Current Location: Nashville, TN

For the first time, my report on Day 19 comes to you with the fresh perspective of being written the following day.  That’s how extreme Nashville is.  No time to write…. “no time to study, I’ll never get into Stanford” (that one’s for for my fellow Saved By the Bell enthusiasts).  But seriously, so far, I have been busy.

One of my favorite shows is House Hunters on HGTV.  For House Hunters, a real estate agent shows a potential buyer several different houses, and then a short list is created.  The show then follows the buyers touring the three houses on their short lists and sees them through their decision-making processes.  Invariably, a compromise has to be made.  For instance, a newlywed couple might be able to live within close proximity to the city, have a backyard with a fence, or have a newly remodeled kitchen, but they cannot have all three.  There is never a house that matches all of the criteria, and sometimes, the buyers have to increase their budgets in order to really get what they want.  This aspect of House Hunters frustrates me.  I always say to myself, “are these really the best options?  I wouldn’t settle like these people are doing!  I want the better location, the pool, and the goose that lays the golden egg.  I want it all!”

After yesterday, I have a new appreciation for everyone involved in House Hunters because those really are the best options.  As it turns out, the show actually makes it look easy.  Even as someone who isn’t looking to buy a house, it seems that just apartment searching can be a tall order, and it is certainly this way when it comes to Nashville.  It really does appear to come down to either having a good location, a nice apartment, or saving money.  And it just so happens that I want all three.

The apartment market in Nashville is something that I was completely unprepared for after living in Los Angeles.  In LA, it feels like every other building is literally begging for your occupancy.   Sometimes they have balloons.  Sometimes they have reduced rates.  Sometimes they have someone out there holding up a sign, wearing a chicken suit (ok, I made that last part up).  But either way, there is no shortage of apartments in Los Angeles.  This characteristic is not so in Nashville.  Here, there are wait lists, hidden fees, and complexes after complexes with nothing available.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to see something that is available because I now see a vacancy as a huge red flag.  If there wasn’t something hugely wrong with it, it would be taken.  Oh, and people in LA (me) thought that it would be cheaper here?  Think again bucko.  It’s not cheaper at all.

I suppose that I should see all of this as affirmation that Nashville is awesome, and I do.  Nashville is awesome.  Of course, as a result of Apartment Hunt 2011, I haven’t seen much of it, but my friend, Ashley took me around a bit last night, and I can already tell that it’s a great place to be.  Although, it will be an even greater place to be if I’m not living in my car.  Actually though, I’ve been living in my car this long, maybe I could hack it for another couple months or years.  I would save money that way, and I could be in close proximity to whatever I wanted.

Although I haven’t seen much or interacted with many people here, I can already tell that one behavior of mine is going to have to change.  And that’s the behavior that I call, “I’m from Georgia.”  You see, in LA, whenever someone is from a place that’s remotely in the vicinity of the place that you’re from, you tell them about it.  “You’re from Houston?  I’m from Dallas.”  “You’re from St. Paul?  I’m from Milwaukee.”  “You’re from Iowa?  I lived in Indiana for two years.”  Or in my case, “you grew up in North Carolina?  I’m from Georgia.”  I suppose that if I were from Washington or Arizona, I could continue with this habit, but telling people here that I come from Georgia just makes me an idiot.  “Oh, you vacationed in Hilton Head, yeah, I love it there.  I’m from Georgia.”  “Uh huh, and I’m from Tennessee.”  Oh riiiight.  Dorothy, you’re not in LA anymore.

All the apartment hunting and thunderstorms aside (oh, did I not mention the raging storms?), I can already tell that I’m going to love Nashville.  Of course, it will take some time to adjust and get used to it here, but ultimately, I feel like it will work out for the best.  Especially if I find an apartment.

As a result of the torrential downpour and apartment searching, I don’t have many pictures to share from yesterday, but I do have one that highlights the diversity that seems to exist in Nashville…. of course, there is a Christian bookstore down the street too, it is still Tennessee…  Today, I will continue to look for apartments before leaving for Atlanta tonight, and then my travels will take me to North Carolina.  I hope that everyone is having a great week!  Thank you for reading!