Sunday, June 05, 2022

National Geographic names Nashville a top place to visit in June

by Rod Williams, June 5 2022- I am a proud Nashvillian and feel pride when Nashville is recognized and honored. I must admit, however, that I wish so many people had not discovered Nashville. I liked it better maybe ten or fifteen years ago. Still, it is a great place to live. There are other places, I would like to visit, maybe visit for six months, but there is no other place I would rather call home.  I love this town. 

I love country music and the music scene. I don't do it as much now as in the past, but I have followed the music scene for decades and have been blown away by the discovery of new artists or cover bands that have mastered the classics while giving the songs their own interpretation. There is always a good concert and undiscovered talent playing small bars and writer's nights where you can hear the songwriters sing their songs before they are hits by someone else.  While lots of locals, express hatred of lower Broadway, I love it.  I like the crowds, the energy, the music, the neon, and the bridesmaid's parties and I don't mind the party buses and pedal taverns, nor the scooters.  I like seeing people have fun. I may be an old man, but I am still young at heart.

I love that we are the State capital and one is close to where the big decisions in our state are made. Despite being dominated by a liberal power structure and becoming increasingly woke, there is a vibrant conservative political scene with seminars, breakfast groups, First Tuesday, Bastiat Society, Jack Johnson's Barbeque, Mark Green's Fish Fry, Beacon Center events, various fundraisers, workshops, seminars, rallies, and demonstrations.  I thrive on politics and ideas. Here my desire for intellectual stimulation and my desire to be part of making a difference is met.  I am currently not doing much of that due to a health condition keeping me mostly at home, but I look forward to soon rejoining the world.  I would be bored in a town without the political environment of Nashville. 

I like the art scene and the art crawls and the galleries and museums. I like our beautiful parks and greenways and lakes. I like the big band dances in the park, I like the neighborhood celebrations, the Celebration of Cultures festival, the Centennial Park Craft Festival, the Southern Festival of Books and more.  I love food and Nashville has about any kind of food you would want and plenty of it, and award-winning chefs. I like the craft breweries and coffee shops. I like the colleges and universities where you can hear a concert, or watch a play, or just walk through a beautiful campus and feel smarter by osmosis. 

If one wants to complain there is plenty to complain about; much of the new residential architecture is ugly and replaces stately homes, the cost of housing, homelessness, high taxes, pandering to criminals, celebrations of deviance, crime, and poor schools. However, to keep some of that in perspective, among our poor schools are some excellent schools and one can live in the Nashville area yet live in an adjoining county where schools are generally much better.  Poor schools admittedly are a drawback for parents of school-age children. It kind of comes with the territory in a liberal city I think and I am not so sure that our schools are worse than other cities our size. 

The price of housing is not only a Nashville problem but a problem among all developed countries. Part of the problem is government-created, but when you live in a desirable city and lots of people with money want to live there, housing prices go up. Our homeless problem is not nearly as bad as some other cities our size.  I am concerned as we get more "woke," the problem will get worse, but so far we have done better than many places our size in dealing with the problem.

One could focus on these problems and high crime and high taxes, but I still think overall, Nashville is a great place to live. And, it is a great place to visit. Nashville came in at the top of the list in National Geographic's Where to travel in June: five of the best destinations.

Look what company we are in. Here's the list:

  1. Nashville, TN
  2. Pembrokeshire, Wales
  3. Malaysian, Borneo
  4. Sweden
  5. Cusco, Peru

That is some pretty fine company. Note that we are the only US city to make the cut. The article praises CMA Fest, Bonnaroo, and Musicians' Corner.  

I am proud of this recognition.  However, sometimes I wish we would get less recognition. I met a new neighbor yesterday. In making her acquaintance I asked what brought her to Nashville. She told me she had a job where she could work from home and live anywhere.  A couple years ago, she came to Nashville as a tourist and fell in love with the city. When thinking of where to settle down, she said she visited several other cities and didn't find any place she liked as much as Nashville.  

I have a fear, that as we get more visitors we will find more people who fall in love with the city and move here. I have a concern that at some point so many newcomers will be here, that the city will change and lose its character. I hope it does not become a generic big city without a soul. With growth may come even more taxes, more traffic congestion, higher housing prices, and more crime.  Also, many of the liberal woke moving here may make Nashville more like the place they fled.

Maybe all of this recognition is not a good thing. Still, I cannot help but feel pride. 

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