22 February 2012

Spirit of Nashville

I absolutely adore Nashville. Have I ever mentioned that before? Oh, maybe five or six times? Well, that makes sense. Partly because I love Nashville just that much, but also because I’m really bad about telling the same stories over and over. Mostly the first part, though!

Because I love Nashville so much, I admit that lately I’ve been having a lot of “wait, what was I thinking?” moments about taking a job in St. Louis. Yes, it is an amazing job, yes, it will help my career, yes, we already have friends and family in the same city. But... Naaaaashville! Where Mr. P and I met, where we went to school, where we went through so many experiences together – not the least of which, where we got married!

Fortunately, I recently realized that when we do move to St. Louis, our living quarters are still going to feel a lot like Nashville. Not just because the furniture and d├ęcor will be the same, but because almost all the art in our living is Nashville-themed. Literally. It is art purchased from a shop called Spirit of Nashville. While some of their stuff is geared towards tourists, much of it isn’t – many of the prints depict local haunts, like a pet-store-turned-coffee-shop or the independent film theatre. So yeah: there are enough people as desperately in love with this city as me that there is entire store dedicated to art depicting things we could go out and see in person.

Our own collection of Nashville art started with this print:

...which was a gift from a former roommate. As for the Nashville university pictured, it’s where Mr. P’s roommates all went to college, our church is on the adjacent boulevard of the same name, and it’s where Lil’ C took photos of Mr. P and me, the very first time we attended prom. Ahh, memories.

But that’s just the first of our Nashville art! You super-long-time readers may recall one of my first blog posts in which I described how Nashville experienced widespread, historic flooding just six weeks before Mr. P and I got married here. That happened in May 2010, and the major mall here is still rebuilding, not to reopen until almost two years later. Living through that flood was surreal and the aftermath was difficult (we took navy showers for a month, and we were the least-affected people in the city). But on the whole, it also totally restored my faith in humanity. Because when it comes to a crisis? Nashvillians are the people you want to have in your city. We are awesome neighbors. We are Nashville!

So that’s why Mr. P’s sister gave us this huge, framed, limited-edition, proceeds-to-flood-relief print as a wedding gift:

The more time that passes, the more I love all that print symbolizes. Spirit of Nashville, indeed!

Our collection continued to expand last year with this one of the Ryman Auditorium, a gift from my parents:

(Sorry for the awkward angles in these photos, by the way; I was doing the best I could to avoid reflections in the glass.)

The Ryman is a historic theatre downtown, first a church, then the home of the Grand Ole Opry, and now a popular concert venue. In addition to seeing several concerts at the Ryman with Mr. P (Regina Spektor, Feist, and OH YES MR. FOLDS), we took several engagement photos there. Like this one, with both the Ryman and Batman building magically composed in a single shot (thanks, Ryan Sweeney):

You guys. I love this city. LOVE IT.

So, now we have three prints in our Nashville collection, and, I must confess... I just purchased another. As in, ordered it yesterday. I bit the bullet because they’re starting to discontinue their 11x14 prints, and I needed a third to complete the triptych I created over our television.

I mean, the cover of Beethoven sheet music over some similarly-colored scrapbook paper is nice and all, but if it doesn’t directly relate to Nashville, it’s apparently not welcome in our living room anymore. The new print is yet another special landmark for Mr. P and me. I’ll share it when it’s hung on the wall!

So. It’s true, everyone who lives in St. Louis seems to love it as passionately as I love my city, and we have so many good things to look forward to there. But whether it’s great or... not so great, I’m actually feeling quite comforted to know that, even if our home isn’t in Nashville? We can still have Nashville in our home.


Tina said...

Can we guess? Is it Vanderbilt U.???