The National Museum of African American Music is now open. Image: NMAAM/353 Media Group

East Side Buzz, January 30

*updated February 3

The Latest Edition is on the Street!

Pick up a copy of the latest edition, which has features on the 2020 East Nashvillians of the Year, Out East Comedy Club, “Artist In Profile” Madison Thorn, and more! Safe and easy at our hard-to-miss turquoise distribution boxes located outside The Five Spot, Vinyl Tap, Rosepepper, The Van Dyke/Bongo East, and the Margeret Maddox YMCA to name a few.

The National Museum of African American Music Officially Open to the Public

Following a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on January 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, NMAAM officially opened to the public on Saturday, January 30. For now, tours are only available Saturdays and Sundays, with tickets for timed entry available at nmaam.org. The One Nation Under a Groove exhibit, which documents how music influenced the civil rights movement from the 1940s to now, looks especially amazing.

Boston Commons to Reopen February 18

East Side fav Boston Commons is slated for a February 18 comeback. Randy Fox spoke with owner Matt Charette about what’s been happening and what’s in store in an exclusive interview available here.

Confirmed! East Nashville’s Publix Will Open on February 10

Finally! The deluge of rumors and speculation can end! The official opening date for East Nashville’s Publix is, as suspected a few weeks ago, Wednesday, February 10.

Related: Publix at Melrose on Eighth Avenue opened on Wednesday, January 27. 

This news may be inconsequential to die-hard Kroger or Turnip Truck customers, but it is huge news for cake lovers. If you don’t already know, Publix’s sheet cakes are superior to any and all other grocery chain sheet cakes. Go buy one immediately. They’re delicious.

 

Mayor Cooper Gives COVID-19 Update

Mayor John Cooper held a press conference Thursday morning, giving an update on Nashville’s COVID-19 response. “There is currently an optimistic trend happening right now,” he said, after going through how the average number of new infections per day and the number of active infections have decreased this month by 35% and 56% respectively. Positivity rates and the number of hospitalized patients have also decreased.

Good job! (Please keep wearing a mask.)

The state of Tennessee has received 713,000 doses of the vaccine and so far Davidson County has administered more than 81,000 doses. The county is about 93% of the way through phase 1a and, because of that, Cooper says Nashville should begin phase 1b, which includes teachers “in a matter of days or weeks.” He said some students should be able to return to in-person classes soon thereafter. He did not give a specific date for either, though, and added that the timeline is dependent on when the state receives another vaccine allotment, which, he says, can change day-to-day.

Cooper also announced that restaurants that serve alcohol can stay open an hour later, until midnight, starting February 1, and restaurants that don’t serve alcohol can return to their usual business hours, including those that are open 24 hours. 

One more tidbit worth noting, the Metro Public Health Department is moving their vaccine distribution location from the temporary offices in Five Points to the Music City Center, to better accommodate the crowds now that they’ll be distributing both first and second vaccinations. It’s still by appointment only, so if you haven’t yet gotten your vaccine and you are 75-years-old or older, you can make an appointment here.

Keep wearing a mask. Keep social distancing. The numbers are decreasing, so let’s all do our part to keep it that way.

The Housing Resiliency Fund

Last summer Metro Council approved a 34% property tax increase throughout Davidson County, which was a big blow to many homeowners who were already struggling to make ends meet as the country hit record-breaking unemployment numbers in the midst of the pandemic. 

Thanks in part to a $2.25 million donation from Amazon, The Housing Fund wants to help protect homeowners who may be at risk of losing their homes due to the tax increase. If you live in one of seven zip codes — 37013, 37206, 37207, 37208, 37211, 37216, and 37218 — and have owned and lived in your house since at least Jan. 1, 2020, you may be eligible for tax relief. The household also has to make less than 120% of the area’s median income. You can read more about the qualifications on The Housing Resiliency Fund’s factsheet.

Quick Bits:

  • On Thursday the Nashville Post reported that R.S. Lipman Company, home to Hap & Harry’s, has purchased Little Harpeth Brewing and Turtle Anarchy. Don’t expect too much to change, though—R.S. Lipman’s Vice President Nic Donahue told the Scene’s Chris Chamberlain, “We’re genuinely excited about—and committed to—maintaining the unique brand personalities of Hapy & Harry’s, Little Harpeth and Turtle Anarchy.” More here.
  • If you’ve been starved or live music (haven’t we all), you’ll be happy to know tickets for Margo Price’s show at The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater went on sale Thursday. The May 28th show will be outdoors with a socially distanced seating arrangement. Buy tickets here and the sooner the better, as it will most definitely sell out. And speaking of Price, she also released an emotional video for the That’s How Rumors Get Started track “Hey Child.” She wrote the song after her infant son died in 2010. The video, which was partly filmed at North Nashville’s Congress Inn, shows Margo singing through some of life’s darkest moments—drug addiction, grief, and mental illness. It’s a heavy-as-hell but important piece of work. As Price begins to find her way by the end of both the video and the song, it reminds us all that we, too, can fight our way out of whatever darkness we feel trapped in. There is hope and there is help. Watch it here.
  • It was announced on Wednesday that Amazon will make a $325,000 donation to support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee’s in-school food pantries and meal backpack initiative addressing childhood food insecurity.