Broadway, Nashville, is an amazing place.
By day it looks like any other shopping/restaurant/bar strip, but it is defined by the sounds rather than the sights. Music streams from the venues into the street in an oddly harmonious way. The shops play recorded music inside, but in the street you can hear a variety of live performances in the bars and restaurants that run in four hour sessions from 10.30am to about 3 in the morning.
Some of the acts we heard were really good, especially a guy named Randy Moore who was playing at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville bar. He was doing some fantastic acoustic country-style covers of recent pop/rock hits as well as country music.
Many of the shops are open until midnight, especially those selling boots, hats and clothing. The souvenir shops all have the same things in them, so you really only need to go into one and you’re done. There is a candy store that smells absolutely amazing. They make taffy, fudge, and caramel or chocolate-dipped goodies on the premises, as well as selling all sorts of other candy.
As dusk falls, the neon signs get brighter and the street fills with people. Broadway springs to life like a nocturnal creature that has been waiting all day to eat, drink, dance and party. Security staff appear at the doors of the venues, just to make sure everyone behaves themselves and has the most enjoyable Nashville-by-night experience possible.
Horses with open carriages behind them clip-clop their way up and down the street, offering the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective.
Right through the evening, people stream up and down Broadway. There are more than just stereotypical country music fans here: bikers in their leathers and bandannas, young women in short dresses and high heels, families with children, groups of teens in jeans and sneakers, as well as those in their jeans, boots and hats. Everyone is here looking for fun, or food and drink, or music, or boots, or a hat, or any combination of those things.