After spending the morning hiding in the oasis that is Vanderbilt University, we decided to walk towards downtown Nashville. We didn’t know that it was almost two miles away. But the weather was nice and we wanted to see the city.
Art and Historic Nashville…
It wasn’t long before we came across what can only be described as a whisk.
We didn’t see any signage detailing what it was, so we had to come up with our own meaning. The best we came up with was how the area was a “mixing area” of different cultures, thanks to the university. Alternative theories included an homage to a now-defunct kitchen supplies manufacturer and simply “it’s art. If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand”.
For the rest of the walk, I simply started taking pictures of cool looking buildings, promising myself to research them afterwards. First, there’s the U.S. Customs House:
Then we came across what I later learned is Hume-Fogg High School. I feel like I’m on a list for taking a picture of a school without having any affiliation to it, but I still kept the photo.
On the Banks of the Cumberland River
At the bottom of the hill is the Cumberland River. On its banks sits Nissan Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. All in all, the riverfront is very well developed. It was a nice inclusion of nature in the middle of the downtown area.
You’ll notice there aren’t a lot of tall buildings or heavily urban scenes in my pictures. And to that, I simply say “Welcome to Nashville”.
To get to the river, we walked through the (in)famous Broadway Street. This stretch is the main tourist area in Nashville full of the the old “Honky Tonk” bars. You won’t find a lot of locals inside of them, but if you’re having a bachelorette party in Nashville, this is your Vegas.
Apologies for the construction in front, but this street is lined with bars and party buses.
And these bars are huge. Like “three stories” huge. And what’s more is that this wasn’t the only bar of this size on the street, and all of them were packed at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon.
Turns out that the Packers were in town to play the Titans, so the bars were flooded with drunk Wisconsinites. Drunk Wisconsinites happen to be my favorite type of drunks because they’re all pretty good natured. At one point, I asked a man wearing a Packers jersey if there was a game that weekend, and his whole friend group got a chuckle out of it in a very Midwestern/”bless his heart” kind of way. They offered us drinks, but we (obviously) declined, and continued on to see the Front Street Warehouses.
They’re not much to look at, but from an architecture point of view, they were fascinating. And at the the end of the row of warehouses stood one of the best contradictions I can think of in Tennessee:
Not pictured is our stop at the Johnny Cash Museum, also in downtown Nashville. For a cavalcade of reasons, my photos didn’t turn out. That’s sad, but there’s also much better photos available online taken by people who really, really love the subject matter.
Tennessee State Capital Grounds
The last stop for the day was the Tennessee State Capital, which of course is in Nashville. I tried very hard to frame the construction barriers out of my shots.
That man in the foreground is Sam Davis— a.k.a. “Boy Hero of the Confederacy“. So. Yeah. No guarantees that his statue is still standing.
On the same grounds sat the Tennessee Supreme Court Building and Library.
The engraving above the pillars reads:
“America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured”
At this point, it was mid-afternoon and we had an engagement for that evening (not tourism related). Next week, I’ll share photos from our next stop: the Andrew Jackson Hermitage Estate.
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