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Observations from my recent visit

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I'm going to be in town next weekend, so I'll try to compose my thoughts in a similar manner and look out for what you've pointed out here. I should catch an episode of the TV show before I do it, too.

As for the airport, I agree. As a semi-frequent traveler who's hit dozens of different airports, I must say that BNA is just one of my favorites, and not just because it's in Nashville. It's incredibly easy to navigate, has direct non-stop flights to almost every major city in the US, it's always very clean, and the staff tend to be easier to deal with than most. And I love the way they have security set up. If we're going to have a security theater, it may as well be laid out as best as possible, and they've done a good job of making it as quick and painless as possible it seams.

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That convention center is massive! It really is unbelievable in scale. I was glad to see the roundabout open and the roadwork on KVB nearing completion. I can't wait to see what goes in on the roundabout. Not very impressed with the Omni, but I'll give it time. Poor little Sole Mio seems so out of place in that scale of huge buildings.

The Gulch just gets more and more impressive. It's almost like a whole new city. Poor little Station Inn seems so out of place in that area.

The Elliston lofts are probably my favorite development in town. Just the right scale for that neighborhood. I think it will be a nice looking building and very functional with street level retail.

The Nashville airport is simply fantastic. Nice amenities. Very convenient to town.

The 31st connector is a nice addition.

Bike infrastructure! Lots of infrastructure and well done too. This is something that caught me off guard. We don't really talk about it on this site, but I hadn't realized how much had been added. My parents live down Clarksville Hwy in Whites Creek. There is a nice new bike lane that was added about 6 or so miles down this stretch. I saw several others around town. As a bicycle advocate, I was very happy to see this. Also glad that there are NOT many bike lanes in the core, as I don't feel they are needed there. I think Nashville is well on its way to actually becoming a bike-able city. I also noticed many people out riding (granted, it was perfect fall weather), which is very encouraging.

First of all, we're glad to have you back, even just for a visit. Haha

-Yes, the MCC is absolutely least in comparison to anything else around town. Quick side note- if anyone watched the Titans/Steelers game last Thursday, they had some great aerial shots of downtown and the convention center. With all the lights on, it really looks good at night. But anyways...yes, it's huge. And I think it will become the center of core development for many years to come.

-I am surprised with the bike infrastructure, too. And I live here. They are kind of adding them on stealthily to different corridors around town. I think it's a great thing. But I also think there are a lot of roads out there that need some serious safety improvements before we consider just putting bike lanes all over (for example, I think adding bike lanes to narrower 2 lane roads is a better idea than on 4 lane roads...on 4 lane roads, there is more room for drivers to avoid bikers -- we need to at least start putting shoulders in on some of our windy 2 lane roads that have a lot of traffic).

Ate lunch at The Pharmacy in East Nashville. A solid burger and a well done space. A great addition to the cities developing food scene.

Happy to see a few new local brews. Tried a new one that I really enjoyed. I don't remember the name of it, but it is brewed in Sparta.

If it's from Sparta it's Calfkiller. Definitely a great brewery. We've had several other start ups in the past few years. If the state will remove it's head from it's rear and think about reforming and repealing some of our archaic alcohol laws, then I think you would see a real craft beer explosion around here (moreso than what is already happening).

And The Pharmacy is pretty awesome IMO. I was surprised to see how far that particular area has come along. Great addition indeed.

Nashville is in desperate need of some real mass transit. I know it's being work on, but its time. Saw an add in The City Paper about the new University Connector. Glad that MTA is trying to think outside of the wheel and getting the info out there to the public.

SO MANY SURFACE LOTS!!!! Plenty of room for expansion.

Went to a new retailer in the Gulch called Two Old Hippies. Not really my thing, but an interesting space. Glad to see they carried Goorin Bros hats there.

Hillsboro Village is such a nice neighborhood, but seems to be falling behind the development trends. I think some local group should master plan the area.

Cafe Coco remains as my favorite place in the universe.

Too many neighborhoods without sidewalks. I see East Nashville with young families pushing strollers around. Then you go around the Murphy Rd/12th S./Nations/Belmont area and there are great old neighborhoods, with hardly a soul on foot.

Went to dinner with friends. There was some talk about the new baseball stadium. I was surprised because I hadn't heard anything about it being in serious final planning. Then I realized that it is a small plot line from the tv show 'Nashville' that the public mind had taken as fact. Funny.

-Agreed about the mass transit. I think the University Connector will be great once it really gets established, but I think we need more cross town routes than just that. People need to be able to cross the city without having to go through downtown. I think the MTA should consider adding more wheels to their spokes as far as routes go. There is the planned East-West Connector...but that's still in the planning stages. And the RTA always seems to be having meetings, discussions, forums, and whatnot. There's a lot of talk, but not to many solid proposals coming out of it. Personally, I think we need to start at least preparing commuter rail lines to some of the other suburbs, and not wait until it's a real crisis before we break ground.

-There is a proposal (maybe someone can find it) for one of the old commercial strip buildings at the end of the village (last building on the right IIRC, going towards Green Hills). It has a mixed reaction. They are neat shops and an old building that, while not significant, is a part of the character of that neighborhood...but apparently they are too old/in too bad shape to renovate or rehab.

-Good point about sidewalks. Unfortunately we let that go for so long that there is a tremendous amount of ground to make up. There are so many streets without sidewalks in the urban service district it's not funny. Close to the core, far from the core, two lane roads, four lane name it. I think we should work on connecting the gaps between areas that have existing sidewalks...and make it a point to add them whenever a road project is in the area. But we also have to balance what we spend there to what is spent on other infrastructure improvements -- bike lanes, public transit, streetscaping, and any necessary safety improvements. It was let go for so long that it's nearly an impossible task to bring all of this stuff together. Thankfully it's getting at least some attention these days. We can always improve from where we are, though.

Glad you shared your thoughts, nashvillwill. Maybe some day you can catch a forum meet during a visit!

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Any time that you guys are in town, please give a shout out and we can try to meet for coffee and have a mini meet. Do it all the time on Saturday mornings.

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