Nashville vs. Durham
Is she talking about Nashville or Durham? I'm not sure if either city should be flattered, proud of itself, or what. The homogeneously hip South. It could be a lot worse.
I lived near Nashville in the late '90's. The author pegged it right - most of the food was bland and dull. There were a few good Indian places, one Japanese restaurant and an excellent bread place.
Otherwise the only things prepared well were meat & 3's, a few burger places and the chicken.
Glad they have more interesting choices now.
I think there are paths of interest that are somewhat reactionary which thread through a culture. This artisan/seasonal/honor your locale model reflects several movements which have been peculating for decades - finally reaching the point of wide dissemination. I suspect any town, especially if it has a university, will reveal a similar food scene.
Mmmmmmm. Not sure that's a fair question. Nashville is a growing, capital city of around a million people. Durham, where I live, is a city of only 225,000. Having said that, the NYTimes sure gave a lot of attention to Durham last year.
As someone who lives in the Triangle, I read that article and thought that if the name of the city were blanked out, you could substitute "Durham" and everything else about the article would still hold true. I'm sure that the residents of other Southern cities could do the same with the name of their home, too.
My point is that, at least in the eyes of outsiders, every "hip" Southern city is one and the same. The article in and of itself is not a slight to the resident of any city. The compliment would be the long overdue recognition that many Southern cities have vibrant and interesting arts, cultural, and food scenes. The fact that we apparently have no individual identity is the insult.