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Music City
January 12, 2008 - 7:58pm



UD has hopped a cab from the Gaylord for a quick walk through Nashville. The afternoon is mild and full of sun, and she's gone up and down Broadway, the main drag, taking in the Batman building (parallel projectiles on the top at either end make ears), the honky tonk bars, and an internet cafe that looked appealing but was closed.

Now, chugging one Pepperidge Farm Butter Thin cracker after another, she's at the Frist museum .

There's a terrific exhibit of modernist canvases here, just in time to inspire UD as she prepares to teach, next week, a course on the subject.

But almost no one' s here. Everyone's down the street, either at the NASCAR event, or at the "American Idol" auditions.

Hundreds of people holding guitars wait in line for their turn. Some play the guitars and sing.

Everyone seems to be singing. At the NASCAR thing, people belt out the songs local country music radio stations blast from their booths.

Nashville feels sweet. Happy people bursting into song under full sunlight in January...

The two urban features of Nashville -- conventional skyscrapers and low-rise live music joints -- don't mesh well. You walk along the low-rise music boulevard, and the skyscrapers loom oddly over you, another world. Nashville's not big enough for these two elements to be part of a more complex streetscape, so you register the clash...

UD's about to join the media coven for a news conference. More later.


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