When you’ve got a neighborhood full of hipsters (oh, and all the other people who were already in East Nashville) and a pretty popular wine store, you might see things like this:
A few days ago, George Embiricos wrote a piece about Hattie B’s, the relatively new-to-the-game hot chicken joint. He stirred up a few embers, though, with some cultural appropriation, however unintentional it may have been:
Lengthy lines — packed with locals, tourists and celebrities alike — regularly stretch down the block during peak times. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack may have created hot chicken in the 1930s, and institutions like Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish may have helped preserve the tradition over the years, but Hattie B’s has made hot chicken cool.
The drama has been unfolding over a few days. First, commenters on a Facebook group raised heck about it, but moved on. Betsy Phillips of the Nashville Scene, though, was not having it:
We’ve lived through white people “inventing” rock & roll so they could sell it to white people and then half a century of people — black and white — pointing out that it’s an older art form than that. We’ve lived through a century of “vulgar” “exotic” “indecent” dances done by black kids becoming “fun” and “energetic” and “cool” when white kids do it — see everything from the hop straight through breakdancing through whatever kids are doing today. Graffiti, when black kids were doing it, was criminal and fed into gang culture. Banksy does it and now it’s worth preserving and spending money to collect it. There’s not a black art form, food included, that by this point hasn’t been popularized by white people and then the popularized version celebrated by white media like white people invented it, or at least, perfected it.
Then just today, Phillips’ colleague, Chris Chamberlain, waded into the fray to sort-of defend Embiricos:
In my opinion, Embiricos’ piece is not a bad piece; it has a bad headline and a few awkward phrases in it that I imagine Embiricos wishes he could rework.
And he added a few good points about the whole situation:
It’s probably worth mentioning, as well, that a Nashville editor might have raised some of these issues [of racism], while Embiricos’ editor, working out of Manhattan for a national food site, didn’t see some of the landmines here.
Regular tourists flock to both Nashville locations, because … if you’re on a Pedal Tavern, it’s a long-ass trip up Dickerson Pike [to Prince’s].
All three pieces are worth a read, in order, when you’ve got a little free time.
Recently, Music City Riders United, a group of MTA riders working to improve the transit system, circulated a photo of the men’s bathroom at Music City Central:
Music City Central is MTA’s central bus station next to the state capitol. Fox 17 is reporting that the MTA is promising to fix the problem only after being publicly shamed.
The bathroom has looked like this for weeks. And there is usually no toilet paper available and no water in the sinks.
Later on, Music City Riders Union compared Music City Central’s restrooms to those of Riverfront Station, which serves the Music City Star commuter train:
In 1937, local transportation planner Adams Carroll discovered that our city had 25 streetcar lines for just 200,000 people:
I'm reading a 1937 Nashville transportation report; we had 200k people & 25 streetcar lines. These charts are sick! pic.twitter.com/E2UY3shOGa
— Adams Carroll (@adamscarroll) August 7, 2016
Now, there are over 600,000 people in Nashville (excluding other counties in the metro area) and zero streetcar lines. By 2035, projections estimate that there will be over 7.5 thousand people in Davidson County, and nMotion’s plan is hoping to be opening up four streetcar or trolley lines around that time.
This morning, Mayor Barry and some very-committed community members boarded the bus to participate in the Nashville Transit Triathlon. This is the only time I’ve ever seen the MTA allow people to bring bikes on board the bus (and a guy next to them who just doesn’t care):
— Hytch.Me (@HytchMe) August 27, 2016
After the leg on the 56, participants walked to the Five Points B-Cycle station, then rode bikes back towards East Park:
— Michael Cass (@tnmetro) August 27, 2016
— Moving Forward MidTN (@movingfwdmidtn) August 27, 2016
Today, a new statue was unveiled in Centennial Park in honor of Women’s Equality Day:
And here they are!! The Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument! pic.twitter.com/loVVpBfase
— TN Suffrage Monument (@TNSuffMonument) August 26, 2016
Mayor Barry and other Tennessee female mayors were present for the ceremony.
Earlier: Yes, Mom
— Christy Frink (@christyfrink) July 26, 2016
Evan Edwards provides a little more info about the possible origins of the name:
Erin Tocknell, who grew up in Nashville some years after the Civil Rights Movement, wrote an excellent piece about the turmoil surrounding the integration of Nashville’s public swimming pools:
It had taken the Parks Board — a public/private governing entity — roughly 48 hours to decide how to handle the juxtaposition of public swimming and the Civil Rights Movement: Every public pool in Nashville was closed that afternoon, all of them drained and winterized by the end of the week. The citywide swim meet scheduled for that Friday was cancelled, 150 trophies for young competitors put in storage. All public swimming pools remained closed until 1963.
Centennial’s never reopened.
Bitter Southerner published the feature article, which is worth a read.
Nashville has three big plans for improvements around the city: nMotion, for public transit; WalknBike, for sidewalks and bikeways; and Plan to Play, for parks and greenways. And Mayor Barry will be showcasing those three plans this Saturday at 11:15 AM as she travels East Nashville (and a little bit of downtown) using three different non-car modes. She (and a whole bunch of other people) will start at Music City Central, riding the 11 AM route 56 to Five Points Station. Then, she’ll hoof it over to the B-Cycle station a few blocks away, where she’ll check out a bike and ride it to East Park.
I should mention that there is no B-Cycle station at East Park, so how people are supposed to re-dock their rented bikes when they get there, I’m not sure (there are only two B-Cycle stations in the whole of East Nashville, aside from one at Titans Stadium).
The event at East Park runs from 11 to 1 and will feature a number of different displays, including the chance to comment on any of the three plans. And, there’s free food.
— Megan Barry (@MayorMeganBarry) August 15, 2016