New in Town

Moving to a new city is both exciting and nerve-racking. Not only do you throw years of junk into boxes and lug them across the great American expanse, but you have to learn about your new digs. We know you’ve heard the typical new city advice — join a club, read a guidebook, study a map —so we want to give you some fresh ideas on how to get to know the neighborhood.

 

Blogs
Sites like
nashvillest.com inform readers on local happenings, such as culture and arts, food and drink, music, and sports. Any questions you have or advice you may need can probably be found here. These sites can also be helpful for keeping up with the smaller, more unexpected bits of life. (Ever been to a Snuggie pub crawl?)

The Best ______
Begin a search for the city’s best (you fill in the blank). It could be anything from a bakery, food truck, or yoga spot. A personal quest will not only force you to find the unobvious charms of your new city, but it will provide you with an adventure and a goal to achieve. Just pretend you’re one of the Knights of the Round Table in search of the Holy Grail of burritos. You’ll have a blast (just leave the sword at home).

Bike
A unique alternative to public transit, biking allows you to navigate parts of the city that are otherwise hidden if you stick to the interstates and major streets. Wind through smaller streets to find the hole-in-the-wall places that help define the area (a neighborhood of quirky bungalows, an ethnic enclave, a park on the quiet side of town). Take in the sights and sounds you may not notice behind the wheel of a car. Best of all, you’ll get some exercise while doing it.

Become a Regular
Whether it’s a coffee house, diner, or bar, find a hangout and make it your own. Once the staff knows your name and can recite your usual order from memory, there’s a hefty chance the other regulars will get to know you, too. And there’s no better way to mingle and chitchat than over a house blend, bacon, or brew.

Take the Bus
Let someone else do the driving and take a bus route you’re not familiar with. Relax and stare out the window to observe the different places along this fresh route. And don’t hesitate to people-watch — you’ll find some of the city’s most original characters on the bus.

Alyssa LaFaro

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