East Side Buzz: Harvest Spoon Rises This Saturday, Envision Cayce Updates, Boutique Hotel The Russell, Nashville Strong Babies Project, and more

Harvest Spoon Rises This Saturday

Local videographer, stand-up comedian, activist, and gregarious East Side scenester, Jason “Shakes” Hostetler returns with another special musical event, “Harvest Spoon,” a tribute to the music of Neil Young and a benefit for individuals with Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, and other tremor-inducing disabilities.

A sequel to last year’s Neil Diamond tribute, “Spoons of Diamond,” the show will raise funds to purchase Liftware utensil kits for eligible individuals. These “smart spoons” allow people with hand and arm tremors the independence of feeding themselves with more confidence as the high tech utensil automatically compensates for unintended motions.

Photo by Chad Crawford

As “Shakes” (who has cerebral palsy) told The East Nashvillian, “The first time to use this spoon was a life-changing moment. I can’t imagine how it would affect someone who isn’t as comfortable with their own disability [as I am]. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bowl of soup?”

The show will feature a variety of other special guests. Showtime is 9 p.m., Saturday, May 11 at The 5 Spot, with a $10 suggestion donation. More information at the Harvest Spoon Facebook page and be sure to check out Tommy Womack’s feature story on Shakes in our current issue!

Envision Cayce Town Hall Delivers Updates on Project

Officials with the Envision Cayce project updated community members at a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 9. The 94 units in Phase I of the Kirkpatrick Park development, at Sylvan and Ninth Streets, are now being leased to tenants, with Phase II and III expected to be completed in May, and Phase IV set to open in June. The Kirkpatrick Park units are a mix of 2-story townhouses and walk-ups with the units evenly divided between subsidized PBRA (project-based rental assistance) housing, low cost “workforce” housing, and market-rate units. The new home for K-8 Explore! Community School, adjacent to the Kirkpatrick Park development, is also nearing completion. Grades K-5 are expected to move into the new building in July with grades 6-8 to join them in October or November of this year.

Construction is also proceeding on the Boscobel I and II developments with an expected competition date of December 2019. Construction of the Boscobel III development, now named “Red Oaks Flat,” will begin in late May with a completion date of November 2020.

Looking forward, the next phase of the Envision Cayce plan will center on construction of the Cayce Community Center, which will house the new East Branch of the Nashville Public Library. A library charrette is scheduled for June 12 at the Martha O’Brien Center to solicit input from community members regarding which library services will be offered.

After the presentation, the group accepted questions from the audience and the subject of grocery store access was raised. The recent closing of the Bill Martin’s Food Store at 1105 Fatherland St. has left Cayce residents without a means of transportation stranded in a “food desert” with no primary grocery source within walking distance. Long-range plans for Envision Cayce include incentives to bring a supermarket into the neighborhood, a solution still a number of years away. In the meantime, the Martha O’Brien is now providing private bus service to the Walmart on Dickerson Road two days a week, and residents were interested in publicizing the recent relocation of the East Nashville Farmer’s Market to the parking lot of the First Church of the Nazarene at 511 Woodland St.

For more information on the Envision Cayce project visit the MHDA website.

Hotels of the Holy – Boutique Hotel The Russell to Open in Historic Edgefield Church

The new, boutique hotel, The Russell, is now accepting reservations for its 23 guestrooms at 819 Russell St. (at the intersection of Russell and Ninth Streets). In a press release issued this week, Micah Lacher of Anchor Investments, which developed the property, said, “The outside looks like the original church building did in 1904, but inside guests will discover inviting, modern accommodations with subtle nods to the building’s religious roots.”

Built in 1904, and opened in 1905, the iconic neighborhood church was the home to the Russell Street Church of Christ congregation for 96 years. After the building suffered extensive damage from the 1998 tornado, the dwindling congregation struggled to repair the historic structure, eventually selling the property in 2001. Since then, the building has changed ownership several times with Anchor Investments acquiring it last year.

A portion of the auditorium, now the lobby of newly renovated building, features several preserved architectural features including two massive stained-glass windows, exposed beams, and a sweeping 40-foot-tall ceiling. The remainder of the auditorium and classrooms were converted into 23 guestrooms and suites, painted with colors drawn from the palette of the stained glass. The church’s pews were upcycled to form contemporary headboards, and local artists were employed to craft one-of-a-kind touches like brightly colored tile, arched bathroom mirrors, and painted banners paying tribute to such Nashville music legends as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette.

“Here at The Russell we emphasize experiencing the local culture and, in doing so, giving back to the community,” Lacher says. “Each night’s stay supports local non-profit organizations that provide resources to Nashvillians experiencing homelessness.” The Russell is projected to donate more than $100,000 toward non-profits in its first year of operation. For more information or to make reservations visit RussellNashville.com.

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Nashville Strong Babies Project to Address Health Disparities

Mayor David Briley and Dr. Wendy Long, Director of the Metro Public Health Department, announced a new program this week to fund care-coordination services, innovative clinical and community programs in Nashville neighborhoods that experience the highest rates of infant mortality.

A $5.47 million, five-year federal Healthy Start grant will fund the Nashville Strong Babies Project, providing pre and postnatal care, case management, and home-visiting services for around 700 women and families each year. Women and babies living in the following zip codes are eligible to receive services: 37216 (Inglewood), 37115 (Madison), 37207 (Bellshire), 37208 (North Nashville), 37210 (South Nashville), 37218 (Bordeaux), and 37221 (Bellvue).

“The goal is to reduce the disparities in infant deaths that exist today across racial and ethnic groups so that every family has the opportunity to celebrate the first birthday of their newborn,” Dr. Long said in a press release issued by Metro.

Additional services will be contracted to provide group prenatal care, group pediatric care, and other health services for women and families so mothers can access medical care and education during the perinatal period and through their child’s first 18 months of life.

Quick Bits

― The Nashville Humane Association will be hosting their Music City Mutt Strutt 5K and Fun Walk/Run at Shelby Park on Sunday, May 19. More than 1,000 attendees and pooches are expected to turn out for a day of walkin’ the dog. For more information and to register for the event visit the Nashville Humane Association’s website.

Bloomberg magazine reports on how business interests in the Tennessee state capital have staved off a slew of anti-LGBT bills proposed by the Tennessee legislature.

WKRN-TV recently reported on Renraw neighborhood concerns over drag racing and speeding on Strouse Avenue and other streets surrounding the Lincoln College of Technology.

― East Side radio listeners’ fav WXNA 101.5 FM is launching their spring pledge drive on Monday, May 13. The independent, freeform community radio station’s fund drive coincides with the station’s relocation to an expanded and upgraded studio and office space at the historic Packing Plant building in Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. For more information, or to make a pledge online, visit the WXNA website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @wxnafm.

WSMV-TV reports a local group, Music City Baseball LLC, has a scheduled meeting with Major League Baseball next week in the hope of luring a Major League team to the Music City. The proposal calls for a stadium in a mixed-use development near Nissan Stadium and the PSC Metals scrapyard.

― East Side resident and Nashville Craft president Bruce Boeko is in high spirits as the local distillery releases its first whiskey: Nashville Craft Original Bourbon Whisk(e)y. The first barrel of this made-from-scratch wheated bourbon (60 percent corn, 30 percent wheat and 10 percent malted barley) is a limited release of 750ml signed, numbered bottles starting Saturday, May 11. For more information visit the Nashville Craft website, and be sure to check out our feature story on Boeko.

The Tennessean reports that Nashville house restorer and reality television star Troy Shafer, died unexpectedly on April 28 in his home state of Pennsylvania. Shafer, 38, hosted the DIY Network program Nashville Flipped for two seasons in 2016-2017. The cause of death is under investigation.

― Nicky’s Coal Fired creators, Tony and Caroline Galzin, are relaunching their former East Nashville-based Deli House pop-up sandwich shop according to Eater Nashville. The Chicago deli-style experience of the Deli House made its Nashville debut 2013 with their first locations inside East Nashville’s POP. The new Deli House pop-up is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Southern Grist’s Taproom at 5012 Centennial Blvd. in the Nations.