Sunday, April 4, 2010

So, Gwyneth Paltrow Loves Nashville

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:
First built as a church, then later used to be the Grand 'Ole Opry and for Johnny Cash's television show, the acoustics are amazing and it's a great place to see concerts. There I have seen Wilco, Belle and Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens, Kings of Leon, and Fiona Apple to name a few.

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.

8) Grimey's: 
 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:
 Apparently it has the best fried chicken in the world and is worth the heart attack that ensues.

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
Also on 12th, I believe this one is new. Gwyneth says, "the sweet potato fries are delicious, the fried chicken sliders do the trick, the biscuits are the best I sampled in the city of Nashville, and the oysters on the half shell come with a shot of Bloody Mary. What more could you ask for? Just be sure to bring an alka-seltzer."

4) The Patterson House:
 This one I have tried to visit last summer but the wait drove me elsewhere. Gwyneth says, "Here’s a real old-fashioned speakeasy — a part of the New York/LA throwback-to-prohibition bar trend, where getting into the bar requires some work and house rules dictate you must stay seated once in. It’s well worth it. The prim and proper mixologists, in their old-fashioned uniforms, will make miracles happen with the ingredients"

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 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:


  1. i didn't know she had a blog, i'm going to head over there right now!

    thank you also for your lovely comment.

  2. Awesome. I like seeing positive shout outs about our lovely town. I think Nashville gets so much negative hype due to country music stereotypes, but we really have a lot to offer outside of that!

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  4. I saw this! Not embarrassed to say I'm on the GOOP mailing list. I really don't get the Gwyneth haters...does she really rub that many people the wrong way? But maybe it's that I love the movie Sliding Doors and she can do no wrong in my eyes :)

    PS: Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of watching a travel mini-series she did with Mario Batali on Spain. She's fluent in Spanish, you know. haha...ok, enough Gwen gushing.

  5. I too am on GOOP mailing list, which is fun to send to all of my GP-hating friends. But you know, some of the stuff on there is the sleep one. Anyway. And I enjoyed her in a couple of less-known films, and in the movie "The Perfect Murder".

    & why I am really commenting...I saw belle & sebastian there too!! Fantastic show. The best of that tour, imo.


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