Posted on Nov 25, 2013 in HOT SPOTS | 0 comments
Before moving to Nashville, I envisioned the city being a lot of this. And I found it, on a five-block radius called Lower Broadway. Referred to as Honky Tonk Central, most of the buildings have historical significance, and still house legendary country music venues and bars like Robert’s Western World, Tootsies Orchid Lounge, and The Stage. You’ll also find a plethora of shops and restaurants, along with Bridgestone Arena and The Johnny Cash Museum. The Ryman Auditorium (dubbed The Mother Church of Country Music) is also in this proximity, heralding the most prestige of them all.
Filled with hopeful musicians busking on every corner, or perched on a bar stool guitar in hand, this is still where dreams can become a reality.
Posted on Nov 6, 2013 in HOT SPOTS | 3 comments
This is my friend Koko (along with her killer airstream and cat Slim) who’s studying Chinese acupuncture at Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, NC.
Koko and I grew up in NH and go way back to bus rides bopping in the back seats down dirt roads en route to middle school, hitting sweet 16 and blasting the Talking Heads in our “new” rides to high school (located in the next town over–Nottingham is that charmingly small), to spending hours in the dark room developing photos during photography class and saddling up our horses for adventurous rides in the woods.
Even though we’ve both lived different places ever since, it’s nice to know she’s only a 4.5 hour drive from Nashville. That is, until the big skies ultimately lure her back out west to pursue her dream. This trip made me realize that acquaintances may come and go, but when it comes to those handful of true friends, the miles can’t even set you apart.
Prone to being smitten with anything that involves the mountains, Asheville also hits a sweet spot on the local front thanks to cool joints like Wood & Spoon, Flora, The Drygoods Shop, Villagers, Bull & Beggar, The Admiral and Biscuit Head to name a few. Take my word, this little city is worth trekking through the mountains to explore and staying a few extra days.
Posted on Oct 30, 2013 in HOT SPOTS | 0 comments
Hatch Show Print is one of the oldest and most revered letterpress print shops in America. Based in Nashville, they’ve created posters ranging from greats like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, to current acts such as The Civil Wars and Katy Perry. Known for their signature style, they will forever be among the top tier in print and in demand regardless of this digital age of advertising we’ve grown accustomed to.
After a colorful history of places they’ve been based throughout the years, they’ve now found their forever home located in The Country Music Hall of Fame. Their new space includes a production shop, print store, gallery and workshop area for demonstrations and classes, which I’m sure will be a big hit within the community and beyond.
Yesterday, I swung by and was fortunate to get a private tour of their new digs and snap some photos. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with where to start, I had to do a couple more loops around all the machinery, rows upon rows of type and individual stations to really take it in–there was just that much stuff I needed to photograph. Simply put, the facility is an art shrine and gem worth carving out some time to see.
If you’re in Nashville this weekend, consider swinging by for their grand opening celebration that will include printing demonstrations, artifact talks and their First Saturday Art Crawl with Jim Sherraden’s artwork on display. A bash not to be missed!
Posted on Aug 27, 2013 in HOT SPOTS, TRAVEL | 0 comments
At 2pm on Friday afternoon, I set off for a weekend adventure in Florence, AL for Billy Reid’s Shindig #5. I was able to catch a few of the events happening in conjunction, but ultimately found myself hours deep during the two days I was there navigating this sleepy southern town and its surrounding areas. Florence and Muscle Shoals had been on my radar for quite some time, so I was chomping at the bit to explore what they had to offer.
Billy Reid, Natalie Chanin and John Paul White of the Civil Wars are just a few people who call Florence home. It’s really quite small, but packed with history and stunning architecture (like the Rosenbaum House that was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright), to kitschy strips with abandoned buildings that lead to historic neighborhoods.
After dining and exploring around Florence, we then made our way to Muscle Shoals. We rolled the dice and swung by FAME Studios, and to our surprise, the door was unlocked. We walked right in and got a personal tour of the famous studio that’s responsible for what’s become known as the “Muscle Shoals sound” and has produced some of the biggest hits from artists such as The Rolling Stones to Etta James and Alicia Keys. A new documentary on the studio just emerged, and you can check out the trailer, here.
From there, dining at random Cajun seafood restaurants, shopping at quirky antique shops, an exploration of The Shoals Theatre, chats with locals (like Crazy Carolyn) and brunch at spots like Sweet Magnolia easily stole the rest of our time and attention. It was truly the perfect weekend getaway.
Until next time, Alabama.
Posted on Jun 2, 2013 in HOT SPOTS, NASHVILLE | 0 comments
Swung by Fond Object a few weeks ago which is a rad record shop and arts collective that was recently opened by members of The Ettes and some of their pals. They’re having a Pick up TN party today from 2-5 that involves free beer and three live music sets, so go check them out now and allow yourself to indulge in a little Sunday shopping.