Back in NYC on a gorgeous fall-esque, big, puffy cloud, blue-sky day and thinking about the trip to Nashville this past weekend. Eco RDN hit the road super early Saturday morning for this year’s FNCE. For those of you that are not dietitians or culinary nerds F-N-C-E stands for Food Nutrition Conference and Expo. FNCE is the annual conference and expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is also the world’s largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. Registered dietitians are required to maintain registration by completing continuing education credits (CPEUs), 75 in a five-year period, in order to keep themselves current and relevant in their field (how else can we call ourselves “the nutrition experts”). FNCE provides educational sessions, lectures, briefings and culinary demonstrations that provide a certain number of said CPEUs. This year’s event was in Nashville, Tennessee held at the Music City Center.
On May 28th 2013 the Music City center opened it’s doors, built to replace the rapidly aging Nashville Convention Center, and also added an addition of a 800 Omni Hotel along with an expansion of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s facilities. For the sustainability dorks: In June 2013, the Music City Center was named the winner of the 2013 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in the Building Green category and is LEED Gold certified for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council. This means the facility uses 20% less energy and 40% less water on average than conventionally designed buildings of the same type. Items recycled at the venue include cardboard, mixed paper and other paper products, aluminum, plastic, pallets/ wood waste, toner/ paint cartridges, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, food waste (however, I did not see bins for this) and electronics. The green roof may be MCC’s coolest feature, designed to mimic the rolling hills of Tennessee, spanning four acres and composed of 14 different types of vegetation and waterproofing membrane. The green roof allows more room for plants, insects and wildlife in a limited urban setting. It helps to lower urban air temperatures by reducing the “heat island effect” and also helps fight against air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Instead of a traditional hotel Eco RDN opted for lodging at Nashville Downtown Hostel to be “green” and to save some “green” (money that is). This place was great, friendly staff, free coffee & tea, wifi throughout, shared kitchen, comfy lounge space and interesting travelers from all over the world. The building sits directly in front of the Cumberland River waterfront and blocks away from Broadway and Nashville’s tourist attractions.
Nashville is the state capitol of Tennessee, but it is probably more famously known as “America’s country music capitol” or “Music city.” Nashville is home of the Grand Ole Opry, the stage in which many legends of country, bluegrass, folk and gospel music got their start. Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff
, Minnie Pearl, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and the Dixie Chicks are just some of the names. Elvis Presley had one performance at the Grand Ole Opry before he was politely asked to never return, suppose the world was not quite ready for rockabilly and those wild hip-thrusting movements. Another music great, Johnny Cash, first performed on the Grand Ole Opry in 1956 and his memory lives on at The Johnny Cash Museum just down the street. Interesting side fact: Al Gore and Johnny Cash were close friends, Cash campaigned for Gore when he ran for president in 1988.
Live music in bars, recorded music on street corners, yee-haws, hoots & hollers seemed to be the norm on Nashville city streets. Most of the time unsure of where the music/ hollers originated from, then turning around to find Nashville Pedal Tavern and/ or Sprocket Rocket Party Bike slowly following you down the road. Both companies offer partial pedal powered (~80%), beer and booze (BYOB) swilling tours of lower Broadway and surrounding area. Don’t worry, there is a sober employee of the company driving/ steering the vehicle at all times! If you are, however more inclined to ride a bike solo and hopefully sober, B cycle bike share operates in Nashville as well as many other US cities.
More to come on Nashville, B cycle and FNCE next post…
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