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Travel – Nashville

December 6, 2021 /

Since most clients use Winnipeg Home Check services while they are away travelling, I thought I would provide some of my travel experiences. I recently spent some time in Nashville.  Here are my observations:

Nashville on a Saturday night. This isn’t you Dad’s Nashville of quaint honky tonks and country crooners. This is more like spring break colliding with a music festival at a Vegas street party.

Broadway avenue is the main attraction.  The street, similar to portage avenue is mostly blocked off to vehicles as dozens of cops try to keep the mobs safe and contained.  What used to be the home of country music, is now Music City and there is no denying that. For three or four blocks plus side streets, virtually every storefront has a band or performer and the music pours out from the large open windows. Several three or four story buildings have a different band on each floor. Many of the best venues, like Tootsies where the likes of Willy Nelson and patsy cline got their start, have lineups several hours long.

Most of the masses on Broadway are tourists. Nashville is a top draw and apparently the number one location for stags and especially stagettes. The young women are everywhere, twerking to blaring music on open air buses or bicycle bars, yelling, “whooo” to the sidewalk crowds as they slowly make their way down Broadway.

Local bar and restaurant owners understand the supply and demand dynamics and can’t resist $20.00 cover charges and ratcheting up the price for a burger to go along with $9.00 bud lites. This in a city where the minimum wage is $7.25. No wonder it mostly tourists.

Once the weekend madness is over a different atmosphere emerges.  No cover charges and some great music at venues that are easily accessed. It’s every type of music, from country to blues, hard rock, soft rock, funk and singer songwriters.  Prices appear to come down as well. One particular establishment offers a menu with an array of amusing offerings like the “recession dinner”;  fried baloney sandwich, bag of chips, poor boy pie and a beer, all for $6.00.

Printers Alley, not far from Broadway is an interesting back alley decorated with lights and neon signage over the doors of smaller and more cozy venues.  A wide variety of music can be found here.

Not unlike other cities, Nashville does have its open problems. Homelessness is clearly evident. In pouring rain or cold concrete they sleep in their tattered sleeping bags while others have their hand out or cup hoping for some sympathy from the party goers. The city seems proactive to help those in need. Several large portable vans collect at a meeting place and the homeless can enter to have a shower, get a bowl of soup and even have their clothes laundered.

Aside from the music, Nashville is also famous for, Tennessee whiskey 🥃. The home of jack Daniels and a host of other bourbon distilleries.  And a visitor has to try the traditional southern food, like barbecue ribs or pulled pork, deep fried chicken with beans and grits, all smothered with hot sauce.

Nashville is an experience and an easy bucket list item. Southern hospitality at its finest. Avoid the weekends unless you enjoy mayhem. Three days is plenty unless you are an up and coming musican or connected to the music industry.

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