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Beyond the Vanderbubble

Vanderbilt is a wonderland trapped inside a crystal ball, surrounded by an undiscovered land of adventure and exploration. Last Saturday, I untucked my baby-soft duvet as rain pattered on the windows. I slipped on a sundress along with my green Hunter rain boots, a Vanderbilt must-have, and plodded into Hillsboro for breakfast at Fido. Soon after breakfast, I returned to my dorm room and rode a cab over to East Nashville along with several of my friends, where the “Feastival” was occurring!

As soon we arrived, I was drawn to a small shop, Green Wagon, housed in a green Victorian home on the corner of the block. As we cracked open the door, the aromas of the organic soaps filled the air. The walls were covered in band posters and art. We crept into the back room, where we found a plethora of vintage clothing. My favorite treasure was a synchronized swimmer’s bathing cap. The cap was covered in picturesque flowers, similar to the bathing caps that the Evil Stepsisters wore in the classic Hilary Duff throw back, A Cinderella Story.

The next hidden find was a store, The Hip Zipper, tucked into a miniature strip of shops. The store was a gold mine of vintage shoes, jewelry and clothing. All of the items were reasonably priced, and the quality was unreal! I was able to purchase 4 pieces of vintage jewelry for $15! My favorite piece was a silver vintage bracelet adorned with multi-colored stones. The Hip Zipper also offered an extraordinary collection of vintage sunglasses – all for under 20 dollars.The employees at the store were incredibly helpful and even gave me a list of vintage shops all throughout Nashville!

Since the “Feastival” was occuring, the streets were filled with food trucks and local artisans. One of the best food trucks at the fest was The Grilled Cheeserie. It’s even trackable on an iPhone application!

I was also fortunate enough to taste the best icecream in the world, Jeni’s Ice Cream, which is also located in East Nasvhille. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a world-reknowned company with various sorbets, frozen yogurts, and signature flavors! But the adventure didn’t end with ice cream, especially when I discovered Turnip Truck, Nashville’s privately owned organic market. The store sold an abundance of alternative medicines, chocolates, trail mixes, teas, housemade salads, and sandwiches. The market was esentially Whole Foods on a smaller scale. I was able to take home a variety of snacks for my dorm room!

All in all, East Nashville was a great way to indulge in the true culture of Tennessee outside of the “Vanderbubble.” I recommend that all students take a step outside of campus and experience all of the unique shoppping and food that Music City has to offer! It’s never too late to take the road less traveled! 

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