Archive for the ‘Germantown & North End’ Category

The Pritchard House. That has a pretty nice ring to it, right?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Front of house, October 2008Went to Metro Archives over lunch to meet with a woman named Debie Cox. Karsten was put in touch with her by someone at a party when he mentioned that we’d had little success in tracking down info about our house. After Debie found out which house was ours, she apparently got intrigued. Normally, she says, she doesn’t do research for homeowners — she’ll just tell people how to do the research themselves. But she got intrigued and dug up tons of good background info about the house.

Long story short, it looks like our house was probably built around 1849. It was probably built by a fellow named Pritchard, and he probably lived there for a few years before selling it in 1855 to someone named Collette for the whopping price of $2000. It probably is the oldest house in the Germantown neighborhood, but it is almost certainly not the oldest brick house in Nashville, as we’ve been told. It is, of course, one of the oldest houses in Nashville, period.

So anyway, we saw lots of maps and deeds and whatnot, and Karsten’s going back to make copies of it all for our own files and to pass on to the next homeowner whenever we finally decide to sell it (which won’t be for a long time, I don’t think).

This stuff fascinates me. I’m glad we found our way into a mystery house; it’s been a fun adventure.

Gardens Gone Wild!

Sunday, October 5th, 2008


Gardens Gone Wild!

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

Our garden has gone almost all summer without maintenance (darn my
pesky thyroid), and it really shows. We haven’t been too concerned
about it, figuring my health us more important than a perfectly
manicured front yard, and anyway perfectly manicured was never our
style, so it’s been sort of a Darwinian exercise in garden tough love.
But next Saturday our house will be on the neighborhood homes tour, so
it was high time to give the garden a quick cleanup.

Karsten’s up on an extension ladder cleaning the top windows (he won’t
let me take a picture of him, though), so I tried to muster the
stamina to do the yard work myself, but I only got as far as weeding
(LOTS of weeding, actually), pruning, and trimming the established
plants, and loosely digging around to position the new plants.
Tomorrow, if my energy is right for it, I may do some mulching. But
just at this moment, I think the rest of the planting is up to
Karsten, and all I have any energy left for is, well, posting this
here picture. Enjoy. :)

Drinkhaus - our new neighborhood coffee shop

Sunday, August 10th, 2008


Drinkhaus - our new neighborhood coffee shop

Originally uploaded by Kate O’
Very excited about this cool new coffee shop with tasty drinks and a
lot of style.

Check it out: http://www.drinkhaus.com/

Making this big old world seem smaller

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Rock on! One of my favorite neighbors recently moved to Shanghai but is now on Facebook. The internets have become useful again.

Fighting crime with bunny ears

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Fighting crime with bunny ears
Fighting crime with bunny ears,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

At the North End Night Out Against Crime: S-townMike, me, & Hutchmo. This is picture #2 because they wanted to suck in their guts. Of course, my own gut looks unjustly large in this shot, but I’m going with it because that’s just the kind of crime-fighting neighbor and friend I am.

That’s not me making the bunny ears, by the way. I’m being framed!

I can’t think of a subject stupid enough

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

I backed out of the backyard into the alley this morning — naturally, we’re parking out back these days — and was detoured when I got to the end of the alley by Morgan Park Place construction blocking my normal route out to I-65. So I didn’t drive by the front of our house, as I like to do each morning.

Ten minutes later, I got a call from Karsten asking if I’d driven by the front of the house this morning. Strange that he should ask, I thought. No, why?

Well, apparently, someone nicked seven boxwoods from our front yard garden.

Let me just repeat that. Some clever burglar determined it worth his or her while to yank boxwood shrubs out of our garden. Small ones! I mean, have you seen our garden? I’m definitely not claiming it’s the most splendorous garden in all of the South or anything, but it’s got some pretty nice plants in it. The underwhelming hedge we’ve been attempting to grow with a bunch of young boxwood plants is pretty much the least appealing thing in the yard. And this wasn’t just a random act of boredom — someone took the time to grab seven of these things.

Now of course after explaining all of that, I’ll admit that I’m now dreading the disappearance of nicer plants in the garden — they’re sure to be the next to go.

Karsten and I have been told by folks who’ve lived in the neighborhood for a while that plant thefts used to be more common when some vendors at the Farmer’s Market used to buy plants from folks off the street to resell them, no questions asked. We’ve heard that this practice has been discontinued, so I have no idea what the boxwood thief is planning to do with the young shrubs. By ripping them out of the ground as he or she apparently did, the thief probably shocked them enough that they won’t do well when replanted (especially since pretty much all vegetation is still in recovery mode from the Great Easter Freeze), so if the idea was to plant the boxwoods, it’s not likely to be a happy outcome. Maybe I’m mean-spirited, but somehow that makes me feel a little better.

Also worth noting is that, a few weeks ago, someone apparently stole a young but still pretty large tree from the front yard of the house next door (which is for sale — the missing tree was noticed about an hour before they were having an open house). Earlier that day, I’d seen a guy riding by on a bike carrying a shovel. Not to say that’s related, but it could be. Apparently it wouldn’t be the first plant theft in the neighborhood involving a getaway bike, believe it or not.

We were already planning to install a period-appropriate iron hoop-and-spear fence, but all this makes me want to get right on it. (We already have enough motivation because of the bird feeders that keep getting stolen.) Karsten’s calling the guy today to see when we could get started.

Changing the front of our house and the ever-changing housing front

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Good news – we got our loan to do our front porch / entryway work! Yay! What’s especially cool about this is that when we went into the banks to start the application process, we told them what we thought the value of our house was but we aimed pretty high, knowing that the appraiser would most likely be coming in to say “yep, it’s worth that much” or not. Somehow the numbers got mixed up, though, and the mortgage guy gave an even higher figure to the appraiser, who came back saying it wasn’t worth quite that much, but placed it almost exactly at the figure we originally gave. So in just about two years’ time, our house has increased in value by over 60% of what we bought it for. Not too shabby! Some of that is directly attributable to the appreciation of home values in our neighborhood overall, of course, but the new windows and some of the other work we’ve done were factors in the increased value, as well, so that feels good.

Anyway, this means that our front porch and entryway work can begin in the next few weeks, and the bulk of it should be done by late spring. The only part that will probably have to wait is painting, which will likely happen in the fall. And for the next little while, we’ll have to use our back door only, which will be weird. But I think it’s going to look great. I can’t wait.

(more…)

The crime level WAS nice and low…

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

S-townMike over at Enclave reports on a lock-down that occurred last night during the Salemtown neighborhood meeting (and then updates the story to clarify that the robbery actually took place on the edge of Germantown).

John H & Lynn mentioned the lock-down when we saw them a little while ago, and we were all talking about how many sirens we’ve been hearing the past few nights. There have also been a lot of police helicopters (cop-copters?) flying overhead with searchlights and all. It’s not unusual to hear a siren every so often, but in the past two evenings sirens have been more like our constant companions. And those searchlights are definitely weirding out the cats.

Can’t tell if it’s all related to the one robbery, or if there’s more.

Strange that it can feel so peaceful and relaxed in this neighborhood (like walking around taking pictures of holiday lights) while all this crime-fighting is going on.

Long line at polling place, North Nashville

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Long line at polling place, North Nashville
Long line at polling place, North Nashville,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

I also posted this over at Nashville Metroblogging, but check out these lines out the door by 7:20 AM.

Party recap

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Oktoberfest looks to have been a big success for the Historic Germantown neighborhood, and our party was a blast. Thanks to everyone who came and partied with us, and my apologies to anyone I may have offended by suggesting they patronize the beer vendors while the festival was still running. We bought plenty of beer from the beer vendors ourselves. Yessir, plenty of beer. Yowch.

We probably had 80 people come through our house on Saturday. Bunches of people from the neighborhood, scads of coworkers and some former coworkers, quite a few songwriters and musicians, and some random good friends from who-knows-where. And 2 dogs. (Luckily, the cats were locked up in the office/studio/cat room for most of the day.)

We had drunk people climbing the scaffolding, but no falls. We had people from across the political spectrum, but no brawls. We had over a dozen people on our front stairs, and they didn’t collapse. All in all, a good day.

Bird feeders stolen AGAIN - email to our neighbors

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Germantown & Salemtown friends,

After losing several bird feeders to theft a few months ago and taking elaborate measures to secure what remained, this morning Karsten and I discovered our bird feeder pole and remaining feeders were gone. Not only gone, but the thief or thieves apparently got frustrated trying to remove them intact and bent the pole back and forth to break it off near the ground.

And actually, we were forewarned: yesterday we found that a small feeder had been stolen from the south side of the house, and the handle on one of the secured feeders in the front yard was twisted, as if someone had tried to break it off from the pole.

Not only are we frustrated at the property loss (the last theft included about $60 worth of feeders — this time, the dollar value is more like $150), but it’s upsetting on a much more significant level: the feeders were a memorial of sorts to my father, who always loved feeding the birds in his own yard.

Anyway, I filed a police report, and I’m letting you all know so you can be aware of the trend. You probably already know to secure your possessions, but here’s a disappointing reminder to be extra cautious.

Take care and be safe,

- Kate O’ at [home address]