Our landing at Nashville International Airport is already very musical: apparently we were on the first Frontier flight from Chicago to Nashville. There is a DJ at the gate a camera team, balloons, a cake and drinks. Not many feet ahead we are welcomed by a serious Johnny Cash staring from the wall. We definitely landed in a music town.
On the bus from the airport to downtown we meet George, a nice guy from Chicago, who is couch-surfing in the southern states of the US.
After dropping our baggage in the „not-worth-to-mention“ hotel, we decide to satisfy our hunger at Hattie B’s hot chicken; allegedly the best hot chicken in town and a must-go for locals and tourists. Suddenly George, the guy from Chicago, steps in. What a funny coincidence! We tell him about our trip and as soon as we drop the word „Chicago“ the lady sitting next to us joins the chat: Silvia. She is also from Chicago and currently on a business trip in Nashville. We have interesting and funny conversations about everything under the sun and suddenly it’s six o’Clock in the evening. Silvia drives us downtown and George goes to his couch-surfing hosts.
We decide to go walk to the lower broadway with all the famous honky-tonk bars and boot shops. It is very colorful and touristic. We check out a few music bars and finally end up at Tootsies Orchid Lounge a place founded in the sixties. Many famous artist played there already and allegedly Willie Nelson was discovered in Tootsies. It has three floors and an amazing roof top terrasse. Sometimes there are long lines to get into Tootsies and the bars next door. Just go to the alley behind the bar, at the back door there is usually no waiting time at all. From the alley you see the Ryman church where old country music stars used to play in the „Grand Ole Opry“ show and would enter the bars across the alley after their show.
The next day we visit East Nashville.
The heart of East Nashville is the five points area. Before it’s revitalisation started in 2000 it was basically wasteland. Since then it has been constantly eclectically growing. It’s the hip part of Nashville but not yet as hip/wasted as Williamsburg in New York or SoCo in Austin.
In East Nashville you find a lot of arty stores, restaurants, galleries, vintage shops and graffitis.
If you miss healthy fresh food the Marché Artisan Food is a must. Tasty brunches and meals, all very fresh, light and healthy.
One of my favorite shops is Fanny’s House of music, a combination of vintage and guitar shop. They have flamboyant stage outfits from the sixties, seventies, and eighties but also some really cool basics. I bought a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt which you will find soon on this blog. The Art & Invention Gallery invites you to linger in the middle of creative pieces such as key plate hooks, unique furniture and funny paintings.
We got to talk to a guy who has a foodtruck „Riddim N’Spice“, until his restaurant is finished. He used to be the chef for a famous artist and was traveling around the world for years. Definitely worth a bite!
If you plan a trip to Nashville in august, make sure you wont miss the Tomato Art Festival: it’s art and music in it’s highest concentration
I am sure you will love East Nashville as much as we do! But our next destination is calling: Austin!