Reflections on our month in Nashville

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our month in Nashville is coming to a close, and while we feel ready to move on at this point, we've definitely enjoyed some of the city's best offerings.  Surprisingly, live music, while plentiful and drawing from a very deep well of talent, did not fully satiate.  We are still kicking ourselves for missing out on the Richard Thompson show, which sold out before we arrived.  We passed on Ryan Adams and Jason Isbell thinking that we'd encounter a plethora of other good, interesting music, minus the sticker shock.  Open mic at the Bluebird was of a high caliber, and definitely worth the $7 min. food/drink bill.  A show at the Rutlege, featuring The Vespers and Erin Rae (a new friend and talented upstart we met at Cafe Coco) was enjoyable, too.

Other cultural highlights included the comprehensive medeival exhibit at Frist (a touring show on loan from Cleveland's Musuem of Art); we saw an amazing, 5th century Byzantine floor mosaic depicting Adam & Eve, numerous illuminated manuscripts from France and Germany and finely detailed, ivory carved reliquaries.  The Van Vechten Museum, also located in Nashville, on the campus of Fisk University, houses an Alfred Stieglitz collection and African American Art collection, both worth seeing.  While I passed my time in the galleries, John plumbed risk library's special collections and audio archives.  John came across one particular individual who's voice, experience and storytelling ability captured both of us, and led to perhaps the most pleasantly surprising development of our trip-a personal encounter with this remarkable gentlemen, and a spark for the joint writing project we've been seeking.  It will be exciting to see how this project unfolds!

The weather is warming up and trees are filling in now that spring is here.  Some of my favorite days were spent walking and hiking in Centennial Park and Lake Radnor State Park.  Belle Meade Plantation is also a beautiful setting.  John surprised me with reservations for brunch there-Martha's at the Plantation-a real treat!  As for dining, we liked Jasmine (fabulous Thai food), Dee's Q & Jacks' Barbeque, and Elliston Place Soda Shop, Sitar, Fido's.  The Farmer's Market has a great Indian food mart and Jamaican restaurant.  An unexpected outing on The General Jackson Showboat, thanks to our landlord, Jared (drummer extraordinare) was a fun venture and provided a trip up the Cumberland River, although we couldn't see much in the dark (Nashville had an hour long blackout while we steamed past the city).

We're gearing up to move on down to New Orleans before heading west.  We'll be driving the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, and camping along the way.  Hopefully our month of comfortable transition hasn't spoiled us too much, cause here comes some "roughin it". 

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