Hanging out with the city's storytelling honky-tonkers

From the April 22, 2002 Issue of New York

For real Nashville flavor, forget Opryland and Shania. Instead, check out the other Nashville -- the hangouts of the thinky songwriters who lie somewhere between folk and alt country. Daylight attractions are minimal, so stay out late at the Station Inn, where Gillian Welch often plays, or the local favorite for up-and-comers, Twelfth and Porter, where Lucinda Williams was once spotted making out with someone in the parking lot. Slow Bar, a honky-tonk in East Nashville with the best jukebox in town, is where Wilco's Jeff Tweedy broods when he's visiting. Sleep in at Four Walls, a bed-and-breakfast that eschews southern kitsch in favor of understated good taste, then have a cappuccino at nearby Bongo Java -- wait around to see Steve Earle and half of WFUV's lineup come in to do the same. Nurse your hangover with the spicy fried pickles at the burger joint Rotier's; make time later for the pistachio-crusted salmon at upscale Zola.

Delta has a daily nonstop flight from La Guardia (800-221-1212); Four Walls Bed & Breakfast (rooms start at $145, 615-292-7162); Station Inn (615-255-3307); Twelfth and Porter (615-254-7236); Slow Bar (615-262-4701); Bongo Java (615-385-5282); Rotier's (615-327-9892); Zola (615-320-7778).