Nashvillians offer welcoming embrace to Muslims

Many Nashvillians were heartened to see the welcoming messages to Muslims at the Islamic Center of Nashville:

The sidewalk outside the Islamic Center in 12 South was covered in chalk messages like this.

The Islamic Center is located in 12 South, where people have been drawing and writing encouraging messages on the sidewalk.  “It really made my whole day. It really makes you understand and remember how good our community is down to it’s [sic] core,” Tamanna Qureshi, a member of the center’s board, told The Tennessean.

The words and drawings stretched down the sidewalk:

YES! This warms my heart. ❤️❤️❤️ #allarewelcome #lovetrumpshate

A post shared by Kristin Schleihs (@krslice) on

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Fire department does all the unusual animal rescues today

The Nashville Fire Department got called out to a aid a few hapless pets today.

First, there was #ElectionDayParrot:

Then, wanting a little attention for himself, #DrainPipeKitty tumbled three stories down a gutter drain pipe and got stuck there.  But an alert neighbor heard the cat and summoned her local firemen to dig the cat out:

The unlucky cat’s name is Thomas Jefferson, which is a perfect segue into the Election Day conclusion to this story:

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Hume Fogg students lend spoken word poetry to pedestrian safety

A group of students at Hume Fogg is fed up with Nashville’s poor track record in pedestrian safety.  A student group, Stop! Take Notice, formed to do something about it after the December 2013 death of their classmate in a crosswalk outside their school.

For a few years now, students have been fiercely advocating for better pedestrian safety around the city, including the passage of the Elena Zamaro Memorial Act which (slightly) stiffened the penalties for seriously injuring or killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk.  The student group has also installed eye-catching art around downtown to try to raise awareness among drivers about pedestrian safety.

And just a few weeks ago, the student group released an excellent video featuring a spoken word poem by former classmate Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay and videography by recent graduates Arif Bashar, Jonathan Warkenitin, and some of their classmates.  It’s well worth a few minutes of your time:

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Nashvillians turn out for a car-free 12th Ave S

On a warm Sunday afternoon, the citizens took over the street again, reclaiming it from the cars.  The police blocked off a 2.3-mile stretch of 12th Ave S — from 11th Ave S in the Gulch to Kirkwood Ave in 12 South — for Nashvillians to enjoy the street by foot, bicycle, skates, unicycle, pogo stick, and more on October 30.

Community organizations turned out to set up displays and games, such as this giant Jenga:

dsc_0247.jpgAnd this giant map of Nashville, showing where (and how) people had come from to get to the open street:

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In 12 South, folks ambled along the street, enjoying the sunshine:

And then there was this guy, who converted his bike into a TIE fighter:

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The parade started early in the afternoon at Halycon Bike Shop, and yes, they had pumpkin spice this-and-that:

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There was even dancing in the streets, ’cause, hey, no cars:

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Titans Game to screw up Thursday afternoon rush hour traffic

With a Tennessee Titans game scheduled for a 7:25 PM kickoff tomorrow at Nissan Stadium, authorities have decided to seal off some downtown streets and bridges at 4 PM.  The Woodland Street bridge will close at that time to everybody but pedestrians and shuttle buses (and, one presumes, bikes).  MTA buses that normally use that bridge are instead being redirected to the James Robertson Pkwy and Jefferson St bridges.

Additionally, the Korean Veterans bridge will close to car traffic heading into East Nashville as the game nears its end.  There are other MTA routes that will be on detour for (apparently) all day Thursday, but it’s not clear from the city’s press release what other streets will be closed.

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MTA keeps its promise to fix bus station bathroom

Two months ago, Music City Riders United (MCRU) posted a photo of the men’s bathroom at Music City Central, the downtown bus station.  The photo equated the vandalized restroom to the bathrooms at the old state prison, showing the missing stalls in both bathrooms.  The transit riders’ advocacy group’s photo caught the attention of MTA board members and a few local media outlets, and the MTA promised swift action.

Within a few weeks, Lamont Walters noticed that the MTA was putting up some temporary stalls in the men’s restroom:

Today, I went by and saw that the transit agency had completed its work, installing permanent stalls, hand soap dispensers, and new hot air hand dryers:

Men's bathroom at Music City Central

MCRU also reports that the MTA has promised cleaner bathrooms for both women and men.

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Despite recent accolades, Porter Road Butcher is contracting

Porter Road Butcher, Nashville’s only whole-animal butcher, is closing its Charlotte Ave location. They’ll still keep their original shop on Gallatin Ave, which they plan to expand starting in January. They’ll also hold on to their slaughtering facility in Kentucky.

The business wrote in a Facebook post,

As some of you may have read already, we are closing our West Side shop at the end of the month. We want to thank all of the amazing customers who have been patrons of the shop over the last three years. We can’t wait to continuing serving you at our East Side location!

In addition to lots of exciting new plans, we’ll be keeping all of the products and services that our customers have grown to love. Edges Nashville will continue to sharpen knives over on the East Side on the first and second Saturday of every month from 10am-3pm!

This news comes despite its recent award of the Writer’s Choice Best Butcher from Nashville Scene. The issue doesn’t seem to be insufficient patronage at the Charlotte Ave location, though.

“Honestly, we’re overwhelmed. We were stretched too thin,” co-founder Chris Carter told The Tennessean.  He also said that he’s had trouble finding top-tier talent to help manage the business, an issue which helped cement their decision to focus on just one retail location.

The butcher has other plans for expansion, though.  It will be doubling the size of its Gallatin Ave store while adding more options in the charcuterie case.

The kitchen at the Charlotte Ave location, which prepared ready-to-eat meals, has already been closed for a few months.  There’s no word yet on when they’ll close the entire store.

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