Photographer Ferdinando Scianna took these photos of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1986, at least a few years before I ever went there. I can’t remember the first time, really. My grandparents moved to Tennessee when I was a kid, and I have some vague memories of small town country stores and state parks, but not really the city. I do remember going to Nashville with my grandma sometime in the ’90s, though. She took us on a tour, taking us by the funny Parthenon replica, to the Ryman Theatre, and to the Opryland Hotel. On our way back we drove along winding roads, past country star mansions with white gates and flashy facades. The city back then was over the top and much more hokey than hip, and I loved it.
Drew and I did a little roundup of our favorite spots in Atlanta over on the Steven Alan blog. I’ve already posted here about a lot of the places, including West Egg. It’s one of our favorite restaurants, and one of the few pseudo-southern style ones we can still eat at now that we’re vegan. But we’d never taken photos there, so last weekend we used the S.A. blog post as an excuse to go out for dinner. We both had tofu scrambles, and then we walked around Westside Provisions a little; the sun was out and I wore the Carla hat that our new Steven Alan store was nice enough to send me. It’s something I’d had on my wishlist for years, and it’s definitely something that will be coming with me on our Tybee Island trip in June.
Another place on our dream vacation list is Marfa, Texas. I’ve never been to Texas before (unless you count a connection at the Dallas airport, but I don’t think you really should), not even to Austin, which I really want to visit. But I want to see Marfa even more. I want to see the Marfa Lights, the Chihuahuan Desert, the ruins of the Giant set, that fake Prada store . . . I want to stay in a tent/trailer/teepee at El Cosmico for at least one night, though I think that staying in town at the Hotel Paisano might be more my style. It’s from the ’30s, and supposedly James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor stayed there while filming Giant, or at the very least ate there. Also, there’s a pool.
Basically I just want to relax, to walk around and look at the weird (to me) landscapes and the mixed bag architecture: old adobe cottages, modern structures, and art deco buildings downtown. I want to see the places that inspired designer Kieley Kimmel’s spring collection, Marfakind. She lived in Marfa a few years back, and loved the place so much that she based a collection on it, complete with hand-dyed/hand-painted prints. There are some light and airy dresses that I bet would be just perfect for wandering around downtown Marfa.