The Cumberland

Last night, we were standing on the edge of the Cumberland River, looking towards downtown and it really struck me what a crappy, crappy job we’ve done as a city of utilizing one of our best assets–the river.

I guess the issue is that the river used to be (and, in some ways, still is) a major thoroughfare for the city and a way to bring goods in and out.  So, it only makes sense that, especially before the advent of the interstate, you’d have a lot of industry on your riverfront.

But, Nashville, we should be building places to live and work and play that make better use of it.

Also, as I was driving east down Charlotte last night, I saw that the State has arranged it so that the whole side of the Snodgrass Building says “Peace.”  I should have taken a picture; it’s really beautiful.

I don’t know.  It’s just little things like that that make you feel good about a place.  I should make it my New Year’s Resolution to show you all the things about Nashville that I love.

But, in the meantime, they’ve painted the tressle by the Zoo, and one of them has a tiger on it so realistic that, when I saw it out of the corner of my eye, it made my heart jump.  And I saw the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

I swear, we must have one church for every ten people.  Nashville has got to have one of the highest church to people ratios (or would it be lowest?) of any city in the nation.

4 thoughts on “The Cumberland

  1. Having moved here right from Hoboken, which uses its mile of riverfront to gorgeous and enjoyable effect (a walkway the whole way, punctuated by a couple of outdoor concert spots, some restaurants, two ferry piers, a train station, and a couple of marinas, with benches everywhere and long-range viewers in especially scenic locations), I was bemused at first at how little use Nashville makes of the Cumberland. It’s winding! It’s pretty! You could plant willows all over the banks for visual unity if you wanted to! But I think that I have figured out that the problem here is that the river is, in effect, at the bottom of a ravine. It’s not right there for people to see. Still, a walkway with some strategically placed staircases or ramps would help a lot.

  2. On the church-to-people note, TN has the highest giant-crosses-to-people ratio I’ve ever seen anywhere. It startles me when there’s a giant cross sitting somewhere with no church.

  3. Before the State bought that building, there was always some sort of message on there just about every night of the year, corresponding with different holidays and all sorts of things. I miss that and glad to see they at least brought it back for Christmas.

    The Cumberland is really something. My great aunt and her husband had property out there they would go to to “get away” from town and they had a fish camp. Believe it or not, over there in Madison (I guess other places along the river as well) it used to be like a beach where you could walk down and right into the water. My aunt built a house there in about 1935 and she lived there til the day she died. Now, my cousin owns the house and it is truly one of my favorite places on earth to be…to sit on their deck and watch the river roll.
    Another great aunt was actually born on the Cumberland, on a riverboat, while my great grandparents were moving here from Kentucky.

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