Redistricting is the big news this week. Read on (and check the city’s redistricting website), to see if and how your Metro Council and School Board districts may be affected, and what you can do about it.
And if you’re a fan of the many talented women The East Nashvillian has featured on our cover in recent years, you may be thrilled to learn that four of them — Brittany Howard, Margo Price, Tristen, and Becca Mancari — will be performing a benefit for Girls Write Nashville on Sunday at 3rd & Lindsley.
But before diving into the news …
The inaugural edition of our sister publication The Madisonian is on the street, featuring a cover story by writer Andrew Leahey about the down-to-earth, community-minded couple, Meg Morgan and Parker Millsap.
Also included is writer Randy Fox’s deep dive into the highly anticipated Eastside Bowl. Amongst the juicy goodness included in the story are interviews with owners Chark Kinsolving, Tommy Pierce, and Jamie Rubin, as well as a look into the interior design elements with Lyon Porter (Urban Cowboy) and Frank Favia (The Dive Motel).
Kinsolving tells us an opening date is on the horizon, with an announcement coming soon. In the meantime, the intergalactic musical, They Came to Rock, descends upon The Wash at Eastside Bowl on Oct. 28-29. Tickets are available here.
From the shameless commerce division (we miss you, Car Talk), ad space is available for the Nov/Dec print edition of The East Nashvillian. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get your business noticed by the coolest readers on the planet. Contact sales@theeastnashvillian for more info.
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Matters of Development
Nelson Drum Shop has officially moved from its Gallatin Avenue location to 1102 Riverside Drive and will be hosting occasional live music events at the new space. The first event, with the Molly Miller Trio (featuring A-list session drummer Jay Bellerose), was Tuesday. The shop hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Local coffee stand Weak Coffee is located in the drum shop and is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
East Nashville’s favorite hole-in-the-wall beer joint/karaoke hangout Fran’s East Side will be leaving its current location of 13 years at the end of the month. The bar is having an “End of the Line” farewell show on Oct. 30 — a rare opportunity to see bands at Fran’s — from noon to 8 p.m., followed by karaoke. The event will serve as a fundraiser, with limited Fran’s merch available, to help the beloved bar relocate.
Community Gives Feedback On Porter Road Development
The South Inglewood Neighborhood Association hosted two community meetings this week to gather feedback on a proposed mixed-use development near the intersection of Porter Road and Cahal Avenue.
Monday’s virtual meeting saw an attendance of about 30 to 40 people, District 7 Councilmember Emily Benedict said, while Wednesday’s in-person meeting at Inglewood Elementary School, attended by The East Nashvillian, saw fewer than 20 people in attendance.
The proposed project will see Section 8 housing complex Berkshire Place Apartments, 1500 Porter Road, torn down. A mixed-use development with market-rate townhomes, flats, shops, and an amphitheater is to be built in its place.
There are currently 195 units at Berkshire Place Apartments. The new development would have 770 units.
The developer and build team gave a presentation Wednesday, showing renderings of the project and answering questions.
Rebecca Freeman, a 70-year-old, lifelong Inglewood resident, expressed concerns over the number of units being built, the affordability of the new development, and traffic.
“It’s pretty, but it displaces poor people, and it affects people who live farther away from this area,” Freeman told The East Nashvillian after the meeting. “I think our community needs a mix of people.”
The development will only be built if property owner First Cumberland Properties is able to transfer a Department of Housing and Urban Development contract, allowing it to move the complex’s low-income residents to a new complex, to be built in Madison. The outcome of this transfer is expected to be known in January.
Developer Alex Trent of Trent Development Group said the market rate would dictate the price of the new Porter Road development. A one-bedroom unit is valued at $1,800/month in the area, he said Wednesday.
Other feedback included questions about the adjacent property being part of the project (it is not), a nearby cellular tower, and the development’s fitness center.
A woman who said she lived across the street was looking forward to having new restaurants nearby but had concerns about the height of the buildings (the tallest building would be five stories tall).
Construction is not expected to begin until 2024.
“There’s a lot to work out, the timeline is very long,” Benedict said.
Draft Maps Show New Council and School Board Districts
The draft redistricting maps (redistrict.nashville.gov) released Oct. 15 by the Metro Planning Department show a number of proposed changes to Metro Council and School Board districts in East Nashville.
District 5, which includes the area between Gallatin Avenue and I-24, up to just past Trinity Lane, is shown as doubling in size, extending north to Walton Lane in Madison.
Drafts show District 8 being moved completely, relocated to South Nashville near Percy Priest Lake. District 5 and District 3 are shown as being expanded to absorb the area that is currently District 8 in Inglewood and Madison.
“It’s certain that things are going to change,” District 5 Councilmember Sean Parker said. “There has been this tremendous population growth in Southeast Nashville, and south of the river. It makes sense that we’re shifting a district south.”
The parts of East Nashville between I-24 and the Cumberland River, which are currently in Districts 5 and 6, have been absorbed by downtown’s District 19.
“I’m not sure on the reason for moving the East Bank and River North sites into the downtown district,” Parker said. “They don’t have a lot of population. It seems odd to have a district cross the river … things I’ve heard (such as planning being a factor) are not really related to the redistricting process.”
The McFerrin Park neighborhood, currently in District 5, is shown as split between Districts 5 and 6 in the draft map.
“I’ve given a lot of feedback to planning about the proposed changes, specifically McFerrin Park,” Parker said. “McFerrin Park is a very established neighborhood with a strong identity, and I think splitting that neighborhood up, as they do in the current proposal, would really be unfortunate as well.”
Metro Planning Department has asked the public to comment on the draft maps, through an online survey, or at the remaining community open house meetings, Oct. 25 at Southeast Library, and Oct. 27 at Bordeaux Library. Visit the city’s redistricting website for more information. redistrict.nashville.gov/pages/nashville-redistricting-publicreview
“It’s super important that people do provide their feedback on this process,” Parker said.
The draft shows District 7 expanded to include most of Shelby Bottoms, but not Shelby Park. District 7 Councilmember Emily Benedict says she is pleased that the expansion of her district would connect the Rosebank neighborhood, which is currently shared with District 6.
“I think this should help people feel more as one,” she said.
The northern boundary of District 7, which currently extends to Neely’s Bend in Madison, has been moved in the draft slightly south, to Madison Boulevard. “I hope they’ll allow us to go up to Neelys Bend,” Benedict said.
The draft redistricting map for the Metro School Board districts shows East Nashville no longer being part of District 5, and Districts 1 and 3 expanding into the area of East Nashville — south of Trinity Lane and McGavock Pike — that is currently part of District 5.
The redistricting is part of a regular redrawing of Metro Council and School Board district lines, which happens every 10 years.
Updated maps are expected to be refined throughout the month, followed by the adoption process at Planning Commission meetings in the coming months. Council could adopt new district lines in December or January.
Girls Write Nashville All-Stars Perform Sunday
A benefit concert featuring former East Nashvillian cover artists Tristen, Brittany Howard, Margo Price, and Becca Mancari, as well as Erin Rae, Magdalene, and Amiratheweirdo, will benefit local non-profit Girls Write Nashville.
The event is Sunday at 3rd & Lindsley, 8 p.m., as part of Lightning 100’s Nashville Sunday Night. Ticket sales benefit Girls Write Nashville and can be purchased here.
Girls Write Nashville is a songwriting mentorship program aiming to cultivate empowered expression and a positive community for teen girls. The organization’s research-driven curriculum is designed to build resilience and confidence in girls while space-making for an inclusive and safe city-wide music scene.
Programs are offered free of charge. For more information visit the Girls Write Nashville website. girlswritenashville.org
- Sean Brock’s new restaurant Audrey has opened in East Nashville’s McFerrin Park neighborhood at 809 Meridian St.
- Drug Take Back Day, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., offers Tennesseans a safe way to dispose of medications.
- American Airlines damaged John Prine’s guitar, his son Tommy Prine says.
- Nashville ranks among the top three cities for six-figure job growth, according to Forbes.
- In recognition of National Protect Your Hearing Month in October, MusiCares and Dr. Alicia Barker from Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center will present the webinar, “Hearing Conservation for the Music Industry,” Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. Register here.
Erin Rae, “Modern Woman”
Last week Erin Rae blessed us with a new single from her forthcoming album Lighten Up (due out February 4). “Modern Woman” is a bright, upbeat folk song that puts to rest society’s antiquated definition of “woman” — in the chorus Rae sings, “Round up the old perceptions / Lay them on down / They’re only tellin’ stories and they’re / gettin’ in the way right now / Cause you can’t see the future / Can’t change the past / Come see a modern woman.”
“The song is basically a speech to a figurative person who is uncomfortable with the disintegration of tired definitions of womanhood,” Rae wrote on Instagram. “With the video, Joshua Shoemaker and I wanted to celebrate and represent our friends in the community who relate to the term ‘woman’ in different capacities, and basically brag on the diverse community of small business owners Nashville holds, and the work they are all doing to push Nashville forward, often against its will, into this new world of inclusivity.’
To bring the song’s poignant message to life, Rae’s video features cameos from some of the city’s most creative people — photographer Emerson Kyle, vegan superstar Diana Lee Zadlo of BE-Hive, Pamela Cole and Leigh Maples of Fanny’s House of Music, and fashion icon and designer Curry and their partner Sir Cole, to name just a few — and each person is shown in their own space, doing what they love most whether it’s painting, parenting, welding or playing music.
While some would say traditional gender roles and definitions are dead, Rae argues they never existed to begin with, singing “Never was a woman / Pure as driven snow / That was illusion / That was a lie / Woman was a human / Woman was a light.”
You can pre-order Lighten Up here. Erin Rae will play Girls Write Nashville’s benefit show at 3rd and Lindsley on Sun. Oct 24. The lineup is unbelievable, with Brittany Howard, Margo Price, Tristen, Becca Mancari (star of last week’s Love Buzz), Magdalene, and Amiratheweirdo also performing.
“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling