From the Publisher
It’s a five-year town thing
Greetings. I’m Lisa McCauley, and the magazine you’re reading is my brainchild. Although I’ve been publishing The East Nashvillian for seven years, this is only the second time I’ve expressed my thoughts within the pages of the magazine. So as you might imagine, I have a few things to get off my chest.
First, a little background: I’ve lived in Nashville my entire life, and since 2001, I’ve lived in East Nashville, where four generations of my family have called home. I grew up just a few miles north of here during a time when East Nashville was the area you avoided at all costs. When we visited a relative or had a doctor’s appointment in the ’hood (Miller Medical Clinic), my mom would always lock the doors around the time we hit Gallatin Pike and Ellington Parkway. The East Nashville you know now was far from being the East Nashville we knew then.
It wasn’t until 1999 that I really started spending time in East Nashville. One of my best friends who I knew from working in the radio biz bought a house on Skyview Drive, and I started spending most weekends at his place. Around the same time, Mike Grimes and Dave Gherke opened Slow Bar at 5 Points in the location now occupied by 3 Crow Bar. At that point, I’d lived in just about every area of Nashville, but still hadn’t found the sense of community that I longed for — a creative scene in an up-and-coming area that was diverse and still a little on the edgy side. East Nashville was all of this and much more. I was living in the country in Williamson County at the time, but soon started spending as much time as possible in my newly discovered ’hood.
In 2001, I bought my current house, and because my background was in advertising, I had the desire to start a newspaper, magazine, or some kind of media outlet dedicated to my new community. I started sharing my ideas, but I soon found that businesses that could or would spend money on advertising were few and far between. That dream ended up on the back burner.
Fast forward to 2009. I was working for a large publishing company, and my work required me to regularly travel out of town. It definitely wasn’t my cup of tea, so toward the end of the year, I left that position without a new gig in hand. I did freelance media sales for a month or two, but one day it hit me: It was now the time to bring my idea to the front burner. My partner thought I was crazy, but he supported the idea, provided I had enough advertising dollars to go to print for the first issue.
I soon connected with Historic East Nashville Merchants Association and found that sense of community again with the local business folks. Some pretty amazing business owners welcomed me with open arms and, after a few months, we were able to publish our very first edition in August 2010. We barely had enough advertising revenue to cover our costs.
Our first few years in business were amazing, and the love and support we received overwhelmed us. The magazine gave East Nashville a voice, and the business community embraced that.
Now here we are seven years later and there have been a lot of changes since 2010 — some have been good, some not so much. I’m still so very impressed and in love with the EN music scene. It’s just as welcoming and loving as it ever was, and this truly touches my heart. The newcomers and the ones that came before them all support one another — void of jealousy or competition — and that’s not something you see in other music towns like New York, Los Angeles, or Austin.
To the many businesses that have supported us over the years, I can’t begin to thank you enough. Without you we would have never made it this far. I will always be grateful for you. You got it, and I don’t just mean you got the magazine; you understood that here in East Nashville, we have something special that makes us the envy of the entire city, and that is our sense of community.
This is who we are, and this is who we need to continue to be. If you’re new to the area, take the time to “get it” — listen and learn about this special place, our mindset, and get to know the trailblazers who helped carve out our unique East Side culture.
Tim Carroll sings that Nashville is a “five-year town.” I don’t think he’s singing solely about those who move to Nashville seeking a career in music. It takes time to acclimate.
Here’s my point in case you’re still wondering: Be mindful of the ones who came before you. They paved the way for you. The East Nashville you moved to would not exist if not for their efforts. To be part of this community, you have to learn about it, respect it, and appreciate it. Otherwise, you will destroy the very culture that brought you here.
That said, welcome to the neighborhood. And if I haven’t already, I look forwarding to meeting each and everyone of you.