This writer started a new job on Tuesday and has no room in her tiny brain to dwell on the past weekend’s lovely little road trip to Nashville. My long-desired career break has come to a sudden end, because sometimes you just have to be a little crazy and take a job with a start-up so new the figurative doctor is still slapping its figurative back. As a result, waves of “Oh crap, what have I got myself into?” replaced the usual relaxed sighs of “Yeahhh, vacation!” and made this trip feel a bit like a checkmark on the ol’ to-do list. I guess that’s what major life changes do; they absorb your devil-may-care attitude like a black hole swallows matter. Schwoomphf. (That’s probably what it sounds likes.)
So all I have to share with you are random observations from a “northerner’s” perspective of Nashville.
- Half of Nashville thinks Chicago is one big Wild West shoot out. “Chicago, huh? …Be careful you don’t get shot.” Insert your own social/political comment here. I’m too tired to write one.
- Nashville is super awesome at naming stuff. Fluffo Mattress Factory closed, but their sign will hopefully stand forever. Brother Z’s “Wang” Shack (don’t be gross—it’s a wings place) seems to be going strong.
- Nashvillians are friendly; lots of smiles and southern hospitality. If you mention you’re from Chicago, though, you open the door for certain locals to question Obama’s birthplace and “tell you some things you need to know.” Consider telling people you’re from Wisconsin.
- I hope you’re sitting down for this one. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams just might be better than Tropical Dreams, making it the best ice cream I’ve ever had. And word on the street is they’re on their way to Chicago. In the meantime, I’ll be stocking up here and here.
- It’s possible to enjoy Nashville even if you’re not a country music fan. Downtown is a Vegas-like spectacle that can kill a whole afternoon, especially when live music pours out of every door that isn’t a boot shop, even on a Friday afternoon.
- If you’re visiting from a city like, say, Chicago, know before you go that in Nashville, a “neighborhood” is more of an intersection with a couple restaurants. Maybe a boutique. Shopping the “trendy” area of East Nashville, the “East Village of Nashville,” took about twenty minutes, half of which was spent driving around wondering where all the shops were. Most neighborhoods could be described as “up and coming,” and I bet in a few more years, they really will be great destinations.
- Eat hot chicken. I dare you.
Nashville’s a great little weekend getaway, even if you can’t quite get away.