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Eric Cox is a humanitarian, motivational speaker, and the founder of Community Soup, a youth enrichment program teaching life skills and fostering emotional intelligence. Eric Cox is also the author of Sign Up!, which is available online for purchase.
Why is Eric lovin’ Nashville right now?
I was born and raised in Nashville, so it’s kind of mind-blowing to drive around the city and visit places I grew up around and seeing the complete transformation. It’s bittersweet in a way. I love the development and seeing how Nashville has turned into this “Athens of the South.” It’s a beautiful thing; it’s just very different from the Nashville in my memories. I’m also loving the music in Nashville. Being born here, I’ve been exposed to all the different styles and genres of music. Music is a really big piece of being in Nashville.
I like to go to Percy Priest Lake when it’s nice outside. It’s calming and the lake is peaceful. It feels like it’s just you and God out there. I like to do some journaling or read when I’m there. If it’s a Saturday, you’ll find me volunteering at The Little Pantry That Could from 9 am to 1 pm. We serve roughly 200 families and when they sign up, we give them food for free that’s been donated to the pantry. I also might go to a park and run because I am a marathoner. I like Percy Warner Park. It’s where I had my first marathon and one of the stories in my book takes place at Percy Warner Park. It has a lot of hills so it’s great for training. I also enjoy hot yoga at Hot Yoga of East Nashville. It’s another way for me to stay in shape besides running. If it’s a Sunday, I got to Ray of Hope Community Church. We have 2 amazing pastors that are world-renowned speakers and sought out all the time.
In the afternoon, I’m looking to get a chance to write to myself or just have some great conversation, so I’ll visit The Bean Bag in Southeast Nashville. It’s black-owned. You can go there for coffee and other types of small meals. I also really like Dose Coffee and Tea and Ethio for other writing spaces and good coffee. I also might go grocery shopping at Maxwell’s, which is also black-owned and has been in Nashville for over 30 years. I like going to Rocky’s Wing Shack. I’m really close friends with Rocky himself. The wings are phenomenal. I also love Kool Runnings! It’s great authentic Jamaican food if you like those flavors. If it’s Sunday, I like Copper Kettle for brunch. Their chef is black, and they do a Soul Food Sunday brunch. It’s buffet style and you can get anything from biscuits and gravy to fried chicken, or turkey and dressing.
I love live shows, so I might see a music show at City Winery or TPAC. TPAC also has really good plays, and I’ve seen a few of them myself over this past year. For more music venue locations, I enjoy Cannery Ballroom, The Basement East, and of course The Ryman. If it’s a Sunday, I like Rivergate Skate Center. They have an adult night from 8 pm to midnight. It’s 21 and up and they’re always great. The last time I went, we had a traffic light party with the colors based on your relationship status. If you go on any Sunday night, expect a good crowd and a good time.
Greg Cason is an African American event planner, and he hosts private parties and events in Nashville. His business is called Inspired Concepts and Events, and they always have something great happening on Saturdays. I also love Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie. It’s like a little juke joint. Even though I didn’t grow up in that era, it’s really cool to go inside and be a part of that time. The live music is great and they play all night.
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