It’s that time again.
I’m 3 months out from my next move (plus a week), and I must make my decision.
I’ve been dancing around two different cities in the same state, and as tends to be the way of it, the initial frontrunner was overtaken by the challenger, and now I know (as well as I can know) that I have settled on my next stop on my 10 City Tour:
Originally, I had considered Memphis (it’s technically got a larger population), but my research into the city was less than promising. I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life being told I should have picked Memphis over Nashville. Oh well.
Slowly, Nashville pulled ahead. And then it flooded. I wavered.
But, ultimately, Nashville just feels like my next city. The same way I felt about Philadelphia. The same way I felt about San Francisco. I can already see it as part of my narrative.
I don’t mean fate, or some sort of ‘spiritual’ pull. There’s nothing mystical about what draws me from city to city, nor is it truly random. 4 of the 5 cities I’ve moved to were chosen largely because of one particular person or another. Only Philadelphia was picked arbitrarily, based on nothing more than that I’d never been there before.
After the previous 3 years, I feel like I could use a little more randomness in my life again.
I visited Nashville once before for two days, with my brother, back when I was in college. It was on my all-important deconversion trip, on which my brother and I took Greyhound buses from Kansas City to Nashville, then to Boston, and finally to New York City (the very first time I had ever visited mecca) before taking a 2-day bus trip back to Kansas (where I found my car broken into and all of my clothing and belongings missing; but that’s another story). We spent New Years Eve in Boston and then we were in NYC, so as you might imagine, the 2 days in Nashville don’t stand out to me, particularly.
I have vague memories of walking through a historical neighborhood and visiting the Opry Mills Mall (yeah, I know, living it up). In researching my next move, I’ve learned a little about the general layout of the city and parts of the city that look interesting (apparently East Nashville is where I’ll want to live for a younger, ‘hipper’ crowd), but there is plenty I don’t know. That’s what intrigues me.
I’ll spend the next month or so figuring out exactly where I want to live and what price range I can expect to pay for an apartment, and then in July, the search begins in earnest.
The Not For Tourists Guidebooks are my personal preference for learning about a new city, but unfortunately they don’t have a book for Nashville, yet. I’ll have to make a little trip to the bookstore and see what else I can find, but I am certainly bummed that I won’t have my NFT guide this time around. They have been invaluable in SF and Chicago.
If you, dear reader, are familiar with Nashville and have suggestions, I’ll always appreciate insider information. Ultimately, I make of each city what I can with the funds and resources that I have, and that invariable means I miss out on a lot of what cities have to offer. All the same, I try my hardest to have as diverse an experience as I can manage and I’m looking forward to Nashville offering me a very different year than the other 5 I’ve had so far.
In the meantime, I have 3 more months in this great city, Chicago, and I plan on spending them well. I’m going to see a friend’s band headline at the Elbo Room (and hopefully more venues), catch She & Him playing a free show in Millennium Park, possibly go swimming at one of the beaches and definitely return to Delilah’s to try more Whiskey (3 down, 397 to go). And there will be plenty more unplanned shenanigans to fill out the rest of my time here.
It’s summer, it’s hot, and I don’t have much time left before the road calls me out again…