DENIM DIARIES: A Dash Back to Nashville


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Something about the cold, and how long it lasts up here — it just doesn’t jive with my vibe.

Everyday last February during an epic cold snap I woke up early and consulted the weather — just so I could more fully complain about it. I was looking for any reason to escape the frigid cold, and would talk about my  wanderlust to anyone who was around to listen. And of course, when the cold has you truly miserable, one has two choices – stay inside to write or head out to the bar.

“Memphis is a comfortable sixty-eight!” I said outloud, for some reason excited, as the bartender poured me another makers and soda.
“You fixin’ to go?”
I looked up from the weather app on my phone, surprised. I had been talking to myself.
“Oh. No. I’ve been.”  I paused.
“But anywhere other than here sounds like where I want to be.”

At the end of the night my friend and I hailed our cab to head back for home. I looked down at my hands as we drove away– they were frozen into a vice-like vulcan death grip. The two whiskey sours and remainder of a friend’s Fulton had kept me from noticing how blue my hands were after leaving my gloves behind.

I told the cabbie to turn around and idle for a minute. He protested but I threw another five bucks in the front seat until he obliged. The bartender was there.  Our glasses and crumpled napkins were cleared.

“I knew you’d be back for these sweetheart.” He held out my deerskin work gloves. “It’s way too cold to be runnin’ around forgetting things like these.” He shook them a little bit to better make his point. “You’ll freeze those little digits off.”

“I know.” I took the gloves from his hands and pulled them onto my own. “Thanks for holding on to them for me.”

“Of course,” He winked. “Where you off to now?”

I took his interest in my travels and my almost frostbitten fingers as a sign. It was time  to get the  heck out of dodge.  I looked down at my phone. I had opened the weather app again. It had become a nervous tick.

“Nashville I think. It’s fifty-five there now.”

That trip was awhile ago, but I am posting these photos in protest of forgetting just how easy it is to pack up and leave. If the wind calls –follow it. Let your totems be your guide!

The Wrangler store downtown is located in one of the oldest original storefronts in Nashville.  Also pictured: Earnest Tubb Record Store.

The historic and super rad Hatch Show Print.

Be sure to roll up in Nashville with bangs or a beard that need a serious trim. Then make an appointment at Parlour and Juke. While in the chair, ask your stylist if she is related to the other half of Imogene and Willie, because she probably will be. Small town, that Nashville. Also nearby is Jack White’s Third Man Records.  Stop by to grab a couple souvenirs, like a White Denim record or a rad patch for your jean jacket.

Parlour and Juke

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12 South Avenue runs straight from downtown to a newly populous and fun pocket of the city. Home to Imogene and Willie, Mas Tacos Por Favor, Burger Up, and Corner Music.

12 South Avenue is a straight shot from downtown. And the 12 South Neighborhood is newly fun. Home to Imogene and Willie, Mas Tacos Por Favor, etc. etc.

Extremely talented sewers  at Imogene and Willie.
Two of my favorites - Man of the World US and Wood and Faulk. Matt Pierce is a force- his products are the ultimate.

They really make the best tunics.

There's a healthy bike culture in Nashville.
Lino cut + shirts.


Pieces from Another Feather, and leather flowers from Rene Holguin of RTH Shop.

Head out a little ways and visit Marathon Motorworks, built in 1881. The Marathon was the only brand of car to ever be made right in Nashville proper from 1907 until 1914.  Now dubbed Marathon Village, it is filled with Nashville’s new creative class.  The studios of both Otis James and Emil Erwin are here, along with the I+W offices. Most will recognize Marathon from Mike Wolfe’s Antique Archaeology.

.Marathon Motorworks. Built 1881. Now home to loads of studios and offices for Nashville's creative class. Home to Otis James, Emil Erwin, and I+W HQ.

Marathon Motorworks at Dusk.
Marathon Village at Dusk.
Studio of Emil Congdon, the brains and brawn behind leathergoods line Emil Erwin. Really beautiful stuff.
The Emil Erwin Studio

Emil Erwin

Bags + Belts
Bags + Belts at Emil Erwin
Studio of Otis James
Otis James
Otis James Nashville
Otis James
Otis James
Otis James
Otis James
Otis James

Another favorite stop, this time a bit North from the main event in East Nasville, is Barista Parlor. Folks from Holler Design out of Lascassas, TN responsible for the  fixtures and furnishings. When I was there, their design + build team was at work building the not-yet-opened outdoor patio. Arrive in the late-afternoon and people watch as babes on bad-ass bikes roll up to get an iced-something-or-other. They are probably musicians, so be sure to ask at least one of them which shows you should try and catch during your stay.

Barista Parlour
Barista Parlour with Holler Design's Fixtures + Furnishings.
Barista Parlor

Barista Parlor

Where do ya’ll jet off to when you get the itch? Let a sister know, as I am always looking for an excuse to trip.

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