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11 minutes | a month ago
How Stick Figures Spotted Downtown Fit Into A Global Street Art Project
If you glance down at the street at the right moment in Nashville, you might spot a “stikman.” This little street art character appears in thousands of places around the world, but the artist behind them remains mostly unknown. Thanks to an observant listener, Curious Nashville delves into the phenomenon. Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez and the editor is Emily Siner. This episode’s music is courtesy of Blue Dot Sessions.
22 minutes | 5 months ago
Whatever Happened To Nashville’s Revolving Restaurant?
Nashville was right on-trend in 1975 when the revolving Polaris restaurant opened atop what was then the Hyatt Regency hotel. It quickly became the go-to destination for special occasions and marriage proposals. But the restaurant has navigated some tougher turns in the past decade, leaving a local architect wondering: Does it still spin?
15 minutes | 6 months ago
How Overlooked Buildings And Trees Can Reveal Wonderment Around Us
To combat our feelings of isolation and everyday repetitiveness, we present four short stories that deliver surprises about things we might otherwise overlook: What a tree in the backyard can tell us about environmental changes How the past flickers on amid Nashville’s growing skyline Whether a famous 1904 short story accurately depicts Nashville How proximity to an interstate is a good thing for an Antioch cemetery These stories are a testament to our observant listeners. When you notice interesting things and ask us to learn more, we find stories we’d otherwise miss! Prod us with your latest questions at curious.wpln.org. Credits: Tony Gonzalez is executive producer; editing by Emily Siner; music from the Blue Dot Sessions.
16 minutes | 7 months ago
How Black Political Power Changed In Nashville After Government Consolidation
A simple question about some of Nashville’s suburban pockets opens a deeper review of how the Metro government formed in the 1950s and 60s. WPLN News reporter Ambriehl Crutchfield finds that the combining of the city and county had implications for Black residents and five ‘satellite’ cities that remained mostly independent. (To see more photos and a written version of this story, visit Curious Nashville online.) Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez, with editing by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg. Web production and promotions by Mack Linebaugh and Elle Turner. Audio mastering by Carl Pedersen. This episode’s music comes from the Blue Dot Sessions.
5 minutes | 8 months ago
Tennessee Voting Rules Are Causing Confusion, So We're Answering Your Questions
As a crucial election approaches, Tennesseans have reached out to WPLN News and Curious Nashville with their pressing questions. In this special crossover with The Tri-Star State podcast, Sergio Martinez-Beltran and Rachel Iacovone provide answers.
19 minutes | 9 months ago
How A Handmade Sign On A Dead-End Road Had Us Searching For A Tennessee Cult
When a resident notices an unusual sign at the end of her cul-de-sac — it says ‘The Gathering’ — she wonders if there’s a cult operating. To find out what’s really going on, WPLN News contributor Tasha Lemley takes up a cryptic search. It leads her to a group of devotees, just not the ones we might have expected.
25 minutes | 2 years ago
Why Is It So Hard To Alter Confederate Monuments in Tennessee?
Confederate monuments have triggered debates, protests, and even the murder of a demonstrator in Virginia. The unrest in Tennessee has prompted questions about how monuments are governed. In this episode, Curious Nashville reexamines what happened when MTSU tried to rename a building dedicated to Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest, and explains the evolving role of the Tennessee Historical Commission. Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez, with editing by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg, audio mastering by Carl Pedersen. Web production and promotions by Mack Linebaugh and Elle Turner. The theme music is by Podington Bear.
29 minutes | 2 years ago
The True Stories Behind Nashville’s Claims To Fame (Live Taping)
There are some assumptions that people have about Nashville that aren’t quite right — and plenty of quirks that baffle all the tourists who visit. So in this special episode taped live on stage, three local experts unravel some of the most essential history of the city and then take questions from attendees. Recorded live on May 31, 2019, at the PodX Conference, this is the first live taping for Curious Nashville. Thank you to our local experts: [J.R. Lind](https://www.nashvillescene.com/ http://instagram.com/thenashvilleiwishiknew ), of the Nashville Scene; food writer Jennifer Justus; and historian [David Ewing](https://www.nashvillescene.com/ http://instagram.com/thenashvilleiwishiknew). Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez, with editing by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg, audio mastering by Carl Pedersen, web production by Mack Linebaugh, and promotions by Elle Turner. The theme music is by Podington Bear.
23 minutes | 2 years ago
Inside The Governor’s Defunct Nuclear Bomb Shelter
Out in the thick woods of West Nashville there’s an epic remnant of Cold War history. But it is largely unknown. The former fallout shelter where Tennessee’s governors would have gone in the case of nuclear attack has rarely appeared in news stories. But a question to Curious Nashville revealed that a local businessman now owns the unusual underground facility — and after a tour and other research and interviews, the history is no longer hidden. Credits: Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez, with editing by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg, audio mastering by Carl Pedersen. Web production and promotions by Mack Linebaugh and Elle Turner. The theme music is by Podington Bear.
12 minutes | 2 years ago
The Construction Pit That Became Known As A Lake — And What’s Happening Now
A massive Nashville development includes a construction pit that is eight stories deep. It looks like a quarry, with sheer cliffs carved into the gray limestone. But when the project stalled, the hole filled with water, and it became nicknamed "Lake Palmer,” after its struggling developer. The project has been raising questions ever since, but now a new owner has started work at the site. WPLN’s Jason Moon Wilkins interviews Adam Sichko, senior reporter with the Nashville Business Journal, about the history and future of “Lake Palmer.”
13 minutes | 2 years ago
Whatever Happened To The Red Grooms Carousel, And Why It Could Come Back
It’s been 15 years since the Tennessee Foxtrot Carousel — a whirling artistic marvel by pop artist Red Grooms — was taken down from the Nashville riverfront. Its wild figurines, which depict famous Tennesseans, were put into storage. Yet the legend of the carousel lives on. And now there’s hope that the carousel’s riverboats, giant banjos, mountain scenery and crazy caricatures will spin again. WPLN Senior Editor Chas Sisk has been reporting on the fate of the carousel for three years, and opens up his notebook to share fascinating nuggets of history and his latest findings about its future. CREDITS: Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez, with editing by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg, audio mastering by Carl Pedersen, and web production by Mack Linebaugh. The theme music is by Podington Bear.
17 minutes | 2 years ago
Curious Convo: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Nashville Recycling
From plastic straws to old lightbulbs and shredded paper, it’s not always obvious what we’re allowed to recycle in Nashville. So after another wave of recycling questions to Curious Nashville, we’re back with a “lightning round” of fast answers, plus updates about changes coming to curbside recycling and the city’s attempt to gather glass from downtown honky tonks. Curious Nashville is a project of Nashville Public Radio. The executive producer is Tony Gonzalez, with editing by Emily Siner and Anita Bugg, audio mastering by Carl Pedersen, and web production by Mack Linebaugh. The theme music is by Podington Bear.
14 minutes | 2 years ago
Piranhas, Pink Elephants, And Other Wild Animal Mysteries Explained
Animals prompt unusual questions to Curious Nashville, so we delve into three: a rumor about piranhas, the history of the city’s first zoo, and the reason a large pink elephant has stood alongside Charlotte Pike for decades.
17 minutes | 3 years ago
How One Man Created A Peace Sign Visible From The Sky
From the proper vantage point it materializes unmistakably: A gigantic peace sign, cut into roughly 3 acres of forest next to the Nashville International Airport. It can appear to anyone browsing satellite photography, and to air travelers like Nashville attorney Kelsey Bridges. She was the first person (of four) to ask Curious Nashville about what she’d seen. "There’s a giant peace sign, visible only from an aerial view, carved out of a wooded area near the airport. Who’s responsible for it?"
16 minutes | 4 years ago
What Happens When The Wrong Stuff Gets In The Recycling Bin?
For most people, recycling means placing an empty soda can or some scrap paper in a blue bin. They might take that bin to the curb or to a drop-off site. But beyond that, the process is mysterious, filled with arbitrary rules and a vague reassurance that we’re doing the right thing for the environment. So WPLN listener Mark McCaw, an avid recycler, asked us this question: "What happens if I put the wrong item in the recycling bin?"
12 minutes | 4 years ago
Remembering America’s Deadliest Train Crash
Even many Nashville natives don’t know about the head-on train crash at Dutchman’s Curve on July 9, 1918. It killed 101 people — mostly African Americans — and by most counts remains the deadliest train accident in American history. We started looking into it after listener named Russell asked us this question as part of our Curious Nashville series: "I’d like to know more about the wreck at Dutchman’s Curve. How did it happen and what changes resulted from it?"
18 minutes | 4 years ago
The Life And Death Of An Old House In Boomtown
We tackle a question that’s elemental to Nashville these days: What happens to the waste when old houses get demolished? To explore the subject, WPLN’s Meribah Knight picked a house in Inglewood and followed it from demolition permit to landfill. Then she tracked down the family that called it home for more than 50 years.
20 minutes | 4 years ago
The Year Jimi Hendrix Jammed On Jefferson Street And How It Still Reverberates
Before he was an international superstar, Jimi Hendrix spent a year on Nashville’s Jefferson Street. It’s a chapter in Hendrix’s musical life that many biographers gloss over. We explain why he came here — and what it says today about the city’s most prominent African-American neighborhood. Our question comes from Curious Nashville listener Joe Gramelspacher: "I understand that Jimi Hendrix played on Jefferson Street. What is the musical history of Jefferson Street?"
13 minutes | 5 years ago
‘Water Witching’ And The Search For Unmarked Graves
This episode wanders into supernatural territory in the search for unmarked graves. It began innocently enough: A listener asked us about Nashville’s oldest structures. But as we visited some of the city’s oldest homes, we found family graveyards that date back 200 years or more — and some owners, it turns out, relied on a generations-old practice with mysterious power to find unmarked graves. Which led us to the question: What’s up with “water-witching” in Nashville?
15 minutes | 5 years ago
How We Got Left With A Nice Station And No Passenger Train
The Curious Nashville inbox has received several variations on the same question: What happened to passenger rail service in Nashville? Residents are right to be curious. Nashville is one of the largest cities in the country to have no rail connection to another city.
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