Very fun day with all six of us here in East Nashville to celebrate Dirck’s 60th. We are staying in a sweet little two-bedroom Airbnb cottage on Lillian Street (aka the “lily pad”) with a foldout couch and air mattress for the two youngest in the living room. The place is cozy with hipster cool decor, lots of old accents, thin wood slat floors, exposed brick and white subway tile and funky light fixtures in the neat little kitchen.
We walked east along Fatherland Street (kinda creepy name) lined with small fixed up bungalows and Victorians to Sky Blue Cafe, a little neighborhood corner spot with hearty creative brunch entrees (delicious pancakes, omelettes, home fries bowls) and then walked over to the 5 Points area and visited a few shops I remember fondly from my last trip here several years ago, including Arts and Inventions, a crafts gallery (where I first discovered the fanciful birds painted y local Vicki Sawyer, who has gone on to major merchandizing…I spotted her products last month in Pasadena!) Other highlights include a few vintage clothing stores in the area, 5 Points pizza, the turnip truck market and a coolly named hotdog truck “I dream of Weenie” in an old VW camper.
Last night I had an excellent brat at The Pharmacy, which also serves very fresh tasting and hefty burgers and sweet potato fries. We got birthday cupcakes at Nashville Sweets. Also visited a small shopping area with inviting small shops along Fatherland, including the wonderful Her Book Store, which was not exclusively for her…I bought a book for a him.)
Very full day in Nashville where we arrived at about noon ( we could have arrived about two hours earlier if we had opted for a 45 minute connection at ohare…which we could have made, as it turns out.) we spent much of our time driving around in a light drizzle ( but hey it was almost 70 degrees!) trying to get our earrings. We had an excellent lunch at hipster hangout Marche artisan foods, ( photo below) cheerful, unpretentious, good food in east Nashville. Then we drove around the touristy section of the downtown district but couldn’t find a place to park. So we drove onto the gulch glitzy new lofts, the west side (end?) near vanderbilt university and then to fancy belle Meade (expecting Nicole Kidman to drive out of one of the mansions) and then down to the Loveless Cafe (see photos below), which was as I remembered it from 24 years ago but less remotely located ( alas, development nearby.)
We are in the enormous Gaylord opryland hotel and very pleased to have a room that actually looks out on the real world, not like the countless other rooms looking out at a simulated indoor world of gardens and mock courtyards. Then room is spacious, great beds, linens. No complaints ( though this is never a place I would have picked to stay. We are here because Dirck has a conference.)
Dinner was at prince’s hot chicken shack, a beloved hole in the wall with very spicy chicken (the mild was hot so can’t imagine what the higher levels do to your mouth) and very slow service. But quite a scene and good people watching. A mix of black people presumably locals and a few white college kids and tattooed people and tourists like us. !next stop, live music at the Family Wash, a fun place in east Nashville that I am guessing is a former laundromat. We heard an excellent set by a guy anted Cary Ott who sounded at times like James Taylor, Jeff tweedy, Bruce Hornsby and even boz Skaggs but mostly like himself. The signature shepherds pie looked great but we were too full of hot chicken to try it. But I did have an excellent local beer…chase pale and Dirck had yazoo.