Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 81- Goodbye, Nashville.

Because we were, you know, in Nashville, and we didn't want to waste a minute.

So last night, still fueled up on the 7500 calorie breakfast, and not able to even contemplate more food, it was back for more live music.

A quick stop back at the Bluebird to exchange a T-shirt turned into a wonderful evening of "writer's night", where the staff of the Bluebird, all talented musicians and singers and songwriters who are trying to break in, get up and play some of their own stuff. The music was funny and soulful and Sal's "Heroes" had even the toughest cowboy in the place reaching for a napkin to dab his eyes.

Writer's Night at the Bluebird Cafe

When the Bluebird closed up, we went back to Broadway. The Stage was crowded, especially for midnight on a Sunday. The Chris Weaver Band had the 20-something girls dancing and screaming and stepping on our feet. What I really liked was that they were playing as hard as if they were playing a stadium show.

Chris Weaver Band at The Stage

Next, a surprisingly brief trip to the Trailer Park. It wasn't The Trailer Park's best night. Two empty beer pong tables greeted us at the door, followed by 4 drunk guys in trucker caps slouching as if it were a sport. On stage was one poor dude. I'm sure he's fabulous, but nobody can play to an empty room and not look, well, I don't like to use this word, but... pathetic. It could only get worse for him if there were just two people standing in front of him, looking at him, hoping he can pull it together. So we moved on, back to Legends.

Legends Corner was an interesting experience. The regular Friday and Sunday band, Dusty Hundley, the most country band we'd seen all weekend, was playing. Having made a side trip to Tulsa OK and back for a show Saturday night, they were exhausted. They were punchy. They were drunk. And on the rare occasion they played, they were incredible. The fiddle player was mesmerizing. The lead singer, again, when he was singing and not talking, killed.

Having closed Legends two nights in a row, it was time for some sleep.

[Fade to black.]

[Alarm clock sounds.]

This morning it was chilly beans in Nashville. Didn't have the guts to look up the actual temp, but I'm guessing 40F. Checkout time looming, I headed to nearby Centennial Park.

The first thing I noticed about the park was the pedestrian entrances, spaced maybe 30 yards apart.

These entrances, openings in the stone wall at the front of the park, open directly onto the lawn from the sidewalk. I like that the park had purely pedestrian access, and not to a sidewalk, but to real grass. Most parks today you can't get to by sidewalk, and the only entrance is meant for cars.

The centerpiece of the park is the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Sounds tacky. It's not.

I did my version of the Chariots of Fire scene by taking a lap around the inner walkway, inside the innermost series of columns.

At the entrance to the Parthenon is a statue of one John W. Thomas striking a much more friendly pose than that Sam Davis from yesterday.

Welcome! Please, let me help you up here. The view is magnificent!

In the park, there's also a plane.

And a train.

And the recreation of the bow of what I'm assuming was some war ship.

The park was great, but time was running out. So I hoofed it home on legs that had come to life thanks to the soft turf.

Before leaving town, we had one more stop.

Noshville Deli

The first thing you notice at Noshville Deli, at least at lunch time, is the bowl of pickles, the size of a baby's arm, on the table.
The pickles are intimidating.

I am a big fan of Corned Beef Hash and Reuben sandwiches. I was torn. I went with the sandwich. I chose wisely. Best Reuben I've ever had. And that's covering a lot of Reubens, friends.

Heading home from Nashville, I had lots of thoughts swirling around in my sleep deprived noggin.

Nashville is not a fountain kind of town.

The only real fountains I saw were at the capital and they were empty, and thus don't count.
I know.

Every person I ran across was not just polite, and friendly, but seemed happy.

The live music was amazing. I'm going through withdrawal this evening.

The food? To die for. Literally, it'll kill you. Tastes so good it'll break your heart. And if that doesn't do you in, the cholesterol will render your heart useless. Either way, it'll get you.

I'll never forget the kids/patients at the Children's Hospital smiling and singing and dancing, with IVs still attached, to the wonderful music, and the talented Nashville musicians, and the fantastic teachers from The Music Playhouse. And for every kid who could come down to watch the show, a few dozen more were watching from their rooms on closed circuit TV. That was the real reason for the trip to Nashville. It was fun and moving and made me insanely proud of my girlfriend.

I'll also remember running the streets of Nashville. Being on the pavement, in the open air, and even in  the rain, makes a city more real. It's such an intimate experience. The sights and the sounds and the smells aren't filtered by tempered glass, and sound proof doors, and air filtering systems.

I can close my eyes right now and I'm back on Broadway, climbing the hill, almost effortlessly, eager to get back to continue our adventure, but not for the run to end.

As I found my stride today, gliding through the park, I thought to myself, I wish everyone could experience their world this way.

Good running,

Numbers: 3.0 miles on pavement and grass