I am sitting in the very heart of the city where Elvis Presley recorded Heartbreak Hotel in 1956 … where Bob Dylan cut Blonde on Blonde in 1966 … and where Kansas laid down Dust in the Wind in 1978.
Those are just three of the reasons Nashville, Tennessee is known as “music city.”
When I arrived shortly after lunchtime today, though, I was underwhelmed. The streets downtown seemed empty and most of the shops seemed to cater to tourists.
I was hungry, but was dismayed to find only a Joe’s Crab Shack and a Hard Rock Cafe nearby.
So I decided to walk across the Shelby Street pedestrian bridge to get the lay of the land. I’ve got to admit that the view of Riverfront Park was pretty spectacular.
And by the time I’d made it across the bridge and back, downtown had been transformed. There were buskers on the street corners and small groups of tourists pouring into the bars. I loved having to walk only a few steps to hear a different band.
I also loved the larger-than life homages to Nashville’s musical heroes …
… and the antique Cadillac that someone had parked casually outside one of the bars.
I also enjoyed browsing the CDs at Ernest Tubb. The selection was overwhelming—in the best possible sense.
Then I did a bit more window-shopping …
… and lurked outside a couple more bars.
That’s when I spotted the sign for The Stage.
It’s a bit of an inside joke, but I know that my friend dancingbeastie will appreciate the sign’s lettering.
A little Bleeding Cowboys never hurt nobody, right pardner?
The highlight of my day, though, was stumbling into one of the very stores I’d bemoaned earlier. The owner, Sheilah, was lovely and gracious and welcoming.
Alas … I couldn’t afford the covered-in-autographs guitar and I didn’t need a weathered driftwood mirror.
But I couldn’t resist buying myself a straw cowboy hat. (Yes, I’m a dork.)
Greetings from Nashville, y’all!
I especially like your photos of the bridge and the Caddy. Nicely done!
Thanks very much, Jim! Wish you could have seen the Caddy in person; it was beyond mint!
Great job capturing the reflection of the buildings in the “Viva Nash Vegas” t-shirt photo! I think it’s cool that I can see what’s across the street, but I can’t see the photographer. 🙂
The photographer has become quite skilled at hiding herself. There are rumors that she may not even exist. 🙂
You did it again: inspired me to write. And to tell the truth, I need a push. You know where to find it.
BTW: I loved the pics, especially the “bendy” one of the cityscape taken from the bridge. That’s really cool 🙂
Your comment made me very, very happy, Xpat. I love your writing, so it’s a tremendous honor to think that I’ve inspired you in some small way. And about that cool bendy photo: it’s three frames unskillfully stitched together. I was going to try to fix it in Photoshop, but then decided that i rather liked the bendiness. Well … off to read my favorite Aussie Scot! Thanks for your kind note.
YESSS, Bleeding Cowboys! Thank you so much for taking that picture! I am easily pleased of course but it makes me very happy to think that someone is actually using it in Nashville. Be sure to make it your default font when you have that there cowboy hat on, y’hear? 🙂
*GRIN.* Yeah, you got it, pardner! 🙂
Thanks for the beautiful, interesting photos from Nashville! Our son went to school there, and we LOVED to visit. I shared the link to this post with my wife and children. –John
Glad you liked my Nashville pics! I truly wish I could have stayed there a few more days … it was one of the most vibrant music experiences I’ve had anywhere in the world (with the possible exception of Paris, of course). I very much hope to go back soon.