By now you are surely aware of the many sucky road closures that make getting in/out of East Nashville extremely difficult.
But instead of continually complaining — even when you forget and find yourself going the wrong way down Hermitage Avenue — let's do something positive about it. Like, let's head across the river (this is the best place to figure out how to do that at any given time; you can even sign up for email updates) and support all of the local businesses that have taken a hit from this seemingly endless project.
If you're hip(ster) to the East Side, then this is all East Nashville 101 to you. But for those who are still afraid to cross the river, we offer a crash course in where to eat, shop, and play.
May we suggest:
The Walden building is a hop, skip and a jump from Five Points and houses a variety of options, from veggie-friendly Wild Cow (the vegan and gluten-free dessert selection is impressive) and the amazing Silly Goose, which is run by my culinary crush Roderick Bailey. Stop by Jeni's Ice Cream — sample everything you want to, because you can, and you should — or Ugly Mugs for a caffeine pick-me-up (they have Drew's Brews — yum). Or, head up Gallatin Road to Riverside Village and grab lunch at The Village Pub, where they always have an incredible sandwich special, decked out in the carb delight known as pretzel bread, which is also available for dipping into Yazoo-infused cheese dip. Riverside Village is also home to East Nash treasure Old Made Good, where you can find everything from vintage clothing to handmade furniture to bespoke jewelry, so stop there after lunch and support some local designers and artisans.
Since you've been eating all day, you should probably do something to burn some calories. If it's 100+ degrees outside, you may want to take it indoors to Kali Yuga Yoga or CrossFit 615. If you're more outdoorsy, Shelby Park has plenty of walking/running paths and a golf course. YMCA member? The Margaret Maddox Family center on Gallatin has everything you need, including a pool.
Then again, perhaps you think drinking is recreation, so get a headstart on dinner and grab cocktails at Holland House. Ask for the Yo La Tengo, which is not on the menu, but they'll usually make it. Head next door to The Pharmacy for burgers, beer, or — if you've been the sober one in the crew all day — a phosphate soda.
East Nashville is famous for its nightlife, so you have plenty of options if you're in the mood to cause trouble. Catch a show at The 5 Spot, play that game where you throw a rope onto a hook on the wall at Foobar (does anyone know what that's called?) or enjoy fine cocktails and a second round of people watching at 308.
See, East Nash isn't so scary. We'll see you there.