Our third and final day in Nashville, we hired a dude named “Big E” who drove us around the city in search of murals. At 6′ 6″ / 78 cm tall, Big E was an imposing guy. He looked like he would feel more at home on a Harley with a whiskey drink in his hand than on a golf cart ferrying tourists around to see street art but as we would later learn, he was a gentle giant who runs tours in his spare time.
Big E collected us at our hotel bang on time and we were off. I wasn’t sure where exactly we were off to but I was excited at the thought of seeing a little more of the city since Nashville (outside of the tourist center), is not walkable. I’d previously told Big E that I wanted to see the famous WhatLiftsYou wings mural in The Gulch. Unfortunately, our tour was mid-day and the queue at the wings was very long (as expected) so we had to skip it. This is one of a handful of regrets from our visit to Nashville.
Like many things, street art can be difficult to photograph. There is always something in the way, cars, fire hydrants, humans, rubbish bins, etc. The secondary challenge to photographing street art is that all too often, the size of the art is so big that you have stand quite a ways back or at an angle (or invest in a wide angle lens).
We visited a few other landmarks during our mural golf cart tour, including a guitar-shaped pool on Music Row. The building adjacent to the pool was once a five-diamond hotel where many famous people have stayed. The tale tour guides will tell you is that Elvis once skinny dipped in the pool, however, that is an urban legend because the pool opened one year after Elvis died.
We climbed a short retaining wall and peered over a wooden fence to see the pool which looked like it’d seen better days.
Shortly after the guitar pool stop, we arrived at none other than the Capitol Grille where we were told to hop out and to go check out the men’s bathroom.
Due to the chaos caused by a movie being filmed in The Hermitage Hotel (where the Capitol Grille and bathroom reside), Big E told us he’d wait in the golf cart and gave us two instructions.
- The bathroom is downstairs.
- Peter should go in first to make sure there are no men in the bathroom before I enter it.
Peter and I scurried into the hotel and down the stairs to the bathroom. He entered first and I caught a glimpse of the bathroom and thought what the hell? Peter waved me in a few seconds later after he confirmed that the coast was clear. I took a couple steps into the bathroom and stood there only long enough for my eyes to be assaulted.
I took one photo in the bathroom because I felt uncomfortable being inside it, even though women regularly take a sneak peek. The bathroom is decorated in art deco style and has won the “Restroom of the Year” award many times. Inside the bathroom is a shoeshine station, a telephone, urinals, toilet stalls, and sinks.
Our tour concluded at Printers Alley which is an entertainment district of downtown.
Protip: If you are looking for live music other than country, head to Printers Alley.
We spent the remainder of the day walking around the city trying to find live music in a chill atmosphere. We failed. The only live music to be found during the day is off of Lower Broadway as it blasts out of the bars at a volume level that cannot be tolerated by anyone who is sober and/or is over the age of 30.
Would I visit Nashville again? Yes, if the conditions were right. Nashville is a party city and there is so much partying going on in Nashville that I rate it a bigger party city than New Orleans. In my opinion, Nashville would be best experienced with a group of friends for a celebratory occasion, even if that celebratory occasion is to escape reality for a few days by entering a fog of intoxication.