Re-establishing Nashville residency will take some work

Friday, January 4, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 1

WHEREAS, the writer has recently returned after two decades of exile in Yankeeland, and

WHEREAS, the writer is eager to regain full status as a Southern resident, and

WHEREAS, the writer is especially eager to attain full status as a true (though not native) Nashvillian, and

WHEREAS, the writer, in his previous eight years of residency, was less than diligent in fulfilling Nashvillian requirements, and

WHEREAS, 2019 offers the opportunity to make amends for past failings,

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the writer, guided by Tom Adkinson’s “100 Things to Do in Nashville Before You Die,” advice from friends and other such musings as are essential to the columnist trade, vows to:

• Purchase a house for too much money and grumble about property taxes that he knows from experience are actually paltry;

• Decorate the house walls with more prints by Phil Ponder, or whoever else may have succeeded him as the preferred depicter of the local skyline;

• Comment frequently on the drawbacks of Nashville’s growth while ignoring being a part of it;

• Listen patiently (but laugh internally) whenever any outsider mangles the pronunciation of “Demonbreun;”

• Develop a firm opinion on who offers the best hot chicken in town, despite never having eaten hot chicken or wanting to;

• Traverse the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and offer a vocal tribute to its namesake;

• Watch local TV news religiously, though not Channel 4, because, you know, Demetria;

• Visit and sample at least one offering of every local brewer of malt beverages and distiller of spirits, and repeat as necessary;

• Eat a cheeseburger at Dino’s;

• Attend at least one meeting of the Metro Council, manage to stay awake and then write a column expressing outrage or wry amusement at some action taken or avoided;

• Do the same for the General Assembly;

• Pretend to care whether the Predators win during the regular season and instantly transform into full-fledged fanatic should they make it to the second round of Stanley Cup playoffs;

• Learn the names of two Titans players other than Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry;

• Support the Sounds with enthusiastic regular attendance, support vendors with enthusiastic consumption of ballpark beverages;

• Experience the Time Jumpers and generally make better use of venue gems like 3rd and Lindsley and the Station Inn;

• Go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame;

• Think about going to the Grand Ole Opry;

• Walk or bike as much of the city’s 190 miles of greenways trails as is practicable and take some manner of boat ride on the Cumberland River, or as his 7-year-old niece rendered it, the Cucumber;

• Buy more books from the author Ann Patchett’s Parnassus than from the billionaire Jeff Bezos’s Amazon;

• Get on a first-name basis with the folks at Swett’s and Arnold’s;

• Work his way through every eatery in the Arcade then revisit the worthy spots;

• Look down his nose at Memphis, feel faintly amused at Chattanooga and ignore Knoxville;

• Take some edifying course like Nashville’s Amazing Architecture, by the University School, or Explore Nashville’s Public Art by Nashville Community Education;

• Dabble in middlebrow culture from time to time at the Frist;

• Direct out-of-town visitors to the Broadway honky-tonks while declining to meet them there;

• Attend the occasional performance at TPAC and compare it favorably to (the other) Broadway;

• And, finally, as specifically urged by one earnest-minded friend, “register to vote, step into the local issues, learn who our sitting and emerging leaders are (and what each has done for the Nashville community), then vote on each and every Election Day for 20 years or more.”

That one the writer has already begun. Though the 20 years’ commitment might be stretching actuarial likelihood.

Joe Rogers is a former writer for The Tennessean and editor for The New York Times. He is retired and living in Nashville. He can be reached at