NYCnash is an independent blog that promotes and critiques contemporary art, music, performance, and film in Nashville and around Tennessee.

At Tennessee Welcome Center via Brooklyn, 2013.

Erica Ciccarone is a writer, radio producer, and textile artist living in Nashville. She contributes writings about art to Temporary Art ReviewNashville Scene, BurnAway, Number Inc., and Nashville Arts and has published fiction in EpiphanyThisRecording, and H.O.W. Journal. Erica contributes stories about art and culture to Nashville Public Radio. She holds an MFA from the New School Creative Writing Program (’07) and a BA in English from Loyola University New Orleans (’04). She is from New York.

Contact her at erica.ciccarone@gmail.com


  1. Dear Erica-Newcomer,

    I’ll try to express my frustration as gently and kindly as I can….

    In the About section of Your blog “NYCnash,” you wrote:
    “In 2013, I became part of the mass exodus of New Yorkers to depart for Nashville, Tennessee. I love New York City, but having skeptically accepted its mythology of greatness after many years, I welcomed Nashville’s humility, its country charm, its biscuits and apple butter. If New York had been a scalding black coffee in a to go cup, Nashville was a tea party, with finger sandwiches and woodland creatures.”

    [Me] I got here via the link for the “Nashville for Sale” piece shared on the Nashville Creative Group Facebook page….

    So this is where you all are coming from! I figured it was somewhere up North given your manners. I do not know my city of 22 years any more and I am honestly thinking of moving. You folks are beautiful. I mean so perfectly coiffed. Head to toe. Men and women. You are utterly gorgeous to look at. You are swarming our streets. Your energy of newness buzzes. You ooze with uber sophistication. More and more you are also the surprisingly surly cashier checking me out at the Whole Foods grocery registers. You are so young….

    You’re here. Now, I just want to plead with you: Just be nice. You came here because is was nice. Be nice. Please stop honking your horn! Smile. Be gracious. Be patient. We move and live at a slower pace here. It goes back centuries to our agrian vs. industrial past. That is who we are and that is who we are losing. I am truly sad about it.

    In my unhappiness—wistful for the “good-sized city with the small-town feel” that I used to know—I mean no harm. Please read “you” as generic. And…welcome. Ya’ll.

    1. A fair criticism, Leisa. Thanks for sharing your point of view. I hope you’ll also see that in keeping NYCnash and posting about contemporary art in Nashville, I am trying to add to the city, rather than just take from it. “Nashville for Sale” is a guest post by another writer, Andri Alexandrou, who was raised in Tennessee, just to keep things clear. I welcome different points of view, like Andri’s. New York is also a place over-run by transplants. Maybe we’re not as different as you think.

  2. I think there’s a misunderstanding among southerners about our own perceived “kindness and warmth.” I am a Nashville native. I have lived in Nashville, in Wisconsin, in Michigan, I’ve even spent 6 months in London, I’ve visited Bhutan and New Zealand, Tokyo and Mexico, New York City and San Francisco. Little secret: most people in most places are nice – warm even. Some places are more crowded, some are less. Places that are more crowded are often busier and the interaction level with strangers is lower because you are all trying to get what you need to do done. It’s not because people hate people – it functions as its own sort of courtesy – I know you are in a hurry, I am in a hurry too, let’s just go about our business without having to parse an extra unnecessary social interaction.

    And let’s not pretend that all that chatty friendliness you talk about isn’t a double-edged sword – sometimes Southern people use it to be subtly rude and dismissive of people not ‘having had the luck of being born in the South’ because of their perceived differences, with gently and kindly phrased frustration or not.

    Take your concerns to the developers razing the city and pouring money into endless expensive condos pushing out the poorer people in our city who are natives. Not the people coming who love the city and want to be a part of it. Trust me, as another native, Erica and Andri are not the problem. On the other hand, as another Nashville native, maybe the attitude of ‘Y’all go home now,’ espoused by some of you is part of the problem. You want your city to still be warm and friendly – you’re not exactly putting out the warm and fuzzy yourself.

    1. Bingo. Guilty as charged. And I’ve lived with shame and guilt about this for months and haven’t made the time to come to Erica and correct it though we did exchange messages. I happened to see a comment exchange in WordPress and here it was staring at me to make the time now.

      My frustration is in how the city has changed and part of it being an element of increasingly unfriendliness: horn honking, people looking through people when greeted with smiles and hellos. And, I read really quite a beautifully written “About” page by Erica about being a transplant and took out my frustration. I wish she’d not taken that down. It’s quoted in my reply. And, you’re right, a lot should be taken out on developers.

      I did state that I was trying to put it kindly. (Obviously: big fail.) And, that I meant her no harm and I meant my statements generically, not personally. Again, big fail because though that was my intent and not aimed at her, it was in her blog. And, who in the hell was this person writing these things? [It must’ve been asked.] I was reacting more to the guest post and then my frustration and this apology is actually for Erica. I clarified my aim (which was not at her) in our exchange, but as time went on, I thought, geez, that probably felt pretty crappy. And then I felt crappy about it.

      Erica, if you get this: break a leg (haha, in the stage sense of course,) tomorrow night. Melanie and the concept is great. Saw you in the lineup.

      Peace fingers to all and my bad. And yeah, I’m sure I’m nutcake material now.

  3. Rose said it beautifully and more eloquently than I could.

    As a lifetime southerner myself, I’d like to see the stereotype of Southern niceness end. That niceness often comes with conditions: you have to be straight, cis, white, and Christian.

    But Leisa, I’m curious specifically what writing of Erica’s makes you question her manners. The piece that brought you here was written by a guest blogger hailing from the South. So I don’t understand what you are responding to.

    1. Nothing, Tony. There was no reason to. I read the part about transplant from NY and dumped my frustrations about the change in how people are treating one another (honking more, not saying hello back or smiling back). And yes, hypocritical of me then to write my comment. And my conscience got caught up, eventually, with the irony of it all. I did state that I did not mean my comments personally, but obviously, that did not come through.

Don't be an idiot.

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