Witnessing the sharp appreciation of real estate in his formerly sketchy East Nashville neighborhood, Ward Paisley attempted to put the process of gentrification to work for himself, but with little success.
"I encountered a lot of local resistance," said Paisley. "None of my friends had a mat I could borrow for sunrise yoga in the park, and then my credit card was declined for the six-dollar shot of espresso I ordered at the new hipster coffee shop down the way."
Aware that financing can present a challenge for any new venture, Paisley tried explaining to the tattooed barista that he would be getting paid the next day. "They didn't want to hear it," he said. "Sometimes these more established residents are threatened by new blood."
He didn't let the rejection phase him, however. "These places aren't used to thinking outside the box. No big deal. That's only to be expected at this stage of the game."
While his efforts at self-gentrification thus far haven't yielded the boost in desirability he'd hoped for, Paisley hasn't given up on his improvement project altogether - but he's willing to do so, if it comes at too high a price.
"I'm confident I'm on the right track," he said. "But, at the end of the day, domestication isn't for everyone. We'll just have to see how things play out."