paul nicholson

Archive for the ‘East Nashville’ Category

Daily grind

In East Nashville, Me, Nashville on July 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Don’t get me wrong: i love relaxing and letting someone else drive, i love saving money, and love helping to save the environment. But losing an hour and a half of my day to extra commute time (over driving), feeling unproductive because my blackberry can only do so much, and watching disfunctional families abuse their kids while waiting at the bus terminal are all starting to wear on me today.

Today we do have the added entertainment of a Black Muslim evangelist spewing what i would call white-hate speech (about ‘the man locking away kids’ and saying that ‘white Christianity ruined Africa’) to anyone that doesn’t immediatly tell him to go away. He hasn’t tried me so far.

The funny part to me is that the buses are fine. i never see any trouble makers or problems on the bus, don’t feel uncomfortable, and generally have a nice time. You’d assume from stereotypes that my buses should be the worst: i take the #4 past the projects in East Nashville, and the #15 past the projects off LaFayette. They are really nice though. But at the station… You have to spend too long here and it needs to be cleaned up (of trash) and monitored better. I really may start waiting a few blocks up each route from here on out.

I also need to get my Sansa working again (if Rhapsody would get their act together) and remember that i can use my BlackBerry with Opera to make blog posts like this one. Helps pass the time for sure, though my readers may have to suffer through more grumpy rants about my day rather than read mostly about the Preds. :-)

Bus riding again

In East Nashville, Me, Work on May 16, 2008 at 5:52 am

I love taking the bus, especially the afternoon trip home. Very relaxing, and they are surprisingly clean. (And for all you sheltered suburbanites, the ridership isn’t scary.)

It’s great to let someone else drive and i get to sit back and channel surf the radio or mess with playlists on my Sansa. But getting up just 30 min early is, well, tough to say the least. Especially when it’s raining. But even the morning rides are well worth it. For instance, i get to make blog posts on my way to work. :-)

Of course, it is ridiculous that it is more efficient in time and money for me to drive from my house into downtown, park, then ride the rest of the way in to work. Not having any transfer fares makes the full system as a whole nearly untenable.

Predators lease goes before Metro Council

In East Nashville, Hockey, Nashville, Sports on March 19, 2008 at 8:02 am

Now that the Predators’ lease has passed the Sports Authority, it will now go before the metro council.

I have already expressed some of my concerns about this lease from both a fan and citizen perspective in the past, and i intend to do so again soon, but in the mean time, i wanted to make sure you all knew how easy it was to let your councilman know how you feel: http://www.nashville.gov/council/feedback.html

This is what i just wrote in to our councilman, Erik Cole…

Mr Cole,

First, thanks for being a great councilman. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for us in east Nashville.

I just wanted to let you know that I strongly support the passage of the Predators new lease agreement. I know it is far from a perfect deal. Even as a Preds fan, I am disappointed in the length that it locks the team here. But the fact is that the city, arena, downtown, and all will do much better with the team here than not, and these lease terms are a good short-term patch. This will give the team under new ownership time to get on their feet and make things happen the way they should have under the previous ownership.

If the Preds are still heavily reliant on large subsidies in 5 years, and attendance has not gone up, then they can leave, and though it would make me sad, I wouldn’t fight it. However, I believe this shorter term “last chance” is one worth giving the team and the city.

Thanks,

Paul Nicholson

Here’s hoping that their 5 year plan works.

At the Preds party

In East Nashville, Hockey on March 7, 2008 at 7:19 pm


At the Preds party

At Beyond the Edge for the Preds viewing party. Not going to live blog the game… Since i forgot my laptop (posting this from my phone). Feel free to comment on this post or direct message me on twitter (pwnicholson) with questions. I know Pete and Terry are great but they don’t always remember that we can’t see everything they can when on they are on the radio.

LAN Party!!!!

In Cool Tech, East Nashville, Entertainment, Friends, Games, Me on February 20, 2008 at 11:13 am

It’s that time of year again: My good friend Matt and I are celebrating another trip around the sun (my birthday is March 7th, his is March 1st). So, we’re going shoot each other. :-)

Yes, we are throwing another LAN party!

dark picture from last year’s party

This year we’re going to try to make things a little more coordinated. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to base the day’s gaming around the Valve Orange Box and games distributed through Steam. Specifically, mods for Half-Life 2, but we’ll probably throw some Team Fortress 2 in there, and may break out Quake 3 Team Arena, Battlestations: Midway, or any of the other free demo games on Steam.

Depending on who is there, we may end up playing some Tribes 2 (now free online), or some RTS or other (Battle for Middle Earth?) and we may even devolve into playing some console games (like 8-player NHL 08 on my shiny new PS3). But we’ll mostly stick to stuff on Steam.

The party will be March 8th at my place in East Nashville, from 1:00pm to… late (probably around 10:00pm or 11:00pm…)

Here’s the fun part – you’re all invited!

What you have to bring:

* Your own PC (with monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headphones!)
* A running copy of Steam and Half-Life 2 installed – before you arrive if possible
(the full Orange Box package is a plus, but not needed)
* $5 for pizza

We’ll provide snacks and drinks, as well as seating, tables, power, and network connections.

If you are interested in attending, then let me know by either commenting on this post or direct message me on twitter (just post to Twitter “d pwnicholson: i want to come to your cool LAN party”) and i will get you directions. If you are some really random person i’ve never heard of before, i may want to at least…ya know…talk to you first. But all my rad blogger buddies are certainly invited, male and female alike (of course, be warned: to have fun at this party there is something of a requirement to be a gaming geek at some level).

If you can only come to part of the party, that’s certainly fine. Several people are already planning on being there for “only” 4-5 hours. It’s cool.

Preds Party Tonight!!

In East Nashville, Hockey, Sports on February 9, 2008 at 11:34 am

I forgot to post about this earlier but Beyond the Edge is hosting
another Predators viewing party tonight. Game is on the west coast so
it starts at 9:00pm. They will be giving away tickets for the game on
Feb 14th (valentines day) along with the usual assortment of swag.

Hope to see you there!

ghia featured in The Rage

In Christy, East Nashville, Family, Nashville on February 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Christy and her business, ghia, had a great writeup in All The Rage here in Nashville today.

Local Spotlight: Christy Nicholson (ghia)

Everyone go check it out!

not-so-secret ballot

In East Nashville, Funny, History/Politics, Me, Nashville on February 5, 2008 at 11:45 am

I vote at Stratford High School in East Nashville. A politically active area, and one with a polling place that is very efficient. I have rarely had to wait more than 3-4 minutes to vote, but the area usually has a pretty good turnout.

However, the last three times i’ve voted, i have also had the pleasure of watching those before me cast their votes. It gives you that tight community feeling you understand…

You see, they setup the voting booths in the front lobby of the school, in front of the mirror-backed trophy cases. That’s right – they setup the secret ballot voting booths right in front of a WALL OF MIRRORS! They have a blue tape line marking where you can’t walk any closer to give people privacy while they vote. Problem is that i can actually see what they are doing better by standing back than if i was standing closer!

I’ve diagrammed (pardon the quick/sloppy artwork) the setup below:

I could see clearly what the guy was doing in the far left booth (as face the booths waiting in line). The fact that the booths were at an angle just made it that much easier to see.

When i mentioned it to the officials, they went over to the one person who i couldn’t see (in the far right booth) and interrupted him in the middle of voting and asked him to stand a little closer – like he was doing something wrong!

All it would take is draping some butcher paper, posters, or sheets over the trophy cases. I’ve mentioned it every time i voted in the last three elections and nothing has been done.

I finally just looked up the contact info for the election commission – they don’t have EMAIL!?! So, i just spend 15 minutes on hold on their general call in number (the pre-recorded message at the beginning wanted to make sure i knew they would be closed on Jan 21st for the MLK holiday). Finally i spoke with a general worker who was very polite and transferred me to Ms. Joan A Nixon’s voice mail. I was assured that she would return my call. Her email is listed on the commission’s website, so if i don’t hear back from her soon i’ll probably drop her an email.

I will update this space if they do ever contact me back or anything comes of this.

Predators Center Ice Viewing Party!

In East Nashville, Hockey, Nashville, Sports on January 6, 2008 at 8:27 pm

UPDATE: My original post here mentioned that the next party was March 12th. That was me making a dumb typo when being charged by the minute for internet access while on a cruise. The party is/was on Jan 12th. The next party will be on Jan 29th for the game against the Boston Bruins – fitting since the owner of the bar (Matt) is from Boston and runs a Boston-style seafood place right down the hill from Beyond the Edge.


Heads up to all Preds fans out there that our good friend Josef, manager of Beyond the Edge has not only purchased the Center Ice package for his bar, but has arrange a sponsorship deal with Bud Light for Preds viewing parties.

They will have the game on multiple HDTV’s around the bar area (including one massive 60″ beast) and will be giving away Predators hats, t-Shirts, etc at drawings during intermission. Sometimes they have practice jersey’s and other high-end swag too. Best of all -TICKETS! That’s right, they give away a pair of tickets at every party. How sweet is that?!

The next party will be Jan 12th an 6:00pm for the game against the hated Columbus Blue Jackets. The game is not on Fox Sports South or Versus, so if you want to watch this important divisional game, you have precious few choices in Nashville – why not try to win some Preds swag and tickets!

While you’re there, i highly recommend the burgers or the Philly Cheese Steak…and the chocolate dessert. Killer food that doesn’t belong in a sports bar.

For more info an directions to the bar, check out www.beyondtheedge.net

good eats

In East Nashville on December 18, 2007 at 9:02 am

Heads up on a fun article in the City Paper about Sweet 16th. The best bakery I’ve ever been to, bar none.

published pictures

In East Nashville, Me, Pictures on December 14, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Eastwood Neighbors just came out with their 13 month calendar, featuring not one, but two shots by yours truly. Now, i haven’t seen the calendars, so i can’t speak to their overall quality and such. (I certainly am not responsible for the proofreading ability of whoever posted the announcement) But i’m pretty proud of having pictures selected just the same.

These two shots were selected for the calendar:

and

By the way: If you’re interested in buying one, you can visit their site for info. But don’t buy one on my account. I won’t see a dime and it’s not that big a deal for me.

While i’m on the topic, i’ll go ahead and brag some more that my pictures have been used a few different places. Two other print-based tour guide books have contacted me about using my pictures (though neither has sent me a copy yet) and two other web-based sites use my shots. One is a shot of the railroad bridge over the Cumberland River in Shelby Bottoms Park (at the right) featured on Schmap!’s sports grounds page, another is a picture of downtown (focus on Broadway) that serves as the shot of Nashville for an international based tour site, Geoglob. That one i am particularly happy with, though i don’t think either of these sites is particularly well trafficked or famous, it’s cool just the same to have my pictures singled out. I’ve also had a bunch of my Predators photos grabbed and posted all over the place, particularly the Predators Fan group on Facebook and on the Predators message boards… though they generally don’t ask permission.

And while i’m on the photos topic, i love that Flickr finally, FINALLY started including real stats for pictures and photo streams. It still isn’t as deep-dive or robust as i’d love it to be, but it is better than nothing. Enough that i can brag that since Flickr started keeping stats my 4,426 photos have been viewed 47,814 times, and that on Nov 30th alone, i had 916 views of my photos. Yay :-)

new place to watch games

In East Nashville, Entertainment, Hockey, Sports on December 5, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Well, Beyond the Edge apparently did decide to pick up the Center Ice package after all! They just posted yesterday on MySpace that they would have the game on (against Montreal) and had subscribed to the package. I wish they had gone non-smoking, but i understand why they didn’t. It was really amazing, earlier this year Christy and i called around to a ton of places trying to find someplace that had Center Ice and didn’t allow smoking. After a while we just tried to find someplace that had Center Ice. The only place we could find was Sam’s Place in Hillsboro Village. We’d never been there and it was pretty cool. Nicer than most sports bars i’ve ever been to, though we were stuck watching the game on a small TV in the corner that night since it was a big college football night. But this will be waaaay nicer being able to watch the game 1) on the big screen 2) much closer to home and 3) with our good friend Josef (the manager) who is also a big Preds fan and will yell and high-five us when they we score :-)

my alley cat review

In East Nashville, Entertainment, Reviews on November 30, 2007 at 10:51 pm

Nashville Restaurants just got through posting a review of Alley Cat over here in East Nashville. I could not keep silent. My review (rebuttal) follows:

The food is very good, though a little confused at times (i’ll get to that in a second). Most of all, i have to argue this place as “tex-mex” or a “grill”. It is neither. It is more a fancy french-style restaurant’s take on foods that share names in common with tex-mex foods. While excellent, very little on their menu is really tex-mex. The fajitas in particular are very mixed up. They are, strickly speaking, accurate insofar as they are beef with veggies served with tortillas. However, the beef is not marinated skirt or even flank steak, but brisket. Some of the best smoked brisket i’ve had outsite of central Texas mind you, but brisket none the less. Completely wrong for fajitas, and ruined as great brisket by the veggies. It turns out to be an interesting meal worth eating, but not what i’m looking for when i order fajitas.

Their greatest failure remains the value however. This is why they fit into the fancy french restaurant category as far as i’m concerned (though fail there as the atmosphere and service is inconsistent with the size of the inevitable bill). The portions are small, and – worst of all – they charge for chips and salsa. Now, this is some of the best salsa i’ve ever had in my life – and i’m a frequent tex-mex eater that grew up in San Antonio. This salsa is amazing. It also costs about $5 to order. Unforgivable. If they sold it by the 20oz bottle on the way out the door i might pay $20 for the stuff, but when i sit down at the table and place an order for $40-$50 worth of “tex-mex” for 2 people, i darn well expect to get chips and salsa gratis.

To give you an example of how much in the fancy-smanshy category this place is: on my first visit there i ordered the scallops. I forget exactly what they called them, but they were essentially seared scallops with a cilatro-based sauce. Excellent…all 4 of them. They were big scallops, but it took me precisely 8 bites and i had finished my meal, while my wife was just starting into her dinner.

[added, not in original comment]
However, it is not a nice restaurant. The service has always been very very slow (we’ve been 3 times) and the atmosphere inside borders on a dive bar. Outside on the patio (where we always sit) is nicer, but extremely casual. Like we’re sitting on someone’s back porch. A nice back porch if it was a neighbors, but not a nice restaurant.
[/finish add]

If this place was nicer (like, say a Trace or Eastland Cafe vibe) and quit pretending like they were a tex-mex grill, then i’d be all for it. As it is, i just can’t justify it or tolerate it. Even for that oh-so-wonderful salsa.

Smoking Ban NOT Going Into Effect

In East Nashville, History/Politics, Nashville on October 1, 2007 at 8:06 am

So while i was at Laura Creekmore’s birthday party at Beyond the Edge last night, i went over to talk Predators hockey with the manager, Joseph (I also thanked him for providing the great appetizers and other goodness for the party). While we were talking, i brought up the smoking ban and said i looked forward to being able to come to the new smoke-free version of Beyond the Edge.

He said they weren’t going smoke free.
I asked if that meant they were going 21-and-up. He said no.

I was confused.

He said that he’s seen stuff in the paper, but no one from the city, state, or any other group has sent them any notifications or dropped by to notify them of the change in the law. He said he and the other managers from East Nashville bars (i assume he means 3 Crow Bar, Red Door East, 5-Spot and Lipstick Lounge) are going to keep allowing people to smoke and will not ask anyone to leave until they have been notified by officials of the change.

Now, i’m all for smoke-free. I love the idea of being able to go to Beyond the Edge and watch a game and not have to keep the clothes i wear in the garage until i wash them. But this combined with the cities recent renaming of streets downtown without actually telling everyone has me wondering who’s failing miserably at their jobs. Small businesses should be notified about any changes in codes or laws that apply to them once they have received their permits, etc.

Hopefully Mayor Dean’s administration will be a little more prompt about reporting such things.

Predators Marketing

In East Nashville, Hockey, Nashville, Pictures, Sports on September 29, 2007 at 9:03 am

Caught this on the phone pole at 5-Points in East Nashville. Sign reads “IF YOU LIVE IT THEY WILL STAY. 10/4/07 IT BEGINS”. And it lists www.nashvillepredators.com, www.savethepredators.com, and www.ourteamnashville.com

I’m not sure if this is official from the Predators or not. If it is – wow, amazing, awesome, and it’s about dang time.

Unfortunately i’m pretty sure this is an unauthorized fan creation. Either way, great to see.

Location Location Location

In East Nashville, Funny, Nashville on September 25, 2007 at 7:07 am

My wife and i like Publix. Much more than Kroger. It reminds me of the old H.E.B. grocery stores in Texas. Bigger, cleaner, higher quality food (especially produce). A little pricier, but not too bad.

Everyday, we drive under this sign at Woodland and I-24 downtown:
It has changed several times over the last couple of years, but has almost always had some variation on the “High Quality, Short Drive” theme.

Here’s the problem. The nearest Publix to this sign is over 9 miles away, and a good 10-15 minute drive.
The blue icon is the billboard. The yellow bags are the Publix locations.

My wife has actually driven all the way out to one of these locations just to get in a visit. Just pray there isn’t bad traffic or the milk will go bad.

“Short drive”….right.

Beautification Power

In East Nashville, Nashville, Pictures on September 22, 2007 at 7:28 pm

One of our councilman over here in East Nashville is working on passing an ordinance that will help clean-up Gallatin Rd. I’m all for the concept of making it look nicer. Though i am a little libertarian to love the idea of limiting the types of businesses that can be along the road (with no schools, etc anywhere near by), i personally don’t love them so i guess i can live with it. Besides limiting the types of businesses that can be along the road, they also want to restrict the placement of parking lots (they can only be at the rear of the property now, with vehicle access from side roads, etc). That one makes less sense to me…but ok, whatever. Lastly, they want to restrict signs. They can only be attached to buildings or low-lying on the ground – small, unobtrusive, etc. Fine. I’m all for a little height restriction, but overall sign clutter doesn’t really seem to bad.

Here’s the deal people. You want to make Gallatin Rd look nicer (and the rest of Nashville while you’re at it)…

Get rid of the above-ground power lines.

They are ugly, messy, way more ‘cluttered’ looking than any signs. Not to mention they make for a trashy power system. Above-ground power lines are full of electrical noise and are more prone to outages than lines that are all above ground. Not to mention the health problems associated with above-ground power. Bury them like any modern city. I’ll have less wear-and-tear on my electronics, have to buy fewer power filtering adapters, and not have to put a UPS on everything i own because the power goes out when it gets windy outside. Most of all, it will just plain look nicer.

The Australians are burying their lines. There are studies and papers being written on the advantages all the time. Besides the fact that nobody wants above-ground power.

Here’s a little fun i had with photoshop for comparison.

Which do you think looks better? Lower signs, or no power lines?

But oh yeah – here’s the trick. One cost the city money, the other cost private business owners money. Guess which one we’re gonna get…

let the shopping begin

In Christy, East Nashville, Family, Me, Nashville, Work on June 11, 2007 at 9:14 pm

I am happy to announce the opening of my wife’s online retail store:

The mission of ghia is to provide socially responsible shopping at an affordable price. Many of their products are made by independent artisans located in the Middle Tennessee area, while other products are fair trade imports from Asia.


Go check it out!

I really am very proud of her and this store. Though in my former life i was a web designer, she did this almost entirely on her own. Its a killer site from top to bottom, and she tackled the full intricacies of secure e-commerce, which i never did.

I love that her goal here really is to be socially conscious (fair trade, supportive industries, local artisans, etc) but affordable. And with lots of research and hunting, she found suppliers that let her pull it off.

I also can’t wait until more of her own designs get to be put on the site. She’s still wrestling with some printers for getting those made and on her site, but they will be coming soon.

Now seriously, everybody go buy something.

stop learning, you’re in my way

In East Nashville, History/Politics, Me, Nashville on May 17, 2007 at 10:20 am

Warning: this is about a steamed as i’ve been about any issue in a while.

Yet another story you’ll see on the front page of the City Paper and i can’t find anywhere from the Tennessean:

The Nashville Public Library … this week approved a toughened version of the library system’s loitering policy, explicitly prohibiting people from “congregating” inside library buildings if perceived as unsafe or intimidating and preventing truants from loitering in public libraries during school hours.

The new policy, in addition, explicitly references gangs, prohibiting “the display or possession of gang symbols or paraphernalia, gang recruitment, gang initiation, gang fighting and gang intimidation.”

Now, unless i’m wrong, “unsafe or intimidating” behavior, as well as truancy was already against the rules in pretty much any public building. Perhaps more so in libraries.

But these new rules seem, well, stupid.

Heaven forbid that teenagers would feel comfortable around a library, or want to hang out there. We’d never want them to feel like the library was a place to spend time after school. Once school is out, we full expect them to wander out on to the streets, and hang around the bars in 5-points down the road, not hang around a place of learning where there is good lighting, visibility and security cameras guarding the area. Learning time is clearly over once the school bell rings. Oh – and if a student is involved in gang activity, we want them to stay away from the library and on the streets. We don’t want them to rub off on the librarians or other good citizens that are in the library and taint them. Imagine if the librarians started being recruited by gangs.

Just stupid.

What really blows my mind is that this policy change came about as a result of a few kids hanging around the East Branch library after school. They come across from East Literature High and hang out (it is directly across the street). This is an extremely visible, populated area. I’ve been around there when school gets out some days. I live near there. Lots of people around.

Commander Bob Nash of the East Nashville police precinct said in the article:

“When East [Literature] lets out, some of the students were going over to the library waiting to be picked up or just to congregate … and sometimes they would kind of block the doorway — I don’t think intentionally, but some people found that uncomfortable. They’d have to walk through a whole group of kids, so we’ve been trying to help them”

and his response regarding the speculation of gang activity:

“there has been some speculation of some a gang presence outside the library but nothing confirmed”

The article goes on to say that:

“According to NPL, teenage roughhousing at the public libraries has not become a huge problem”

And…

“At the downtown library, high schoolers have begun gathering more frequently this year in the youth section. They have caused no severe problems although have sometimes been warned to quiet themselves.”

Oh no! We better just shut down the whole library system right now!

So because some stuck-up person doesn’t feel comfortable walking through a group of kids hanging out at the library – we’re going to tell the kids to go elsewhere? What?!

Maybe i’m wrong, but every good teacher or librarian i’ve ever known (i come from a family of teachers) was willing to deal with cleaning up a little graffiti and asking kids to be quiet occasionally if it meant getting kids in the building and having a chance to get them excited about learning or reading. I know a lot of the kids aren’t there to read and study – but wouldn’t we rather have them in the library on the off chance that someone could have a good influence on them. It is certainly better than the alternatives like the mall, clubs, bars, or just out on the street.

In response to this post (Update: this is the woman that home-schools her kids, but got herself appointed to the school board, and was then voted out by the public in East Nashville as quickly as possible):
Should we always ask for good behavior from students? Of course.
We already did that. If kids are creating problems, there are already rules and policies in place to ask them to leave. With these policies, we are telling kids they can’t come in to the library if they are still wearing clothes that could be associated with gangs. Why?

This article clearly states that they have just had a handful of isolated complaints from a few patrons. Not the staff. Not the police.

It is the job of parents and teachers and librarians and the everyone in the community to help these kids. It is not the kids job to stay out of our way and teach themselves.

This is a horrible policy and should be rescinded immediately.
They should be begging these kids to hang out at the library.

forsberg staying in nashville?

In Blog Stuff, East Nashville, Hockey, Nashville, Sports on May 7, 2007 at 2:28 pm

I may, just may have some evidence to support that – whether or not he plays for the Nashville Predators or any other team next season – Peter Forsberg might be looking to stay in Nashville.

How am i coming up with this? Did i suddenly become friends with the hockey legend?
No.

I just check my web stats and visitors obsessively.
I had a visitor recently log in from a Swedish IP address, who hit my blog by searching Google for the phrase: “east nashville” hood

Clearly, this is Peter Forsberg (or some of his family) planning a move to the hippest ‘hood in Nashville. How can i make the jump to Forsberg?

1) How many people in Sweden are there that know that there is a part of town known as East Nashville and that it is “the hood”?

2) Google has recently implemented improved, personalized search results based on past searching history. Forsberg has searched for a lot of hockey stuff i am sure, and what do you know, i talk about hockey and East Nashville on my blog a lot.

Duh.

So all i’m sayin’ is: you heard it here first.

new east park center

In East Nashville, History/Politics, Nashville, Pictures on May 5, 2007 at 3:57 pm


Christy and i made it to the grand opening of the new East Park Community Center.
Politicians spoke, ribbons were cut, and pictures were taken:


It was cool. Really is going to be a nice place, and very inexpensive to take advantage of.

That is all.
I am boring today.

Update: Here’s the story Channel 2 did on the opening.

5 points changes

In East Nashville on May 3, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Something of an update to this post from waaay back when.

When i drove through 5 points the other day i realized that the “mulch pit” at 5-points that belonged to Cumberland Hardware was gone. I don’t know if they just had the lot resurfaced and the lumber, mulch, etc are coming back, or if this is a permanent change. Not sure what is going in (parking?) if it is leaving.

Picture evidence and other updates to come soon i’m sure

east nashville war protesters

In East Nashville, History/Politics, Nashville on April 30, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Well guess what i found on my way home from work today: war protesters.

Standing on the corner where i am usually accosted by kids being taught to beg as a “fund raiser”, there were instead, a group of women (who apparently were just arriving) standing on the corner with signs. (It’s the corner of Eastland and 14th).


I hope for thier sakes they were taking shifts, because if they were just setting up when i drove by at 6:24, they missed most of the rush-hour crowd.

psc controversy

In East Nashville, History/Politics on April 30, 2007 at 7:08 am

If you haven’t seen all the recent news about the PSC Metals recycling center downtown, check it out.

Basically there is all sorts of discussion about how the city wants to buy the land and turn it into a big park or baseball stadium or something. Meanwhile the company doesn’t want to move, and just signed a 50-some-odd year lease for the property.

Here’s my take: I like it. Keep it.

PSC says they don’t want to move and aren’t going to move. I don’t blame them. They have access to river barges, 3 interstates, and railroads, and are centrally located in Nashville. You aren’t going to find a better place for them. I also have to assume that they are brining in huge tax revenues to the city given the value of the land they are parked on.

But the best part is that what they are doing is AWESOME. As i’ve read in several articles: To those driving by it looks like the same pile of trash there day after day, but in reality they have better than 100% turnover a day through there at times. They recycle not ‘a ton’ but several tons of trash a day. Isn’t that a good thing? Do we want that to leave?

So here’s my proposal. Keep it, but make it pretty. Not literally pretty, but more socially acceptable. If possible, throw some sort of dome over it. If that isn’t possible (i can imagine it would get more than a little stuffy in there), then at the very least, put some sort of tasteful, but large enough to be visible sign up over the facility. Something cool and eye catching like a giant counter showing the number of tons of waste being recycled. Basically they need some good PR. I think most of Nashville (and certainly the tree-hugging East Nashvillians i know so well living nearby) would love to have a big, huge, symbol of Green Nashville in the middle of town.

It’s a good business. Just needs to be spun right.

random updates

In Christy, East Nashville, Me, Pictures, Sports on April 19, 2007 at 8:33 am

First, just a note that i’ve uploaded yet more pictures (not hockey this time) to my Flickr page. Christy actually took a lot of these this time. And if you hadn’t noticed, i created a set that is nothing but pictures taken by Christy.

A few highlight pictures that i thought were interesting:

This is a piece of tire tread that somehow got embedded in the road on Woodland Street near I-24. I’d really love to know how this happened and how someone let is stay this way – but i love that they did.

I have always disliked above-ground power lines- but now that i am taking pictures around town and having to frame shots around them – i positively hate them. It is impossible to frame decent shots around them. So here i just gave up and shot a picture of the mess at Main and 5th.

This one i took while just messing around while waiting for Christy to come out to the car. I think it’s cool cause i got the camera to focus so that the stuff in front of the car and in the rear-view mirror were both in focus, but the mirror frame and my hand aren’t.



In totally unrelated news:
I won first place in my basketball fantasy league!

It went down to the wire – first i was way ahead, then way behind, then in the final day i pulled back to a dead tie and i had the tie breaker! The fact that so many teams (especially the Spurs for me) sat their start players for the last few games of the regular season (since playoff standings were secured) really threw things for a loop.



picture time

In Blog Stuff, East Nashville, Family, Funny, Me, Pictures on February 2, 2007 at 7:22 am

It’s been a while since i used any of the pictures i’ve been taking with my cool new phone. But today’s snow cover prompted me to finally bluetooth the pictures over to my PC.
So here ya go…


Pictures of our front- and backyards this morning. In the backyard pic you can see a little bit of our new driveway that is being worked on. Yay!

This is a picture of what Cameron (our 7-month old lab puppy) did to his dog house. It used to have a front…and a bottom. Fortunately a little plywood and a few screws and its as good as new – functionally at least.

I find this really funny. It’s a gas station on Gallatin Rd. near Briley Pkwy. It is a BP gas station, with a Mapco convenience store and the pumps serve Amoco fuel. I think they are a little confused.
You can’t see it very well from this picture (taken on Church St downtown while stuck in traffic), but this is a fleet of police scooters (which i do think are kinda cool) all parked in a row – in a 24-hour no parking zone. Christy said she used to see them every day parked there on her way in to work.
And last but not least, a dark, fuzzy picture of the menu at the Cheesecake Factory. I was pretty disappointed in this place. Forget the fact that i’ve had better cheesecake at mexican-food joints, and that the wait was way too long, and that the food was only mediocre… Their menu’s have full page ads on every page of the menu! This is supposed to be a “nice” restaurant! I can take the ads in the bathrooms. I think those are actually kinda cool. But on the menus! And we’re not talking nice ads for a wine that they carry – we’re talking cheap car dealership ads! I don’t plan on voluntarily eating there ever again.

eye ken reed gude

In East Nashville, Funny on January 13, 2007 at 10:06 am

For those that don’t know, my wonderful wife is an editor. But for some reason, i think this bothered me more than her…

Backstory: There used to be a cheap “discount tobacco” store at the intersection of Porter and Greenwood (across from Family Wash) not too far from our house. Not to long ago new ownership bought the building and kicked them out (yay!). New, better businesses were promised. Then came the news that another smoke shop was coming in, but it would be a high-class smoke and liquor store, not a trashy one. I would actually welcome that…we don’t drink, but i know many respectable people that do, and I don’t envy them having to go into trashy liquor stores to buy their wine for dinner.

However, shortly there after a cheap banner went up on the still-vacant building reading “Smoke Depot, Now Open”. About 2 months later, after a coat of bright yellow paint (that matches the mailer below), the store actually did open. It looks worse than what was there before.

Then, earlier this week, we got this mailer delivered to us. I expected that it was just put in our mailbox illegally (non-postage) since they are just down the street, but no, it was actually mailed from Murfreesboro, TN.

Just give yourself a minute to study this “flayer”.
I count 26 flagrant spelling or punctuation errors alone – not counting bad formatting, non-centered heading, tacky graphics, etc.

I would give it to my mom to use in her classroom as a lesson on why it is important to be literate, but i’m not sure that the content is appropriate.

geothermal projects

In Cool Tech, East Nashville, Nashville on November 30, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Just a quick note about a new project in the projects. A public housing project in East Nashville (our ‘hood) has been selected to be a pilot for a new system for using geothermal energy to assist in heating/cooling the units.

However, I wouldn’t look to the article about it on the Tennessean’s website as a source of helpful information though. Among my favorite quotes: “Geothermal energy generates power by using the ground as an energy source.” There are so many things wrong with that statement it’s hard to break it down. If someone has figured out how to turn actual dirt into electricity, please, let me invest in that company now.

First, “geothermal energy” is just the heat energy that comes from radioactive and other processes deep within the Earth’s core. Basically, the Earth is a big heated blanket.

Second, “geothermal power” refers to using geothermal energy to generate power. It takes the heat out of the ground (not the ground itself) and uses it to create steam to drive turbines which generate electricity. Unless the housing authority is going to build a small but very expensive geothermal power plant in East Nashville, i doubt very seriously this is what is going down in the ‘hood.

I think what they are really doing is geothermal heating. That is, using the heat in the ground to make the normal, electric-powered heating and cooling of the building and water supply more efficient. It basically involves running pipes into the ground to heat water, and use that heated water to help pre-heat air and water before going through the normal air conditioning and water heaters.

Anyway, i don’t want this to degenerate into another article bashing bad reporting and fact-checking. It is meant to be a post about the cool new project itself. It really is great that they are using these new technologies to make the projects more efficient. Saving taxpayers money, and helping show the viability of these “green” resources for use by others.

cleanup the town

In East Nashville, History/Politics on November 2, 2006 at 6:57 am

On my way in to work every morning i pass under an interstate overpass on Woodland St coming out of east Nashville. It is one of the more popular spots in Nashville for homeless people to camp out. At the top of the embankment under the overpass, there are usually 3-5 people hanging out, and they obviously live there. They have blankets, bags, cartons, etc. All their stuff. I frequently see them walking around the area, but have never once been hit up for money. Even though this is one of the more trafficked intersections in the downtown area, and there is a long stop light there, i have never been panhandled.

Last night was our first night to hit the freezing point. Its 8:00am right now, sun has been up for about 2 hours, and the temp is currently reported as 37, with a chill factor of 32.

So – to the point of all this.

There were metro crews (who looked liked they were staffed by ex-homeless or people working off community service) “cleaning” the whole place out. All the stuff from the area at the top of the embankment had been pushed down to the sidewalk on the bottom and was being loaded in to garbage trucks. The people that usually live around there were no where to be seen. I don’t know if they had been carted off, or if they just left the area.

I hope they were taken to a shelter for the winter or something like that, but i have a feeling they weren’t. Even if they were, they probably wont be able to stay the whole winter there. And even if they could spend the whole winter there – all their possessions in the world were just thrown away like they were yard clippings.

That just isn’t cool.

night of blogging and hockey 2

In East Nashville, Hockey, Nashville, Sports on October 19, 2006 at 7:49 pm

7:25pm
So this is my third time sitting in Beyond the Edge to watch a Predators game.
Every game so far, the place has been relatively empty. Well not empty exactly, but not a lot of activity.

Tonight is very different. I am guessing its a Thirsty Thursday thing or something.
Lots of people coming in and out – even though the weather outside is nasty.
Just interesting to me. Even the poker tournament night they had last night didn’t have this much by far.

(Later confirmed – yes, they are doing 2-for-1)


7:40pm
Steve Sullivan is out of the game tonight with back spasms. Josef Vasiceck was already out with …something, and Darcy Hordichuk is out with separated cartilage on his ribs. So our “problem” of having too many good forwards on contracts to be able to bring in rookie sensation Alexander Radulov seems to have been solved. Too bad he couldn’t be brought up fast enough though. We only have 19 skaters dressed tonight. It’s forcing Trotz to run some interesting lines. I always love it when he does this.

Earlier he sent out the line of Karyia, Arnott, and Tootoo. I love those sorts of lines. To me, they are the best balance of skill, speed, strength, offense, defense, etc. They already scored once. Trotz even played these kinds of lines last year in the playoffs. I understand that there is a reason to have the lines as the usually are, but its nice to see these lines too. They are just so dang entertaining.


7:50pm
So Nashville is playing New Jersey tonight. You’d expect that to mean Vokoun vs. Brodeur. Well, not tonight. Trotz is still rotating Mason and Vokoun to help them both get in a rhythm and Broduer had played every game so far this year until tonight. So we have Mason vs. Clemmensen.

Of course to this point, Chris Mason is having a great game in goal. Only allowed one and it was a cross-ice back door deflection on the penalty kill. So i don’t blame him too much for that.

Brodeur not playing also solved a real dilemma for me. You see, i am a huge Predators fan and have 3 Preds on my fantasy team. But Brodeur is my main fantasy goalie. It was going to be hard for both my skaters and my goalie to do well tonight. Not to mention, i didn’t want Brodeur to get the win. I purposely got all three goalies from the eastern conference to avoid just this sort of problem. So with Brodeur not playing, things are much better :-)

I have to say, Clemmensen has pretty cool pads. At least from a distance on TV, they look all brown – so they look leather. Very old-school. If that isn’t what they are, it should be. (Note added: you can see in the picture at the end of this post that he has black pads, not brown, but they do still look cool)

That is definitely what I would want – have modern gear, but make it look like the really old-school pads from the 60’s or 70’s. Speaking of which, I don’t even remember how I found it the other day, but I found a site that has a whole bunch of vintage goalie masks. It is scary what those guys wore (or didn’t wear) back in the day. Of course everyone knows the “Jason” style masks from the horror movies, but some of these are even more open and less protective than that. Amazing they weren’t killed on every slapshot.



7:59pm
So the Preds just scored off a face-off. Shorthanded.
It was a faceoff in the Devil’s end, Preds won the faceoff and Suter just took a one-timer. Went right through the crowd and through the 5-hole. All 3 of our points (and NJ’s 1 goal too) have come on special teams. Given how much the refs are blowing the whistles tonight, should make for an interesting game.


8:02pm
And now someone from Lightning 100 just came in with posters and a few boxes of CDs. This place is loud and busy enough with two-for-one night. Most important, she’s setting up on the stage between me and the TV with the game on. She had better not block it with a poster, that’s all I’m saying. Of course, if I get a free CD or something and still get to watch the game, so much the better :-)


8:10pm
Ok, they are doing a music trivia night. That is somewhat fun. I’ll give them that.

8:29pm
I knew about half the 10 trivia questions in round one. Relatively easy stuff like “which of these bands is not in the R&R Hall of Fame? Led Zepplin, Journey, The Sex Pistols” and “Who wrote the Bangles hit ‘Manic Monday’?”

But many of them were about modern artists they play on Lightning 100 and I had never heard of them, much less know who so and so is the lead singer for, or who’s new album is named whatever…but of course they are here to promote their station and music, so that’s fine. Kinda fun concept really. Of course, those who know me know that i love trivia, especially about music, so even if i cant win, its fun to see this kinda thing.


9:40pm
Back at home.
Preds won in the shootout (gave up 2 quick goals late in the 3rd).
That makes it a clean sweep on the road trip.

–out

5 points addition?

In East Nashville, Nashville on October 16, 2006 at 12:10 pm

I just read an article in the City Paper talking about a new development in 5-point. Not in the 5 Points area, but one of the actual 5 “points”. Ya know, the parking lot next to the realtors.

The lot cant be more than 40ft by 100ft at most, and its now supposed to house a 2-3 story building with retail and residential spots?

I don’t think so.

Parking is already an issue down there, but now we’re going to take away spots – and add reasons to need more of them? Not to mention it is going to completly block the view of Art & Invention, which is realistically the destination on that “point”.

The author of this piece seems very excited. He wants to get rid of the “mulch pit” and the parking lot. 5 Points is an area, not an intersection. There is nothing magical about those “points” themselves.

The parking is needed and visually opens up the intersection. The “mulch pit” belongs to Cumberland Hardware store that has been there since at least early 60’s. Get rid of the “pit” and it will likely drive them out of business.

Does a “modern” 3 story building towering over the area honestly sound like a good idea for “historic” 5-points? Instead, I would vote that some of the other buildings in the area be re-habbed into useful spaces (such as the red-ish purple building next to the Citgo, the always-closed interior decorator next to Cumberland Hardware, or the former Karma building behind Alley Cat).

They are also planning on calling it “The Woodland at 5 Points”. Um…pretentious? Yes. Lame? Yes! How about calling it “Le Pent-house” (ha ha, get it…”pent”). Besides, its address won’t even be on Woodland, it will be on South 11th Street, but i guess “The South 11th Street at 5 Points” sounds really dumb.

Yes, the Citgo could use a face-lift, but other than that why compress more construction (which will destroy traffic patterns while being built) into a historic area when you could move just down the block and stretch the space further, probably for cheaper too.

Oh – and he also rattled off a few nicknames for 5 Points.
My new nomination: da penta

(update: the property in question is parcel 08309017900 and is exactly 35.75ft x 143 feet. With 6 feet of right-of-way and sidewalks off two edges, it is effectivly 30ft x 137ft.)