One thing that the world has to know about me is that my ultimate goal in life is to live in Nashville,TN. Last November, I took a bus trip with the student cheering section for our football team to Tennessee to watch my Mizzou Tigers take on the University of Tennessee Volunteers. The special bonus to going was a night spent in Music City: Nashville. I will admit that before the trip I never really took this city into much consideration, which is odd considering I have an undying love for country music. Upon our arrival in downtown Nashville, the lights of Broadway, right in the heart of downtown, took my breath away. Lined all along the streets were honky tonks and bars with live music coming from each and every one. Walking along the crowded sidewalks, it seemed as though everyone was thoroughly having a good night. People were singing and smiling and laughing and it just seemed like a fun place to be. Unfortunately, I was not 21 so I couldn’t go into most of the places we passed, but we were able to get into a saloon to line dance the night away. I was hooked. I knew I would be back.
Fast forward a year later and I am attending the final night of Taylor Swift’s Red Tour in Nashville. It seemed like the most fitting city to see the princess of country music close her best tour yet. After the show, my friend and I decided to hit the town. We also had a whole weekend to ourselves in Music City and decided to do our best exploring. We dove into all local eateries as well as making our way over to the Grand Ole Opry. It was a weekend from heaven and I fell head over heels in love with Tennessee. Even the drive through the state to and from Nashville was gorgeous, and it just felt like home to me. There was a positive vibe throughout this trip and it was then that I decided that this was where I wanted to be someday.
Time to tie in my love for pop culture. I have heard from multiple sources that Nashville was a place for celebrities to get away from the paparazzi mayhem in New York and L.A., which seemed to speak volumes. This meant that they felt a level of safety in this town, and that the natives of Nashville were also trustworthy people. They aren’t hanging outside of cafes and music venues waiting to attack a famous person with attention. That was something that I really respected, because it seems as though lately it’s hard to find a safe haven when you have fanbases of millions of people. As if it wasn’t enough that I love country music and the city that it calls home, this was the icing on the cake. Nashville seemed to be a city unlike any other, that is, until February 2014 when a little gray cloud made its way into town.
TMZ announced in February that they are opening a branch in Nashville. Now, initially, my pop culture, media-invested self was a bit excited, because it seemed to be two of my favorite things combining. Then I took a step back and read some comments on the blogs. Most of them were complaining because Nashville seemed to be a peaceful, trustworthy place for not only singers, but also actors and professional athletes. While it’s going to be comical to see the paps try and maneuver their way around trying to snap a picture or get a juicy story, it seems as though it might be a bit overwhelming. I have mixed emotions about the whole situation, but if you Google “TMZ Nashville” you will not only find real articles describing the move to Music City, but you will also find sarcastic blog posts of paparazzi findings. I think that’s the right attitude, honestly. Nashville residents know that the paps are after crazy and exciting things. It is fun on the nights and weekends, but it is a long shot from LA and NYC. They are going to be severely disappointed when they try to do their hunting. There hasn’t been too much discussed since their announcement of moving, but I hope that there is a bit of voice that comes from Nashville because honestly it just seems like TMZ will be an annoyance. I do wonder, though, what many others think of the notorious paparazzis moving to Nashville. It seems to be a topic that was swept under the rug and I think it needs more attention/opinions.
Photo Credit: Claire Staten