When in Rome ...
I've been gone a lot this summer, East Nashville, so maybe I’m out of the loop. Can someone please tell me when the change started?
What change is that, you ask? It’s hard to find the words, friends. Allow me to set a scene for you: I’m a social guy, I go out on occasion, and when I do, I often overhear conversations, asides, remarks, and the like. Recently, I’ve heard a few gems that have my blood pressure rising.
Last week, I went to see Reeves Gabrels and His Imaginary Friends play at The Family Wash. My pal Cowboy Keith Thompson and I decided to stop in at Mickey’s Tavern preshow for a Jack Daniel’s and a Miller High Life, respectively. Drinks secured, we made our way to the back deck and sat in a booth. In the booth behind ours sat two couples. Drunken hipster dude No. 1 was loudly explaining, for the benefit of the ladies, that Cobra used to be called fooBAR “back in the day.” After a few minutes of listening to his O.G. cred talk, we could take no more and walked back inside to the bar.
All the barstools were taken, so we grabbed a table near the front door. Across from us at the bar were seated two skinny rocker dudes in girl pants and man hats talking about their band and dropping names like bombs. Said bombs were dropped loudly and meant to impress everyone within earshot, which was, of course, everyone in the room. I was conflicted. We would have left sooner, but it was two-for-one and I don’t like to be wasteful.
Perhaps I’m just a grumpy bastard? Maybe I spend too much time in bars? Those questions are purely rhetorical.
I inherited some furniture recently. My friend Tommy Keenum helped me redecorate and reorganize my house. He did a fantastic job. Now my home looks like an adult lives in it. To celebrate my new, cool house vibe, I hired a cleaning person. She knocked it out of the park. When she was finished, we chatted while she waited for her husband to pick her up.
We talked about the neighborhood, her daughter in the military, and music. It was a pleasant conversation. As she was leaving, she said, “I work for a lot of the rich people in East Nashville, they won’t even talk to me.” I said something like, “What? There are rich people in East Nashville?!” She assured me that there were. That’s when I remembered the Shelby Hills video of good-looking white people frolicking in the park and having wine tastings on their roof decks. I thought those people didn’t really exist, they were just actors in a film marketed to a nonexistent, yet vapid, audience. Nope. They’re real.
I was at The Edgefield a few weeks back enjoying a burger when I overheard a woman say to her friend, “East Nashville is sooo great, but if they could just get rid of the locals though.” First of all, what’s with this whole though thing? When did that happen? Was it while I was out of the country? At least it wasn’t the question at the end of a declarative sentence vocal inflection thing that I’ve also wondered about. As in, “If they could just get rid of the locals though?” Frankly, I don’t understand the question? Did I do that right?
To be clear, I’ve got nothing against wealth. I love money. I’d like more of it. What I do not like, not one little bit, are pretension, condescension, snobbery, and Trump support. To me, these things have no place in East Nashville — or anywhere else for that matter.
When I moved to town 20 years ago, I moved here for the locals. I wanted to be part of the scene. I wanted to contribute something. I still feel that way. It seems to me that if you move somewhere that is welcoming, friendly, creative, and funky — you know, the things that brought you there in the first place — you should get with that. When in Rome ... , you dig?