Monday, April 29, 2013

Another NashVegas Night

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I should never have left town without that big yellow metal chicken secured in the back of my SUV

(While I was out of town and the victim of a week of bad internet connection, one of my past blog posts was featured in the online magazine Better After 50 (it really is, I think).  After reading my piece, stick around and read some of the other sassy, funny, and thoughtful things the other writers have to say.)

Sometimes a gal just has to get out of town.  The endless rain and gray skies made me think “Go South.”  And so I headed to the bright lights of one of my favorite towns --  NashVegas.  I went to meet up with friends for the All 4 The Hall benefit concert Keith Urban and Vince Gill do for The Country Music Hall of Fame.  You might remember that I wrote about it at this time last year.

There is so much besides country music that draws me to the town.  I made my stop at Parnassus Books where I bought the wonderfully creative and well-balanced book by Theron Humphrey, Maddie On Things.  Check here to see if Theron and Maddie are coming to a bookstore near you.  If you're not a dog lover before you open the book, you soon will become one.

I also ate way too many carbs late at night. And in the morning.  I bemoaned the fact that the gritty, small-town Nashville that I first knew and loved is growing into a sleek, modern mini-Atlanta with apartment high rises, expensive hotels, and chain stores.  A lawyer sitting next to my breakfast companion and me one morning half agreed with me.  He pointed out the restaurant window and said, “They should keep that place and that place and that place.  But frankly, I’m glad to see that building come down and a nice mid-rise apartment go in.  My wife and I want to live where the action is, but we’d like a change from our house to an apartment.”

Isn’t that the story everywhere?  So many people want to live in the midst of the excitement that pretty soon they’ve torn down all the things that make a neighborhood worth its salt.  Then you’re just left with the apartment buildings full of people who wanted all those things that made the neighborhood interesting.

But some things in NashVegas don’t change much.  There is still plenty of music to be had.  What made this trip particularly good was I had a concert double-header.  Gary Allan was in town singing at the Ryman Auditorium the night after Keith and friends.  So let me leave you with a tour of Lower Broadway on a Wednesday night in April.

There’s always action in the alley between the Ryman Auditorium and the music clubs that line Lower Broad.
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With all that neon, the city deserves the name NashVegas.
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A Music City hopeful playing for tips while competing against the ubiquitous big screen TV.
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The boots and jeans of country singers tell their own stories.
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I love being at the stage.
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A perk of being up front – you get your Hatch Show Print signed.
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Gary Allan reminds us that “Every storm runs out of rain.”

I finally got a bit of a smile out of him (around :20).  Gary’s “An Alright Guy.”

The sights and sounds of Lower Broad around midnight.  Most clubs have two bands playing. Multiply that by a dozen clubs on the strip and you understand why the sound in this clip is chaotic.  On a warm night the front windows of the clubs are thrown open, and it’s non-stop music as you stroll. 

Head to the comments box and tell me where you like to go when you just need to get away.  Do you have a special room -- or chair?  Or does a certain kind of scenery or activity recharge your battery?  Share your special place in the comments.


Nadine Feldman said...

Sounds like a fun trip! No matter how good life is, the occasional getaway is in order. I appreciated your comments about the changes in "NashVegas." It seems as though so many cities, or neighborhoods within those cities, struggle to figure out the balance between charm and convenience.

Here in Port Townsend, we have an active tourist trade but don't want to get overly touristy. A few years ago, before we moved here, some locals fought and won against a proposed waterfront hotel and spa. Instead they came up with a marine center that is useful for everyone.

Even though I live in paradise, I need to get away now and then. For me, some good mountain hiking is the best way to recharge. We just got back from one hiking trip and are headed for another in a few weeks.

Debbie said...

Hey Julie, In case you haven't read the post about Beyonce, the giant metal chicken, here's the link. I laughed so hard I cried. There is some profanity. Hope it doesn't offend you.

Muriel said...

It does indeed sound fun. When i need to get away from it all, I ted to have a yoga session or a ru in the park. It usually does the trick!

Anonymous said...

Go anywhere, anytime. That's my motto. I feel a trip to NashVegas coming on. Thanks for the preview.

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