Places, Spaces and People
I’m excited to write about the places and people I love in Nashville, because I admit I’ve wondered about what I would say if I ever became famous and a magazine asked what my favorite local places were. Thanks to IMA, I have the opportunity to do just that—minus the actual fame part. Here’s my list of beloved Nashville things:
The Belcourt is really awesome, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s an independent movie theater, so the stuff it screens is always interesting. Second, the tickets are cheaper than those at a regular movie theater. So if you want some relatively priced, non-mainstream entertainment, the Belcourt is the right place to go. It has some great film series, such as last October’s “Doctober” program showcasing the year’s best documentaries. After the movie, I like to hop across the street to Fido, which has some excellent hot chocolate.
McKay’s Used Books
I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a brand new book, thanks to this gem of a store. Selling books, CDs, movies, and video games, McKay’s recently moved into a huge warehouse space, so there are two levels of used-media goods for you to peruse. With low prices like the ones they offer, it’s not difficult to walk out of here with five books for $15. You can trade your old stuff in and get store credit back, meaning that hypothetically, the only money you have to spend is what you use on gas to get here.
There’s something really nice about watching a band play, and then seeing the members walk around the venue, beer in hand as they talk to show-goers. And in a city like Nashville, it’s a common sight. Mercy Lounge is hands-down my favorite place to see bands intermingling with the crowd. Paying $5 for parking in the lot is totally worth not having to drive around and get all excited when I see an open parking space near the sidewalk, only to find there’s a fire hydrant there. The inside is always nice and clean, and the stage is at the perfect level—it’s not too high, so you don’t feel so disconnected from the performers.
Las Paletas + Sevier Park
There are plenty of great businesses to visit in the 12th Avenue South area, but my favorite activity when the weather’s nice is to grab a popsicle from gourmet popsicle vendor Las Paletas (I had the ever-elusive mango popsicle once, and it was glorious. If you’re ever there and they’re in stock, hit me up on Twitter), and then head on over to Sevier Park to do some sunbathing. Since it’s a smaller park, there aren’t too many people or parking difficulties, even on nicer days. It’s an excellent spot to spread out with a towel or blanket and some relaxing tunes to listen to.
Bombay Palace, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee for your lunch buffets, which are reasonably priced
I love thee for your chicken tikka masala, which is rich and savory.
I love thee for your naan, which is buttery and light.
(My apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning).
This coffee shop is an excellent place to get work done. Even though it’s right off of West End, it never seems to be crowded, which is a big plus if you have a project that you really need to focus on. The interior is spacious and minimalistic in a trendy way, and the food is not half bad. It’s a great spot for grabbing coffee with a friend or just sipping on some artisanal beverages for a laidback afternoon.