Nashville 2015...III

It's New Year's Eve and I'm excited to be spending it in another city...the "Music City"...Nashville! I start my day out at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans football team. When I last visited Nashville, this stadium was called LP Field, now Nissan has new naming rights. From there, I drive a short distance downtown to the upper level of the Riverwalk. As I walk along 1st Avenue, I see a statue. I get a closer look, read the plaque and see that it's a statue of Jacques Timothe Boucher De Montbrun, who is recognized as the 'first citizen' of Nashville. Therefore, he is honored with a life-sized statue. After photographing the statue, I make my way to Public Square. Once I get there, I see that the holiday spirit is still in the air as the city Christmas tree is still standing. I look around and see Christmas wreaths on the Court house and City Hall building as well as the Thomas H. Shriver Towers. I take an elevator to the top of the Towers and see nice, sweeping views of downtown. This is a great spot to get photos of downtown, which included Hotel Indigo Nashville. Hotel Indigo Nashville is an old bank building and is believed to be haunted. Other buildings in sight were USB Tower, Snodgrass Tennessee Tower, Judge A.A. Birch and Ben West Buildings, Court house and City Hall and my favorite Nashville building AT&T Tower, also known as "the Batman building". I think it's so cool the way Nashville is laid out...on one side of Broadway you find the major Government buildings. On the other side you find residential buildings as well as a lot of touristy hot spots. It's definitely a great layout for photographers. My next stop is Printers Alley, a famous alley downtown between 3rd and 4th Avenues, running from Union Street to Commerce Street. The portion of the alley between Union and Church Street is the home of a nightclub district that dates back to the 1940's. It has a nice, New Orleans flavor to it and looks very hip. After a little time there, I walk around and see more famous eateries like Piranha's Bar & Grill, Dick's Last Resort, Coyote Ugly and Hooters. On 4th Avenue, I see another vintage building called Southern Turf. The Southern Turf Building was constructed in 1895, and is an old saloon. Across the street is the Arcade, a covered shopping arcade built in 1902, modeled after an arcade in Italy. Notable tenants include The Peach Cobbler Factory, original New York-style pizza at Manny's House of Pizza, The Peanut Shop candy store and Phillyman where you can enjoy an authentic Philly Cheese Steak. I also saw the Rhinestone Wedding Chapel, where they just happened to be filming some kind of reality show. The Arcade opened as Nashville's first shopping center.

After a brief lunch break at Sbarro, I walk down Church Street and see a huge fountain in Church Street Park. While photographing it, I notice an unusual sculpture called "Emerge". It was two huge unlocked pad locks...strange, but pretty cool. My next stops are the famous Nashville Public Library and Historic Castner-Knott Building. I also noticed a "Votes For Women" historic marker that I thought was an interesting read. After photographing The Hermitage Hotel, which was very instrumental in that "Votes For Women" marker, I walk across the street to War Memorial Plaza. There, I photograph the Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans War Memorial and the Confederate Women's Monument. This was a very historic area, and it got better at the War Memorial Auditorium. Standing in the center of the courtyard is Belle Kinney's heroic "Youth" statue, holding a "Nike" in his open left palm. This statue is awesome! Across the way is the Tennessee State Capitol. Also on a small area of War Memorial grounds was a plaque marking 17th President of the United States Andrew Johnson's house site. I thought that was very interesting indeed. Although I'm having a great time, time is of the essence as it's almost time for me to be in place for the start of the New Year's Eve concert at 1st Avenue and Broadway at the Jack Daniel's Stage. On the way there, I photograph the First Tennessee Bank tower, Tennessee Performing Arts Center and William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower. Walking towards 5th Avenue at Broadway, I walk past the original Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium. Then I get my last photo of Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators hockey team. This is a huge, architecturally strong looking building that I love to photograph. Next to the arena is a huge antennae that turns out to be the Nashville Visitors Center. I love this structure, too! I also thought it's great that there are pretty cool circular street maps that points you into the right direction of wherever you're trying to go while downtown. Every city needs these.

Now it's time to bring in the new year. My allotted time of photographing the concert is over, so I make my way from 1st Avenue back up to 5th Avenue. I get a spot on the stage with my fellow media colleague and wait for the countdown. As the emcee starts the countdown, the music note begins to drop and the fireworks begin to explode! The bright lights from the fireworks light up the night sky as well as over Broadway. It's 2016...Happy New Year!