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iheartnashville | Russ Anderson

I came to Nashville about 10 years ago as a wide-eyed freshman at Belmont University, looking to make my way into the music business.  My favorite thing about Nashville is the wide variety of the people living here.  There are people from different places doing many different types of things with their lives.  What’s great about Nashville is that we have a collective identity as Nashvillians.  We take care of our community, while at the same time focus very much on what is happening outside our area and even in our country.  That’s why it makes so much sense for an organization like mine, who is doing work internationally, to be based here.  I work for an organization called Missions Development International, which focuses on empowering ministry and church leaders around the world.  Rather than trying to change the world ourselves, we want to encourage and equip people in other cultures who want to make a difference in their own communities.

Nashville as a whole is a wonderful city with great communities to reside in.  I live in Inglewood, which is perfect because it is quiet, safe, and affordable while still being a part of Nashville and its culture.  My wife and I definitely didn’t come into the buying process with a formula in mind of what we wanted, so for us it really came down to the little things like hardwood floors, the fireplace, mantle, value, and the fact that it was ready for us to move into without a lot of work.  After we saw what would eventually become our home, we unconsciously used it as the standard against every other home we looked at.  That was a big sign to us that we had found what we were looking for.   Another plus about Inglewood is that traveling downtown and to other places like Five Points in East Nashville is quick and easy.  What I most love about our neighborhood is that I am near my friends, which makes the sense of community even stronger.

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time at the newly revamped Edgehill Cafe.  Who can argue with a coffee happy hour in the early mornings?  Plus, it’s got a great vibe and plenty of power outlets for my laptop (it’s the little things, sometimes).  In addition to the Edgehill Café, one of my favorite must see, must do places is Rotier’s.  If you only have an hour in Nashville, you must go get a cheeseburger on French bread and a milkshake if you have room.  Last but not least, one annual tradition I really love in Nashville is the Andrew Peterson Christmas show at the Ryman every December.  It’s really powerful. Nashville is a great place for anyone. There are so many great neighborhoods and places to explore. People come here with different interests and styles but somehow “Nashvillians” manage to have a cohesiveness and mutual sense of community towards one another which is what makes this city extra special.

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