Taylor Swift, Red Tour

Nashville, Lately: Food, Music + a Whole Lotta Fun

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Man, I love this town. Have I mentioned that of late? I honestly think there’s no better place to be than Nashville these days.

Music City Eats, Nashville

Weekends like this past one where there are approximately 1,478 cool things going on only remind me how lucky I am to be a Tennessean. The weekend kicked off with Taylor’s Red tour, during which I made new friends at the bar—Taylor Swift bonds people, y’all—only to find out we already had 30 friends in common (thanks, Facebook). That’s just how the South rolls; you can’t go anywhere without meeting a friend of a friend. Everyone is connected by much less than six degrees. People who love TSwift? Even more connected.

Taylor Swift, Red tour(It was also nice that we were older than the average clientele by approximately 20 years as there was no difficulty at all getting a table at the bar directly across from Bridgestone!)

Taylor Swift, Red Tour

Say what you will about Taylor but a) I won’t listen (lalalalala) and b) she puts on a killer show.

I loved every minute of the Red tour and love all the special guests she brought out like Ed Sheeran, Luke Bryant and Hunter Hayes.

Taylor Swift, Red tour Taylor Swift, Red tour

Then there was no time to recover from the Taylor excitement (and uh, hangover) before it was time for Music City Eats, the two-day embarrassment of riches I covered for Southern Living. It featured some of my favorite local chefs, such as Sarah Gavigan of Otaku South (a KEEN speaker!), Deb Paquette of Etch, Matt Farley of the Southern, and so many more.

Music City Eats, Nashville Music City Eats, Nashville Music City Eats, Nashville

I ran into plenty of familiar faces, from close media friends to the master distiller at Willett who so kindly gave us a private tour last year.

Music City Eats, Nashville

Oh yeah, and this guy was behind it. So there’s that.

Kings of Leon

And then it was a picnic for my friend Megan, who was getting married the next day, and time to go back to Taylor. Again. (You didn’t think she’d come to town for the final four days of her Red tour and I’d only go once, did you? I’m just surprised I didn’t take the hat trick.) I felt underdressed compared to the pint-sized fashionistas I was up against, but still, another smashing time.

Taylor Swift, Red Tour Taylor Swift, Red Tour

Poor Taylor was so sick she could barely speak, but she powered through it anyway.

And then we took my mom to a Honky Tonk on Broadway. She hung with the big kids until turning into a pumpkin (though I kept getting stressed out as she’s so wee, she’d disappear into the crowd).

Honky Tonks, Nashville

We ran into a huge group of Tullahoma kids my sister graduated with, and then my cousin and his lady friend. The whole of Nashville is starting to feel a bit like Cheers.

Honky Tonks, Nashville Honky Tonks, Nashville

Sunday saw my dear friend (and former roommate) Megan get married in her backyard in East Nashville.

Megan Williams Wedding

You may remember Megan as my partner-in-crime in New York, then the one with whom I shared an attic room and a double bed during our days living in Holland and who orchestrated my most memorable Thanksgiving dinner to date. She’s now one of the hottest pastry chefs in Nashville. And yes, of course she made her own cake!

Megan's wedding

These days, I’m more thankful and humbled than ever to be living among so many friends and family (and so much FUN, all. the. time.). Want to experience a little Music City magic of your own? Then please consider joining me next month for our first (but certainly not last) KEEN Digital Summit next month just yet? (First year attendees will get special perks in subsequent years as thanks for helping us out when we were the new guy!)(Oh, and you can use the promo code FRIENDS for a discount since we all are, in fact, friends here.)

Nashville, Tennessee

  • September 25, 2013

    I won’t judge you for your Taylor Swift obsession. It’s just not my thing. Anyway, yes, I agree about Nashville. Memphis is the same way in that everyone knows everyone. Common question to start a conversation with someone you don’t know: Where did you go to high school? I’m confident if we ever make the move to Nashville we’d quickly feel like we know everyone. That’s one of the many great things about living in smaller big cities that have a lot going on. Get involved in the scene even just a little bit and it’s a blast.

    • September 28, 2013

      I didn’t even go to high school in Nashville–I went to Tullahoma High about an hour away–but due to being super active in sports growing up and playing on club teams, as well as going to Governor’s School (in Memphis) in the summer and now the nature of my job, I really do feel as if there’s no one in Nashville with whom I could NOT make a mutual acquaintance connection in no time!

  • September 25, 2013

    I might be going to a work conferene in Nashville (the first in the new convention center!) so this is helpful information for me.

    • September 28, 2013

      That’s awesome! And if it’s the week of Oct. 24, you should come to KEEN, too, as we’re right next to the convention center in the Omni =)

  • September 25, 2013

    Nashville is next on my list for non-beach, non-Vegas long weekends. Oh, and I can’t wait for the season premier of Nashville on TV tonite!

    • September 28, 2013

      Yes! What did you think about it? I thought it was a little slow, but I’m crossing my fingers it picks up. Come during the week and we can be extras on the show together!!!

      • September 29, 2013

        Ooh, being an extra sounds awesome…one more reason to finally get there! I was a bit disappointed with the season premiere of Nashville (as I was with most of my shows). I agree it felt a bit slow. I still think there are too many characters. If they are going to make Will a regular, then they need to get rid of Gunnar or Avery. Juliette is quickly becoming my favorite character since she is the most complex lately. I don’t like how they have made Deacon all bad. Everyone has good and bad sides and they’ve taken away everything that made us like him.

  • September 26, 2013

    I love Nashville 🙂 I’m a bit bias though; it’s my hometown. I am also attending the KEEN Digital Summit and cannot wait!

    • September 28, 2013

      I’m so excited you’re attending! Be sure and come say hi when you see me. I’ll likely be running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I still hope to meet everyone coming =)

  • September 28, 2013

    Truly speaking – that’s just how the South rolls. I have never been to Nashville but it is next on my list.

    • September 28, 2013

      Yes indeed. That’s what I love the most about the South–the sense of community and the level of connectivity in that everyone knows everyone else’s father-in-law’s grandmother’s cousin–and that’s something we didn’t have while living out in California.

  • September 28, 2013

    Awesome site! I’ll have to come back and read more about your travels. I look forward to meeting you and hate we missed each other at Music City Eats. That event was incredible. And no one should be talking bad about Tayor, girl is BAD! (in the good way)

    • September 28, 2013

      Thanks, Charles! I’m sure we’ll cross paths very soon; Nashville is a small town =) And I always love meeting fellow Taylor lovers, ha!

  • September 29, 2013

    Okay please don’t hate me, but I can’t stand Taylor Swift! Eeeeek!!! So sorry. 🙁 I’m so glad you had the best time at her concert though! On a side note, your friend looked gorgeous at her wedding!!!

  • September 30, 2013

    fun times!

  • October 1, 2013

    Seems like you have an awesome community in Nashville and everyone just gets along and knows everyone seems nice! Also who could miss a Taylor Swift concert? Although two in a the same tour, you really are dedicated!

  • October 2, 2013

    Nashville! <3 Thanks for sharing your experiences

  • October 3, 2013

    This article made me definitely miss America and our friends more. 4 months of traveling is really no joke and we definitely can’t wait to get home. But more than that, bitter sweet because we love to travel as well. Thanks for the good read! Look forward to visiting Tennessee as well 🙂

  • October 21, 2013

    Haha it looks like you’ve had an amazing time in Nashville this week. A bunch of people I grew up with in Pittsburgh moved to Nashville a few years ago for various reason, and they’ve all branched into different entrepreneurial pursuits since moving there. It seems like a really grassroots kind of place, like your friend who’s now a famous pastry chef. And you’re now doing the KEEN thing, too! See, so start-up-y. An awesome place to be, it seems.

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