This is a great poll for many reasons, & I can answer some of epelton's questions, since people from outside of Nashville can't admit they have crap nightlife, schools, dining, & architecture (compared to Davidson County). I say Davidson County instead of Nashville because they are one and the same. Davidson County became the Nashville city limits in 1963, & it's important to know what exactly is "in Nashville," since the Nashville area is very spread out. Many areas in the poll aren't even in Nashville & shouldn't be included because they are simply sub-par (for numerous reasons) compared to the "areas of town" within Nashville-Davidson Co. (aka. Metro Area/ Metro Nashville/ etc.).
Nashville's areas of town:
Downtown, Sylvan Park, Belmont, Hillsboro Rd./Green Hills, East Nashville, Germantown, Belle Meade, Forrest Hills, Oak Hill, & the Vanderbilt area. (East Nashville & Germantown can be sketchy depending on where you are however)
The above places above are the
places to live in town, coming from a long-time resident of Nashtown. They are the best because they have a great mix of nightlife, dining, parks, shops, people, & only a 5 to 15 min. commute to work since you're in Davidson County. The architecture is also the best and oldest.
I didn't count Brentwood & Bellevue as being in Nashville because they are on the outskirts of town, & Nashvillians have no need to go there, & generally only go when necessary. Traffic moves to & fro from these places in generally one direction, that of rush-hour traffic. No one from Nashville goes to Brentwood or Bellevue to "do stuff" (b/c there is nothing to do. Bellevue has an old mall & apartments. & Brentwood has an old roller rink, if you want to act like it's 1990 again, or 1970. That's it & that's all besides offices and random crap like Applebees. Truth.)
The best mall in Nashville is "The Mall at Green Hills." No, it's not called the Green Hills Mall like a normal mall. It's better than that. It's the only Nashville mall that has Prada, Tiffany & Co., Louie V., etc., so if you have a gold-digging wife, sucks for you. It does have a really good cookie place I gotta mention though. & their Santa Claus is probably the most grandiose of them all, if you care.
You are closest to our best park, Centennial Park (where the Parthenon is), if you live the in Vandy Area. The park is great during the daytime (I heard rumors growing up that gay dudes met up there at night in shady areas.) With that said, it's a great place for kids. They have a huge old steam train that every boy likes & a good museum/ gallery in the Parthenon.
These civic buildings in Nash are another huge reason why you should live in the city, not the surrounding 'burbs. It's why we don't mind paying a few more $$ in taxes than our Williamson County neighbors. Our downtown library is new and is world-class, with a HUGE reading room that everyone should at least check out. They have murals everywhere, a courtyard, restaurant, etc., & it's all downtown on Church St.
Green Hills & Belle Meade are the areas I know best. They are within 5mins of each other. Green Hills has a new library. good for kids I guess... Belle Meade has no library because all of the houses have them. They do have their own police force though (with the smallest jurisdiction ever). Live in Belle Meade if you have the means. It's beautiful, with a huge park at the end of it's main road (Belle Meade Blvd.) & a great public golf course. There are excellent public & private schools in the area, including Harpeth Hall (Reese Witherspoon's alma mater), an all-girls school that used to have the hottest girls (& biggest *******). Yep. It's true.
It's also true that there are insanely conservative, Brooks Brothers only, "old-money" idiots in Belle Meade, but there are also plenty of open-minded liberals, as well as a lot of Jewish people. I grew up there and I know I found more diversity than I would have in any of Nashville's surrounding areas. Out-of-towners take note, the closer to downtown you live, the less cultue-shock you'll have when you get here, generally. Nashville is a diverse town, no matter what people say, but it has deep roots. This clash of differences is one thing i like, & hate, about Nashville. Many people have moved here in recent years and the diversity has helped the cities' growth ,but few realize that to have friends outside of "the city," one must have an appreciation for the country life that many Tennesseans have always loved (even if you think it's really boring & you'd never hang out at a Sonic on Friday night). That's why a lot of people live out in the middle of nowhere. They simply appreciate the peace it brings.
I'm in my mid-twenties, so I know something of the bar scene in Nashville, especially compared to some older people who clearly don't get out much, or are ridiculously biased (Leiper's Fork is only cool if your idea of cool is sitting in the woods, getting bored, & then realizing you should drive to Nashville to find something to do). I won't describe where to go now though because i've already typed an ass-load...I also know a ton about every local school, public & private, including some info. that will make some parents angry (Brentwood Academy has problems, don't ever send your kid there, & it's a private school no less). You find out a lot when you talk to graduates...If you want my opinion on either of these topics just reply & ask....
This is random, but I have a dumb theory that could help some people out in terms of deciding where to live:
Some people that move to the 'burbs say they do so to leave the "hustle & bustle" of Nashville. Maybe they say it just to justify it to themselves, but this is hilarious to anyone from a big city, who realizes there is no great hustle & bustle in Nashville, only a little more traffic & people compared to the outlying areas. The funny part is that people leave Davidson County saying they want to leave "the hustle & bustle," then end up hustling more driving to work every day for an hour (or 2), in heavy traffic, on interstates that Nashvillians never even need to use for the daily commute.
I realize I probably offended some people, but it's for the good of everyone trying to move.
-Hope this helps some some people..Nashville rocks...Go Titans...& Free Pacman