Can anyone tell me about Tennessee?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I have lived in NJ for all of my 43 years.

    I'm looking to relocate somewhere down south.

    It's too damn expensive to live here, and I'm looking to buy
    my very first home. I figure for $250K I can find a really nice
    4 bedroom home in either Tennessee or North Carolina.

    Why Tennessee? Oh, I don't know. I know someone that
    lives in Franklin, which is located just outside of Nashville.

    Anyhow, what do you guys think of Tennessee? Can a northerner
    like myself who wants to get away from the city attitudes be able
    to kick back and enjoy a more laid-back life down south?

    What are the native's attitudes towards northerners?

    I know I'm asking stupid questions here, but really, would like to
    get a general idea of lifestyle in Tennessee.

    You can also chime in if you think North Carolina would be a
    better place to live over Tennessee.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've got friends and family in TN, so I've got a bit of second-hand knowledge.

    Knoxville is a small, big city (about 100k) and I found it attractive when visiting a former roommate this Spring. Because of the University and Federal Labs, it's a more cosmopolitan region; not deep-South. It's 45 min from the mountains. Housing is affordable, though it seems to be afflicted with a lot of sprawl. In all, it seemed a good place to live.

    I'm told Nashville is a very nice area.

    Memphis, according to a family member who is now working there, is pretty backwards. There is a more "genteel", affluent region that can be nice to live and work in, but it's very expensive. Cheaper to actually live across the border in Mississippi. But the greater Memphis region is reported to be very "South", in the negative sense. Slow moving people, terrible service as a rule for restaurants, grocery stores, etc.

    And I've got an Uncle who recently moved from the sticks of IN to the boonies of TN, and he loves it. I've not seen it, but if you like being in the country away from big cities, or neighbors, you can find affordable land.
     
  3. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    This is great! My chance to get booted off HTF once and for all!

    I've lived in NC, SC, GA for various periods of time; with the combined total being most of my life. Never lived in TN, but have visited there. (Also spent 6 months in NJ. Thank you, Army)

    Back to your questions:

    You will like living in the South once you get used to the heat, humidity, bugs, and accents.

    You will be treated decently, even by people who may taken back by your "Northern differences"; i.e. abruptness, argumentiveness, loudness. Just don't be offended if they keep saying "What?"

    You probably will have to go to the big city to find a place that has food you like, such a real Philly cheese steak or deep dish pizza.

    You will probably never like grits, collards, fried okra, or corn bread. That's fine, but don't bitch about the food at Bubba's Ribs.

    Did I mention the heat, humidity, & bugs?

    Will your income be transferable? Money will go a lot further in the South, for now. Eventually this will not be so, as the price of real estate inflates here as it has in other portions of the country. Land adjacent to land that my family has owned for centuries is now selling for $100,000 an acre for homesites on a golf course. To rich Yankees, of course. [​IMG]
     
  4. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    I would not call Nashville relaxing any longer. Traffic is certainly not on the level of LA but it is pretty bad. A thirty minute drive usually takes around an hour to an hour and a half with traffic if you are goinge anywhere close to dowtown. People are shitty at times like anywhere and road construction is always one lane width behind where it needs to be. But neighbors are generally nice where an HOA is present but they are not going to bring you brownies when you move in. There are a lot of good places to eat from $10 a meal up to around $75.

    You can find a nice 4 bedroom for $250 if you go out far enough (Smyrna, Lavergne). $250 will get you a really nice 2 bedroom in Franklin - Maybe 3 in the 'burbs of Franklin. MT. Juliet is another good place to live and considered by many to be another Franklin in the coming years. You can get into a nice 3 bedroom with a bonus room and possibly basement for that there - Square footage from 2700 to maybe 3200. You will not get close to that price range in Nashville or the immediate surrouning areas unfortunately.

    Nightlife is not great if you are into that sort of thing. And it seems that those places that you would usually equate with quiet elevator music in background replace that with country music here. Grating in my opinion.

    Memphis is much cooler but dirtier and certainly patchwork in regards to real-estate. You generally have $300,000 homes next to shacks within blocks of each other unless you get into the Germantown area - I find it much nicer than Franklin but also more expensive.

    But I really think laid-back is what you make it. You can get caught up in both lifestyles in Nashville. I guess it greatly depends on what people do for a living and how they srround themselves with as to how busy they are.

    The demographics are very diverse. There is a large population of Kurdish, African, Mexican, etc.

    I guess I would say Nashville is probably a good in-between. Not crazy, but certainly not laid-back. But those place exist in Tennessee, however, you are getting into areas where the term redneck originated. Althought, I think every state has those areas - low class people.
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The farther south you go, the hotter it gets. The bugs could be a deal breaker for some people. I still have mosquito bite marks from the 4th that I spent in the heart of the Mississippi delta farmland.

    -Robert
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Guys,

    Let's try to remain respectful to each other here. It was not
    my intent to fuel discussion that characterizes what sort of
    people live where.
     
  7. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Ron,
    I didn't mean for my last post to come out sounding that way but I just didn't want people to think this part of the South was any different. If you want to test the waters on a visit, I'll personally give you the grand tour of the Memphis area.

    -Robert
     
  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I've never been to Tennessee, but I did attend a friend's wedding in Louisville, Ketucky (just across the border). The people all seemed quite nice and friendly. The summer weather was incredibly hot and humid, and I couldn't imagine being out in it for any length of time. It's the only place I've ever been where a rain shower made things worse.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I don't want to offend anyone, My information is second hand, so treat it as such.

    I have a family member working at a manufacturing plant. The word is that the workforce is generally lazy and does a poor job; much worse than that found in the mid-west. His wife says that service at restaurants and grocery stores is abysmal: very slow and the servers give you what they want, when they want, without great concern to your actual order or preferences. If you're a person who lives at a brisk pace, does things correctly and expects others to do do their job efficiently, Memphis is not the place for you. There are some very nice parts of Memphis I hear, but that houses in MS are about 25% cheaper.

    The rest of TN sounds nice; I liked Knoxville. But Memphis does not sound attractive.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I grew up in the Louisville area (pronounced LOO-uh-vul [​IMG]) and being in the river valley, it's very humid in the summer. It's grown a lot in the past 20 years and has some very attrative areas.

    People there are generally outwardly friendlier in public than I've found in the Northeast (upstate NY). I've seen this in other parts of the South.
     
  11. Sean Cauley

    Sean Cauley Stunt Coordinator

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    Technically, Louisville is nearly a whole state away, since it's on the Kentucky/Indiana border about 130 miles up I-65 from the Tennessee line. But I've lived in Louisville my whole life, and attended college in Bowling Green, KY (closer to Nashville), so I'd say the weather is comparable. (Louisville also has a cool vibe, alternately southern and midwestern, depending on whom you're talking to, but we've still got some growing pains and a Napoleon complex when it comes to how cosmopolitan we want to be.)

    I've always liked Nashville, which is bigger and busier than Louisville, but has plenty to do. They've become a major-league sports city in recent years, with the Titans in the NFL and the Predators in the NHL, and have minor-league teams, too, if sports are your thing. They've got a pretty cool nightlife, as long as you don't mind most of the bars being country-music-based; it's an industry town, musically, so artists play for exposure in clubs that don't charge cover, and the artists rotate throughout the night, so a night out can be a lot of fun if you like live entertainment. (I'm not much of a country fan, but in Nashville's "District," it can be a lot of fun every once in a while, and a big name might pop in unannounced.)

    One thing I like is that Nashville is a place that people move to, between the music industry, colleges (like Vanderbilt University), state government, and its being a business center for companies like Bellsouth. Since so many are new to the area, it's not as "cliquish" and "good-old-boy network" as you'd expect a southern city to be, and people have seemed to me to be pretty friendly and open to outsiders.

    Also, Nashville has the best strip club I've ever been in. [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    My wife and I are planning on retiring to western North Carolina or the Knoxville area (hopefully in about 10 years), so we have begun looking into the areas. In general, real estate will be more affordable on the Tennessee side of the border than in the Asheville, NC area. We would prefer NC, only because we currently own a condo on the beach in South Carolina that we plan on keeping, so NC would be a shorter drive. If Tennessee (Knoxville area) proves to fit our budget better, we'll probably end up there instead.

    Personally, we find the area and people very pleasant, and the climate in the mountains is not as hot and humid as other areas in the southeast -- and probably no worse than you are used to in NJ during the summer.

    I cannot offer much on Nashville, other than to say the traffic is not something I want to deal with after retirement (we've travelled through there on the way to Huntsville numerous times to visit my wife's family). I've never been to Memphis.
     
  13. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    My dad moved to Chattanooga a couple of years ago and he's had a lot of good things to say about it. Said it reminds him of Austin before it went downhill. Of course, he's a retiree, so his priorities are probably different than Ron's [​IMG]
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Ron, sir, you should have asked me about this! I have extensive experience with regard to both Memphis and Nashville, having spent enormous amounts of time in both towns. Tennessee is different, to be sure. Nashville probably is the "nicer" town, but Memphis has a more gritty, truer "feel" (and nightlife).

    No matter what, the state is quite unlike New Jersey. And, truly, I do not see how you would not fit in. However (and, as I said, I've spent a lot of time in that state), I have come across the slightly more-than-occasional negative comment about the North (or, for that matter, the West) as well as more frequent utterances of, well (how to put it?), "negative" commentary on things that are, um, different (and perhaps you might want to e-mail me on this point -- it's very important).
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’ve never lived in Tennessee or North Carolina, but I did grow up (5th grade through high school) in Kentucky, have visited both Nashville and Memphis many times and been to North Carolina on business several times.

    The climate and the feel in either state depends on where you live. Nashville and Memphis are much hotter and more humid, for example, that if you choose to live in the mountains. Small towns, like almost anywhere, are much more parochial than mid-size cities..

    The food in Memphis is outstanding. I don’t know if you can get a deep dish pizza, but you can get some of the best ribs anywhere (along with other great food). Also there is a deep music tradition in Memphis that really must be experienced to be believed.

    I always thought that Nashville was quite a cultured city—more so than Memphis (at least high-brow culture) and probably more so than most places in New Jersey that are not New York or Princeton. So too are many parts of North Carolina (also with very good barbeque), especially around the research triangle.

    I’ve always had a great time in these places, and could not imagine that I’d not be happy living in any of them.

    Of course that all depends on what is important to you.
     
  16. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    I didn't know that, Lew, where in KY did you grow up? I'm originally from Lexington.
     
  17. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Most are under $100/sf and you get anywhere from 1/2 to 1+ acres with it. I had my 4,250 sf house custom built four years ago and it was well under $100/sf and that included the .85 acres.

    -Robert
     
  18. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Ron,
    My father grew up in Nashville, my mother grew up in Kingsport (at the corner of NE TN, next to NC and VA). I've visited TN all my life. I'm a Navy brat who's lived up and down the east coast. I've lived in Southern GA, Charleston SC, Maine, RI, Maryland, Northern VA, Va Beach. Blah, blah, blah. I just spent the weekend in Kingsport.

    I don't care if I step on anyone's toes. Being a military brat (and then in the military will do that). As the south goes, TN and NC are very attractive. Most of the advantages of the south without many of the disadvantages. You get polite, considerate people. You get more for your dollar. The area is beautiful: lots of trees and mountains and open spaces. Life moves a bit slower. but TN and NC (depending on WHERE you are) can be fairly cosmopolitan. The people think as fast as you...they just measure their words. They start out open and friendly...you have to lose them. I learned it's the opposite most places up north (though the people up north tend to be friendly as well...once you know them).

    All of that said, I'd visit any place before considering the move. I think TN is well worth your time. It's a beautiful state with good, open-minded people. At least in my experience. If you want beaches, choose NC. If you want mountains, choose TN.
     
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Ron,

    I've just recently relocated myself. In my case it was from San Jose, CA, to Boise, ID. But some of my observations may be useful to anyone considering uprooting oneself and relocating.

    Don't focus on the cost of housing. Outside the few major metro areas in the US, e.g. metro NY and SF bay area, most parts of the country will appear cheap to you. $250K buys you a nice place almost anywhere.

    Instead consider the access to cultural attractions, access to 'the outdoors', and the socio-political makeup of the locals. Do you want to live in a red state or a blue state? These are the deep lifestyle issues that should drive your decision.

    I took out a map of the 50 states when I decided to bail out of silicon valley. It didn't take me long to whittle the list down to Virginia/North Carolina or the pacific northwest. Idaho got the nod, even though I had to do a lot of research to see if I would fit in there.

    I've been blogging on my relocation over in Frezon's "Test" thread...you can look there starting last fall. Here's a typical Idaho scene:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    i grew up in north alabama and went to nashville, memphis, and knoxville on several occasions. it's been over decade since i've been to nashville. if i had to choose a place to live in tennessee, i'd choose knoxville but that's due primarily to it's closer location to the great smoky mountains where my fiance and i often like to vacation. in as much as fitting in, i don't think you'll have much of a problem. be prepared to here several "how are you today?", "how's it going?", and so forth from strangers. it's been a long time since i've been in the north / northeast, but i don't recall making eye contact with a complete stranger there and having them say something to me.

    kevin t
     

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