Monday, March 17, 2008

Nashville's Great Neighborhoods. Hillsboro Village

Spring is coming! It is definitely my favorite time of year in Nashville. The daffodils (crocus, some people call them) are out and the grass is greener. Anyone considering moving to Nashville should come visit from now until May or June. Everyone is coming out of hibernation. I actually saw some neighbors I hadn't seen in a few months, except for an occasional wave from a warm car.
After living in Atlanta and Miami, I really missed being in a "neighborhood." It was so nice to get back to Nashville, where people actually slow down long enough to chat with neighbors. Some of it may just be small talk, but Nashvillians rarely miss an opportunity to ask how you and the family are doing. And believe it or not, they genuinely care.

I grew up in the Hillsboro Village/Waverly-Belmont/West End areas. We were within walking distance to Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, Centennial Park and Hillsboro Village. So, as a kid there was always something to do. I remember my sisters and I making routine stops at Jones Pet shop, Woolworth, Baskin Robbins, the House of Bamboo and McClures. The shop keepers knew us by name even though we really didn't buy anything except ice cream at BR and candy at Woolworth's. My first real job was at Baskin Robbins. What I love about Hillsboro Village now, is that it actually grew up with me. I would rather drink coffee at fido (the old Jones Pet Shop) now than talk to the birds. I'd rather enjoy a nice meal at Bosco's than buy 25 cents worth of candy. Baskin Robbins is now a Smoothie King. Much better for me than the yummy calorie ridden Pralines and Cream. I do miss the House of Bamboo (kind of an upscale Pier One), that is now Provence Bakery. The owners would cringe when we came in. They had wonderful delicate chatchski's that they didn't even want us to look at. And how can I forget the world famous, Pancake Pantry? Thank goodness the local icon is still in business. Our family usually went on Sundays. Back then an occasional sighting of Porter Wagner in full sequence was not unusual and something not many would forget. I have fond memories of diving into my chocolate chip pancakes. There are a few great places that are still around: Davis Cookware, Peabody Shoe Repair, Village Jewelers, The Belcourt Theatre, Cotton Music, The Villager Tavern and Village Bridal. All the new shops are eclectic boutiques and restaurants you've got to love. I do have to plug the company I am a Realtor with, Village Real Estate. If you see the purple "for sale" signs around town, that is us. Our office is right across the street from Harris Teeter. Thank goodness, there is another grocery store since Vanderbilt built on the old HG Hills grocery store property.

Beyond all the cool places to go in Hillsboro Village, the surrounding neighborhoods have wonderful old southern homes. We lived in a house built in 1928 that was a 3000 square foot, four square on 18th Ave. S. It had a huge front porch where we spent many a summer night, fireplaces in several of the bedrooms, sun porches off the bedrooms in the back of the house. The house had so much character and space. Not one house is like another in the entire area. I guess that is why I have subdivision phobia to this day!

So, if you love homes with unique character and love a neighborhood with an "urban" vibe within walking distance to Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities and Centennial Park, with cool restaurants and shops, then Hillsboro Village is the perfect place for you.

Here are a few websites to checkout: , and my website to find the perfect home,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nashville and Snow do not mix!

Before I get into another reason Nashville is a great, we do have to laugh at Nashvillians when it comes to snow.

Last week we all kept hearing from our trusty news sources that the big snow storm was coming. Dallas and Arkansas were blasted and it was coming our way. Friday night at 6 pm was "d-day." Now anyone who has lived here for more than one winter knows our sources are not always right. Some of us take it with a grain of salt, others panic! Friday afternoon everyone went home early and all activities were cancelled. On Friday, the grocery stores were rushed by anxious Nashvillians and by 5pm they were out of milk and bread! Everyone was ready to be barracaded in their homes for an indefinite amount of time. I imagine Blockbuster and the liquor stores had the same mad rush of business Friday afternoon. You know that Middle Tennessee is "Jack Daniels" country.
Now, I had a client in from New Jersey whose son was planning to make Nashville home.So, I was planning on giving them grand tour of the city and show them all kinds of great condos. They kept hearing about the big storm. They didn't seem too concerned, but little did they know we may only get snow once or twice a year and everything shuts down and we really don't know how to drive on anything other than a dry street. But, I assured them I was up for the challenge and this would not be a wasted trip. After all I was born in the North, I should be able to drive in snow. (I just didn't tell them I moved to Nashville when I was 10 so had never learned to drive in snow). So, I pick her up at 4pm. The skies look a little dark, but nothing omnious. It started getting dark around 5:30, storm what storm? We are still tooling around town, 6pm still no snow. Once it started getting dark the tour was coming to a conclusion and were headed back to the hotel and the sleet began to hit my windshield! What? The forcasters were right? And only 16 minutes off the forcast? This can't be right! Now, I begin to panic. "Oh my God, I haven't been to the grocery store, Blockbuster or the liquor store!!" FYI, you can not get wine in grocery stores here. But that is another topic. My knuckles get white on the steering wheel. Yet, try to remain calm for my clients sake. "Just a little sleet, no problem," while I say a prayer we won't be sideswiped by an 18 wheeler. My sister called and was headed from Murfreesboro to Memphis. I told her how bad the weather was getting and she should stay with us. Well, she happened to be with her daughters' basketball team and parents. We didn't quite have the accomodations for that many. So they headed on, travelling directly into the storm.
We did arrive at our destinations safely, but the news was saying we would get 2-5 inches of snow overnight. The kids were getting disappointed because the snow was going to hit on a weekend. Slim chance of "snow bird" calling off school. By the 10:00 news the snow was really coming down. All channels advised everyone to stay at home. Thank goodness my husband had made it to the grocery store. He did find milk and bread, but no eggs. No trip to Blockbuster, but we do have "on demand" and I am still reading "The Secret" so I should survive a weekend snowed in. No wine, but I did have chocolate. We are ready!

Abby and Gizmo wake me up around 7:30. Little do they know they will be running around in snow. Gizmo is a Miami dog and much prefers the warm sand. We get back in to check the news to see just how bad the roads are. I fore warned my Northern friends the if the streets are bad the city will shut down. It was looking pretty bad. Accidents everywhere, all activities cancelled. It was not looking good for our condo finding mission. I still had not heard from my sister. By 9 AM the sun was coming out. Hallelujah! We can at least hit the major roads. By 11 AM all was clear. By Noon, it didn't even look like a big snow storm had hit town. The panic has now subsided and the malls are full!
The gist of this story is, Nashvillians cannot drive in inclement weather and will look for any reason to relax and stay at home with their families.

Oh yes, my sister and the team only made it about 90 miles in 5 hours, so spent the night in Jackson and made it home safely the next day.