I recently had the pleasure of visiting Nashville, Tennessee. It was my first time in what I guess would be considered the “Deep South”. And I have to say that the experience was very different from what I expected.
Actually, to be honest, I wasn’t entirely what to expect. I am currently writing a book on creative people and thought that Nashville would be an interesting place to visit, as it seems to be the creative hub of the southern US in a lot of ways.
But before I get into the creative individuals who I had a chance to meet, I need to first write about the food. THE FOOD. Now, as you now know, I have never been anywhere in the south. Maybe this is simply the caliber of restaurant cooking throughout the area, in which case, wow.
Firstly, compared to where I was spending the previous year, New York City, the food here was cheap. And delicious. If you have ever read about Nashville then you have heard of Jack’s Barbecue. Jack’s is an institution, having first opened in 1976. I got a pulled pork sandwich that was absolutely amazing, and massive. I couldn’t finish it, and I pride myself on having a strong appetite.
The coffeeshop scene seems to be booming as well, with a lot of creative types sipping on cappuccinos throughout the city. Apparently the frontman of the Black Keys lives here, as does Jack White, the singer of the band The White Stripes. White called Portland home for a long time, and I have to admit I questioned his decision to relocate to Nashville when I heard of it, but now I understand. I really do.
The music scene is another plus that Nashville offers. We saw a seriously wide range of bands perform during our week long stay in the city. And if you are into Bluegrass- forget about it! This is the city for you. There is nothing I enjoy more than enjoying a cuban while listening to some music, and Nashville offers this in spades.
In fact, I think it might be an even better city for music than Austin, Texas, which is saying a lot.
But the real purpose of my trip to Nashville wasn’t just music and beef brisquet. It was to help a friend’s aging mother get situated with assisted living there. My friend’s mother is a widow and is in a wheelchair, and while she had been receiving homecare from an excellent provider (thanks Marty), it was time to move her into assisted living. It is also a city that my parents have been considering as a possible retirement destination, so I was keen to check it out.
It’s not ALL good though. For example, locals complain that prices have gone up a lot in recent years. And the weather is seriously humid in the summer. Really gross. I’m not sure about levels of crime but that is something I always research before moving to a new city.
So we’ll see. My parents might well end up here in 10 years. Even if they don’t, one thing is for sure- I’ll be back, if only for the beef brisket.