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The Don Kelley Band performs at Robert's Western World in downtown Nashville. (Photograph by Harrison McClary, Alamy)

Joseph’s Nashville

Joseph Hudak has been a Nashville local since 2012, the cusp of Music City’s renaissance. Prior to that, while based in Philadelphia, he logged five years as a freelance writer covering the country scene. Now senior editor at Rolling Stone Country, Rolling Stone‘s newest website, Joseph looks forward to watching Tennessee’s famous capital continue its evolution. Here’s a look at Music City through his unique lens.

Follow Joseph on Twitter @josephhudak3. Want to meet him in person? He can often be found eating lunch at Peg Leg Porker in the Gulch

Nashville Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is Peg Leg Porker for a pulled pork sandwich and a Yazoo beer.

September is the best time to visit my city because the weather is still warm and the Americana Music Festival is underway.

You can see my city best from the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, driving from East Nashville into downtown.

Locals know to skip the two-plus hour wait at the Loveless Café (even though its biscuits are the stuff of legend) and enjoy the Southern family-style breakfast at Monell’s instead.

Grimey’s New & Preloved Music is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like U.S. President Andrew Jackson, conservationist Al Gore, and rock visionary Jack White have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the Country Music Hall of Fame because it’s full of distinctly American artifacts, personalities, and music.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that it takes only 15 minutes to get anywhere. Honest.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is the Shelby Bottoms Greenway in East Nashville.

My city really knows how to celebrate the simple beauty of the tomato, as evidenced at East Nashville’s Tomato Arts Festival.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they’re kind, friendly, and genuinely interested in you as a person.

For a fancy night out…Casual reigns in Nashville.

Just outside my city, you can visit the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

My city is known for being the home of country music, but it’s really a rock and roll town with an accent.

The best outdoor market in my city is the Nashville Farmers’ Market.

Noshville delicatessen is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the always sharp Nashville Scene.

My city’s biggest sports event is the Country Music Marathon. Watch as the runners wind their way through Shelby Park.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I hit up Nashville’s exceptional food trucks, especially Sum Yum Yum for banh mi or Taqueria el Indio for tacos.

To escape the crowds, I bike the abandoned Cornelia Fort Airpark.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Marty Stuart, because it’s full of country music history and has a rhinestone sense of style.

The dish that represents my city best is “hot chicken,” and Yazoo’s Dos Perros beer is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken or Prince’s Hot Chicken, and outside on the patio at the Yazoo brewery.

The Ryman Auditorium, onetime home of the Grand Ole Opryis my favorite building in town because it is, hands down, the greatest brick-and-mortar structure in the entire United States.

The most random thing about my city is the replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park.

Mercy Lounge on Cannery Row is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Robert’s Western World on Lower Broadway.

The CMA Music Festival could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should enjoy the blooming flowers and trees, but take an allergy pill first.

In the summer you should make sure your air conditioning works.

In the fall you should drive out to Arrington Vineyards to enjoy the changing leaves with a glass of wine in your hand.

In the winter you should be thankful it never gets all that cold.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Cooter’s Place, a Dukes of Hazzardthemed store and museum.

The best book about my city is the Food Lover’s Guide to Nashville, by Jennifer Justus because it points both the hungry and curious in the right direction.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is George Jones’ “Milwaukee, Here I Come.”

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it has become a true cultural hub of the South, welcoming all–even a Yankee like me.