The Nashville International Auto Show showcases rovers from the entire automotive spectrum, including classics and new models from major manufacturers, as well as the latest environmentally friendly machines. Feel free to mount the finely upholstered saddles of more than 200 debut motor-carriages like the Chevrolet Cruze, Acura TSX Sports Wagon, and Cadillac CTS Coupe, or pedal to the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Camaro Concept exhibit, which provides an up-close look of the ethanol fuel-powered car's custom paint job, advanced performance parts, and detachable beard.
With a background in studying guns of different sizes, calibers, and eras of history, Frank Melloni turned his passion into a career by founding Renaissance Firearms Instruction. But it's perhaps his appearance on the History Channel's Top Shot that his customers find the most impressive. At Renaissance, along with his fellow instructors, Frank demonstrates proper handling of weaponry in eight classes. Some of these sessions follow NRA course outlines while others were designed by Frank himself, including one on familiarization with historic guns. For time spent outside the classroom, they direct students to several local ranges with which Renaissance Firearms Instruction is affiliated.
Valastro International Academy's staff of experienced law-enforcement officials teaches visitors responsible firearms operation and safe handling inside a private training facility. Classes acquaint clients—from everyday citizens to experienced security guards—in defensive tactics, such as retaining a firearm during a confrontation and defusing an altercation with observational humor. Beyond teaching humans how to defend themselves, Valastro's instructors also include canine trainers who lead basic obedience and housebreaking classes and teach dogs advanced skills such as search-and-rescue and narcotics detection.
Gotham Dream Cars lets drivers grip the throttle of exotic speed machines such as the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Bentley Continental GT for personal rental or specialized thrill experiences. During the Dream Car Sprint, auto enthusiasts slip into a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a closed course and whip their more than 500-horsepower drive three times around the autocross track, learning how to tame their power with the aid of an instructor before coming out of the third lap on a straightaway to open the engine up to its full potential. Drivers conduct an orchestra of firing pistons and camshafts for three laps before crossing the finish line and parking to the pianissimo of the softly purring V8 engine. Gotham Dream Cars snaps pictures of the sprint, so drivers are sent home with hands they will never wash and a CD of images to parade before jealous coworkers and humbled shopping carts.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.