Nashville, I spend a lot of time, when I can, driving aimlessly around our city looking at things and then mulling them over. It’s my way.
And yesterday, as I was attempting to ascertain how Timothy Demonbreun got into his little cave home and looking at just the gross-ass litter I had to drive through a bunch of non-river related industry to see, it dawned on me that we have this beautiful feature of our landscape that we treat little better than a sewer.
In general, we’ve lined it with industry and chosen to live elsewhere.
In the past, this made sense. The river was, first and foremost, the equivalent of an interstate–full of traffic and noise and things that need to be moved from one place to another. I live right next to the interstate and I can tell you, every morning, when I’m out walking the dog, I’m thinking “Should I be breathing this?” So, I can understand why prior Nashvillians were not that eager to look at the river from their homes.
And it’s hard for me to imagine a day when future Nashvillians will sit in their houses and say to their friends “Why aren’t there more houses along the interstate? Who wouldn’t want to stare at those twinkling lights all day? It’s so beautiful.” But what the hell? It could happen.
My point is that I don’t understand why, with all the growth in Nashville, we’re expanding ever outwards instead of evicting the non-river-related commercial stuff from along the river and growing there.