Honky Tonks Exist by Jen Uman in Nashville, Tennessee

Moving to Nashville after 20 years in New York, I’m attracted to all I couldn’t see, hear or have living in the north.

These are a few of my favorite Nashville things: places and diasporas that have created their own iconography with crude tools and painted signs; the General Jackson Riverboat that sits in the Cumberland River behind a shopping mall; neighborhoods within neighborhoods; small square houses and Spanish-style homes that sit next to stately houses and bungalows; freight trains that are towed over bridges and streets, honking as they move through the city.

Name:Jen Uman

I paint mostly, illustrate, and sometimes make videos.


Learning everything I can. And hiding.

Tell us about Nashville:

Communities here thrive on cooperation. There’s a DIY approach to preservation that’s causing a new wave of art, music and culture. Honky tonks exist and “honky tonkin'” is a thing people do here. Civil War relics are still being discovered under buildings and in bulldozed lots. All the carved wooden bullets, epaulet keys, railroad locks, heel plates, and more being found keep Nashville a well-oiled American history machine.

A perfect day in Nashville?

Time with my husband Noah, preferably eating ice cream on our porch rocking chairs.

What is the best thing about Nashville?

The slow pace.

What is the worst?

The slow pace.

What would be surprising about Nashville to an outsider?

It is lush and green everywhere. As soon as you discover nature in the south it appears everywhere in the forms of lakes, rivers, fireflies, and owls.

If Nashville was a person who would it be?

A cross between Gladys Kravitz, George Jones, Annie Potts, and a tomato.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Yash ChopraOlimpia ZagnoliJeff the Brotherhood



Name:Jen Uman


Favorite place to eat:

Mas Tacos

Favorite place to drink:

The Stone Fox

Favorite shop:

Apna Bazaar

Local Tip:

Do not be a badass and order the hot chicken at Prince’s. It is hot.

Must Do:

Take a tour of United Record Pressing and watch how records are made.