Uppity? (From today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution)“Nashville, the honky-tonk hamlet known more for Stetsons than skyscrapers, is getting downright uppity.” The story suggests a new skyscraper planned for Nashville is intended for southeastern “bragging rights” and also rounds up some other economic development news around the southeast. Strangely, however, the article is written with a somewhat bizarre point-of-view that implies a fear that if other cities in the south are vibrant, it is somehow a threat to Atlanta. The article includes some quotes reassuring the Atlanta homefolks they shouldn’t worry ’cause things are still swell: “We still have an engine for business that you don’t see in the rest of the Southeast, which is led by the airport,” (the president of Central Atlanta Progress) said. “Other cities may be on the rise, but we are still in the No. 1 position.”
While I am a proud booster of Nashville, I can say that I have never, in 27 years of living and working here, heard any Nashvillian express one ounce of Atlanta envy (on a macro level, that is — desire for better restaurants and retail, being a micro exception). Not being like Atlanta is one of the things Nashvillians are most proud of and “becoming another Atlanta,” with its sprawl and lack of planning is one of the “fears” I’ve heard universally expressed since the day I settled here. Believe me, people in Nashville are happy to let Atlanta have all the bragging rights they want.
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