East Nashville, located just across the Cumberland River, is an up and coming hipster haven (I mean that in the best possible way. Let’s face it: hipsters rarely call themselves hipsters, and others often utter the term with a certain sneer. I am not sneering. ) This area is bursting with character and promise, all at once offering a small-town feel and a progressive ambience.
The 5 Points Collaborative (pictured below) has been dubbed “an idea hatchery” and houses homegrown businesses and galleries (think vintage clothes meet fine art.)
I Dream of Weenie
We already had plans to eat lunch somewhere else, but how could I pass up an opportunity to go to “I Dream of Weenie?” By now you’ve probably figured out that I only peruse highly rated eateries, and this little food trailer is no exception.
While walking briskly down the street (it was quite cold and windy) Darrell (pictured on left) hailed me down, shouthing, “Hey! I remember you from a long time ago!” He then proceeded to tell me that he was a gospel singer from Kentucky and asked if I’d take a picture of him with his brother Ricky, who was sitting at the bus stop across the street. “Sure,” I replied. After I took their photo they sang me a little song and we said our goodbyes.
Fanny’s House of Music
One of the most pleasant surprises of this little jaunt was Fanny’s House of Music. Pamela and Leigh (who both happen to be bassists) own the shop, and they wanted to launch a music store that women would feel comfortable in. (FINALLY! How many times have I walked in somewhere to get strings or picks, and ended up in the middle of some musical pissing contest?) The shop’s name came from the seventies all-girl band “Fanny.” Sixty percent of their clientele are women.
In addition to all of the instruments (most of which are used) Fanny’s offers a killer selection of vintage clothing.
Probably the coolest thing about this music store is the welcoming atmosphere. When I walked up the sidewalk there were a couple of kids exiting the store and riding off on their scooters. When I asked one of the owners about the children, she said kids visit them all the time. Fanny’s offers a plethora of music classes and private lessons for children, including group ukelele lessons and “Kids Rock,” a program that not only includes instruction, but also helps kids form rock bands!
Being a music store founded by women for women, they have plenty of rock chick memoribilia.
The photos below are of a friend who helped the duo get started, and both of their mothers.
Taylor Swift’s fiddle player frequents the store, and even brought the superstar with her one time. Swift was reportedly so impressed she started plugging the store in interviews here and there. Gillian Welch also stops by from time to time, as her recording studio (pictured below) is only a couple of blocks away.
Just before lunch I wandered around and happened upon Kustom Thrills. If you know me you may think I’ve not been in many tattoo parlors, but I’ve actually seen quite a few in my day. This one was by far the nicest, cleanest ink spot I’ve ever visited. Seriously, you could eat off the counters and floors.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Being from Austin, I was prejudiced before I walked into this place. We are home to Amy’s Ice Creams, and I am pretty loyal to my hometown girl. How could Jeni’s possibly measure up?
First thing I noticed was that Jeni’s has more flavors than Amy’s does. That, in itself, doesn’t make it superior.
This is Jessica, our Jeni’s evangelist (that’s not her official title, but it may as well be.) She LOVES her job, she LOVES the ice cream, and she LOVES the company. And I must admit, her enthusiasm was contagious. Even if I hadn’t loved the ice creams, I would’ve wanted to love Jeni’s because I liked Jessica so much.
Jeni is reportedly friends with the owner of the Snowville Creamery. I seem to remember Jessica saying something about pictures of happy cows, as in, the creamery photographs their cows. I know - awesome, right? Jessica was kind enough to give us this Snowville swag.
The sun was setting and I was on my way to the airport, but I managed to grab a couple of shots of some of East Nashville’s charming neighborhood sights and bungalows.