What brought you to Nashville?
My family moved to Nashville when I was 2 years old and ever since I have considered it home. I have moved away a couple of times but every time I end up coming back home.
Any similarities between Nashville and where you moved from?
Nashville today is much different than it was when I moved here as a kid. Back then the most professional sports team was the Nashville sounds, which was still AAA baseball at that time. I never imagined as a kid that we would have a pro football team, NHL hockey team, and now they are even trying to get a Major League Baseball team! Even though it’s a city that has literally grown up with me, there are still lots of things about the town that still have that small-town feel. This is especially the case in the outskirts – if you get out towards Dickson or on the other side of town Mt Juliet and Lebanon, the people out there are still the same folks I remember as a kid. Now there’s just a lot more amenities!
The most surprising revelation about the area?
I heard recently that Nashville and TN in general is within an 8-hour drive of 70% of the US population making it the ideal spot to build shipping facilities. I have no clue if that statistic is true, but it really surprised me when I heard it! Mixed with the business-friendly tax laws, the relatively mild weather, beautiful nature and all that we have to offer, it’s no wonder so many people want to move here.
If you could change one thing about Nashville, what would it be?
I wish the people moving here would leave their old cultures behind and just embrace Nashville. The more people that come here the more the melting pot starts to have all the flavors. I’m fine with the diversity but we’ve had a pretty big influx of grumpy drivers, and the traffic and a lot of that attitude from some “bigger cities” that didn’t used to be here. I wish people would leave that back home. If you want to move to Nashville GREAT! We welcome you. But become like us, don’t expect us to become like you.
What’s your favorite restaurant and why?
OMG, I can’t choose just one. I guess it depends on the mood but I’m a sucker for Martin’s BBQ, and Pat Martin also started a burger place called Hugh Baby’s that excellent. Obviously, Loveless Cafe is a great place for traditional southern food. A hidden gem is Los Amigos off Lebanon Rd in Hermitage. They just opened 1-2 weeks before COVID hit, but they have the best guacamole I’ve ever had – it’s stunning! Burger Up and Burger Republic are great restaurant choices, as is Edley’s BBQ. Another hidden gem is Voodoo Gumbo in Bellevue – insanely awesome New Orleans food! One of my all-time favorite places to go since I was a kid is San Antonio Taco on 21st ave. It’s awesome. I could eat it every day!.
A must “to-do” for visitors?
I think everyone should experience a Nashville Predators game in the Predators arena. It’s an unbelievable environment. I’ve met people who travel all the way from Canada just to see how Nashville fans scream for a sport that has practically no connection to Nashville until the Predators came.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed how you live life in Nashville?
Well – I have discovered that more people than I realized will willingly relinquish all kinds of liberties if they believe they are going to die from an invisible force. I’ve been quite fascinated to watch the human behavior. Since I work at home and we already home schooled I suppose in many ways my life hasn’t been that upended but I feel covid has dehumanized society. I’m disappointed in how it has been handled from every side of the isle, every politician, and citizen alike. It’s a really dark blot in American history and how society reacted to the virus and in turn reacted towards each other will most likely be reflected on for decades.
Why I Love Nashville?
I love Nashville because it’s home and it has been my whole life. Every time I leave, I feel an emptiness and come back. I’m proud of our city. I’m proud of the people, the music we produce, the businesses we inspire. I think Nashville is the greatest city in America and I think it represents American values in ways that many cities just don’t represent. After the Nashville flood, you didn’t hear about it all over mainstream media, but the people of Nashville just came together and started rebuilding. After the 2020 tornados – same thing. It was only a week or two later they shut the world down for this virus and it was like the tornados never happened. But Nashvillians did what we do and they came together and worked to rebuild and clean up. Nashville is incredibly autonomous. The people represent a work ethic and an ethic towards humanity that I wish we saw in other places more. That’s part of what makes it so unique. I’m really thrilled so many businesses and people are moving here because I love the growth and I love the access to so many things. But I just hope it stays Nashville. Because it’s a special place.
Jeremy Whaley is an online business entrepreneur, founder & CEO of Trade Maestro (trademaestro.com) where he teaches individuals techniques & strategies to outperform the market.