The media has largely mocked Gwyneth Paltrow's blog GOOP and labeled it as "an unprecedented example of celebrity hubris" (The Independent). GOOP-hating even reached Gossip Girl cultural-allusion status when Blair Waldorf said, "At least GOOP was good for something." Nevertheless, today, I am applauding her blog, because Gwyneth has decided to write about how much she loves my hometown Nashville. Gwyneth-Hater or not, it was pretty cool that Nashville got a shout-out and is the first "small" city added to her "GO" list of world-famous cities like NYC, London and LA.
Of Nashville, she writes,
"Never have I met such warm people, heard such good music, eaten so much fried chicken...I could go on and on. This week’s letter will cover the music/food and next week's will cover the rest. It's pretty easy to get to if you live in the good ol’ US of A as it’s kind of smack dab in the middle (well, not really, but almost) and is so worth a trip. It's pretty damn great."
In her two part series, Gwyneth and I agree on some of our favorite Nashvillian places, and I would like to share them. They go as follows:
1) The Ryman Auditorium:
2) Frothy Monkey Coffee:
Yummy place for coffee and a light lunch or snack. A good meeting place for a one-on-one. Try the Monkey Mocha.
3) Fido and Bongo Java.
Situated in Hillsboro Village, Fido has been a long-time hangout for me, but Bongo Java has THE best Latte ever. They make it like you are supposed to make it. I think my lil' sister survives college by drinking Bongo Java's "Thrilla."
4) Two Elle
A great boutique.
6) H. Audrey
Unfortunately, this boutique is a little two pricey for me, but the selection is great. And a girl can dream right? This store is owned by Holly Williams, Hank Williams grandaughter who is also a fellow Brentwood Academy alumni (Holly, not Hank).
7) Venus and Mars Vintage: The Showroom
Amy Patterson and Karen Elson [Wife of Jack White] co-own this vintage store; I remember going to this quirky place before Karen Elson got on board and when it was one of the few vintage stores in Nashville. A great find.
This is my favorite record shop EVER. The workers are so knowledgeable and helpful and great at suggesting new albums. On my 18th birthday, I discovered all of Joni Mitchell's albums on Vinyl at Grimey's old location. That's when the love affair with both this store and Joni began.
SO, I grew up in Nashville, and often, you don't really get to experience the vibe of the city until you are 21. Yet, since I turned 20, I have lived elsewhere and only experience Nashville on the holidays. Many amazing places have sprouted up since I have moved, and Gwyneth mentioned some of these in her suggestions. So here are the ones that I have passed by or heard of and will make myself go when I return from France this summer.
1) Prince's Hot Chicken:
2) At The Table
I always drive by this place on the way to The Gulch (for Urban Outfitters!), and the name has always enticed me.
3) The Whiskey Kitchen
4) The Patterson House:
So, that's it folks. Nashville, Gwyneth style, and no matter what you may think of her, remember she's the one who played Margot Tenenbaum...one of my favorite characters from my favorite movie...the character whom I dressed up as twice for Halloween and whose name I have used countless times as both a code name and user name. So for that, Gwyneth, you will always shine in my eyes.
Plus, I heart her style: