My final trip of 2015 found me back in the "Music City"...Nashville! This was the day before New Year's Eve, so I really wanted to get out and about to photograph the city like I never have. This was actually my 5th visit to Nashville, but this trip was definitely going to be different from the previous. Before heading into downtown, I stopped by Cooter's Dukes Of Hazzard Museum. If you recall the famous television show from back in the day, Cooter was one of the main characters. Once I pull into the parking lot, you see the bright orange "General Lee" car hooked up to a tow truck in front of the museum. There was a small crowd of people taking photos as I was myself. Once inside, you see tons of Dukes Of Hazzard memorabilia, including pairs of "Daisy Duke" shorts on a clothesline. Lots of posters, belt buckles, lunch boxes and other items were for sale, and people were buying them up. Next door was Willie Nelson's Family Museum and store. The museum was actually in back, separate from the store, and with an admission price. After those two stops, I head downtown to pick up my media credentials for the New Year's Eve concert. After picking up credentials, I head out for a photo walk around downtown. I start on Church Street coming to McKendree Methodist Church. This was a nice looking Church with a cool marble finish. I wanted to go inside, but they were closed. My next stop was Fifth Third Center, one of the tallest buildings downtown. Outside of Fifth Third Center was a rack of Nashville BCycle bikes. This bike share program has really taken off, and I see them in every city I visit. I haven't experienced them yet, but I do plan to in the coming year. Walking down 5th Avenue, I find my way to the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman Auditorium was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry House, which now has a new home on the outskirts of Nashville. There's also a cool statue of Thomas Ryman, a Nashville businessman who owned several saloons and a fleet of riverboats who the auditorium is named after, and who spearheaded construction in 1892 as the auditorium first opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle. Next to that is Ryman Alley, a "getaway" for performers to go from backstage to one of their favorite bars or clubs after a performance. Walking a couple blocks over to the center of downtown, one couldn't help but look up and notice another building towering over me. It was the AT&T Building, better known to local residents at "the Batman building". And if you look at the building's two antennae, you'll see how the building get its nickname. I love this building!
As I make my way over to Broadway, the center of downtown, there are throngs of people moving about. As I stated, this was the day before New Year's Eve and people have come out to check out the scene and probably scout out their spot for the big "music note drop" at midnight. If you've never been to Nashville, but you're a club person, Broadway is the place for you. Between 1st Avenue up to 5th Avenue, there are numerous, bars, clubs, souvenir stores, boot shops, karaoke bars as well as famous eateries. At night, Broadway is jumpin'! For my next trek, I walk over towards the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. But before I stop there, I wander through the Music City Walk of Fame and marvel at the many diverse artists who are honored with stars on the walk...Reba McEntire, Jimi Henrdix, Little Richard, Kirk Whalum, CeCe Winans, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, and others. This is a Nashville "must see". Back over on Broadway, I visit Hume-Fogg High School, which I found out was Nashville's first public school. That was a historic site I was happy to find. Across from the school is the Customs House, which is undergoing restoration. It's a nice, vintage building that dates back to the 1800's. Other highlights in that area are the historic First Baptist Church, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Tennessee and the Barbershop Harmony Society. On the side of the Barbershop Harmony building, there's a huge mural dedicated to old school barbers. And the front gates form a large musical note, which is pretty cool. I end this day at the old James Robertson Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in Nashville. This historic art-deco building is now an apartment building.