the organic underground that is surfacing with catchy titles like "Moda Boutique", "Portland Brew", "Urban Grub" and "Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse" (get a turtle latte or white monkey mocha for some seriously delicious caffeine).

Other spots of interest will be Burger Up, Las Paletas (which you may have seen on Food Network) and the ultra hiip (yes, it deserves the extra i) "Imogene & Willie clothetier that will custom fit denim so incredulously to your form that it is nearly a crime to just call them "jeans".

Now that you've had a full dose of hipster for the day, let's head out of town.  If you ever visit Nashville, the Opryland Hotel is an absolute must.  It's one of those things that you just don't think you care to see until you are there, and it is spectacular enough that you'll probably want to go again.  Sure, once you've seen it, you've seen it, but it's still in the category of "just gotta see it" if you are anywhere in the area.

Basically, the Opryland Hotel brings the outside inside, and you can take full walks around various GIANT areas of perfectly landscaped atriums named "Cascade", "Delta" and "Magnolia".  Yes, it is the perfect outing for parents and grandparents.  But, they also serve great food (incredible brunches overtake the hotel on holidays like Mother's Day or Easter) and the entire premise is surprisingly stroller-friendly.

Next to the Opryland Hotel (and this is about 25 minutes east of Nashville) is the NEW Grand Ole Opry (I actually saw Taylor Swift's Grand Ole Opry debut there way back when she was "Taylor who?" True story.) And next to that is Opry Mills, which is pretty much exactly like any other "Mills" shopping center if you've been before...but, they do have the only H&M in the city, so it's worth the trek.

Last stop, Green Hills.  Heading back into the city, past downtown, and just south of the 21st Avenue area, you'll find Green Hills.  It's been my theory that if you want all the rich people to settle into one area, simply tag "Hills" on the end of the name and they'll eventually congregate there.  This holds true for Green Hills, and it lives up to it's lush name.  (The mall has marble floors! and a Nordstrom!)

There is a newish Green Hills shopping area called "Hill Center Green Hills" (see, I'm not kidding about that HILL theory) and it's posh, and perfectly snobby, and exceedingly pretentious, and you will totally love it.  Here's where you'll find your Whole Foods, your Anthropologie, and West Elm.  There's some smaller shops too, all neatly tucked in between those shops we just always feel "not as cool as we could be until I buy THAT" and so it flows well.

Surprisingly, just a few blocks away and across the street, you'll find a very authentic, boring little shopping center.  But, in this little nook of town lies one of Music City's treasures:  The Bluebird Cafe. You've seen it in movies, you've heard about it, and if you aren't watching the show Nashville then you're missing out on glimpses of it on a weekly basis.  The thing is, you've probably envisioned it in the middle of Music Row or Downtown next to a honky-tonk; but, you've been sorely misled.

The Bluebird is as legendary as it gets in Nashville, and if you can catch a songwriters-in-the-round night there, you've struck gold and might be witnessing music history.  It's simple, it's small, you'll want to order a domestic beer to be cool and act like you don't care that you are sitting in a venue that's so legendary.  And you'll wanna kick up your boots and just listen...cause, that's what you do in Music City (if you're not playing, you're listening).

I hope you've enjoyed our mini-tour.  There's LOTS left here that I've left out.  I didn't even delve into East Nashville or Brentwood, or a zillion little eccentricities that make this city so great.  We didn't even visit the Farmer's Market or the Capital.  We didn't drive south to Franklin and visit the old theatre.  Well, maybe you will just have to visit sometime.

And if you do, let me know.  Cause I ain't never leavin.

(Y'all come back now, y'hear)

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