Friday, December 15, 2006

Road Trippin' Nashville

You've ever seen those guides that recommend taking one day road trips out of Nashville to exotic places like state parks, antique stores, countryside settings (yawn)... Yeah, they're pretty and all, but the driving to and fro gets tiresome for me... I use to be able to hunker down in a car and travel for sixteen hours straight, but over the years, my new threshold is three hours. Driving to Memphis or Knoxville is pushing my limit, let alone Atlanta traffic.

I think my love of savoring the sights and rich textures of the visuals that I encounter along the way give me pause to pull over and take a picture. Digital cameras with my Asian(ness) is a toxic mix. I make a great tourist! I really enjoy launching out in a new city and making memories via snapshots. Mrs. WonderDawg is not fond of my "Oh Look! Did You See That! Stop! Go Back Around the Block!"

For example, she had a day off today. Actually we had planned to be in Seattle for a long weekend to see our son Gary at McChord Air Force base. Turns out he was scheduled to fly out on a training mission in one of those monster C-17 cargo planes, so we would have missed seeing him on our visit. But next spring is our rescheduled time frame which will give us time to renew our passports, see Vancouver, Canada and spend more time in Seattle, as we have never seen that part of the country.

Turns out, Seattle experienced a monsoon. Watching a bit of the NFL football game showed cascading water with 40 mph winds. Nope, the only time I enjoy rain is when my vegetable garden is planted and when the earth needs a bath in springtime.

We head out to get our Civic tested for emissions over in West Nashville off of Centennial Blvd. I've always seen the Tennessee State Penitentiary off of Briley Parkway, but this morning it seem appropriate having lived in Nashville for twenty eight years to take a first time, look 'n' see since we were in the neighborhood.

The old Tennessee State Penitentiary closed in June 1992. As part of the settlement in a class action suit, Grubbs v. Bradley (1983), the federal court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the Tennessee Department of Correction from ever again housing inmates at the Tennessee State Prison. link

The architecture is stunning; with the vast expanse of land and access to the highway, this would be a good place for some condos/office space!

We saw a sign that idenfied a Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction (TRICOR) Finished goods warehouse with trucks out front, so the space must be utilized to some extent.

The old Tennessee State Penitentiary has become somewhat of a celebrity itself, housing such Hollywood productions as the HBO movie "Against the Wall" (for which it was painted red) and Bruce Beresford's "Last Dance" with Sharon Stone. During the week the company filmed there, many of [THE GREEN MILE] the cast and crew ended up touring the penitentiary's old Death Row building, Unit 6, a low, one-story rectangular stretch of brick that sits adjacent to the main administration building. Among its many inhabitants over the years was felon James Earl Ray. Link

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To me, the Pen has always been one of the most interesting buildings in all of Nashville. Your pics turned out marvelous!