I’ve been in Nashville for almost three weeks now. In that time, I’ve conducted a Sherman’s March to the Sea of consumer credit destruction throughout downtown as well as short hit-and-run missions into the Gulch and East Nashville. Reviewing my credit card statements on the first of the month brought on a sense of dread.

Realizing, in actuality, that I compiled those numbers in less than fifteen (15) days invoked a sense of something akin to Shock & Awe.

I could probably use my refrigerator for storage at this juncture. If I didn’t need ice cubes for my whiskey (why is whiskey more expensive in Tennessee than New Hampshire?!) I could probably unplug that appliance altogether.

I’ve achieved sustenance decadently, at a sampling of Nashville’s most elite (and expensive) dining establishments. In Downtown, those include Puckett’s Grocery, Deacon’s New South, The Southern Steak & Oyster, Etch (one of PK’s favorites!), D’Andrews Café {Already my daily coffee spot [trying to resist the pastries (losing battle!)]}, The Frothy Monkey, 417 Union [Prime Rib Hash (!!!)], Ellington’s [their hostess gave me a comprehensive list of restaurants I HAVE to try (see below)], The Mile End {Same building as Ellington’s [a slice of Montreal down south! (they need a picture of PK!!!)]}, The Bobby [Dog-friendly (allegedly)], Trattoria Il Mulino (was astonished to find a respectable restaurant so close to Broadway), Woolworth’s {themed on the John Lewis lunch counter sit-in [Totally didn’t know it happened here! (finding out I don’t know much about here!!)]}, and the Greater Broadway Area in general {My current rule of thumb – anything on 2ndand/or Broadway is best for drinking & people-watching [ie don’t eat the food in that neck of the woods (milkshakes count as drinks in my book!)]}.

Excursions beyond downtown allowed me to indulge myself in the Gulch where I found Milk & Honey [I ate two (2) dinners that night], The Turnip Truck [grocery store (I was feeling guilty one night and forced myself to cook)] and a furniture store called Design Within Reach {I went in there to splurge on a desk chair [left with an interior decorator on my hands (she calls me more than my alleged girlfriend)]}. A neighbor encouraged me to check out Music Row, telling me it boasted several dog-friendly establishments within walking-distance of downtown {It’s not in walking distance [my dog wouldn’t look at me for a week (!!!)]}. I found the Dawg House Saloon. I suggest going on Sundays for 80’s night when the Spazzmatics perform {These guys are all-in [they make Gord Downie look like an introvert (madcaps!!)]}. Longer-term residents of the area also lobby heavily for me to visit East Nashville. I was suspicious that they may be stakeholders in the area’s revitalization and were just banking on my patronage providing added economic stimulus to the neighborhood. So far, I’ve only dedicated a single night to fiscal irresponsibility there, eating dinner at Two Ten Jacks {Ramen [legit (landlocked-style) sushi]} and dessert at Jenny’s {Three heaping scoops [a flight (their terminology!)] of ice cream}.

I don’t dip my credit card into the chip reader of just dining establishments, though. I’ve gone to Third Man Records {take the tour [starts at 2 pm (tickets sell out by 10 am), Grimey’s Records {asked about Channel Orange vinyl [they said they’d call! (bootleg y’all!)]}, Carter’s Vintage Guitars {Too much of a novice [my neighbor nearly lodged a formal complaint with building management over my “stylings”! (I would hear their door close and thought it meant they were leaving so I was free to shred. Turns out they were returning – to an assault on their auditory senses!)] to waste money here}, The Country Music Hall of Fame {Great museum [Why the hell hasn’t Bob Dylan been inducted?! (casts serious doubt on the declarative of my outer-level parenthetical!)]}, The Frist Museum {Chaos and Awe [great way to describe my behavior over the last couple weeks! (almost bought a bone necklace in the gift shop)] exhibit}, and Lucchese {I bought a pair of [$1500 (gulp)] cowboy boots [when in Rome (right?!)].

And, oh yeah, I bought a OneWheel {Post incoming [you’ll see (!!!)]}.

To be honest, injecting so much economic stability into this rapidly growing metropolis has given me a modicum of anxiety about the long-term stability of my finances. Therefore, I did feel it necessary to dedicate a small amount of time to some free activities. These included Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream!) in the Park {My dog almost disrupted the whole show [howling (he has strong opinions on how Shakespearean comedies are best choreographed)]}, Live on the Green, Franklin’s Main Street (another post for another time), and the Department of Motor Vehicles [gotta register to vote! (oughta send my dog to disrupt THAT spot)].

Now that I’m acclimated, one would think my free-spending habits would begin to taper off. No. My Northern aggression on Southern credit card readers appears to know no bounds. There are a bevy of targets that have so far eluded my stimulus. That will not last. It is untenable.

The hostess at Ellington’s gave me an extensive list of dining establishments which will require my evaluation {Henrietta Red, Urban Grub, Butchertown Hall, Virago, Rolf & Daughters, Husk, Henley, Sunda, Bastion, Hemingway’s, Kayne Prime, Marsh House, Sambuca, Kuchna & Keller, Saint Anejo, Don Juan’s Taco Shop, McDonalds [I think this was an entry from the (wise-ass!!) busboy], Pfunk Seoul Brothers, Tansuo, and Mockingbird [to name a few]}. With football season upon us and Nissan Stadium within walking distance, I’m on a collision course with a Tennessee Titans game. There’s also the Nashville Sound baseball games (IBID).

On a curious note, PK Subban has not approached me yet. As I previously posted, I was sure he would be waiting for me when I arrived with my moving truck. I mean, he knew I needed help two-manning that dresser. And he knew I needed hydration via Dom Perignon. But when I arrived, there was no PK and a bottle of middle-of-the-road sparkling wine was where the Dom was supposed to be at.

There are a million different explanations for this. It could have been a communication breakdown. His agent probably gave him the wrong date. Also, he had his fundraising gala in Montréal which required preparation. He might have been worried about the Dom. I didn’t specify regular, limited-edition, or Rosé and I’ve learned through backchannels that my level of refinement intimidates him. He might have momentarily crumbled under all that stress and pressure.

I’ve been asking around about PK. I wear my Montréal Canadiens T-shirt with his #76 emblazoned on the back. I inquire about him with neighbors, valet parking attendants, bartenders, taxi drivers, and random passersby. These people. They all change the subject. They all bring up Roman Josi and his three-zone game. They bring up Josi and they bring up Ryan Ellis. Everybody in Nashville want to talk about Ryan Ellis, about how dedicated he is, how he works out like an animal and how he’s great for the community. I tell them PK’s not so bad himself if you give him a chance and let him come out of his shell.

That’s the nut of the problem, why they don’t appreciate PK around here. I’m thinking he needs someone to deliver his narrative in a more compelling fashion. I’m sure his new agent is explaining this to him as I type.

Probably, he’s playing hard-to-get too. He doesn’t want me to know how excited he is to have me writing about him. So he’s been hiding out in Montréal and Toronto – sometimes Europe when he’s extra perplexed. He’s probably a bundle of nerves, all worried that I won’t be as impressed with him in person as in his YouTube highlights or Wikipedia page (I want to do some serious investigation into that claim of 6’0!).

But training camp starts next week. I’ll be there. He’s contractually obligated to be there.

Collision course.

Calm down, Bubby. There’s no reason to be so nervous and scared. It’s not like you’re going into a corner with the aforementioned Josi.

It’s time to put some hustle behind this muscle.



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