Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Nashville Nashville, TN, Wednesday, 09 November 2011 6:01pm

While my motorcycle was in the shop for its 48,000 mile service, I explored Nashville on foot.

My first stop was Arnold's Country Kitchen, an unassuming BBQ place with a line out the door. It was delicious. The roast beef was great and so were the turnip greens, but I think the stewed okra was the best okra I've ever had. Yum.

I walked over to the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame. On the walk, I noticed that one of the adjacent blocks was cordoned off, and a bunch of people were watching cars arrive from behind barricades. It seems that the Country Music Awards are tonight. The barricades were a little odd, because nobody was actually stopping traffic across them. Which was a good thing, since I was on the celeb side and needed to get to the museum side. Maybe they tightened up security once the big name stars started arriving. Or maybe country fans are just polite enough to stay on the designated side of a barricade without enforcement?

The Museum was pretty neat. It did a good job of creating little areas of music with spiral-enclosed areas and speakers aimed down from the ceilings. You could hear things from a few feet away so you'd be tempted to move into one of the listening areas, but it wasn't too distracting because of all of the overlapping sounds. I'm not a country music fan, so a lot of the music and artifacts they were presenting didn't have associations for me, which was interesting. I liked that they had little capsule explanations of who each performer was, and what they were famous for. Without that, I would have been fairly lost.

Later in the afternoon I visited the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, which had a variety of focused exhibits from Ancient Egyptian funerary objects to a Film Noir-esque sculpture-with-embedded-video-screens piece about a woman on the run. The highlight of the visit for me was actually the Frist Center itself. The lobby area has elaborate Art Deco decoration, and there are etched or frosted glass windows which give the feel of monochrome stained glass.

I went to a brewpub for dinner. There were some interesting beers, but the standout of the meal was fresh, hot soft pretzels. Really good.