Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Six Months: Nashville

Here are some thoughts about the city I now call home.
  1. I have picked up a bit of a Southern drawl.  I knew I'd pick up an accent fast but I didn't think it would be this fast.  I started noticing a lilt 3 months ago.  And it's only gotten worse.  My parents actually make fun of me.  I promise I'm a Yankee at heart!
  2. Every time I go to Whole Foods, an American Idol contestant is shopping there.  I don't watch the show so Tracy will nudge me and say, "do you know who that is?"  I'll covertly consider them, because it's not polite to bother/stare at local celebrities, and think they look vaguely familiar only because I watch E's celebrity news show.
  3. One of my coworkers has yoga with this person.  Now that's somebody I'd like to see shopping at Whole Foods.  I mean, I'd totally still be covert but it would be exciting!
  4. A benefit of Southern living is much easier access to one of my favorite food groups.  Fried pickles!  There are so many places to choose from and I know I'm only scratching the surface on options.  I had dinner at Rotier's the other night and their spicy spears are still in my top 5.
  5. A drawback of Southern living is the news.  I am a faithful subscriber to The Tennessean, the only newspaper for this fair state.  Let's just say that the Chicago Tribune has ruined me for all other newspapers.  On the plus side, there's still a crossword puzzle!
  6. A benefit of Nashville living, in particular, is the music scene!  As a reminder, I do not like country music.  And while Nashville is known as the Country Capital, it really should be known as Music City.  This is a musician's playground!  I love that there are a million shows going on every night, often for just $10-20.  What a deal!  Now, I'm an old person, so I'm not going to shows every night, especially when I have to work the next day, but I get out my fair share.  I love that I can see all my favorite indie bands for less and usually just a 15 minute drive from my house.  It's a wonderful life.
  7. Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes.
  8. Have I rhapsodized about the food lately?  I went to Sopapilla's last night for the first time and was blown away.  The guacamole was so beautiful I took a picture with my Blackberry.  I had the Blue Corn Enchilladas and just about went to heaven. The service was impeccable and the conversation (the only thing not provided by the restaurant but certainly enhanced by the atmosphere) was both stimulating and hilarious.  Get thee to Sopapilla's stat. 
  9. There are so many quality restaurants to explore.  I think for my 32 Things next year, I will see how many of the Nashville Originals I can try.
  10. I bought a membership to the First with Groupon that includes a free guest pass.  So you know who to call if you want to check out the Impressionism exhibit!
  11. Fun festivals like Hot Chicken Fest.  Talk about celebrating the simple things in life!
  12. Another drawback is certainly the brown recluse spider population.  And the snakes.  Luckily, no snake sightings yet.
  13. Lots of fun coffeehouses every where.
  14. I'm still on the hunt for a good resale shop.  I'm not sure anything will live up to Village Discount but I'm not giving up hope yet.  If you live in Illinois, I hope you're taking advantage of the deals and steals at Village Discount for me.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should schedule a little trip there when I go home for Christmas...
  15. I went to the Christmas Village the other weekend and was blown away by all the crafters and creators.  There were food samples galore and some truly impressive jewelry/frames/bakeware/gift ideas.  My mom is a calligrapher and used to participate in craft shows when I was growing up so places like this always bring back fond memories.  Still, after a couple of hours, I was good to go.  Shopping makes me tired.
  16. I got to meet author Shauna Niequist on Saturday!  She read a few chapters from her book, answered questions, and then signed copies of her book.  We only got to chat for a few moments but when I mentioned the review I did here, she not only came up with the name of the blog but said it was beautifully written.  Big grin.
  17. The roads and highways don't seem to have any rhyme or reason here.  Chicago at least has a grid system.  In Nashville the streets change names five times within 10 miles.  I've been warned about the nefarious ways of Old Hickory- thankfully haven't gotten lost using it yet.  
  18. On the other hand, routes I use regularly have become familiar.  The other day driving to church, I realized I had spaced out for a few moments, which sounds dangerous but it's not.  I was simply on autopilot and comfortably so.  Do not feel you need to avoid the roads in my presence.
  19. Nashville would benefit from a few stores.  Like Ikea, H&M, and Crate and Barrel.  Just to name a few.  
  20. The long and short of it is that this is my home.  And it really does feel like home.  I may not know my way around directionally and there are still things that Illinois knows best (like White Sox baseball!!!) but this is where I'm meant to be.  These six months have flown.


    1. leigh! i love this!

      a few places you need to visit, and i will take you there whenever i come if you haven't been yet.

      1.) hot diggidy dawgs - hot dog stand in the middle of some street in the middle of some part of nashville that i couldn't find on a map. get the chicago dog - ha! the chicago dog. i actually didn't even think about your heritage when i said that, but it is the best one.

      2.) pancake pantry, of course.

      3.) this is TOTALLY random, but there is a theatre in the same vandy area of the pancake pantry where i saw a burlesque show one night and it was SO FUN!

      4.) you do know that nashville *is* called 'music city, usa', don't you? (i'm not being smart, i couldn't tell from #6 if you knew.)

      you make me want to move to nashville! as if i didn't already want to move there! hm...perhaps sooner than later...

      oh! also...when you have a saturday free, head up to leiper's fork (fort?) population: about 500 (maybe). (the judds' have a home there, for example.) it's sort of an exclusive artists' community, but it welcomes visitors, too. there's a little hardware/post office/grocery there and it would be worth your while to have breakfast or lunch there and then tool about the shoppes down there.

      have a happy thanksgiving, leigh!


    2. 1) I cannot wait to make fun of your drawl.
      2) It'd be fun if we could fit in a Village Discount trip when you're home. I am in awkward-in-between-sizes-and-I'm-determined-not-to-spend-a-lot-of-money-on-clothes land.
      3) I had a class or two with Shauna Niequest's husband, Aaron, in college, and was in a few weddings in which he played piano and sang. The world is small. Cool that she recognized your blog and complimented your writing!
      4) The White Sox miss you.

    3. Mary Kathryn, don't go teasing me with promises to visit! I haven't been to that particular hotdog stand but The Dog of Nashville is across the street from work and quite delicious. Pancake Pantry is on the list- I just saw Brooke Fraser at Belcourt Theater, which is the place you're referring to. I also went to Leipers Fork a few weekends ago with a bloggy friend and had a terrific brunch at Puckett's Grocery. Such a cute town! And yes, I know it's called Music City:)

      Jill, it's on- both the making fun and Village Discount trip. Glad to hear the White Sox miss me because I miss them. Or rather, I miss them WINNING World Championships. Five years, where have you gone?

    4. My NashVegas girl, you are such a fun writer. You may need to schedule TWO runs to Village Discount though, because I want to go there while you're home! Ya'll can think about that. : )


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