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Moving to Nashville--where should I live?

dashrashi Apr 25, 2010 01:54 PM

After spending the first 25 years of my life on the Northeast Corridor, I am moving to Nashville for one year over Memorial Day weekend. I'll be working downtown, and I'm not much of a driver, so I'm hoping to avoid having to buy a car. (My partner does have a car for big trips to the grocery store and such, but really we're urban-types who are used to walking/public-transiting it everywhere.) Are there any specific neighborhoods that I should be considering for the apartment search? Ideally, there would be a corner grocery or similar within a 5-10 minute walk, one (or more) casual dinner-y place within a 15 minute walk, and, in an ideal world, a weekend breakfast place within a 15-20 minute walk. What neighborhoods have enough of a walkable feel, good food options, and are downtown-accessible? Or am I going to have to suck it up, buy a car and get used to driving for the 9 PM ice cream run?

  1. a
    amh615 May 28, 2010 10:32 AM

    I agree with Brooky - you need a car in Nashville. I'm a transplant and love it here but you will not find the NYC / Brooklyn / Hoboken experience here. Our public transportation system isn't great. There are some very nice and cool places neighborhoods and new condos or revamped lofts but you'll still need to have a car to drive to a good grocery store or to do anything outside your immediate neighborhood. Germantown, Hillsboro Village, Belmont/12 South, the Gulch all offer some of this and are nice. I agree too that the food and restaurant scene has improved in the years since I first moved here. You won't get pizza like the Tri-state area but we have great meat & 3, barbeque and other specialties and you can't beat the quality of life.

    1. b
      brooky May 24, 2010 09:03 PM

      You must have a car in nashville. This is not a walking city by any means. sorry.

      1. p
        pugger May 1, 2010 06:10 AM

        You can live downtown...probably plenty of condo rental deals right now. They do have a small grocery store on church street and there are a few decent places to eat within a 15 minute walk. Most of it is touristy...although for a newcomer might be fun...honky tonk bars etc. Most of the good restaurants are in east nashville and west end areas, which would require a car or a really good walk (half hour). Maybe a bicycle? East Nashville five points and hillsboro village are good options for nice walking neighborhoods with restaurants et., but you would need to drve to work...maybe bicycle from east nashville. Don't let the negative folks get you down...Nashville has a lot to offer and continues to grow in the restaurant food scene. Living downtown puts you in an easy walk to the farmers market...which is getting more and more local, artisnal vendors all the time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pugger
          nm1 May 1, 2010 11:31 AM

          I live in East Nashville and take the bus to work. And I know plenty of people who live over here and bike it, or do a combination of bus and bike.

          Look, go a little easy on the poor Jersey person. I'm also a transplant to Nashville and I love it here, but questions like this one just happen to touch on the two issues that bother those of us who came here from bigger cities, the food and the public transportation. Both of them have improved (public transportation marginally, the food quite a bit) since I've been here, but they are the two irritants that newcomers run up against every day.

          1. re: nm1
            jcr05 May 14, 2010 01:23 PM

            No one has mentioned Belmont/12th South??? Plenty of restaurants within 5-10 minutes walks, a brand new market on 12th South called Greenlight market that specializes in locally grown produce along with takeout items (I will say that it is SMALL and not for big grocery trips, but will have milk, bread, produce, etc.) Las Paletas isn't ice cream, but great popsicles. Frothy Monkey does a great breakfast, as does Bonga Java on Belmont. Other restaurants are the brand new Burger Up, Mafiaoza's Pizza, Rumours Wine Bar, 12th South Taproom, PM Sushi and Cha Chah tapas (also owned by Arnold Myint, contestant in the upcoming Top Chef in DC) and 3 coffee shops: Portland Brew, Frothy Monkey and Bongo Java. Not to mention the Taco Truck every Thursday afternoon in front of Imogene + Willie, the coolest denim store around.

            There is a bus stop on Belmont that goes downtown -- my neighbors son rides it to his HS there.

            You can also easily walk to Hillsboro Village in about 20'ish minutes which has more restaurants. Another mile'ish walk is Harris Teeter, a grocery store as well.

            Belmont/12th South is a GREAT neighborhood and is also an easy shot to downtown via 12th or 8th Avenues. To me it's a no brainer :-)

            Hope this helps :-)

            2400 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204

            Frothy Monkey
            2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204

        2. n
          nm1 Apr 30, 2010 03:24 PM

          There was a similar thread on this board recently. Suggestions were Hillsboro Village, the Gulch, and East Nashville. East Nashville (depending on exactly where you are) will give you the dinner places, the brunch places, the ice cream, and a good bus to downtown. The groceries withing walking distance are all mediocre to horrible, though. There aren't a lot of apartment rentals in East Nashville, but there are some condos with decent locations.

          1. i
            I love Jersey Apr 30, 2010 09:39 AM

            good luck!!! nothing that you are describing exists, and if you dont want to drive for 30 minutes for your icecream run you will probably want to look in the west end/green hills neighborhood. there is a train to downtown from the "suburbs" but it is rather infrequent..my advice, stay in the northeast, I know I wish I did.

            4 Replies
            1. re: I love Jersey
              jamiecarroll Apr 30, 2010 12:11 PM

              Wow, that's nice. What's stopping you from moving back?

              1. re: jamiecarroll
                TLF Apr 30, 2010 02:38 PM

                "I love Jersey" hates Nashville and the food here and posts frequently about his (her?) hatred. So helpful.

                1. re: TLF
                  I love Jersey May 3, 2010 12:53 PM

                  just telling it like it is from my perspective, there are things that i like about the south and give credit when credit is due...coming from an area that has real neighborhoods and unique businesses to an area which is very stripmall chain fastfood centric takes a bit to get used to...and the first chance i get i am going back but the housing market isnt cooperating with my plans

                  1. re: I love Jersey
                    recycledfood Nov 12, 2010 10:00 PM

                    "Who says you can't go home."
                    -Fake Bon Jovi

            2. t
              TLF Apr 25, 2010 01:58 PM

              Hillsboro Village is really the only area that meets all of your criteria. It's not cheap.

              There are newer condo development downtown, in SoBro (south of Broadway), and in midtown that will meet some of your criteria. Again, not cheap. Another option would be parts of East Nashville. The main thing that will be lacking in all but Hillsboro Village will be the grocery store, or at least a decent grocery store.

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