Whenever you see the words “art district” be wary.
Why? Governments aren’t good at identifying the best art districts for your time and money. Crime statistics, however, are better indicators. Go out and see for yourself. I could elaborate, but it’s beyond the scope of this blog entry.
One of the main reasons for visiting Nashville this time were stops in the Nashville Arcade. The spaces are great. But, unfortunately, the memo about being open 11a-3p on Saturdays ended up in the spam folder. As discussed in an episode of the Brain Fuzz arts podcast, engagement – the dead horse that artists and arts administrators continue to whip – requires that 1) the door be unlocked when you say it will be unlocked and 2) the phone be answered.
So much for those “art district” signs.
The Biscuit or The Gravy?
There is good news, however. As explained in part one of this Nashville travel exposé I was unclear on hot chicken’s origin story. Biscuits on the other hand, I understand their origin story better. And, one place that is not overhyped in the Gulch is Biscuit Love. All of the development in the Gulch can be off putting. To see a line of fifteen or twenty deep there is not unusual. What is unusual however is the phrase “East Nasty” – a biscuit with chicken, cheddar, and gravy.
With a full stomach of hangover food, you can head on over to two of the best gallery spaces in the south. Zeitgeist and David Lusk Gallery are comfortably located side by side in Wedgewood. These two spaces are always on the Nashville list. Nearby is Fort Houston – a real world working model of what a creative co-working space can be. It’s pretty awesome. I did not see an “art district” sign.
In so many parts of Nashville, you find the real world authenticity that is hard to reconcile with the overhype and escalated development that the city is experiencing. It’s much like the difference between the Nashville of the 2010 floods and the Nashville of the 2016 gas shortage. For a while, you can still get that sense among the Wedgewood area stops.
On a grocery trip / ice run in East Nashville, we were met with this response in trying to locate bagged ice:
“Yes, but it’s spring water sourced. Is that OK?”
When your soakage will be an East Nasty, it will work.