Axios Nashville

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It is Friday. You know what that means.

β˜€οΈ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 66.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Nashville members Tim Sloan and Matthew Burke!

Today's newsletter is 902 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Readers give their Pilates recs

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It appears Axios Nashville readers are a bunch of rabid Pilates enthusiasts.

The intrigue: A few weeks ago, we reported on how Pilates is surpassing high-impact workouts like CrossFit as the most popular exercise trend.

  • We asked readers to explain why they like Pilates, as well as their favorite Nashville-area studios.
  • Readers responded in droves. We haven't gotten this many comments since Nate asked readers to help convince Adam to watch "The Office."

What they're saying: Kelsey K. brought her love of Pilates with her to Nashville when she moved here from Los Angeles. She says her favorite studio is True Form in Cool Springs.

  • "I wish we had the number of studios and the instructors like they have there [in L.A.]! A girl can dream," Kelsey says.

πŸ₯‡One of the most recommended studios was Forza Pilates, which opened recently in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. Katherine G. says "it's the most stunning place you've ever seen."

  • Jessi B. also suggests Forza, and she complimented owner Sydney Dumler for working with Pilates beginners.

πŸ’ͺ🏾 Stephanie R. says she relies on Club Pilates in the Capitol View neighborhood. "I am in my late 50s and need to strengthen/maintain muscle and improve my balance without getting injured," Stephanie says.

  • Club Pilates also got a shoutout from Julie L., who says she's been taking classes consistently for about three months. "I discovered Pilates after doing physical therapy for aching joints and I'm so glad I did!"

🧘 If you're looking for individual training or smaller class sizes, Lisa Q. recommends Nashville Pilates Company in Germantown near City House restaurant. She says it offers private lessons and group classes with no more than four people.

πŸ€• Several readers said Pilates is especially helpful if you have old sports injuries.

  • Yuri N. says he works out with a group of friends in a neighborhood park, and they start by doing "pre-hab" Pilates-like movements before their training.
  • "I'm 40 and have several injuries from past sports and moving to more of a 'restorative' mindset has helped me build resilience and core strength," he says.

What's next: Nate plans to visit one of these studios to get his teeth kicked in.

Go deeper for more Pilates studio recommendations

2. Lawsuit filed to block fairgrounds referendum

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

A Nashville race car driver filed a lawsuit yesterday to prevent a November referendum about affordable housing at the fairgrounds.

Why it matters: A group opposing a racetrack improvement plan wants to amend the city charter to swap out racing for affordable housing on the list of required programming at the Metro-owned fairgrounds.

  • They need to gather thousands of voter signatures in order to put the proposal on the November ballot.

Yes, but: Chancery Court will have to consider a new challenge from Nashville resident and race car driver Jonathan Dishman before the affordable housing group can begin collecting signatures.

  • The Metro Charter Revision Commission approved the charter amendment proposal. Dishman's lawsuit challenges the commission's action.

Flashback: Previous Mayor John Cooper reached an agreement to improve the fairgrounds racetrack and bring NASCAR events back to Nashville.

State of play: The plan stalled at the end of his term, and there's no sense that Mayor Freddie O'Connell's administration will actively pursue a new deal until after the November transportation referendum.

  • Opponents of the NASCAR plan are pushing the ballot measure because they hope it convinces city leaders not to invest taxpayer money in racetrack improvements.

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3. Planning your weekend: Comedians coming to town

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

πŸ˜‚ The Nashville Comedy Festival is bringing a raft of comedians to town starting today. Events will take place across several venues through April 21.

  • Jeff Dunham, who is known for his ventriloquism, will headline the festival with a performance this Sunday at Bridgestone Arena.
  • The full lineup includes shows from Lewis Black, Shane Gillis and Matteo Lane.
  • Our pick: Tim Robinson, known for his silly and strange Netflix sketch show "I Think You Should Leave," will bring a live version of the show to Ryman Auditorium on April 18.

🌸 The Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate spring and Japanese culture tomorrow in Public Square Park from 9:30am-5pm.

  • Highlights of the festival include a 2.5-mile walk to see the blossoming trees, Japanese music and dancing, a sampling of Japanese cuisine, activities for kids and a parade of pups in pink outfits.

πŸ˜‹ The Viva Spring Festival will bring a number of minority-owned food trucks together at Centennial Park tomorrow for a day of food, craft beer and family activities.

πŸͺ΄ It's a big weekend for plant lovers.

  • Cheekwood in Bloom, celebrating the beautiful buds at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, ends this weekend.
  • The Herb Society of Nashville is holding its annual plant sale tomorrow at the fairgrounds.

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4. The Setlist: Vanderbilt leader discusses protests

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

πŸ’¬ Vanderbilt University's chancellor discussed the fallout from a student protest last month, when police arrested multiple students and a Nashville Scene reporter. (Tennessean)

πŸ›οΈ Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that would stop first cousins from marrying. But there was pushback. (WSMV)

πŸ—³οΈ State Rep. Justin Jones' Republican challenger argues that Jones didn't get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot for re-election. (Nashville Banner)

5. The Friday News Quiz

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Let's wrap things up with a quiz.

  1. Name the Nashville barbecue master who is getting his own TV show.
  2. Who gave Belmont University its biggest-ever donation this week?
  3. Name one of the cities where Tennesseans we spoke with traveled to be in the path of totality for the solar eclipse.

✍️ Reply with your answers. We'll name-drop the smarties on Monday.

Our picks:

Nate's song of the day is "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" by AC/DC.

πŸ”Ž Adam is charmed by the new CBS mystery show "Elsbeth," which is reminiscent of "Columbo."

This newsletter was edited by Michael Graff and copy edited by Katie Lewis.