Curious Nashville | Nashville Public Radio

Curious Nashville

Tennessee State Library and Archives

 


In the decades before serene family homes occupied the Glendale neighborhood of South Nashville, exotic animals, lush vegetation and summertime whimsy filled the area. The Glendale Park Zoo sat seven miles outside of downtown, a place where animals roamed and children screamed at the drop of the wooden roller coaster ride.

Nashville MTA bus photo
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

We’ve asked you for your questions about the pending vote on Nashville’s mass transit plan. Now, we’re trying to answer them.

Nashville bus MTA
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

If passed, Nashville's multi-billion dollar transit plan, up for a vote May 1, would be the largest civic project the city has ever undertaken — yet polls show a large number of Nashvillians are still undecided. We want to know what would help you make a decision. 

Curious Nashville WPLN
Lee Hale / WPLN

Piranhas, tombstones, tunnels, and trains. Questions about Nashville road names. And even a query about how much it rains here. (The answer: Nashville does receive more annual rainfall than stereotypically soggy Seattle.)

These subjects, and many more, have made for a lively 2 years for Curious Nashville.

Sara Ernst / WPLN

Towering over Charlotte Pike in West Nashville, a life-sized pink elephant stands guard over the University Motors car dealership. The bubblegum-colored pachyderm sports a pair of black wayfarer sunglasses.

RetroLand U.S.A. via Flickr

Twenty years ago, Nashville had a theme park.

Opryland USA sat in a curve of the Cumberland River now home to a giant mall. It had roller coasters, Southern-themed restaurants and live country music revues. Memories of rides like the Screamin’ Delta Demon are still traded like gold among longtime Nashvillians — as are the rumors of why it all went away.

Daniel Potter / WPLN

There were rumors about sharks swimming in city waters after Hurricane Harvey, and urban legends about alligators in New York City sewers have been around for years.

But listener Sarah Stephenson has a question about another predator that allegedly lives in Music City:

“I have heard that during the 2010 floods, the Aquarium restaurant at Opry Mills lost a piranha or a barracuda. Is there any way to confirm?”

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Every weekday morning, public radio listeners across Middle Tennessee tune in to the dulcet voice of WPLN morning host Jason Moon Wilkins. Presumably, when they hear him, most listeners are interested in the news he's sharing and the local stories he's playing. But eventually, one anonymous listener started wondering about Jason Moon Wilkins himself, submitting this Curious Nashville question:

If Jason Moon Wilkins was in a line arranged alphabetically by last name for the rope climb in gym class, is he in the middle or at the end?

In bright yellow polo shirts, and often gliding through crowds on motorized Segways, the downtown Nashville “ambassadors” are easy to spot. And they’re seemingly omnipresent — working 16 hours a day, every day.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

What happens when you adapt a podcast episode into a puppet show?

Curious Nashville magic, that's what.

In May, we hosted a celebration of Nashville Public Radio's podcasts — called Podcast Party (fittingly) — at the Nashville Children's Theater. We teamed up with local puppeteers to produce a live animated version of one of our Curious Nashville episodes, The Life And Death Of An Old House In Boomtown.

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