If you plan on going downtown, be warned - it is very hilly. Unless you are sure you can park close to your destination, might be a good idea to leave the "cute shoes" in the closet and go comfy instead.
I’m surprised (albeit pleasantly) no one has warned against some of the more rural areas of Nashville and the “R” word…Yeah, we all know it exists and therefore common sense should tell us all the farther away you get from metropolitan areas the greater the chance of wrangling with it and the more “traditional” types but… I just didn’t expect it here.
Along the main drag we never had problems, just the opposite; every single person we met said hi, engaged us in fun conversation, etc. One day I and another convention goer (black, male) decided to go explore a bit more off the beaten path. While I can’t remember where we were, it was extremely rural and the houses were more like shacks and very far apart from one another. Before heading back, we stopped at a local liquor store so he could pick up some things. I made a purchase with absolutely no problem but then all of a sudden, It was just like out of a bad movie- my friend asked for specific items and the counter guy angrily insisted he didn’t carry them. Finally he asked for a certain pack of cigarettes that were within our plain view and the guy just goes “nope, uh-uh”. And then all of a sudden two huge guys come out from the back out of nowhere inching closer to us and we bolted outta there quick!
Being from California, I can’t even begin to explain how strange this was to me. Unfortunately the guy I was with shrugged nonchalantly telling me “yeah, well, I’m from the South so..” and I suppose that explains it all.
If you are looking for a hotel and you come across a great deal anywhere on Dickerson Pike beware. The area is known for prostitutes, drug deals, etc. Historically not a pleasant part of town although the area is trying to clean itself up a bit. Better to pay a little more and stay in the Midtown/ Vanderbilt University area or downtown.
The Dickerson Pike area has a few live music venues but i'd be a little leary of those, too.
City’s tour can pick you up assuming you are on their tour, although you are not. While I was shooting the Parthenon, the city tour bus vigorously honked to me thinking I am the one of those tourists from their tour who is too busy with taking pictures and ignoring impatiently waiting others. Well, when I realized bus signals were directed to me, I vigorously waved “no, no, I am not on your tour” in reply. Of course, I could join that tour without a word, but what if they realized I was not with them and let me go? How would I get to my car? That was a stick of two ends.
For those of you who love to garden, it's just gorgeous here. Everything is lush and green. If you're like me, you equate this with wonderful soil... WRONG! I've no clue why things grow so well and so beautifully here, but it's certainly NOT the soil. I have learned (the hard way) that beautiful gardens don't happen without a whole lot of hard work. The only things that grow super well without any help in this solid rock are the vines that choke everything else out . Here is how & what I learned:
I just had to have a butterfly bush in my front yard both for the butterflies and to disguise a telephone pole. My neighbors laughed & laughed at me over that one. I had an 8" (that's INCH!) deep by 8 FOOT round hole dug (spent two days on the stupid thing!) before I figured out that the entire state is just one big ROCK with 8 inches of rocky clay on top of it. I FINALLY was intelligent enough to build a raised bed. (I miss California dirt!) The flower beds in front of the house took all spring & most of the summer to dig out one foot deep and replace the rocky clay with good topsoil. Again my neighbors laughed. They laughed some more when I spent the summer battling weeds in the lawn & mowing the stupid thing twice a week (I came up with all sorts of plans involving covering all that green with concrete!). But they stopped laughing when I had beautiful roses, lillies, iris, dahlias, daisy's, & azalias all spring, summer, & fall. By then the stuff they'd just plopped into the ground & ignored had keeled over and they wanted to know how I'd managed such gorgeous flowers. It's nice to have the last laugh. ;-)
Well, I don´t know of any city that doesn´t have them, but be careful of vagrants and drunk people. This one was so passed out I thought he was dead, I had to check but he was just "out cold" it seemed. In the downtown area just off the main ways, with the amount of bars, you´re gonna get drunks. Some are quiet and ok, some are not. The police are very active at night to make sure trouble doesn´t start, and patrolling along the side streets, but they miss some. Just be careful. This was 1 o´clock the afternoon while we walked from Demo´s Steakhouse down towards Broadway. I guess the "paddy wagon" just missed this one. Stay to the main roads at night if you are walking and don´t know the town.
Well, we had a wonderful time while we were in Nashville! It is a wonderful town, with music EVERYWHERE! But, while we were driving around, we went through some very rough-looking areas (with bars on the windows and stuff)...so i thought I'd give everyone a heads up on those. I'm not from Nashville, but I'll try to explain it as best as I can. We were trying to go through downtown on our way to the Opry Mills area, but we didn't want to go on the Briley parkway, due to all of the construction. So we went on the Gallatin Pike through East Nashville. (I think) We went through some pretty rough areas while on that road...there were bars on the windows many places. Then later, we were in the area northwest of downtown...yeah, that was a mistake. I felt very unsafe here...and it was daytime! So I would steer clear of those areas I mentioned at night...they could be rather scary.
Although I love just about eveything in and around Nashville, twice I have been caught in torrential downpours! (Once the hotel garage was flooded; and the other time the street became so flooded in less than 3 minutes, I had to pull into a raised parking lot to wait out the storm.)
If you are going to drive during the rainy season, be aware of potential storms, and where you leave the car parked!
The only danger that we came across was a tornado and the city had no sirens to sound off to let us know of the immediate danger we were in. The staff of an Inn that we were staying at just shuffled us in the banquet room up against the walls. We pulled the tables over our heads and wrapped the children with the tablecloths incase of flying debris. The tornado struck 1/4 mile from us, too close for comfort. So my advise is to have a weather radio with you so you will be aware of upcoming weather and prepare yourself to take cover in a fallout shelter or a safe place where you are staying.
Exercise extreme caution if you book hotel lodgings in the 'Trinity Lane' area. While it doesn't look it, this vicinity can be dangerous if you're not cautious and alert. The low rates for hotels in this area make it a popular area for drug use and prostitution. The motels in this area, by and large, are of acceptable quality. Just exercise caution. Put all valuables in your vehicle out of sight, or better yet, bring them into the room with you. Keep your room locked at all times.
Another potentially dangerous area to avoid when looking for lodging is 'Dickerson Road'.
The only ones I can think of, are maybe you won't want to go home!
Or, you will definitely eat too much of the great tasting country cooking, and will get fat!
And you might be tempted to learn an instrument, and try for a career in music!
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