No, I don’t watch the TV show Nashville so forgive me for not knowing things, and shame on you if you think watching that show means you know things, but I was unprepared for Nashville. To say I was unenthused when I boarded the plane is being kind.
And then we landed.
I expected some good BBQ and a bunch of twangy singers who wear the hats and boots but have never ridden a horse. What I got was a strident city that didn’t seem to be attempting coolness but was rather exerting its own coolness onto the world. Now admittedly Nashville’s brand of coolness was not exactly mine, if it could be argued that I have any at all, but I appreciate what it was doing. I see what ya did there Nashville.
Everywhere in Nashville is a honky tonk, and by honky tonk I mean a venue for aspiring musicians. The lobby of my hotel at 7am, the second floor dining room of a mostly abandoned bar at noon on a Tuesday, and the convention center ballroom on Thursday night, all venues for live music by people I have never heard of that sound better to me than anyone I ignore on American Idol.
I appreciate that.
Then there was food. Upscale and down. Everywhere.
I did find it amusing, and eventually sort of unsettling, that while sitting in a sidewalk dining area in the Gulch for three hours on a Saturday afternoon, we counted no less than six separate bridal parties, each group wearing their own matching outfits, be it pastel green t shirts or black and gold tanks. It felt like a sorority event, but it was weddings. It was a thing.
Also, this was a thing:
And so was this: