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    Nashville Part II

    This week’s chock-full letter follows up on last week’s skinny on Nashville eats, drinks and general fun...Below, you will find destinations for shopping, health and beauty, and (most importantly for the moms among us) great things to do with your kids.

    Love,
    gp

    P.S. I found one of the coolest stores I have ever been to, Imogene + Wille; read below - but wow, it's something special.

    Imogene + Willie
    2601 12th Avenue South
    +615 292 5005
    www.imogeneandwillie.com

    Hailing from Henderson, Kentucky, Matt and Carrie Eddmenson - childhood friends and now a married couple - worked together in Carrie’s family business, developing denim collections for brands like Rogan, Earnest Sewn, Seven, J.Brand, etc. They moved to Nashville in May 2009; refurbished an ex-gas station; moved Nestor, a pattern maker and sewer, and Gloria, a master sewer, in June; and, in July, opened the magical store that we were lucky to visit in February. The store sells handpicked denim from select brands like J.Brand and A.P.C, choice vintage pieces like cowboy leather jackets and boots, scarves hand-dyed by Carrie’s brother in India, and Imogene + Willie brand bespoke jeans, made of tough denim that you have to work into. After a few months, they guarantee, you will have a soft pair that fits you and only you and bears the marks of your wear. (For the less hard-core denim buyers, you can also purchase a pre-softened pre-“lived-in” pair.) Carrie recommends you write the date of your first wear inside the pocket of your jeans: and thus begins your journey together… Everything in the store has a story, which you become a part of the second you enter.

    Beyond their impeccable taste, Carrie and Matt have started a community in Nashville. Going to their store is part shopping, part hanging out. Their dog, Lale is always happy to see you. Ian, who works there, has encyclopedic knowledge on all their products and has a mellow indie playlist going at all times. He turned us on to the bands Real Estate and Sun Kil Moon. You might also meet Kari Kragness, who organizes their “supper and song” events on Thursdays and all their other events including backyard soirees that are supposed to be a blast.

    Gruhn Guitars
    400 Broadway
    +615 256 2033
    www.gruhn.com

    This is the place to get a guitar, banjo, mandolin or any “fretted” instrument, if you’re picky about terminology like the experts at Gruhn. George Gruhn started the store in 1970 and it has come to be one of the, if not the premier place in the US to buy instruments. The client list is a who’s who of musicians – Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Neil Young and many, many more. The store and repair shop specializes in vintage models and they keep a file on the history of each and every instrument in their inventory. Basically, if music is your thing, you’ve got to pay them a visit. Their website is a frett afficionado’s haven with George Gruhn’s newsletters on fretted instruments and features on particularly special models. If there’s a vintage model you’re particularly interested in, let them know and they’ll keep an eye out for you.

    Courtesy Country Music Hall of Fame

    Hatch Show Print
    316 Broadway
    +615 256 2805
    Hatch Show Print's website

    This is the place to get a guitar, banjo, mandolin or any “fretted” instrument, if you’re picky about terminology like the experts at Gruhn. George Gruhn started the store in 1970 and it has come to be one of the, if not the premier place in the US to buy instruments. The client list is a who’s who of musicians – Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Neil Young and many, many more. The store and repair shop specializes in vintage models and they keep a file on the history of each and every instrument in their inventory. Basically, if music is your thing, you’ve got to pay them a visit. Their website is a frett afficionado’s haven with George Gruhn’s newsletters on fretted instruments and features on particularly special models. If there’s a vintage model you’re particularly interested in, let them know and they’ll keep an eye out for you.

    Manuel Exclusive Clothier
    1922 Broadway
    +615 321 5444
    www.manuelamericandesigns.com

    Manuel is the costumer par-excellence for all the big-time entertainers from Elvis, to John Lennon, to Bob Dylan. If you remember Elvis’s gold lamé suit, then you remember one of Manuel’s creations. Manuel moved the United States from Mexico and in his early career worked in another famous costumer’s workshop, Nudie’s, where he learned many tricks of the trade. After years spent in Hollywood, Manuel moved to Nashville and started his own establishment. Each piece in the store is hand-crafted and has Manuel’s special touch. Truly worth a visit, if only just to gawk at the intricate, often rhinestone-laden, designs, you can visit the store between 10 am and 4 pm on weekdays or by appointment.

    Two Elle
    4025 Hillsboro Pike
    +615 269 9954
    www.twoelle.com

    A welcome source in Nashville of brands like Built by Wendy, Steven Alan, Cheap Monday and Public Library – not to mention, THE MOST complete selection of Converse I have ever seen.

    H. Audrey
    4027 Hillsboro Pike
    +615 760 5701
    www.haudrey.com

    This store, owned by Holly Williams (who has exquisite taste and happens to be the daughter of Hank Williams Jr), is the most cutting-edge of the shops in Nashville, carrying brands like Rick Owens, Loeffler Randall, Rag & Bone and Alexander McQueen. Check out the second floor too, which houses her collection of music photography by the likes of Henry Diltz and Pattie Boyd.

    Venus & Mars: The Showroom
    2009 Belmont Boulevard
    +615 915 4846
    www.venusandmarsvintage.com

    Amy Patterson and Karen Elson co-own and run this store that feels like a boudoir. If you’re into vintage, this is the place to find it — hand-picked long dresses from brands like YSL and two glass cabinets full of baubles, trinkets and old-fashioned glasses frames.

    Abernathy Road: Nashville Gentlemen’s Surplus & Sutlery
    123 Second Ave
    +615 891 3362
    www.abernathyroad.com

    A new store on the Nashville scene, it purveys hyper-masculine canvas bags and leather goods, many of which are handcrafted by a certain Colonel Littleton of Lynville, Tenessee. Among many other awesome items that would make great gifts, they sell a classy leather fly-swatter that many US presidents have received as a gift from the Colonel. It’s a great place to find an elegant gift for a man, but all those manly bags look great on women too.

    Grimey’s
    1604 8th Avenue South
    +615 254 4801
    www.grimeys.com

    This store has the vibe of a college radio station with its crafty wooden shelves and endless rows of cds and LPs. They’ve got an extensive selection of Indie music, knowledgeable staff, and host intimate shows inside the shop a few times a week.

    While I was in Nashville, Faith Hill took me to the annual Antiques & Garden show. If you happen to find yourself in town any given February, be sure to check it out, it is vast and you can find quality pieces.

    The Carl Von Vechten Gallery at Fist University
    1000 17th Ave
    +615 254 4801
    The Carl Von Vechten Gallery website

    While I was in Nashville, Faith Hill took me to the annual Antiques & Garden show. If you happen to find yourself in town any given February, be sure to check it out, it is vast and you can find quality pieces.

    Nashville Soundtrack

    Our playlist featuring some of the characters in the movie, “Love Don’t Let Me Down,” which I worked on.

    Jim Lauderdale

    A famed and esteemed local singer/songwriter who is also in the movie.

    “Patchwork River,” a sneak peak from Jim’s upcoming album.

    His song, “Can we Find Forgiveness” from the album “Bluegrass Diaries,” is one of my favorites.

    Marshall Chapman

    The amazing force that is Marshall Chapman also happens to be a great writer. She has a book out entitled, “Goodbye Little Rock and Roller” and is currently finishing up her next.

    “Leaving Loachapoka” from the album, Love Slave

    I also recommend “Girl in a Bubble” from her album “Goodbye Little Rock and Roller.”

    Hayes Carll

    Hayes wrote some great tunes for the movie. You can visit his website to listen to his songs and buy his music.

    Check out “She Left Me For Jesus” on the album, “Trouble in Mind”

    Mandy Barnett

    Mandy was my music teacher for the movie...couldn’t have done it without her.

    “I’ve Got a Right to Cry” from the album, “The Platinum Collection”

    Amanda Shires

    “Put me to Bed” from the album, “West Cross Timbers”

    The lovely Reese Witherspoon, a born and bred Nashville girl,
    gave me a list of some of the places she likes:

    Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
    422 Broadway
    +615 726 0463
    www.tootsies.net

    Sylvan Park Restaurant
    4502 Murphy Rd.
    +615 292 9275

    Bluebird Cafe
    4104 Hillsboro Road
    +615 383 1461
    www.bluebirdcafe.com

    Kids

    Snap
    4027 Hillsboro Road, Suite 702
    +615 460 7627
    www.snapkids.net

    I went into Snap with my kids in search of some fun spring clothing for them. The people there are incredibly nice and helpful and we found a bundle of clothes that my kids are totally into. If you have kids, it’s the place to make a stop: they carry a brand we really like called Tea Collection and a wide range of designers including Bonpoint, Ella Moss and Splendid. The displays on bright white lockers are really sweet.

    Phillip’s Toy Mart
    5207 Harding Road
    +615 352 5363
    www.phillipstoymart.com

    Tim and Faith’s girls, Gracie, Maggie and Audrey McGraw, recommended this store to us – it’s a kid’s dream come to life: there are toys crammed in every nook and cranny of this shop. You will find no Ben-10 or big-brand toys in here – it’s been there forever, full of costumes and books and wooden toys. Reese Witherspoon used to go there with her grandparents. My kids could have spent an entire day in there and get excited at the very mention of the word, “Phillip’s.”

    Mike’s Ice Cream
    208 Broadway
    +615 742 MIKE
    www.mikesicecream.com

    We indulged one afternoon with a remarkably delectable Sundae here at this old-fashioned Ice Cream Shop. It has murals on the wall that remind you of a soda fountain and tall bar chairs with coiled backs. The Sundae was perfect, not too large, made with good vanilla ice cream, drenched in chocolate and peanuts, and with just the right amount of toffee.

    Adventure Science Center
    800 Fort Negley Boulevard
    +615 862 5160
    www.adventuresci.com

    This behemoth of a building is devoted entirely to kids activities. There is a spaceship where they can simulate zero gravity, a 3 floor soft jungle gym where they can slide, climb, and jump through a model digestive system, a child-size firemen’s truck and ambulance that reveals what’s inside those mysterious vehicles, and so much more. The biggest hit were the wheelchairs they could try out - we heard about them for days.

    Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
    1200 Forrest Park Drive
    +615 356 8000
    www.cheekwood.org

    Tuesdays for Tots (from September through May) and Saturday AM activities (year round) are based on the museum’s exhibitions and on the season. You can bring your kids from 10 to 12 for a drop-in art class. My kids enjoyed their time there, being able to get down and dirty with the glue, markers, glitter and paint.

    Nashville Public Library
    615 Church Street, Nashville
    +615 862 5800
    www.library.nashville.org

    At the library there is storytelling on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and Marionette shows on Fridays and Saturdays. Stories are presented by a cast of wacky characters including “The Professor” who not only reads but gets sing-alongs, and lots of rainbow drawings going too. The professionally crafted Marionettes at the library are something special, made by a master puppeteer named Tom Tichenor. My kids got to see “The Princess and the Frog” but the shows change often and throughout the year.

    Frist Museum
    919 Broadway
    +615 244 3340
    www.fristcenter.org

    The Frist museum has an entire gallery – the Martin Artquest Gallery - devoted to art activities where children can come by everyday between 10 and 5:30 and on Sunday starting at 1 pm. There are thirty decked out stations set up for kids to experiment with different media including drawing, sculpting, printmaking, and even film-making with toy dinosaurs, plastic animals and big toy spiders.

    The Monkey’s Tree House
    8074 Highway 100
    +615 646 5002
    www.themonkeystreehouse.com

    A huge play room with soft, cushy floors and walls and an enormous “tree house” that kids can climb and crawl through, it was a hit. There’s a dollhouse and train cars that kids can ride, and a section for babies too. I was amazed at the cleanliness of the place and found the staff really helpful. On Sundays you can rent the entire tree house out for a birthday party.

    Gaby’s Gymnastics
    1186 Antioch Pike
    +615 331 8111

    Gymnastics was the main event in Nashville for my kids. They loved every minute of their classes with Gaby and came back asking for more. She is wonderful with children and they are completely entertained from start to finish. You can book private lessons or go to classes with a bunch of other kids.

    Spas and Health

    Escape Day Spa and Salon
    6000 Highway 100
    +615 352 3545
    www.escapespaces.com

    Get anything and everything done under the sun – Swedish, Deep Tissue, Back, Facials, Peels or even a haircut.

    Nashville Integrated Medicine
    2931 Berry Hill Drive
    +615 385 7955
    www.nashvilleintegratedmedicine.com

    At Nashville Integrated Medicine, the doctors take a holistic approach to evaluating a person’s health, taking factors like sleep, diet, exercise and stress into account.

    Karuna Center
    1186 Antioch Pike
    +615 500 4679
    www.karunacenter.com

    Dr. Suman Chaudhuri, who practices holistic chiropractic bodywork, naturopathy, clinical nutrition, energy medicine and stress management, did wonders for me when my body was exhausted from working on set.

    A big thanks to Karen Elson, whose invaluable recommendations for spas and kids’ activities, made my stay there as memorable as it was.

    The goop collection

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