There seems to be a lot of talk about Nashville these days from people who don't even live in Music City.
In fact, The New York Times has weighed in, calling Nashville the new "It" city, surpassing popular destinations like Portland, OR, Dallas and Austin, TX.
"People want to be in a city where there's interesting things - be it culture, be it restaurants, be it outdoor life - and all of those things kind of build on themselves," said Mayor Karl Dean.
The Times reporter wrote Nashville "remains traditionally Southern in its sensibility, but it has taken on the luster of the current."
Hal and Jo Beiler noticed something special, and they only arrived to Nashville from Chicago on Tuesday night.
"We thought this was nicer than Memphis," Hal Beiler said.
"Is that bad to say? Sorry, Memphis," Jo Beiler said.
"It was fun. It was interesting. We liked the music," Hal Beiler said. "People have been very friendly. People have been very nice in this town and very friendly."
The article highlighted the city's recent growth, including the Music City Center, but at its core it complimented the city's make-up, noting Nashville is "flush with young new residents and alive with immigrants, tourists and music."
"I think it's awesome. It's a beautiful city. We're getting a lot more tourists coming in. It's just a fun place to be," said resident Leticia Alexander.
For all the positives, though, the article also mentioned critics who contend the city should tend "to its residents first and tourists second."
Wednesday, Dean defended the approach as part of a larger plan to benefit education, safety and economic development for those lucky enough to call Nashville home.
"Tourism's one of our major strengths, and we should emphasize it," Dean said. "Right now, we're the 'It' city, and that's fantastic with me. We're just going to keep on doing what we've been doing."
The latest praise only adds to the accolades for Music City. Just last week, Conde Nast Traveler called this one of the world's 'Five Cities To See' in 2013.
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