“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”
That is exactly what it felt like as I got out of my car in downtown Nashville late Saturday night. It was a surreal moment, an eerie moment. Paraphrasing a line from the Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive, I never heard so much NOTHING on a Saturday night in downtown Nashville. I did not have to worry about social distancing myself from anyone because there wasn’t anyone to keep my distance from. It was as if I had downtown Nashville all to myself.
Those who follow me know I like the solitude of a late night stroll through the city with my camera. This shutter therapy is a good way to unwind and also to reflect. I’ve done this in Nashville on a few occasions, but this time it was different. If you’ve been to Music City on a weekend night or any night, you know that music can be heard throughout the heart of downtown. This music is a mixture of live performances in the bars and on the streets as well as music playing from speakers installed throughout the downtown area. The sounds of party goers can be heard at every turn. Pedal taverns with the bride to be and the woo girls never let me down when they see my camera. They are always ready to have their picture taken. Hustlers are out trying to make a buck selling tickets to the latest event or any other merchandise that can be sold. The homeless and some of the less fortunate are camped out with signs asking for help. Cruisers with there fancy cars and trucks ride up down Broadway and Second Avenue. The sidewalks are shoulder to shoulder with out-of-towners. The list goes on. Enter the Coronavirus, Covid-19. This virus has brought Music City to a screeching halt. Covid-19 has effectively muted Music City. I would have never thought I could stand in the middle of a busy intersection on Broadway on a Saturday night and take my time to set up a shot. The silence was deafening.
I’m glad I made the decision to grab a few photos late Saturday night because I woke up the next morning to learn that the mayor of Nashville had issued a mandatory lockdown enforceable by law. This virus will be one for the books. I wanted to capture a few photos to preserve some memories from this moment in our history. I know these images represent a sad time, but I hope you enjoy the photos.
The locals know what it’s like to be in downtown Nashville on a weekend night. For those readers who are not familiar, below is a time-lapse video I made not too long ago on a weekend night in Music City. It gives you a good idea of the typical party atmosphere.
To pass some time while in this state of self-quarantine, below are a couple of street photography posts to further illustrate the atmosphere during a weekend night in the heart of downtown Nashville.
I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life time, and I hope never again. I pray that we get through this soon without a substantial loss of lives. I also pray that we come out of this with the wisdom of better insight on how to prepare for the next epidemic or pandemic. Despite all the negatives, it is very refreshing seeing the nation as well as the world work together for a common goal. I wished it didn’t take a war or a pandemic to bring us together, but I’ll take it. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Follow and Like my Facebook Page at Shuttering Thru Life to catch my next venture. Stay safe!