The neighborhoods nearest NSL are mixed-ethnic lower class. They are typical of that sort of neighborhood, with many people who really keep up their houses and have great community, and others who let their houses go, and tend to be boisterous. Crime isn't the worst in the city, but it's worse then many places.
Probably more what you are looking for will be across I-65 on Woodmont (NSL is just off of Thompson, which turns into Woodmont once it crosses 65). There are several neighborhoods with duplex's and apartment complex's along there. At most, this would be about a 5 minute drive.