Nice piece in The New York Times. Revitalizing a city is tricky business. Interesting quotes re: TIFs. The journalist and his concerns remind me of me! He’s saying what I’m saying: Let’s really, REALLY take care of the people already here, via great inner-city schools, etc.
– R. Tirella
From The New York Times:
Nashville’s Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself
NASHVILLE – Portland knows the feeling. Austin had it once, too. So did Dallas. Even Las Vegas enjoyed a brief moment as the nation’s “it” city.
Now, it’s Nashville’s turn.
Here in a city once embarrassed by its Grand Ole Opry roots, a place that sat on the sidelines while its Southern sisters boomed economically, it is hard to find a resident who does not break into the goofy grin of the newly popular when the subject of Nashville’s status comes up.
Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term, is the head cheerleader.
“It’s good to be Nashville right now,” he said during a recent tour of his favorite civic sites, the biggest of which is a publicly financed gamble: a new $623 million downtown convention center complex that is the one of the most expensive public projects in Tennessee history.
The city remains traditionally Southern in its sensibility, but it has taken on the luster of the current. On a Venn diagram, the place where conservative Christians and hipsters overlap would be today’s Nashville.
Flush with young new residents and alive with immigrants, tourists and music, the city made its way to the top of all kinds of lists in 2012.
A Gallup poll ranked it in the top five regions for job growth. A national entrepreneurs’ group called it one of the best places to begin a technology start-up. Critics admire its growing food scene. GQ magazine declared it simply “Nowville.”
And then there is the television show.”Nashville,”a song-filled ABC drama about two warring country divas, had its premiere in October with nine million viewers. It appears to be doing for the city of 610,000 people what the prime-time soap opera”Dallas”did for that Texas city in the ’80s.
“You can’t buy that,” Mr. Dean said. “The city looks great in it.”
Different regions capture the nation’s fancy for different reasons. Sometimes, as with Silicon Valley, innovation and economic engines drive it. Other times, it’s a bold civic event, like the Olympics, or a cultural wave, like the way grunge music elevated Seattle.
Here in a fast-growing metropolitan region with more than 1.6 million people, the ingredients for Nashville’s rise are as much economic as they are cultural and, critics worry, could be as fleeting as its fame.
“People are too smug about how fortunate we are now,” said the Southern journalist John Egerton, 77, who has lived in Nashville since the 1970s. …
To read more, click on the link below: – R. T.