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Old 12-06-2011, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Music City, USA
4,882 posts, read 4,170,788 times
Reputation: 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderingwondering View Post
Through visits with a friend in the Franklin area, I learned a couple of things. One is that while I love the idea that Nashville is right there, with all its wonders, it's just too big a place for me at this point in my life. I like a smaller community. Thus, the focus on Franklin.

I did meet a few people who are also a bit iconoclastic relative to the traditional "southern Christian woman" model. There seems to be a pretty deeply rooted (no pun intended ) green community there, and loads of arts stuff, all of which encourages me. But I just wanted a broader test of my perceptions.

So, that's what I'm trying to juggle: Agnostic (if that), transplant from another world, vegetarian (also a bit weird in "Meat & 3" land), mid-aged female who won't have the automatic community connections afforded by spouse and children, but is really passionate about work and trying to find a good place.

All good info, from everyone. Thanks!
Just a couple of thoughts:

20 years ago, I probably wouldn't suggest Franklin as a good place to relocate for someone in your shoes. Franklin was much, much smaller (less than 1/3 its current size...about 20,000 people). Since then, the city has literally exploded, adding an average of more than 2,000 new residents per year.

While it is still a Christian and conservative magnet, it is no longer a small town with small town views. It's a rather large suburb that has attracted new residents not only from other Southern cities, but from around the country. A number of New Englanders, New Yorkers, Californians, etc. now call it home. That has really changed the identity of the small sleepy county seat it once was.

While conservative, there is an element in Franklin that wishes to defy the stereotype of the traditional and closed-minded. There is a small arts community. There are people that are environmentally conscious (even if the city's planning dept needs to catch up -- not just Franklin, but the whole region), there are liberals, gays, atheists, hipsters, and what not -- just in a smaller number of what you would find in a more urban environment. The city isn't perfect, but it's a lot more open-minded and welcoming than some give it credit for.

Some transplants on here like to complain about the "problem" of people inviting them to join or visit their church. I question the true frequency of this practice, as I have been asked perhaps a handful of times in my life of living here (well, on the outskirts of Nashville, for 26 years). I assure you that most people that ask that sort of thing are just trying to be friendly and welcoming. If you do get asked, I would simply say "no, thank you" and maybe add "I'm happy where I am" if you feel the need to. That should be the end of the conversation. Most people aren't aggressive about religion here. A few are...most aren't. It's not my experience that people are bombarded by questions about their religious or private life...for a true Southerner, that sort of aggressive evangelicalism comes across as a bit...uncouth.

Oh, as for the "meat and 3" world....those seem to be a fading trend (unfortunately)...sure, there are still a number of meat and 3s around, but they are not nearly as popular as they once were. Finding vegetarian options in Franklin shouldn't be overly difficult, either. Again, it's a transplant dominated city...transplants that have moved there (especially Californians) have brought their tastes with them. (Btw, you can get a vegetarian plate at a meat and 3......but you might not find that sort of vegetarianism to your liking.)

Still, I understand your concerns about being single and middle aged in a city that is known for being a magnet for families and children. You may find that Nashville is more of your "scene" in that regard.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:25 PM
 
6 posts, read 3,634 times
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Good man, Goodman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodman2 View Post
I'm not religious and I've never had any problems resulting from it yet.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Hendersonville, TN
2,717 posts, read 3,095,664 times
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Very well said, nashvols. I couldn't agree more.

wanderingwondering, I don't think you will experience the same kind of exclusionism in Franklin that you're experiencing in Maine. As nashvols said, Franklin has become a melting pot of sorts with lots of corporate relocations (Nissan North America being the big one, Jackson National Life Insurance being another). And once you become comfortable with the area, you've got the conveniences (and diversity) of Nashville nearby as well. I suspect you'd find like minded people in places like Hillsboro Village, Germantown, East Nashville, Sylvan Park, 12South...places that aren't quite what outsiders have in mind when they think Nashville. Not a lot of biscuits and gravy/good ole boys in those areas.

I concur with nashvols on the religion thing as well. I have never had someone use "where do you go to church" as an icebreaker with me...and I've only had a handful of people invite me to church...but I'm a Christian and don't really hide my faith so I guess I might attract that question more than most people would. That said, I know and am friends with several agnostic/atheists and I get the feeling from them that they don't get pestered at all.

I think where you would run into the exclusionism you've experienced in Maine would be in rural areas of the mid-state. I have some friends who've lived in Robertson County to the north of Nashville for 20 years and their neighbors still refer to them as the "new folks". Then again, their neighbors have lived there for generations. I don't think you'll find that in Franklin or Willimason County...or even in places like Nolensville...which is more small/rural than Franklin but has really grown recently.

Hope that helps and let us know if you have any follow up questions!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:48 PM
 
386 posts, read 459,561 times
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Well, Germantown does have Monell's if you happen to LIKE biscuits and gravy!!

Monells Restaurant - Weddings, Receptions, Dining and More
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:26 PM
Status: "The trouble is you think you have time. (Buddha)" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Franklin, TN
2,442 posts, read 1,912,589 times
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You don't have to have the "meat" - you can just get the "3" which for the most part are all vegetables. Albeit very well cooked ones! I am pretty agnostically leaning, too, middle aged female with an elderly mother and I really like it in Franklin. In truth, you'll find that it's very easy to go into downtown Nashville. It's not as big as it looks. Really just the one street for nightlife with decent parking. Really like the Frist Museum (i joined so I can go anytime) and the Ryman is an AWESOME place for music.

I moved from CT and find the people here very relaxed and friendly.

Come on down!
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:19 AM
 
6 posts, read 3,634 times
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All great info, and very encouraging. Now the trick is figuring out how to find a small, reasonable rental. I've searched the usual channels, plus a few that were suggested to me locally, but I'm coming up with very little that's suitable/sensible for just one person. Lots of big houses. Any more (great) ideas?
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:49 AM
 
1,434 posts, read 1,101,327 times
Reputation: 826
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
Just a couple of thoughts:

20 years ago, I probably wouldn't suggest Franklin as a good place to relocate for someone in your shoes. Franklin was much, much smaller (less than 1/3 its current size...about 20,000 people). Since then, the city has literally exploded, adding an average of more than 2,000 new residents per year.

While it is still a Christian and conservative magnet, it is no longer a small town with small town views. It's a rather large suburb that has attracted new residents not only from other Southern cities, but from around the country. A number of New Englanders, New Yorkers, Californians, etc. now call it home. That has really changed the identity of the small sleepy county seat it once was.

While conservative, there is an element in Franklin that wishes to defy the stereotype of the traditional and closed-minded. There is a small arts community. There are people that are environmentally conscious (even if the city's planning dept needs to catch up -- not just Franklin, but the whole region), there are liberals, gays, atheists, hipsters, and what not -- just in a smaller number of what you would find in a more urban environment. The city isn't perfect, but it's a lot more open-minded and welcoming than some give it credit for.

Some transplants on here like to complain about the "problem" of people inviting them to join or visit their church. I question the true frequency of this practice, as I have been asked perhaps a handful of times in my life of living here (well, on the outskirts of Nashville, for 26 years). I assure you that most people that ask that sort of thing are just trying to be friendly and welcoming. If you do get asked, I would simply say "no, thank you" and maybe add "I'm happy where I am" if you feel the need to. That should be the end of the conversation. Most people aren't aggressive about religion here. A few are...most aren't. It's not my experience that people are bombarded by questions about their religious or private life...for a true Southerner, that sort of aggressive evangelicalism comes across as a bit...uncouth.

Oh, as for the "meat and 3" world....those seem to be a fading trend (unfortunately)...sure, there are still a number of meat and 3s around, but they are not nearly as popular as they once were. Finding vegetarian options in Franklin shouldn't be overly difficult, either. Again, it's a transplant dominated city...transplants that have moved there (especially Californians) have brought their tastes with them. (Btw, you can get a vegetarian plate at a meat and 3......but you might not find that sort of vegetarianism to your liking.)

Still, I understand your concerns about being single and middle aged in a city that is known for being a magnet for families and children. You may find that Nashville is more of your "scene" in that regard.

Well, I hope Franklin doesn't change too much under the deluge of transplants. I'm actually looking for a more conservative place to live even though I'm a godless heathen And I really loved the sleepy feel of Franklin. So I guess I'm moving because I like Franklin the way it is, and don't want that to change! Hubs is very conservative and old fashioned, even though I'm not but I've never felt uncomfortable in the company of conservatives because I'm the type who likes everybody. But the NYC atmosphere has taken a toll on the hubs (and me, but for different reasons), NYC is unwelcoming to him even though he's lived there 20+ years. I think he really wants to be around more like minded people, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our reasons for moving.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Music City, USA
4,882 posts, read 4,170,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkonost View Post
Well, I hope Franklin doesn't change too much under the deluge of transplants. I'm actually looking for a more conservative place to live even though I'm a godless heathen And I really loved the sleepy feel of Franklin. So I guess I'm moving because I like Franklin the way it is, and don't want that to change! Hubs is very conservative and old fashioned, even though I'm not but I've never felt uncomfortable in the company of conservatives because I'm the type who likes everybody. But the NYC atmosphere has taken a toll on the hubs (and me, but for different reasons), NYC is unwelcoming to him even though he's lived there 20+ years. I think he really wants to be around more like minded people, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our reasons for moving.
Franklin is still a solidly conservative community. I wouldn't worry about that. A lot of the transplants that move there are in the same situation as your husband.

But if you're expecting Franklin 'not to change' you're going to be disappointed. If you could see how it has changed over the past 20+ years, you would be amazed.

1990: Franklin had a population of 20,098. Cool Springs Galleria was still a year away. There were no office buildings in Cool Springs...no retail to speak of. I-65 was 4 lanes (2 on each side). Franklin's big commercial district was the strip of retail along Highway 96. Cool Springs was still primarily farm land. There was a physical gap between Franklin and Brentwood in terms of development.

It was actually a "small town." In some ways, it resembled Lebanon (in terms of size and what it had). Cool Springs changed the game. The sales tax revenue for the city increased more than 10 fold in a 10 year period. The office park rivals anywhere in the state in terms of Class A office space. It is a huge center for both shopping and employment...an "edge city" as they are referred to as. The traffic Franklin has today is almost unimaginable compared to what it was 20 years ago.



Another interesting thing...Brentwood was on pace to either match or pass Franklin in population back in 1990. If I recall correctly, the developers of Cool Springs actually wanted to build the mall in Brentwood...but Brentwood declined. Franklin actually had to annex the land the mall sits on away from Brentwood. If the mall had been built in Brentwood, and all of the development had been built on Brentwood land, I can't imagine the difference in fortunes the two cities would have.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:58 AM
 
6 posts, read 3,634 times
Reputation: 20
Default everything changes

And change is good. What is it they say, "lead, follow, or get out of the way," I think. Maybe, maybe not, but stasis is not an option for any person or any place. Except maybe Brigadoon.






Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
Franklin is still a solidly conservative community. I wouldn't worry about that. A lot of the transplants that move there are in the same situation as your husband.

But if you're expecting Franklin 'not to change' you're going to be disappointed. If you could see how it has changed over the past 20+ years, you would be amazed.

1990: Franklin had a population of 20,098. Cool Springs Galleria was still a year away. There were no office buildings in Cool Springs...no retail to speak of. I-65 was 4 lanes (2 on each side). Franklin's big commercial district was the strip of retail along Highway 96. Cool Springs was still primarily farm land. There was a physical gap between Franklin and Brentwood in terms of development.

It was actually a "small town." In some ways, it resembled Lebanon (in terms of size and what it had). Cool Springs changed the game. The sales tax revenue for the city increased more than 10 fold in a 10 year period. The office park rivals anywhere in the state in terms of Class A office space. It is a huge center for both shopping and employment...an "edge city" as they are referred to as. The traffic Franklin has today is almost unimaginable compared to what it was 20 years ago.



Another interesting thing...Brentwood was on pace to either match or pass Franklin in population back in 1990. If I recall correctly, the developers of Cool Springs actually wanted to build the mall in Brentwood...but Brentwood declined. Franklin actually had to annex the land the mall sits on away from Brentwood. If the mall had been built in Brentwood, and all of the development had been built on Brentwood land, I can't imagine the difference in fortunes the two cities would have.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro
8 posts, read 4,434 times
Reputation: 16
Oh, you'll be just fine! There are plenty of people that are not from TN or are from another country (like myself) and are doing great here. Nashville and the surrounding areas are full of people that are not from TN.
People in general are friendly here. I don't think they are overly energetic but I think you can find people who are. Also, there are quite a few vegetarian people, in fact, sometimes it feels like it was becoming some kind of trend. You can find Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter stores here and markets too. Also, there are plenty of farms in the area where you can buy all kinds of produce. I'm not a big meat lover but nobody thinks that I'm crazy. People are tolerant. :-)
I don't have a Southern Christian woman-type of personality, either but I found a lot of people I feel close to and I can talk to about almost everything.
To sum things up: it will take a little bit to settle down (of course) and find people you can hang with but once you're done, you'll have a good time.

Good luck and enjoy your time here!
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