Astute OBSERVATIONS

Past observations, future resolutions

The year’s end has me feeling nostalgic for columns past and resolute for the coming year. In that spirit, I have gone back and read each of my missives in chronological order. I’ve also have been checking to see how astute my observations actually were.
     My inner Andy Rooney first reared his ugly head back in May of 2013. I expressed concerns about zealous crossing guards, and I offered some advice for the newly arriving hipsters:  Dudes, you’re in East Nashville — center of creativity. Stop following trends. Set them! Instead of affecting the look of Frank Serpico undercover at Big Pink, why not emulate the style of another ’70s icon, fictional NYC detective Theo Kojak? Go for the Savalas look. You can keep your fedoras!
     Sadly, my advice was not heeded. Shaved heads and “Who loves ya, baby?” have not supplanted the man bun. What can I say? Sometimes greatness is not recognized in its time. As for the future, I resolve to open a 24-hour tattoo removal shop on Gallatin Avenue. I’ll call it Gone in a Bl(ink).
     On parking: In 2015, I referred to parallel parking in East Nashville as the erectile dysfunction of the driving world. Of course I was late for a gig. My progress was impeded by a parade of beards and ankle boots. I felt my blood pressure begin to rise. A few beads of sweat dotted my brow. Where are you, parking space? Let me in!
     Perhaps you remember the rest. It didn’t end well. Two years on and my parallel parking performance anxiety has not abated, and now we have pay lots! I resolve to not put one dime in a pay lot in my neighborhood, ever! You shouldn’t either. I don’t think business owners should charge customers a parking fee to spend money at their stores. It’s like paying twice. Here’s another resolution: Lets all bike more!
     On beer: Brew and serve your craft beer. Pat yourself on the back. Sniff approvingly at the complexity of your beverage. Spend mightily! If you simply cannot abide having the likes of a Miller Lite or Budweiser mingling in the same ice with your raspberry wheatcake amber lager, charge a corking fee!
     I’m going to declare a win on this one. As more bars open in the neighborhood, I have happily noticed the inclusion of low priced domestic beer alongside all of the hoppy insanity. I resolve to support these businesses with my hard-earned dollars. You should, too, as long as you don’t have to park in a pay lot when patronizing them.
     On unscrupulous real estate developers: 2014. I hate you. You suck.
     Resolution? They still suck. 
     On music, 2016: To be able to make music with some of the best musicians playing today blows my mind. The scene we have going on in East Nashville right now is the stuff that gets written about in history books.
     This was true then as it is now. Resolution? Keep rocking!
     On cooking: In July of 2014 I gave my mom a call to ask her about her tomato sauce recipe. August 1950. The Bronx, New York. My mom, Mary Moffitt, fresh outta high school with typing and steno skills sharpened, lands a job as a secretary in the advertising department of the biggest newspaper in the world at that time, the New York Daily News.
     It was there that mom learned good friend and coworker Anne Galdi’s recipe for the tomato sauce I grew up eating and cook to this day. Anne’s mom shared the old country goodness with my mom, and she shared it with me. It’s a great sauce.
     I lost my mom in June of 2016. In looking back at my past columns, the one about the tomato sauce is particularly special to me because it made Mom laugh to remember the story, and it made her happy that I wanted to write about her. These days, I’ve got her pots and pans and recipes. When I cook with them, I remember her.
     It’s good to look to the past and bring the good times with us into the future. I resolve for the coming year to savor the good times and appreciate the people and places that make our community the beautiful place that it truly is. You should, too. Happy New Year, neighbors!