U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Tennessee
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 12-30-2012, 09:01 AM
3 posts, read 4,813 times
Reputation: 10


Hey everyone. I'm new to city-data I am currently a second year in college from Minnesota. I've lived here my whole life. Recently, I have been researching about my future career. I am planning on majoring in Health Science and I would like to work in the Allied Health Services as a clinical laboratory scientist. Anyways, I can definitely say that I am an adventurous lady and love to explore new places. While I'm only 20 years old, I've already been to Germany, France, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, Spain, and Italy as a tourist. My family history comes from many different places, thus the reason for my traveling experiences. My problem isthat I have never really felt "at home" somewhere. Even though the statement "Minnesota nice" is true, I am sick of the cold winters and need some more sunshine in my life so.. While I was doing research, I was looking for potential states to reside in. Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida are my top choices. I've been to Florida several times and the heat doesn't bother me. However, I'm concerned Florida doesn't have the 4 seasons which I admire. So far, Tenneessee is my top choice. I haven't gotten so far as to which city I should explore.

If I could just get some people to give me a brief summary of what Tennessee is like and what it's like living there.

More specifically, is there a lot of sunshine? Are people there friendly and welcoming to newbies? How is the night life? Do people like going to bars and/or clubs? What about activities such as sporting events? What is popular? Do people have strong accents? If I don't have an accent, will I still fit in? What about romance? I heard people tend to marry young in Tennessee. Is this considerably true? What do you do for fun? How is the career outlook for the health services field? How is the crime rate?

Sorry if this is a lot of questions. I don't expect anyone to answer them all, I would just love a summary of Tennessee and how you feel about it. My main concern is that I want it to feel like home to me. Hopefully sometime within the next 2 years before I graduate here I can come down there and visit.

Thank you to all who answer!! Much appreciated!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 12-30-2012, 11:22 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,117 posts, read 37,766,222 times
Reputation: 73824
Tennessee is a large state with traditionally 3 distinct regions.

Some basic internet research like Google or Wikipedia can tell you the differences:

Grand Divisions of Tennessee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The main cities in each division are Memphis (west), Nashville (middle), and Knoxville (east).

I would think you would want to be near a city since you are young and completely starting new. So narrow your research down to those cities, while maybe including Chattanooga since there is a university there.

To be frank, Tennessee is too large and the regions are too varied for a "quick summary." Living in Memphis is different from living in Knoxville. But based on some key factors, I would suggest the Nashville area because it is a health care mecca, and finding a job should be your first priority. Knoxville might be an option because of its proximity to Oak Ridge and the labs there. Oak Ridge Natl Laboratory does have a chemical technology division.

Anyway, as far as living here, there is a ton of sunshine, it is literally hot as h*ll in summer, winters are mostly gray and wet, people are friendly and welcoming to newcomers if they are friendly themselves. If you are near a city, there is PLENTY to do. Bars, clubs, major league and NCAA sporting events etc. You would have to have a car to live pretty miuch anywhere here. The crime rate varies from place to place, just like I imagine it does all across Minnesota.

The accent question is hilarious. Of course people here have strong accents. They are as different as the many people who live here. I find it hard to believe that, coming from Minnesota, dontcha know, you don't have an accent. But there have been many transplants from all over the US, especially in the Nashville area, so you would stand out but not as much as you think.

Visiting here is the best idea. Memphis is a great, vibrant city with a culture influenced more by the Mississippi delta and the Mississippi River farmlands of West TN. Nashville is the state capital and really like the biggest small town you ever saw. Its history is influenced by much of the politics, farming, music heritage, health care companies and many universities here, as well as the influx of newcomers over the past two decades. Knoxville is a small town near the Great Smoky Mountains that is home of the state's flagship university.

Since you are new to CD, the best thing to do is go to the individual city forums, click on the "Search this Forum" blue tab to the right, and enter keywords about what you want to learn about: "life in Memphis," or "20something moving to Nashville," etc. Plenty of your questions have been asked on here before.

Good luck!

Last edited by BirdieBelle; 12-30-2012 at 11:32 AM.. Reason: link
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 07:12 PM
3 posts, read 4,813 times
Reputation: 10
Wow thank you so much for your response! It definitely helped me understand what Tennessee is like. I will be sure to check out more questions on CD. Thanks again!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 07:46 PM
Location: Jonesborough, TN
646 posts, read 1,154,279 times
Reputation: 588
I will speak to the crime rate- I dont think there is much difference in the crime rates in TN and Minnesota, but it does depend on what city (Memphis is much different than Knoxville, for example). The biggest difference is the cultural response to crime. What many in TN doesnt realize is that Minnesota has some of the most lenient criminal sentences in the country. In many instances it takes an offender doing a crime 4-5 times to get the punishment that they would in their first offense in TN. For example, it takes a 5th offense theft over $5,000 for the punishment to not be probation in Minnesota. It takes a 4th offense felony DWI to get jail time. So you are likely to get a much more punitive cultural response to crime in TN than what you are used to.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2013, 11:53 AM
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
23,655 posts, read 21,990,605 times
Reputation: 29530
FYI: Tennessee Chamber of Commerce :: Home

TN.gov <<<<< Counties of Tennessee

Hover your mouse over the area you want too explore then click on it.. The top link is the Chamber of Commerce listed by City - Town - County. Writing or calling that chamber will give you all sorts of information.Be specific on what you ask for..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2013, 08:46 PM
69 posts, read 115,894 times
Reputation: 90
I know the generic response is to search the forums, but it's also nice to provide individual responses to questions. I was born and raised in Memphis, so I'll give you the lowdown in Memphis pros and cons. Maybe others can do the same for their cities.

Bottom line: Memphis is perpetually stuck taking 1 step forward 2 steps back.

Here's some stuff to really brag about. this is the "world class stuff":

1. St Jude's Children Hospital. This hospital is likely the best children's hospital in the WORLD, if not, then at least top 5. This is not an exaggeration. You said you want to be a clinical lab scientist. Working at this place is a dream for many. The facilities are world class and you feel like you're in a different world when you're in the compound.

2. The Grizziles. There are larger cities that don't have professional sports (Austin, Las vegas), and so having an NBA team really is something special. Plus, the grizzlies are finally having a fantastic year. Old school memphians may still prefer an NFL team but this is likely due to a rivalry of sorts with Nashville

3. Graceland!!! Yes it's kitschy, but I always took everyone who visited from out of town to Graceland. I'm always especially impressed how impressed international visitors are by this place. I guess Graceland still holds some cultural relevance to people.

4. Beale street. Beale street is the most important entertainment district in Memphis and they really did a good job placing the Fed Ex forum right next door. Although Beale street as the "birthplace of the blues" is not really culturally relevant anymore, the strip is always lively, fun and reasonably safe on weekends and festivals.

5. Casinos? well most major metros don't have casinos, much less casino district, so it is a unique entertainment option for what it's worth, and they'll get acts like penn and teller, so that's kind of cool.

6. Fedex? Autozone? International Paper? are these worth bragging about? It would be nice if memphis just had a few more major companies. I hate saying memphis has fedex, then pausing because I can't really think of another company that your average person will recognize. (no one knows of international paper although it sounds cool)

Here's the stuff Memphians like to brag about, but they really shouldn't.

1. the zoo. every major city has a freakin zoo. It's nice, but it's a zoo. I like going to the zoo, but my friends in Chicago could give a rats ass about the zoo.
2. Barbecue. see above. Memphis has a major barbecue festival. It's fun but it's bbq. No one really cares. Ooo but you haven't tried memphis bbq. I have, and I dont care. My parents dont care my brother and sister don't care, my friends don't care. I'm not going to convince anyone to move to memphis because of bbq
3. We got the busiest cargo airport in the world!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!
4. Museums. the civil rights, rock n soul. pink palace..... no one cares.

Okay one step forward......
1. After years of neglect by the state of tennessee, the UT health science center (UTHSC) is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. UTHSC is UT's collection of the health sciences colleges, which are based in Memphis. UT's medical school is not in Knoxville, it's memphis. same with the dental school, pharmacy school, and so on. UTHSC had some really bad times in the 2000's with the closure of the original Baptist Hospital (used to be the largest private hospital in the world). The completion of the new children's hospital and the development of the UT baptist research park has the potential to be a game changer for memphis that could help it compete with vanderbilt, emory, and duke.

2. Harbor town. I remember return home from 4 years of college and this harbor town place appeared out of nowhere. It was like an oasis in the middle of a relative dump. Harbor town is an island/peninsula next to the pyramid with upscale apartments and new england/mid atlantic style housing. It probably is the most educated neighborhood in all of metropolitan area. It is also situated in front of a very nice riverfront park, which is somewhat unique for it's lack of development. This lack of development means you can pretty much do what you want on the park without much interference from crowds,etc. You can touch the river, play flag football on the park, go running, or just place a blanket and enjoy the sunset. It does have a few problems, the surrounding area is a little slummy. There really isn't a grocery store to speak of in the area. Miss Cordelias will do, but the nearest Kroger is 15 minutes away. Plus, there really isn't much else in Harbor Town in terms of commercial development such as other stores. finally although beale street is relatively close by, you really should drive and not walk.

3. suburban sprawl. people hate it, but at least greater memphis is a growing city. Meanwhile, rochester, buffalo, albany are all losing population. Memphis needs this growth, and more of it, while at the same time continuing to build it's central core. There are plenty of nice suburbs.

the steps back.
1. the city itself continues to lose population. because of this it's difficult to support new development. the failure of peabody place was depressing and is blamed on the thug culture taking over the area. maybe thats true to an extent. Oak Court mall used to be a very nice upscale mall. it's a little more decrepit now with wolfchase and houston levee. It's depressing to see that Bookstar in midtown closed and that shopping district constantly struggling. Hickory Hill is all crap now. It really is depressing to see so little development in the city itself. There are nice areas namely the chikasaw gardens area in midtown, east memphis around international place, and harbor town, but then there are huge, huge, huge areas of memphis that just suck.

2. the airport. with delta cutting back so many flights, it's now the most expensive airport in the country and it feels like a ghost town compared to about 10 years ago.

What memphis needs.

1. What memphis lacks compared to peer cities like nashville is a world class unversity system like vanderbilt, emory, or duke. When you recruit world class talent year after year, some of them are bound to stay. people blame the city's leaders but most leaders in the leading cities are pretty incompetent/corrupt and the cities succeed in spite of them. University of Memphis does not recruit nationally and barely even statewide if at all. Rhodes and CBU are fine colleges but they really need to expand their presence to raise the profile of memphis. And the investment they need is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe even billions. This is not unprecedented as Vanderbilt has received a 300 million dollar gift before, columbia has received 400 million dollar gift before, and so on.

2. Memphis needs to figure out a way to make it's culture heritage sexy. I hate country music, but I'm sorry, taylor swift, kellie pickler, all those country singers are smokin'. What does Memphis have? BB King - a spokesperson for diabetes. The blues just isnt sexy. In addition, Memphis is essentially the cultural capital of Mississippi, which doesn't help. Somehow, someone needs to figure out how to have memphis embrace its heritage while at the same time make it progressive and appealing to the country at large.

3. public transportation? well i think memphis has bigger fish to fry. we got that streetcar thing. Unfortunately, there's very little development along the tracks so it's kind of useless. I will give it props for the connection from the medical district to downtown. Hopefully this investment will pay off in 10 - 20 years.

Finally, to answer your questions quickly.

1. Memphis weather. winters are very mild. we do have four seasons, but not much snow maybe 1 or 2 days of snow per year and a big snow or ice store about once every 5 years or so. Summers suck but the rest of the year is decent.
2. night life is not like new york or chicago. Beale street is fun. There are places in midtown that are cool. but it's small 1.3 million does not compare to 22 or 9 million.
3. I find the memphis southern accent more irritating than the east tennessee one. There are plenty of memphians who don't have an accent however. Most of my friends in high school did not have an accent. I was born and raised in memphis, and people are shocked I'm from the south. Meanwhile, my brother has a HUGE southern drawl.
4. Crime is and isn't a problem. My parents live in East memphis. No crime. Germantown. No crime. I mean there is a little crime, but really its as safe as anywhere else in america. orange mound? well you're never going to go there anyways. Midtown? that's a little complicated. It's a funky cool area, I think you're safe from violent crime (using common sense), but burglary and theft is a real issue. My car window was broken when I had a quick lunch at Molly's in the middle of the week.
5. Fun? beale street, grizzlies, casinos. I never mentioned all the outdoors stuff, but that's also everywhere.

Memphis is not a perfect city. In fact it is a very flawed city. But it is a city with cultural importance, enormous potential, plus its large enough to provide something for most people.

OMG. how could I forget... the sheer number of churches can be overwhelming. And the megachurches, omg the megachurches......

Last edited by det2011sb; 01-03-2013 at 09:10 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2013, 01:12 PM
1,380 posts, read 1,778,178 times
Reputation: 2364
What I'd say to you is find the job you want first, in any city. Make that your first priority. Any city has the "alternative cool young people" neighborhood, the "preppy in town" neighborhood, the "country club elite suburbs" and "anywhere USA average suburbia." You can find your niche in Memphis, Nashville, Charlotte, or any mid sized city. FWIW, in Memphis those areas are 1. Midtown/Downtown, 2. East Memphis 3. Germantown/Collierville and 4. Cordova. In Nashville, they area 1. East Nashville, 2. Green Hills/Belle Meade 3. Williamson County and 4. Rutherford County. Good luck to you! And despite what det says, Memphis bbq rocks! The Corky's in Nashville is not nearly as good.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Tennessee
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top