Friday, December 30, 2016

Crane Watch 2017

Now that the Not-So-Everlasting Living Room Project is completed, I've been able to open  my eyes a bit more and see Nashville.  My Home. And in looking out there, I see that Nashville is in the midst of a huge building boom.  Major buildings and complexes with big loading cranes have sprouted all over town in the last couple of years.  Just this morning, I took these pictures and highlighted all the cranes from just one window in our building, getting only 180 degrees.  (Red Arrows point out the cranes, in case you were wondering what I was up to. 
 In all, I counted 10 big cranes already at work as the sun was coming up, but that's not all.  Back in 2015, the public radio station listed these and even more. 
Here is their list with descriptions. 
Demonbreun and 12th Ave. S:
This entryway into the Gulch is the home of the 1201 Demonbreun project, a 15-story; 300,000 square foot office and retail space. Many of these spaces have already been leased by prominent organizations such as CapStar Bank and Eakin Partners.

9th and Clark Street:
This space, near the Korean Veterans traffic circle and Cummins Station, is the site of construction for the Westin Nashville Hotel, a 27-story hotel with 452 rooms and a pool and bar on the roof. The hotel is set to open in 2016.

Music Row Traffic Circle:
Among a slew of other just-finished apartment buildings in this area is the continuing construction on the 18-story Element Music Row Apartments. Its website describes these apartments as "palatial," "unparalleled," and very technology-friendly.

Divison and 21st:
This site is home to the Aertson Midtown apartments and retail space, across 21st Avenue from the Vanderbilt law school. The building will compare to the visible semi-circle Adelicia apartments in height and luxury, making it only the second high-rise building in the Midtown area - for now.

Demonbreun and 3rd:
This site is going to be the SoBro apartment tower, just one of Tony Giarratana's massive Nashville developments. The building will have 32 stories, topped with a rooftop pool and fitness center, as well as a public parking garage.

The Gulch, between 11th and 12th:
This lot, surrounded by 11th, 12th, and Pine Sreet, is the site for the Thompson Hotel, set to open in 2016. This hotel will be 12 stories high with underground parking. The Thompson will be only the third hotel in the Gulch, along with the boutique 404 Hotel and the Fairfield Suites.

Suites 35, 37, 39, and 41 Music Square East:
This will be the last large-scale construction project on Music Row for the next year, due to protest by local preservationists. The four sites will be consolidated as the SESAC offices, which currently has two buildings on Music Row.

Charlotte and 11th:
This terminal section of the Gulch is set to be a mixed-use project called Capitol View, which includes a 5-story apartment building, retail, and a grocery store. The full area of the project is around 30 acres, and could take over 5 years to complete.

Charlotte and 28th:
In this location, the beginnings of the OneC1ty project lie within the construction site that will eventually become over one million square feet of multi-use property. The project's goal is to create a cohesive community that brings retail, medicine, and living spaces all into one easily-accessible sphere.

Charlotte and 40th: This is yet another site on Charlotte Pike. Although relatively inconspicuous now, this site will become the Hill Center at Sylvan Heights, built by H.G. Hill Realty Co. The project is expected to be done by 2016, covering eight acres with residential apartments and 26,000 square feet of retail.

Vanderbilt University, 25th Ave.: Although not for commercial development, even Vanderbilt is bringing in the heavy guns for construction. This site is to become a new Engineering and Science building, and will partially cover Olin Hall - the archaic seventies-style engineering building behind it.

5th Ave. and Jefferson:
Just north of the new Sounds stadium, the Carillon apartments, set to be opening in early 2016, have begun construction. The property will ultimately contain 360 high-end apartments within the 3.9-acre parcel of land in between these two streets.

Downtown on Jackson St.:
First Tennessee Park is the new home to the Nashville Sounds, whose stadium was previously located along Chestnut Street. The stadium returns to the area where the Sulpher Dell Park once stood. The cranes are constructing a parking garage to accommodate large influxes of people to the area during game times.

Germantown, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue:
Broadstone Germantown is a new five-story apartment complex being constructed between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and Madison and Jefferson Streets. This view displays the parking garage, and there is also space for a restaurant on the first floor. It is located only a short walk from First Tennessee Park. Not one, not two, but six cranes dot the horizon.

By my figuring most of these are not visible in the photos I took this morning. Either the projects were completed, or they are farther north, south or east and as such,  out of view.

I'm not really sure what this means for the future, but I know it makes getting around in my 58' limo a study in patience. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Southern Christmas Traditions

There’s nothing like Christmas in Dixie, and the roots of Southern Christmas celebrations run deep. The American South was making merry long before it became the standard practice in other areas of the country. Alabama was the first state to declare it a legal holiday in 1836, with Louisiana and Arkansas following a couple of years later. Christmas wasn’t recognized as a federal holiday until 1870.

While some facets of Southern Christmas have been adopted outside of the South, many traditions and customs have remained unique to the South. If looking at a few of these fun Southern Yuletide customs doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, you might need to check your pulse:
  • Citrus Fruit- When I was a kid, we always found oranges in our Christmas stockings. I would never have guessed that this is a long-standing Southern Christmas custom. This gift finds its origins in the previous rarity of citrus fruit and the expense of such a luxurious gift. The Southern Christmastime craving for the flavor of oranges influenced the popularity Christmastime recipe staple known as Ambrosia, and for many it’s just not Christmas without that citrus infused wonder.  Citrus also appears frequently in Southern holiday décor in the form of slices for fragrant potpourri or as whole oranges in garlands.
  • Pecan Pie- Due to the harvest season falling between September and December, pecans are a readily-available, favorite flavor for the Christmas season in the South. Folklore has it that the French settlers in Louisiana developed this holiday dessert staple. Divinity and Pralines are two other pecan-based treats of Southern origin that have become treasured holiday items as well.
  • Poinsettias– This beautiful plant with red blooms has become synonymous with Christmas cheer. Originally the poinsettia was a popular decoration for the Christmas season in Mexico, and the botany-loving U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett brought back clippings of the plant to his South Carolina home. The shape is said to be evocative of the Star of Bethlehem, and it’s popularity spread throughout the nation, especially after Congress declared Dec. 12 National Poinsettia Day. It’s just not Christmas without a cheerful poinsettia blooms.*
  • Magnolia and Pine Décor– We have the settlers that landed at Jamestown, Virginia to thank for this tradition. After they noticed pine was an evergreen, they began using it as a symbol of good fortune and hope in décor. First popularized in the South, it can now be seen in holiday swags, wreaths, and garlands nationally. Many widely-read styling magazines have also featured stories on how to best use magnolia leaves to achieve a rustic, country feel. It’s common to see wreaths out of these gorgeous, dark-green, shiny leaves than any kind of fir tree branches.
  • Deep-Fried Turkey- In the South we love to fry anything and everything, so why not fry the most delicious piece of poultry we can find? It leaves a delicious crunchy texture outside while keeping the meat flavorful and juicy. This tradition is starting to catch on in other parts of the nation, naturally.

The myriad of wonderful Southern Christmas traditions is long and varied, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Just like every other holiday event in our culture, Christmas in the South is full of beauty, fun, and delicious food.

 *Note to Cat Owners: Poinsettia leaves are poisonous to cats.  Best to buy fake Poinsettia plants if you have felines in the home.