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Old 10-28-2008, 08:24 PM
 
5 posts, read 34,805 times
Reputation: 14

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I figure this would help any people who are considering moving to Nashville.

- Nashville is like any other southern town, with the exception of (1) the music industry and (2) the hospitals. These two things bring in an influx of outsiders. If you take away those two things, Nashville is basically like any other southern city--like Birmingham or Chattanooga. In fact, if you don't work in the music industry, then Nashville will be like any other small southern city, albiet more spruced up.

- Nashville can be surprisingly insular. A lot of people who live in Nashville were born here, or are from a small town in the area. If they went to college, then they typically went to a near-by state university and returned with the same group of friends. Upon first arriving here, you may think the people are very nice but a bit cliquish. I never thought I would say this but probably the best way to meet people is through church. Also, sports teams provide a decent social outlet.

- Nashville isn’t particularly diverse. If subtle bias against Jews, blacks, Hispanics or any minority offends you, then Nashville isn’t the place for you. Hands down some of the most racist people I've met in my life were intoxicated "upper crust" Nashvillians. To belabor the point, Nashville's most exclusive country club, the Belle Meade Country Club, didn't allow blacks or Jews until a few years ago. That's not to say minorities are openly harassed here. In fact, I would say a minority is probably safer here than in say, Memphis. But there is without a doubt a "lily-white" aspect to Nashville's culture. If you fit in with that, you'll do fine. If you don't, then you'll be surprised at how limited Nashville can be.

- Despite the fact that Nashville has a MSA population of 1.5 million, a very low portion of these people are what you generally consider young, cosmopolitan professionals. This town is better-suited for those who want to raise a family.

-Politics and religion are often combined. A lot of Nashville’s social fabric is based upon religion. In another city, young professionals find a wide variety of ways to network. In Nashville, it’s done primarily in a church.

- The cost of living is cheap. You can save money while still having a social life. Moreover, there is currently a glut of condos built in Nashville. So if you’re looking to buy, many will be coming on the market soon.

- If you like live music, then this is your city. If you aspire to be a serious musician, then Nashville is a great place for this. The cost of living is very cheap compared to other music hubs like NYC or LA. In other places, it’s fairly rare for a musician to be a homeowner—not here.

- For a city it's size, Nashville has some serious shopping--particularly in regard to clothing.

- The downtown area is nice, albiet touristy. When you first get here, you'll go there a lot. After two months, you'll rarely go there.

- There are some great running trails.

All in all, it would get a A- for raising a family.

It would get a B- for a young professional. Naturally, a lot of this will depend on where you’re coming from. If you’ve lived in a small town for most of your life and you think a 24/7 pharmacy is the sign of a big city, then you’ll probably love it. If not, you might be underwhelmed. For a young single person in the south, I would recommend Atlanta.

Last edited by SNGW; 10-28-2008 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago Suburbs
3,194 posts, read 2,559,609 times
Reputation: 1152
Being in my 40's I'm no longer "young", but I found your assessment of Nashville well constructed and spot on.
Thanks for posting, it may help others.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Houston
579 posts, read 806,052 times
Reputation: 732
Seems a little spot off to me --example -- I lived there in the '70's in my twenties and neither I nor anybody I knew in my age group attended church. I did know people who were interested in eastern philosophy, yoga, Buddism etc. Also you didn't mention that there are 20+ post-secondary institutions there with 87,000+ students within a 40 mile radius. Is this not relevent to a young person? One of these institutions (Vanderbilt), I graduated from and support, and has broke into the country's top 15 in research funding, and has the fastest rate of increase in such funding in the nation. This is a virtual city within a city full of young people studying and working professionally. MTSU, 30 miles away, has 22,000 enrollment. Atlanta doesn't quite measure up to Nashvile in this regard, and I'm from Atlanta originally. And since the for-profit health care sector is essentially centered in Nashville and 'burbs, this is a gold mine for a young professional, and is one reason they are pouring into the area from all over the country.

Also you don't mention the quite impressive visual attractiveness of the city, epecially the residential areas, 'burbs, and the stunning parks and preserves-- e.g the only State Natural Area within city limits in the country.

Nashville was a great place to be when I was young.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,537 posts, read 5,117,085 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNGW View Post
I figure this would help any people who are considering moving to Nashville.

- Nashville is like any other southern town, with the exception of (1) the music industry and (2) the hospitals. These two things bring in an influx of outsiders. If you take away those two things, Nashville is basically like any other southern city--like Birmingham or Chattanooga. In fact, if you don't work in the music industry, then Nashville will be like any other small southern city, albiet more spruced up.

- Nashville can be surprisingly insular. A lot of people who live in Nashville were born here, or are from a small town in the area. DEAD WRONG! There are so many people from all different areas living in the Nashville metro area. It is actually much harder to find an actual native. This forum alone is proof of that. If they went to college, then they typically went to a near-by state university and returned with the same group of friends. Upon first arriving here, you may think the people are very nice but a bit cliquish. Upon moving here all alone in 1994, I did not find Nashville cliquish at all.I never thought I would say this but probably the best way to meet people is through church. I did not meet anyone in church that I became particularly friendly with. Also, sports teams provide a decent social outlet.

- Nashville isn’t particularly diverse. Are you sure you live in Nashville, TENNESSEE?? Nashville is extremely diverse. I don't see how anyone couldn't see this. If subtle bias against Jews, blacks, Hispanics or any minority offends you, then Nashville isn’t the place for you. Hands down some of the most racist people I've met in my life were intoxicated "upper crust" Nashvillians. To belabor the point, Nashville's most exclusive country club, the Belle Meade Country Club, didn't allow blacks or Jews until a few years ago. That's not to say minorities are openly harassed here. In fact, I would say a minority is probably safer here than in say, Memphis. But there is without a doubt a "lily-white" aspect to Nashville's culture. HUH??? If you fit in with that, you'll do fine. If you don't, then you'll be surprised at how limited Nashville can be.

- Despite the fact that Nashville has a MSA population of 1.5 million, a very low portion of these people are what you generally consider young, cosmopolitan professionals. This town is better-suited for those who want to raise a family. This is FALSE. Nashville is a great town for a single person. I was proof of that!

-Politics and religion are often combined. A lot of Nashville’s social fabric is based upon religion. In another city, young professionals find a wide variety of ways to network. In Nashville, it’s done primarily in a church. You obviously did not attempt other avenues.

- The cost of living is cheap. You can save money while still having a social life. Moreover, there is currently a glut of condos built in Nashville. So if you’re looking to buy, many will be coming on the market soon.

- If you like live music, then this is your city. If you aspire to be a serious musician, then Nashville is a great place for this. The cost of living is very cheap compared to other music hubs like NYC or LA. In other places, it’s fairly rare for a musician to be a homeowner—not here.

- For a city it's size, Nashville has some serious shopping--particularly in regard to clothing.

- The downtown area is nice, albiet touristy. When you first get here, you'll go there a lot. After two months, you'll rarely go there. After living here for 14 years, I still find downtown thrilling.

- There are some great running trails.

All in all, it would get a A- for raising a family.

It would get a B- for a young professional. Naturally, a lot of this will depend on where you’re coming from. If you’ve lived in a small town for most of your life and you think a 24/7 pharmacy is the sign of a big city, then you’ll probably love it. If not, you might be underwhelmed. For a young single person in the south, I would recommend Atlanta.
Please understand this often incorrect portrait is solely the heavily biased and possibly bitter opinion of one person.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
957 posts, read 2,379,969 times
Reputation: 399
I agree Steve...I'd also add that the music scene in Nashville for an aspiring musician is a long and very steep uphill battle. There is A LOT of incredible talent here all fighting to get noticed. IMO, if you are a great musician with star qualities, you are probably about average for Nashville. I've seen guys playing in the back room at Sam Ash who should be playing stadiums yet they can't even get a gig playing for minimum wage. I don't know what the "spit out the bottom":"make it to the top" ratio is but it has to be at least 1000:1. Somewhere in the middle I'm sure there are a few just getting by playing small gigs.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:45 AM
 
342 posts, read 633,035 times
Reputation: 215
I suppose I'm one of those single, "young, cosmopolitan professionals" in his 20s and I pretty much agree with you with the exception of serious clothing shopping (for men).
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:07 PM
 
5 posts, read 34,805 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Also you didn't mention that there are 20+ post-secondary institutions there with 87,000+ students within a 40 mile radius. Is this not relevent to a young person? One of these institutions (Vanderbilt), I graduated from and support, and has broke into the country's top 15 in research funding, and has the fastest rate of increase in such funding in the nation. This is a virtual city within a city full of young people studying and working professionally. MTSU, 30 miles away, has 22,000 enrollment. Atlanta doesn't quite measure up to Nashvile in this regard, and I'm from Atlanta originally
You have to look at the nature of the colleges. First, look at MTSU. It’s suit-case college. Undergraduates there tend to go home on the weekend or go to house parties. You can drive through Murfreesboro and not find a huge strip of college bars—despite MTSU being the biggest university in the state. MTSU students don’t really come to Nashville all that much, or have a meaningful impact on the culture of the area.

Next up is TSU, a historically black college in downtown Nashville. TSU is basically like MTSU for local black students. It just doesn’t have a meaningful impact on the culture of Nashville.

In all fairness, Vanderbilt does have a impact on it’s own little area of Nashville. It’s no surprise that most of the trendy areas in Nashville are basically a stones throw from Vanderbilt. I thought about mentioning Vandy, but I felt the hospitals aspect of Nashville covered it--i.e., Vanderbilt hospital is the largest private employer in the city. But I should include it.

All that being said, Nashville is no way an educational mecca of the South or the United States, despite its attempts to market itself otherwise. The remaining colleges are either small religious-oriented colleges or simply community colleges. Every city has these.

Five cities in the South alone have a higher % of college graduates than Nashville. They are:
Raleigh, NC
Austin, TX
Atlanta, GA
Lexington, KY
Charlotte, NC

Nashville comes in behind Omaha, NE and Anchorage, Alaska. Whoop-dee-doo.

See: http://money.cnn.com/2006/08/29/real...ties/index.htm

In regard to Nashville's lack of diversity, it speaks for itself. Like I said, it's most exclusive country club didn't allow blacks or Jews until recently. People can't say a thing about this because they know it's true.

You'll find many of Nashville's "high society" social events are hosted at former plantations in the area. Why not just host them in a nice hotel or concert hall downtown (like they do in most cities)?

On more than one occasion, one of my friends couldn't take her roommate to the more popular bars in the area. Her roommate was a gay guy and didn't want to be harassed.

In my own experience, I found that once you got many Nashvillians alone behind closed doors they said some profoundly close-minded stuff--especially when they've been drinking. In it's extreme form, it was black jokes or rants about gays and mexicans. But it often took the form of simple close-mindedness--i.e., one girl didn't want to date a guy because he was jewish. Moderator cut: expletive deleted What a hick.

Granted, you can find this stuff in every city, but after living here for years, this is more the norm, than the exception.

IMHO, it's in really poor taste and indicative to Nashville's culture: that is, it's not openly hostile to non-Christian/non-whites, but not really interested in accepting them either.

Again, if you fit this mold, you will probably enjoy Nashville. If you're interested in raising a family, Nashville does have quite a bit to offer. But if you're an open-minded young professional, you may want to give it second thought.

Last edited by Beretta; 10-30-2008 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: please keep the forum PG-13, thanks :)
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:20 PM
 
5 posts, read 34,805 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossc View Post
I agree Steve...I'd also add that the music scene in Nashville for an aspiring musician is a long and very steep uphill battle. There is A LOT of incredible talent here all fighting to get noticed. IMO, if you are a great musician with star qualities, you are probably about average for Nashville. I've seen guys playing in the back room at Sam Ash who should be playing stadiums yet they can't even get a gig playing for minimum wage. I don't know what the "spit out the bottom":"make it to the top" ratio is but it has to be at least 1000:1. Somewhere in the middle I'm sure there are a few just getting by playing small gigs.
Right, but if you can make it here as a musician, you can live comfortablly--i.e., owning a decent home in Rutherford county as opposed to renting with three other musicians in a slum in the Bronx.

In NYC and LA, you have starving musicians. In Nashville, you have starving musicians who actually own homes.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:39 AM
 
Location: Madison
10 posts, read 34,235 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNGW View Post
In regard to Nashville's lack of diversity, it speaks for itself. Like I said, it's most exclusive country club didn't allow blacks or Jews until recently. People can't say a thing about this because they know it's true.

You'll find many of Nashville's "high society" social events are hosted at former plantations in the area. Why not just host them in a nice hotel or concert hall downtown (like they do in most cities)?

On more than one occasion, one of my friends couldn't take her roommate to the more popular bars in the area. Her roommate was a gay guy and didn't want to be harassed.

In my own experience, I found that once you got many Nashvillians alone behind closed doors they said some profoundly close-minded stuff--especially when they've been drinking. In it's extreme form, it was black jokes or rants about gays and mexicans. But it often took the form of simple close-mindedness--i.e., one girl didn't want to date a guy because he was jewish. What a hick.

Granted, you can find this stuff in every city, but after living here for years, this is more the norm, than the exception.

IMHO, it's in really poor taste and indicative to Nashville's culture: that is, it's not openly hostile to non-Christian/non-whites, but not really interested in accepting them either.

Again, if you fit this mold, you will probably enjoy Nashville. If you're interested in raising a family, Nashville does have quite a bit to offer. But if you're an open-minded young professional, you may want to give it second thought.
The fact that there are uptight, rich, idiots in this town who didn't want African Americans or Jews in their club doesn't have any bearing on how diverse Nashville is. It also doesn't have any real impact on the lives 99.9% of the people in Nashville so why are we so concerned about what a bunch of old, rich, uptight, pretty much worthless human beings think or do?

Nashville is a very diverse city, racially and in many other ways as well. I have lived in a few other cities and have had less problems in Nashville than I did in Seattle being a gay man who also happens to be a punk. Me and my boyfriend hang out most of the time in a few straight bars around town and do nothing to conceal who we are, we are also pretty open about it when we go grocery shopping or anything else and we have never had a problem.

Please remember, Franklin, Brentwood, Hendersonville, and the other suburbs are perfectly nice places, but they are not representative of Nashville, which is actually a very diverse and surprisingly tolerant place in my opinion. I just wonder where and with whom you are hanging out with that would make you think differently?
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:56 AM
 
51 posts, read 208,153 times
Reputation: 40
Nashville is a brand as much as it is a city. That's something most other cities would love to have. Whether you think that brand is negative in connotation is irrelevant. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

I usually don't reply to these sour grapes posts that have a few disingenuous compliments thrown in to make them seem informative and legitimate. I see one persons experiences and opinions about the limited circles they travel in. A person whose recurring theme is that Nashville is unwelcoming to those of a different religion or ethnicity etc., even going so far as to say that those that are open minded(implying you yourself are) need not look to Nashville as a place to live. Yet, at the same time, while chastising an entire city for being "closed minded". You take out your broad brush and paint racist on the foreheads of 1.6 million people. All the while, trying to cram them into your hypocritical, proverbial "nutshell". You use words like Nashvillians and Nashville's culture. Leading one to believe that the few instances you sited are the norm. It's as if you don't possess the ability to differentiate between an individual that said something inappropriate, and the large consortium that the city consists of. It may seem overly dramatic, but it struck a nerve. Nashville is too large of a city to be labeled as intolerant based on the experiences of one person.

If racist and xenophobic are what you have found Nashville to be, so be it. It's many things to many people. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. It is however, in no way representative of the Nashville that I know.
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