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Old 07-14-2011, 10:26 AM
 
6 posts, read 5,604 times
Reputation: 10
Default Want to Move from NY to Nashville....

My husband and I grew up in north jersey (right outside nyc), lived in NYC, and now in NY state (right outside the city). We have been wanting to move to Nashville (Franklin, etc area) for a long time due to the insane cost of living here, horrible winters, lack of friendliness, and culture. If my husband finds a job down there we would love to move. I was wondering if those who live there could give me the worst and best things about living there?

(Keep in mind that we are conservative Christians who love country music, love outdoor activities (I am a horseback rider), crave community, etc so a negative about it not being liberal enough would not be a big deal to us lol.)

Also we have 3 sons, two of whom are black. Are there many trans-racial families in the area?

Thanks so much for the info. I just want to make sure its not a "grass is greener" case on our part, and want to hear the negative things!
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Music City, USA
4,903 posts, read 4,233,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaRobin View Post
My husband and I grew up in north jersey (right outside nyc), lived in NYC, and now in NY state (right outside the city). We have been wanting to move to Nashville (Franklin, etc area) for a long time due to the insane cost of living here, horrible winters, lack of friendliness, and culture. If my husband finds a job down there we would love to move. I was wondering if those who live there could give me the worst and best things about living there?
Your husband finding a job down here would be the number one priority IMO. While the economy here isn't as bad as a lot of places in the country, it's still very tight. Finding a job won't be especially easy. What field is he in?

I'll try to give you a best and worst...but that's highly subjective and varies from person to person. There are a number of pros and cons...just remember that in any case, Nashville and surrounding area is drastically different from NYC and surrounding area. While you are looking to escape the insane cost of living, horrible winters, lack of friendliness, and culture (what do you mean by that, btw -- specifically? It might help us better address your pros/cons questioning), there will ultimately be some trade-offs. It might be helpful to come up with a list of things you DO like about where you live now, some positive things, and see if any of them would carry over to here.

To start off with some more negative things (or things that are very different between Nashville and New York) about the area:

-Nashville is very spread out...ESPECIALLY compared to NYC. The five boroughs would easily fit inside of Davidson County (Nashville). To put it into perspective, the area of NYC (including water) is 468.9 sq mi, with a population of 8,175,000, whereas Nashville-Davidson County has an area (including water) of 526.1 sq mi, with a population of 626,000. Not only are there very suburban areas of the county, with cookie-cutter type housing, but on the periphery (especially to the west and north), it can be downright rural, with working farms in the area. This isn't a bad thing, per se...but it's just something that shows that it is a VERY different area.

-Public transportation exists here, but it is lacking in many regards. There are a number of bus lines that run into the city, but almost no cross town routes (getting from one part of town to another is almost impossible without going through downtown). The only routes that extend into the suburbs (outside of Nashville) are commuter routes that run once or twice a day in each direction (during rush hour). There are very few lines that run after dark. To my knowledge, only Franklin and Murfreesboro offer trollies and buses in the suburbs...but the routes are limited. There is a lone commuter rail line between Lebanon and Nashville (east side of town) -- but at this point, it doesn't save you any time.

-There are a number of places that don't have sidewalks here. Walking to stores, restaurants, and places like libraries and the post office is very difficult in most neighborhoods. Walking (or even biking) most places is quite difficult. There are a few exceptions in individual neighborhoods and parts of town...but a lot of sidewalks don't connect.

-Being a much smaller city, there are not as many things open late at night. No, they don't roll up the sidewalks at 8pm...but most stores close between 8-10pm. Some restaurants are open till midnight or later (especially if they have a bar component), but there are very few sections of town that are alive late at night...most notably the entertainment district in Downtown Nashville.

-Public schools here do not have a very high reputation. The major exception would be the Williamson County Schools (especially Brentwood and Franklin). Some other suburban school districts, or individual schools, perform pretty well...and the Metro Nashville Public Schools magnet program is top notch (although not a guarantee to get into). If schools are a concern, you should definitely do some research or ask around about specific areas. Choosing a house that is zoned for a specific school is pretty important, so if you're looking at public schools, be sure to know exactly where it is zoned for. There are several good private schools in the area, but tuition will run you $12,000-$20,000+ per child (with a small concession if you have multiple children attending, generally).

-While you are trading in your horrible winters, you will have to grow accustomed to long, hot, humid summers. 90 degree+ temperatures aren't uncommon for 5 months out of the year. From mid June through early September, it can be downright oppressively hot. There aren't a whole lot of breaks in temperature (low-mid 80s is a relief). So far, this July, we've had highs ranging from 84 to 100, with an average of 92.8. The heat index, though, has gotten as high as 112.

-Also, there will be more severe weather than you are accustomed to. There are a lot of severe thunderstorms, and they can produce tornadoes. Some people that move here are deathly afraid of the many tornado warnings and watches our local news puts out. Trust me, it's not as bad as some will say -- but it will be an adjustment for you. You shouldn't have to live in fear during the spring and some of the fall -- but you should still be mindful of all of the watches and warnings.

-Crime can be an issue in some areas. Generally, a lot of the violent crime in Nashville is concentrated specifically in certain areas. It's not as widespread as some would make you believe...but it can exist almost anywhere. Most of the suburbs are pretty safe. A lot of areas in Nashville are safe, too...but depending on what you're used to, there are some rough areas that you might avoid (although I would caution you about asking on this site, because literally no one will agree on what those areas are, outside of public housing projects).

-While Nashville is generally a friendly and welcoming place, not everyone is friendly. Nashville isn't a huge city, but it's no Mayberry, either. Car horns will toot, people can yell and say unkind things, just like any sizable city. Not everyone has manners, not every man is a gentleman, not every woman is a lady -- but, generally, if you are nice and kind, engage people, and say please and thank you, you will get a positive reaction from most of the crowd.

Others might have more cons to add (I'm sure they will), but the important thing is to not bring your expectations here that this is a perfect utopia. Nashville has many flaws, but in my mind, they are far outweighed by the benefits. I just think it is important for you to come here with an open mind, and decide things for yourself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaRobin View Post
(Keep in mind that we are conservative Christians who love country music, love outdoor activities (I am a horseback rider), crave community, etc so a negative about it not being liberal enough would not be a big deal to us lol.)
Conservative Christians who love country music? You're starting to fit the stereotype already!

In all honesty, you shouldn't have any issues on that front. I will say that being conservative, or a Christian, isn't a requirement to enjoy living here. There are liberals, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Athiests that live here, too...so there is some bit of diversity when it comes to that. In the end, though, there is definitely a large conservative Christian community here. Some on here complain that the place is too conservative...but I say there are plenty of opportunities for both (the city tends to be more liberal, while most of the suburbs are more predominately conservative -- you can find some crossover in both, though).

As far as community, I would say that is one place where we thrive. There is a sense of community in both the suburbs and the city. For the city, I think that contributes to outsiders saying that we are a big city with a small town atmosphere.

There are a number of outdoor activities here, especially when it comes to hiking and water sports. On a day trip, you can expand those activities to white water rafting, rock climbing, and hiking in the mountains (East Tennessee certainly has us beat in those categories). I don't know if you or your family have any interest in caves, or spelunking, but Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States (well over 8,000 and counting), due to its unique geology. Horseback riding, as you mentioned as a favorite, is definitely an option here. There are a large number of horse farms in Williamson County, and a number of city and state parks where you can go horseback riding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaRobin View Post
Also we have 3 sons, two of whom are black. Are there many trans-racial families in the area?
I don't know about "many" (don't have any statistics to back that up), but there definitely are trans-racial families here. I do not believe that would be a big issue here. A number of families have adopted both local and foreign children of different races than their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaRobin View Post
Thanks so much for the info. I just want to make sure its not a "grass is greener" case on our part, and want to hear the negative things!
That's definitely a good way to go about it. One should not move to a place strictly on impulse, with a jaded view of things. That only sets you up for disappointment. There are good and bad aspects to every city, and each individual and family will react differently to them.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Franklin, TN
2,460 posts, read 1,950,780 times
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I moved from Connecticut last year. It IS cheaper here. And it IS friendlier. The people across the street from us have a black son and a white son and seem quite happy. By "culture" did you mean "lack of culture" or the local culture? There is a lot going on down here but you really can't beat New York for the amazing amount of things going on there. In contrast, Nashville is very small. Winters are much milder and shorter BUT people freak out when it snows and schools can close for days with just a few inches.

It's slower here. Gentler.

Um, and at the moment RIDICULOUSLY hot!!!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:26 PM
 
3,160 posts, read 1,626,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryGirl2b= View Post
schools can close for days with just a few inches.
Sometimes schools even close without a single speck on the ground, they close out of fear of possible snow!
Our preschool sends out a cute note about this every year, trying to help parents from the Northeast/Midwest understand how we have "No Snow" Snow days.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:10 PM
 
46 posts, read 60,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentwoodgirl View Post
Sometimes schools even close without a single speck on the ground, they close out of fear of possible snow!
Our preschool sends out a cute note about this every year, trying to help parents from the Northeast/Midwest understand how we have "No Snow" Snow days.
Yes, I also used to get a chuckle out of closed school day alerts when I first moved to Nashville. But after moving to a residence located on a back road on top of a hill I soon learned why they do what they do and I now understand why they close the schools when the snow is so sparse. Do not forget that Nashville is hilly and that many people here live on rural back roads or side streets where they do not plow the snow. I have yet to see anyone shoveling their sidewalks after a storm in Nashville and the roads also get very icy. There is not a lot of snow in the winter but there can be dangerous ice. I could not go out driving for several days after the last ice storm here because even though the main roads were clear the hilly road that I live on was a complete unbroken sheet of ice for several days and there were plenty of accidents.

You should see the cars slide around on the roads when you get ice here! There isn't a safe way to drive on ice so it's best to stay at home on ice days.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Nashville
598 posts, read 1,179,795 times
Reputation: 629
Gee, vols gave that hugely informative post, and here we are, stuck on isolated snowflakes. And it's July.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:29 PM
 
3,160 posts, read 1,626,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IngleDave View Post
Gee, vols gave that hugely informative post, and here we are, stuck on isolated snowflakes. And it's July.
Wishful thinking?
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:34 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,604 times
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Default NashVols

Thanks so much for the info! I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. The negative things you mentioned actually are fine! Where we live (we are not in nyc anymore) there are no sidewalks (car is taken everywhere), we love farms and rural areas, I rather hot summers than horrible winters, with kids we are not out late anyway etc.

To your questions:

-By culture I mean the (in my opinion..so those that love this area dont attack me!) culture we have come to know of the Northern NJ/NY area: no sense of community, no one really knows or even talks to their neighbors so much so that if someone is friendly to someone it makes them suspicious and uncomfortable, family is often not a priority in life, not very friendly and much of the time downright nasty, constantly putting down anyone that believe in God or is conservative, the younger generation is totally lost because any kind of morals or kindness = weakness and stupidity etc. It might be stereotypical (but stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason!) I grew up here, my parents grew up here, and the reality is that although there of course are some awesome and kind people...the sterotypes are sadly true much of the time.

-My husband works in finance as well as being a head baseball coach of a top High school.

Tornadoes and crime are the two that worry me...but I think the fear of a tornado is prob much less than the fear of another terrorist attack we in NY live with so I would trade that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
Your husband finding a job down here would be the number one priority IMO. While the economy here isn't as bad as a lot of places in the country, it's still very tight. Finding a job won't be especially easy. What field is he in?

I'll try to give you a best and worst...but that's highly subjective and varies from person to person. There are a number of pros and cons...just remember that in any case, Nashville and surrounding area is drastically different from NYC and surrounding area. While you are looking to escape the insane cost of living, horrible winters, lack of friendliness, and culture (what do you mean by that, btw -- specifically? It might help us better address your pros/cons questioning), there will ultimately be some trade-offs. It might be helpful to come up with a list of things you DO like about where you live now, some positive things, and see if any of them would carry over to here.

To start off with some more negative things (or things that are very different between Nashville and New York) about the area:

-Nashville is very spread out...ESPECIALLY compared to NYC. The five boroughs would easily fit inside of Davidson County (Nashville). To put it into perspective, the area of NYC (including water) is 468.9 sq mi, with a population of 8,175,000, whereas Nashville-Davidson County has an area (including water) of 526.1 sq mi, with a population of 626,000. Not only are there very suburban areas of the county, with cookie-cutter type housing, but on the periphery (especially to the west and north), it can be downright rural, with working farms in the area. This isn't a bad thing, per se...but it's just something that shows that it is a VERY different area.

-Public transportation exists here, but it is lacking in many regards. There are a number of bus lines that run into the city, but almost no cross town routes (getting from one part of town to another is almost impossible without going through downtown). The only routes that extend into the suburbs (outside of Nashville) are commuter routes that run once or twice a day in each direction (during rush hour). There are very few lines that run after dark. To my knowledge, only Franklin and Murfreesboro offer trollies and buses in the suburbs...but the routes are limited. There is a lone commuter rail line between Lebanon and Nashville (east side of town) -- but at this point, it doesn't save you any time.

-There are a number of places that don't have sidewalks here. Walking to stores, restaurants, and places like libraries and the post office is very difficult in most neighborhoods. Walking (or even biking) most places is quite difficult. There are a few exceptions in individual neighborhoods and parts of town...but a lot of sidewalks don't connect.

-Being a much smaller city, there are not as many things open late at night. No, they don't roll up the sidewalks at 8pm...but most stores close between 8-10pm. Some restaurants are open till midnight or later (especially if they have a bar component), but there are very few sections of town that are alive late at night...most notably the entertainment district in Downtown Nashville.

-Public schools here do not have a very high reputation. The major exception would be the Williamson County Schools (especially Brentwood and Franklin). Some other suburban school districts, or individual schools, perform pretty well...and the Metro Nashville Public Schools magnet program is top notch (although not a guarantee to get into). If schools are a concern, you should definitely do some research or ask around about specific areas. Choosing a house that is zoned for a specific school is pretty important, so if you're looking at public schools, be sure to know exactly where it is zoned for. There are several good private schools in the area, but tuition will run you $12,000-$20,000+ per child (with a small concession if you have multiple children attending, generally).

-While you are trading in your horrible winters, you will have to grow accustomed to long, hot, humid summers. 90 degree+ temperatures aren't uncommon for 5 months out of the year. From mid June through early September, it can be downright oppressively hot. There aren't a whole lot of breaks in temperature (low-mid 80s is a relief). So far, this July, we've had highs ranging from 84 to 100, with an average of 92.8. The heat index, though, has gotten as high as 112.

-Also, there will be more severe weather than you are accustomed to. There are a lot of severe thunderstorms, and they can produce tornadoes. Some people that move here are deathly afraid of the many tornado warnings and watches our local news puts out. Trust me, it's not as bad as some will say -- but it will be an adjustment for you. You shouldn't have to live in fear during the spring and some of the fall -- but you should still be mindful of all of the watches and warnings.

-Crime can be an issue in some areas. Generally, a lot of the violent crime in Nashville is concentrated specifically in certain areas. It's not as widespread as some would make you believe...but it can exist almost anywhere. Most of the suburbs are pretty safe. A lot of areas in Nashville are safe, too...but depending on what you're used to, there are some rough areas that you might avoid (although I would caution you about asking on this site, because literally no one will agree on what those areas are, outside of public housing projects).

-While Nashville is generally a friendly and welcoming place, not everyone is friendly. Nashville isn't a huge city, but it's no Mayberry, either. Car horns will toot, people can yell and say unkind things, just like any sizable city. Not everyone has manners, not every man is a gentleman, not every woman is a lady -- but, generally, if you are nice and kind, engage people, and say please and thank you, you will get a positive reaction from most of the crowd.

Others might have more cons to add (I'm sure they will), but the important thing is to not bring your expectations here that this is a perfect utopia. Nashville has many flaws, but in my mind, they are far outweighed by the benefits. I just think it is important for you to come here with an open mind, and decide things for yourself.




Conservative Christians who love country music? You're starting to fit the stereotype already!

In all honesty, you shouldn't have any issues on that front. I will say that being conservative, or a Christian, isn't a requirement to enjoy living here. There are liberals, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Athiests that live here, too...so there is some bit of diversity when it comes to that. In the end, though, there is definitely a large conservative Christian community here. Some on here complain that the place is too conservative...but I say there are plenty of opportunities for both (the city tends to be more liberal, while most of the suburbs are more predominately conservative -- you can find some crossover in both, though).

As far as community, I would say that is one place where we thrive. There is a sense of community in both the suburbs and the city. For the city, I think that contributes to outsiders saying that we are a big city with a small town atmosphere.

There are a number of outdoor activities here, especially when it comes to hiking and water sports. On a day trip, you can expand those activities to white water rafting, rock climbing, and hiking in the mountains (East Tennessee certainly has us beat in those categories). I don't know if you or your family have any interest in caves, or spelunking, but Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States (well over 8,000 and counting), due to its unique geology. Horseback riding, as you mentioned as a favorite, is definitely an option here. There are a large number of horse farms in Williamson County, and a number of city and state parks where you can go horseback riding.



I don't know about "many" (don't have any statistics to back that up), but there definitely are trans-racial families here. I do not believe that would be a big issue here. A number of families have adopted both local and foreign children of different races than their own.



That's definitely a good way to go about it. One should not move to a place strictly on impulse, with a jaded view of things. That only sets you up for disappointment. There are good and bad aspects to every city, and each individual and family will react differently to them.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:08 PM
 
15,721 posts, read 6,175,151 times
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Vanessa, On the tornado front, the forecasting has become incredibly good. They now zone in on particular major streets they worry about.

As always, nashvols covered tons very well, but he missed the biggest plus. Anyone moving now need not deal with cicadas for about 13 more years. This was their season to come out. It seems the purpose of coming out is to mate and die. I'm serious.

Last edited by bobtn; 07-14-2011 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Franklin, TN
2,460 posts, read 1,950,780 times
Reputation: 1176
Note to Dave: LOVE your wit & perspective! xoxoxo

Vanessa - We DO get serious rain. Like someone is spraying a firehose on Nashville. And tornado warnings. Every place has its downside. I know they got hit with a tornado in Springfield, MA so you never know. The cicadas are GONE for 13 more years so don't worry about them.

The pizza isn't as good here and there aren't really 'delis' like I am used to 'back east'.

But I love Nashville (and IngleDave . . . sigh)
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