The 10 habits of highly effective Nashvillians

Nashville is booming, and as it reaches up to claim its place in the nation's elite-level cities, it becomes clear that there are some residents who are just better at being Nashvillians than others. Here's what those awesome people are doing right, and how you too can be one of them... 

1. Depending who they’re talking to, they are flexible when giving directions

Speaking with a native, always describe a location by what used to be there “The new Hattie B’s? You know, it’s over on Charlotte where the Nuvo Burrito that used to be a Krystal was.” Recent transplants better understand landmarks that describe where The Black Keys (or some such band) did something. “You know, the restaurant where Jack White picked up Dolly Parton’s dinner tab.” And tourists, bless their hearts, are best informed by landmarks which are commonly featured on the ABC show Nashville. “You know, it’s at the East end of the walking bridge where everyone meets to make conspiratorial plans.”

Street sign
Flickr/Paul Chenoweth

2. They are not intimidated by Nashville’s bizarre system of street-naming conventions

Sure, 11th Ave turns into 12th Ave in the middle of the Gulch in front of Cantina Laredo. No problem. Old Hickory Blvd has multiple separate exits on all three of the interstates crossing through town. If you mess up on which Old Hickory Blvd/I-40 exit you take, you could miss your destination by 40 miles, stranding yourself in Bellevue instead of Hermitage. The competent Nashvillian takes this in their stride, no problem. 

3. They develop constantly changing shortcuts 

12th Ave South used to be a luge run that could get you from Green Hills to Downtown in 10 minutes. Now it’s just another street with a ton of restos and no parking. Still, drivers who are in the know take 10th Ave to bypass all the 12 South craziness because nobody else has discovered that sneak route yet. Oops.


4. They recognize that anyone wearing a cowboy hat is probably a Chicago Blackhawks fan in town for a Predators game

Be kind to our visitors, but don’t be afraid to sell them a subscription to the Nashville Scene and collect that $20 cover charge before they can get through the front door at Robert’s Western World

5. They know what to wear to a wedding by the time of day on the invitation

Some couples still get married at “The Club” at 7pm, so you’d better own a tux that fits if you know those sorts of people. And don’t you dare show up in a rental that some kid wore to the Hendersonville High prom last weekend. Any event before 5pm means you can wear anything from a linen suit and tie to your imogene + willie jeans.

Hot chicken
Hot Chicken Festival

6. They know their hot chicken

Don't try and be a hero. Understand your heat tolerance, and stick to it. 

7. They fastidiously avoid the airport during the week of CMA Music Fest and Bonnaroo

The overwhelming prevailing aromas of Skoal and patchouli in the arrivals concourse will wreck your sense of smell for weeks. 

8. They know that Big Sandy on the Tennessee River West of town is the canary in the coal mine of all Nashville severe weather

When Nancy Van Camp announces that Big Sandy is “under the gun”, you know that Nashville is about 90 minutes away from some serious weather, and Lisa Patton is due to sweat through her pantsuit at any moment.

Printer's Alley

9. They don’t go crazy over landmarks that they haven’t visited in years being torn down

There’s enough to worry about when it comes to Nashville’s growth as a city without getting worked up about the impending closing of a bar in Printer’s Alley, a soda shop, a race track, or a baseball stadium that you haven’t set foot in (except maybe "ironically") in over a decade.

10. They know all the awesome spots for checking out the July 4th fireworks

Forget Downtown. Smart Nashvillians set up shop on the gentle sloping lawn in front of the Adventure Science Center, or charm their way onto a 2nd Ave rooftop. The top floor deck at Acme Feed & Seed will undoubtedly be the spot to be next summer, so start sucking up to Tom Morales now.

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