Sunny Side Up

I’ve spent a lot of time ruminating over the state of affairs in our neighborhood, and I am going to share the fruit of my mental labors with you:

     Shut up, East Nashville. Quit your bitching!

     “Wait just a minute Hags, what?” That’s right, I wrote it, and I mean it.
     I dislike the term “tall skinnies,” but we all know what they are, where they are, and how they make us feel. They suck. But you know what really sucks? Walking, driving, larking, biking, jogging around the neighborhood and waving an angry inner fist or middle finger at the sky and cursing inevitable change. It’s an unavoidable fact of life: Everything changes. What can one do?
     The way I see it from my Inglewood cottage is thusly: We have three choices: Move to the country or Donelson. Stay and live on in anger, pining for the good old days. Or take a step back and reflect — ruminate if you will.
     In the last five years or so, Nashville has become hip, cool, the place to be. More than any other neighborhood, East Nashville is the landing spot for a lot of folks. U-haul couldn’t be happier. Our little oasis has hit the tipping point.
     New York is cool. Paris is cool. L.A. is cool. Those cities are what they are, their identities are literally written in stone.

     I am a curmudgeon. Like the mighty salmon, I swim upstream. East Nashville, I pose questions: Is our neighborhood, in and of itself, cool? Are our streets and buildings that much different than those in Green Hills, for instance? Our Kroger stores are definitely different, but I digress. Is our city and our neighborhood cool like the media bandwagon says it is?
     My answer is this: I don’t think so. I think we are way more than that. Our identity is not written in stone. We make this neighborhood every day. We the people. We the community: the artists and musicians; the small business owners; the multi-generational families; creators of every stripe. A diverse group generates our neighborhood, and we’re all still here doing our thing. That is what makes East Nashville great; the energy, the creativity, and the vibrancy — in short, all of us here together.
     Greedy, shortsighted developers can’t buy that, can’t bury it, can’t knock it down, can’t cram four houses on it, or sell it. We own it, and it’s not for sale. Well, maybe we can make a deal on a few songs.

     So get off of the social (complaint box) network and go socialize with your neighbors for real. Go see some world-class live music. Take a walk on the Greenway or play a round of golf. Enjoy a fantastic meal at a first-rate restaurant. Go to a great bar. Support your neighborhood’s independent businesses. Remember when those things didn’t exist? That really sucked.
     I know I’ve been critical. I am, after all, an upstream swimmer. But as is my custom here at “Astute Observations,” when I criticize, I like to offer solutions. In the spirit of conciliation, I’ve got a great idea for the real estate developers: Buy up the strips of high-interest lending businesses, pawn shops, used car lots, and such along Gallatin Pike and put your developments there. That will give us all yet another reason to celebrate. We will stand on the sidewalks and cheer your bulldozers on.
     Keep on the sunny side, East Nashville. Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. State your concerns to the ballot box. Vote! Happy spring to all, and don’t forget to change the oil in your lawnmower. See you around the neighborhood.

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