My recent run of rainy weather continued today. I suppose that rain is preferable to snow though. A bit of snow isn’t too bad at home but when you’re travelling it can be a nightmare, not knowing if transport will be cancelled and potentially leaving you stranded in the back of beyond.

This morning I headed out towards hip Midtown Nashville. This area contains plenty of going out sort of places. Also around here is Vanderbilt University, a name I’ve heard of due to its basketball team. I never realised that it was in Nashville until a few weeks ago when I was looking into stuff to do. Unlike many of the big college basketball teams that play in money-spinning modern arenas, Vanderbilt still play in their traditional Memorial Gymnasium. This sounds quite quaint but it holds over 14,000 and looks fantastic from the photos I’ve seen. There’s a home game on tomorrow which I’d have loved to have gone to. However as expected, it was sold out. Ticketmaster had plenty of secondary sellers that would take $131 off you for a $30 seat. It wasn’t that long ago that ticket touts were deemed to be a scourge of live events, leeching off performers and fleecing customers. Nowadays they seem to have been legitimised and appear to be raking in the profits.

Most American cities seem to have a few pieces of architecture that would look more at home in Ancient Greece. Nashville’s has its Parthenon. I’ve included the photo below, having suffered soaking wet feet after walking across a waterlogged lawn in order to get the picture. Downtown Nashville itself has a nice mixture of architectural styles, including the decent looking Tennessee State Capitol. Tonight at the arena the Nashville Predators ice hockey team were playing the Montreal Canadiens (along with their French spelling of Canadians). Again this was sold out, although I’m sure Ticketmaster could have sorted me something out for the right price!

Never have I seen so many cowboy boots retailers as in downtown Nashville. I’m not sure if they are any good or just for the tourists. They seem to be all over the place and are often huge shops with bind-boggling selections. A common offer seemed to be buy one, get two pairs free. Billy Ray Cyrus aside, who on Earth could possibly require three pairs of cowboy boots?

This evening I sampled a coupled of bars around the corner from the hostel at Printer’s Alley. Both had decent live bands playing and affable people to talk to. In the South you tend to get called a lot of terms of endearment that would be considered politically incorrect by some. I’ve had lots of sweeties and honeys, plenty of darlings and the odd babe. It sounds genuinely friendly in the local accent. If I started using such phrases it would probably come across as a bit creepy though!

Get you cowboy boots
Home of the Nashville Predators
The Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville Parthenon