Nashville Work: Week 1

Monday

So, in a whirlwind of events unfolding in such an infuriatingly last-second way, we somehow made it to the house and are moved in.

House? Nay. Mansion. This place is amazing, and clearly not meant for college students. The guy who owns it is renting it out after his kids moved out, and it’s more than enough space for five college kids. Hell, they could really drive the price way down if they put a wall up downstairs and made an additional room.

The house is the first in the subdivision. Right now, our neighbors include a welcome sign and a deaf man. We’re testing the limits of just how deaf the man is- the sign appears to hear absolutely nothing.

At the time that this is being written, we’re also without wi-fi. Cue Herbert Morrison’s “Oh the humanity!” So this will be published after-the-fact. [Editor’s note: I guess I’m making this a weekly thing, and not daily (for now)]

“No wi-fi? Oh the humanity!”

 

But as beautiful as this house is, the big story of Monday is Apple Maps being far more inferior to Google Maps. Case in point:

Bobby, the friend I’m here with (check him out on LinkedIn), was kind enough to give me a ride to the house from my uncle’s in Lebanon. I gave him the address the evening before, specifically noting that it’s in Lebanon, Tennessee. It brought him to an area in Knoxville.

Let’s take a peek at the map showing the distance between those two, per the far-superior Google Maps:

A cool 150 miles. How nice. It brought poor Bobby through the tip of Ohio, up mountains in Kentucky, and straight into the wrong city, after I gave him the right address.

Apple Maps, you’re on notice (and a great reason as to why I like my Galaxy presetting to Google Maps).

 

Tuesday

Work began this day! Clark, our coordinator, was super welcoming and had Bobby and I come in for a soft introductory week. Basically, that’s translated to mixers at night and mingling over coffee on mornings. We got in at 9:00, talked through some objectives for the summer, and got to tour the Entrepreneur Center. I took a 360 picture of the area:

It is an absolutely awesome area. Rolling Mill Hill has a few historical buildings. In fact, the Entrepreneur Center operates in one of them. When Nashville used to operate streetcars, the buildings in Rolling Mill Hill housed trolleys and served as garages. The six narrow red-brick buildings can be traced back to the Works Progress Administration, and some architectural points were kept: benches made of railroad ties and rails and massive rolling doors that could close off the garage from the outside were two that were pointed out to me.

We did some work there the rest of the day, ran across the street to Crema for coffee (do not recommend) and explored a few parts of downtown.

We also learned that a shirt and tie in Nashville in the summer is a recipe for disaster in the form of sweat everywhere. We also learned that Nashville is incredibly hilly, which only catalyzed the sweat.

Bobby and I retreated to the E.C. for a few hours because we love air conditioning, and had a mixer afterward at a bar with a “farm-to-table” spin on bar grub. Best thing we had was probably bourbon soaked dates stuffed with feta cheese and wrapped on Cherrywood smoked bacon.
Super good, but the whole place had a “trying too hard” vibe to it. I mean, how else do you describe “farm-to-table” bar fare. Cartoonishly gentrified?

 

Wednesday

We volunteered at MusicBiz 2017 on Wednesday. The Entrepreneur Center was sponsoring a program called Project Music: a competition where four music/audio tech startups pitched to a ballroom full of people. It was awesome being able to be in that sort of environment (basically all I did was order Panera and stand around for six hours).

EyeBuy and Hi, Karl were the two that stuck out to me, because they were equal parts interesting and utterly amazing and useful.

EyeBuy, not to be confused with the glasses company with a similar name, plans on monetizing items on TV/streaming services. It picks up audiovisual cues ranging from blatant product placement to metadata that could be attached to each episode and would prompt viewers with updates on how to buy those products and products related to it. They even highlighted how they could use it to market to businesses.

Hi, Karl is an event-finding application focused on day-of planning. Like EyeBuy, it uses machine learning, and interfaces with Facebook and Spotify to curate better resulted for individual users. It’s at the point now where it can exist through Facebook Messenger, which is super cool. The bot existing both within Facebook and without it reminds me of the Google AMP pages being the new ideal on the Facebook app when users navigate to external articles.

We had Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint for dinner. There were bells and whistles on the menu for the “Redneck Taco” (pulled pork over a cornbread flapjack topped with cole slaw and sauce) so I knew I had to try that. I was unimpressed. I’m spoiled from some of the places I’ve had up in the Region, which is something I never thought I’d say in regards to barbecue, especially being in the South. But the hunt continues!

Meh. Not good. Overpriced for dry, tasteless pork.

 

Thursday

We got to sleep in a bit Thursday, which was good because we were absolutely drained from MusicBiz. Book club starts at 11 each morning for work. We’re reading Content, Inc., which is every ounce as compelling as you’re imagining. But once we finished, we had our eyes set on taking another trek through the city, to Deaderick St. and 4th Ave. for Street Food Thursday.

Holy guacamole there were so many amazing options! There’s a video I put on Snapchat showing the shut-down street filled with people and food trucks, but I can’t export it from my Memories into my Camera Roll. Damn Snapchat.

But I went up the street, and the very last food truck was exactly what I wanted. Fly Boy’s Nashville operates out of a retro air stream trailer, painted to look like a WWII fighter jet. The woman who was taking orders described it as “classically hip, with a South Pacific flair,” which came through in Philippine cole slaw sprinkled throughout the menu and Spam on their Cuban-esque sandwich.

If they’re serving the Mad Dog Mattis, and you happen to like a bit of heat, do yourself a favor and get it. It is still the best thing I’ve eaten since I’ve been here, beating out even the most perfect midnight grilled peanut butter and jelly.

Mad Dog Mattis, in all of its glory. Not pictured: Hawaiian Punch and the sucker-punch of nostalgia that came with it.

Bobby and I went to the Nashville Public Library to knock out some work. It was a gorgeous building with a perfect interior courtyard that is my new go-to spot to get things done while I’m in the city.

Seriously, look at how beautiful this is.

I could drone on, but it was all Canal Society of Indiana work I was doing, so no one wants to hear about that.

I had a diversity and inclusion event back at the EC, and Bobby had something just a block or so away from the library, so I went off and explored a bit on my own before returning to the EC. Once I was back, I mingled and was introduced to a few entrepreneurs associated with the podcast. It was just a simple, low-key event that kept me a bit more grounded in the EC.

 

Friday

I worked on canal stuff, so I won’t bore anyone who’s made it this far.

 

Though the first week was all over the place and not very audio production-y, I loved it! The city is amazing, the EC is such a cool space, and I love the work and experiences I’ve had so far. I can’t wait to have more, but I have a lot of downtime from work, so if you’re familiar with Nashville and know anything fun I can do, let me know! I’m always looking for museums, comedy, concerts… really just the pathetically touristy things that we all love deep down. Let me know!

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