Getting There.

When I got the notice to report for jury duty the first thing my wife asked was, “How will you get there?” which was better than the first thing I asked: “Will they give us legal pads?” because she’s more practical. But then it didn’t take much for me to figure out that I’d take the bus because the courthouse is somewhere downtown. Even though I’ve lived in Nashville most of my life I don’t know where a lot of things in the city are, a fact that was really brought home to me my freshman year in college in Indiana and a group of my friends suggested a day trip to Nashville and I said, “Sure, I’d really like to see it” and everyone stared at me. I assumed they meant Nashville, Indiana, which is where every person from Indiana I’ve ever met has assumed I’m talking about when I say I’m from Nashville. Anyway they meant Music City, which is a nickname for Nashville, Tennessee, not to be confused with Music City, Iowa, which, if you’ve ever been there, you’ll know is egregiously misnamed, but that’s another story. About midday while we were driving around downtown someone said, “We should get lunch,” and everyone agreed and looked at me, and I said, “Yeah, of course, I’m all for lunch, it’s the most important midday meal of the day,” and everyone kept staring at me because they expected me to know a place to go for lunch, but even though there were places I knew they were all in a completely different part of town, so we ended up going to Chinatown, which is not a specific neighborhood of Nashville the way it is in New York or San Francisco but a restaurant called Chinatown.
Anyway it occurred to me that I should do a test run and find out where exactly the courthouse I’m supposed to report to is, so I caught a bus downtown. And I had an advantage I didn’t have in college: Google Maps. According to it the building is just a five minute walk from the bus depot which is a terrible overestimate. The Justice A.A. Birch Building is a less than two minute walk and turned out to be pretty conspicuous.

I was able to make it down there, figure out where I was going, and get back all on my lunch break. And taking the bus is definitely the way to go because the parking downtown is terrible.
That’s something I’ve learned from having lived here most of my life.

15 Comments

  1. Grace

    It was after I went to Europe twice that I realized even though I commuted to Chicago for college, and it’s only an hour away I haven’t taken the time to enjoy anything the city has to offer since grade school field trips. Now that you have figured out how to get there, don’t leave without your free legal pad

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s amazing how much we can take the places where we live for granted, and even more amazing how much they have to offer. Although I’ve been to Chicago a few times and it always seems overwhelming with how much it does offer. I never know where to start.

      Reply
  2. Use Your Thinkball

    I can definitely relate to all this. I lived my first 30 years 7 miles from DC, but DC is something we avoided. DC was for field trips. I worked there for a while, but took the subway. People would come in from out of town and expect to be shown around. Ha! I have a trip scheduled up there soon for my niece to show ME around. I also tend to do a dry run before I go somewhere the first time. Hubby laughs at me. But I am never ever late for anything 🙂 It’s like you and me are twins or something.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Doing a dry run is always a good idea and it was a chance for me to get down to downtown Nashville. And I know how hard it is to get around DC, just from my own school trips there. At least it’s a city with some decent public transportation.

      Reply
  3. Arionis

    I can see what you mean about the terrible parking. In that picture it looks like someone is getting towed. Possibly from illegal parking?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Possibly that is someone getting towed. I think they’re pretty tough on illegal parkers around here. And downtown is crazy with one-way streets all over the place.

      Reply
  4. Allison

    I moved here at age 30, and since I was changing everything over to my legal married name, I drove all over Nashville.

    There are still neighborhoods I’m not totally comfortable navigating, but I’m surprised at how much geography I have learned in 13 years.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You pretty much have to learn the geography because so much of Nashville is so spread out. And you have to drive because the public transportation is so terrible.

      Reply
  5. Kristine @MumRevised

    I hope you were selected for jury duty. I’m on the list again and can’t wait to be sequestered from my family–or serve my civic duty. You choose.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I was not selected and we were told that even if we were picked we wouldn’t be sequestered. It occurs to me, though, that your family doesn’t need to know that. Even if you don’t get picked it’s a nice chance for a mini-vacation.

      Reply
  6. Ann Koplow

    You and Heywood Banks make getting there so much fun, Chris!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You help make being here a lot of fun too.

      Reply
  7. giacmc

    is there still a man on the courthouse steps surreptitiously passing out ‘jury nullification’ tracts?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      If there is he must have been over at the Kefauver building the day I had to go do jury duty.

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Getting Back. - Freethinkers Anonymous

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