Thursday, May 20, 2010

Percy & The Parthenon

I recently finished reading the last book in the Percy Jackson series. I loved this series from book one as I mentioned in an earlier blog. Nashville’s Parthenon was featured in a scene in the Percy Jackson movie, The Lightning Thief (but not in the book).

I hear that the Parthenon’s tourist traffic has increased due to this moment in the spotlight. I visited the Parthenon recently and want to share some fun facts and photos here.

The Parthenon sits in Nashville’s Centennial Park. It is a full-scale replica of the ancient temple of Athena in Athens, Greece that was destroyed in 1687. Nashville’s Parthenon was built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. The building housed an art exhibition that was shown four years before at the Chicago World’s Fair. The Parthenon was built of temporary materials so unfortunately the building began to deteriorate. It was rebuilt in 1920 and opened to the public in 1931.

The ancient Parthenon was converted to a Christian church in the 6th century A.D. and many of the figures representing gods and goddesses were removed. No one knows for sure how many figures were on the original Parthenon. Figures in the Nashville Parthenon are casts made from the original sculpture fragments of the ancient Parthenon. Those sculpture fragments are located in the British museum.

The Parthenon houses a full-scale replica of Athena standing 41 feet 10 inches tall. Work began on the statue in 1982 and it was unveiled in 1990.

For more info on the Parthenon’s hours and its history, visit the site.

Photos by: John A. Parker

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Live from Nashville

Last night I took the family to Music City Roots, a live radio show broadcast weekly from the Loveless Barn. A trip to see and hear Music City Roots live and in person involves some of my favorite things, live music and driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway for a bit (the Loveless Barn is located just off the northern edge of the parkway). We also threw in dinner at the Loveless Café, a Parker ritual after a trip on the Trace.

Last night’s performers were:

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Jessica Stiles

Dana Cooper

Two Man Gentleman Band

Jim Lauderdale

Music City Roots is broadcast on WSM 650 AM, the same station that is home to the weekly Grand Ole Opry radio show. Music City Roots is in its first year of life and I have heard it referred to as the Baby Opry. At $10 for grown-ups and $5 for students, you can’t beat this value for live roots music.

If you are not in the Nashville area, you can listen to Music City Roots each Wednesday at 7:00 pm CST online.

I plan to go to another show, hear more music, and buy the t-shirt.