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Canvas

We, Chestnut Hill

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If you are driving into downtown from Nolensville Road, you can’t miss it. Thousands of people zipping by in their cars (though slow down for that curve!) are urged to visit the neighborhood’s community gardens. Chestnut Hill, a small community situated roughly  between 4th Avenue South, Lafayette Street, and the Trevecca Nazarene University campus, struggles to maintain its identity in the face of gentrification. It’s a mix of modest 19th and early 20th-century homes, recovering areas of urban blight, and brand new condos and boxy modern homes. Much of it is walking distance to downtown (well, if you are in decent shape), so it will likely be tough in the long run for lower income residents to hang on. It’s definitely a place to pay attention to. The mural here is actually a canvas banner, rare but not unheard of.

Located on the northwest corner of the underpass beneath the railroad bridge near the corner of Ensley Boulevard and Carney Street. Ensley is the one-way strip of road that connects northbound Nolensville Road with 2nd Avenue South. This is the 1500 block of Ensley. The only nearby parking is across the street at Trax. Street parking is iffy on Ensley, though there’s a gravel lot about a half block down from Trax.

An icon under the bridge, revisited 


When I first saw this Dough Joe portrait of Miles Davis on Herman Street underneath the D. B. Todd Blvd. bridge, I did not realize it was a canvas. You don’t see many of those in outdoor art, but the bridge helps to protect it. The lettering below has changed recently. What used to be a very simple “Inspiration Place” has become an exuberant “Love the Hood.” The portrait of the white-haired gentleman is someone I recognize but can’t name, and is newer than the other two. I also include a stencil that may or may not be a Norf Collective production like the rest of this.

Located below the Dr. D. B. Todd Jr. Blvd. overpass on Hernan Street, between 18th and 19th Aves.

I featured the Hendrix portrait in An icon under the bridge.

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