shop local

Shop Local: Nashville Farmers’ Market

New Yorkers pining for the Union Square Green Market, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, or the Park Slope Farmer’s Market will find solace in Nashville’s Farmers’ Market. Open seven days a week, Nashvillians can find everything from local honey to an assortment of succulents. Plus lunch! The market includes an enclosed food court, featuring Indian, Jamaican, Mexican, and Southern cuisine.

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Shoppers can root through bins of veggies to their hearts’ content. The strawberries are especially sweet right now, and at $4 a quart, take a few! Check out this handy seasonality calendar to know what’s good.  (May is all about the greens.)

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On the north end, Gardens of Babylon supplies the herbs for your window box garden and then some, with funky lawn furniture and these crazy stone faces as well.

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At the south end, check out the flea market on Fridays and Saturdays for bargain socks, hand blended soaps, and African fabrics.

Third Friday of every month you can do it all at the Night Market with music and booze.

My boyfriend and I were approached by a camera crew and asked to sign a little girl’s gigantic card for her mom. It’ll be on Kid President, the adorable web special that’s all about doing good, so look for us! Happy marketing!

Shop Local: New Fabric Store in We-Ho

If you couldn’t tell from my post about Quilt Week, I am addicted to textiles. The Fabric Studio, a new shop in Wedgewood-Houston that offers unique and modern fabrics, hard-to-find patterns, and sewing classes, is sure to enable my obsession.  It opened last month and couldn’t come at a better time or be in a better place. Located at 221 Chestnut Street, it’s just a hop away from Chestnut Studios and Fort Houston. As soon as we walked in, my partner and I both envisioned the studio as a stop on the First Saturday Art Crawl.

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Owner Nancy Conger’s taste is impeccable. Her stock holds fabrics that resist the ordinary from designers like Nani Iro, Robert Kaufman, and Cloud 9. Most go for $11-$13/yd., but unlike other fabric stores in the area, they feel exquisite and sew like a dream. They’re truly worth your hard-earned cash. While the prices may make me think twice before cutting, I can’t find modern prints like these anywhere else in Nashville.

You’ll also find notions, a wonderful embroidery corner, and patterns by independent makers like Colette and By Hand London.

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The Fabric Studio will soon be hosting sewing classes and labs as well. Nancy herself is easy to talk to, friendly, and down to earth. She sews and quilts, and she works out of the studio. Wedgewood-Houston is bursting with creativity, and I’m so excited that textiles are getting thrown into the mix.

 

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Book Hunting

Something about Nashville (namely, my boyfriend) has moved me toward the digital and audio read, so I decided to spend the afternoon exploring Nashville’s independent book stores. To me, a big bonus of living in a city is the likelihood of finding a good, independent bookstore, and Nashville is no exception.  One of my favorite places in NYC is The Strand. It claims to house 18 miles of books in narrow aisles, piled upon displays, and stacked on the floor. Inevitably, to reach the title of my desire, I had to mount one of their 20 foot ladders and make my shaky ascent.  Much like the rest of New York, in The Strand, you’re surrounded by people, yet completely alone in your world to feel the crushing weight of 18 miles of books that you simply must read before you die.

So, former New Yorkers, to find similar variety, visit McKay Used Books, CDs, Movies and More. Load up on classics for pennies. This is not hyperbole, my friends. Many titles go for 1 or 2 cents, a dime, a quarter. Really popular titles may get you up to $5.50. They have genres galore, too. And, they buy and trade, so after you move your 700 book library across the country, go ahead and sell those bad boys your first chance, like I did.  Your back (and boyfriend) will thank you when you move again.

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The stacks at Rhino Books.

If St. Mark’s Books was more your thing–you’re looking for less traffic and a less daunting selection–go to Parnassus Books in Green Hills. Co-owned by Nashville author Ann Patchett, Parnassus offers new books, hosts events and readings, and runs a popular book club, switching titles each month. The management’s selection veers toward women writers and best sellers.  (Milling around, I was never more aware of how gendered book covers are.) If you’re child-ridden (really? and from New York?) kids will find the children’s section cozy and intimate.

Brooklynites who favored Tea Lounge on Union Street for their java will feel at home in Rhino Booksellers near Lipscomb University. Crammed with used books–even in the restroom!–this store carries all the charms of the past including collectibles and rare books. Although the organization is wonky (I saw The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter in three different places), the staff is friendly and knowledgable. They’ll help you find what you need. Their Southern Literature section is a must-see, and they don’t mind if you make yourself comfortable in one of the armchairs to peruse your top choices and eavesdrop on the conversations of locals who hold court as if it’s a front porch in the summer time. Sweet tea, anyone?

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If you’re like me, you spent countless afternoons drifting through Unnamable Books in the Village. Check out BookmanBookwoman in HIllsboro Village. They sell used and new books, their staff picks totally rock, and their collection spans two store fronts and winding back rooms. It’s a quiet place, and no one will be in your way. It’s mercifully free of children, the staff is unobtrusive but friendly, and for cryingoutloud, you get to explore alcoves of books! The last stop on my book hunting excursion, I picked up a new copy of The Girl with Curious Hair and headed home, just as it began to rain.

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Bookwoman, Hillsboro Village.

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Bookman, Hillsboro Village.