Good morning Memphis. Good morning Kuerig. One of you we’ll be leaving today (headed down to the Big Easy).
Well Maddie finally made it into town, almost a day behind schedule (sound familiar?), after Delta canceled two of her flights. Long story but she made it safe and sound with her custom embroidered “Grisworld” jacket and pocket full of enthusiasm. Let’s get this Memphis party started.
So aside from the really good BBQ at Rendezvous, beautiful old Southern Homes and music history, Memphis needs help. It’s a bit sad to see such a historic city, so repressed. I mean it almost feels melancholy. So many buildings abandoned, fenced off and left for dead. Very few people on the street enjoying the evening. Neighborhoods of impoverished ghettoes, one block from the Central Gardens neighborhood of classic Southern Colonial homes. The people are polite and helpful, but you still feel an undercurrent of attitude, a scolding if you will. You can also still pickup a sense of divide. Of all the cities I’ve been to, this one still feels black and white. I don’t get a feeling of One-ness or unification. Their separatism feels too natural. It’s been in their blood for generations, and doesn’t seem that it will dissipate anytime soon.
Maddie hit the nail on the head when she said this town needs youth. It needs young money, young dreams and young passion to come in here and revitalize these neighborhoods. It needs generations of building dreams together, to wash away the disdain between races. There is so much potential here, it can happen.
If you’re any fan of architecture, the bones of these buildings are fantastic and the prices are dirt cheap. A very talented photographer, Walter Arnold, tells the tale best on his website, “The Art of Abandonment”. Check out his photos of the Romanesque architecture at the old Tennessee Brewing Company (amongst several others). This building is so gorgeous and so wanting of new life. This town is a penny stock, just waiting for it’s big break.
We spent the next day visiting (of course), Graceland. What a treat that was. But I’ll let Maddie tell that story…
Oh by the way, wanna read a great short story? Check out the history behind Ashlar Hall – Prince Mongo’s Castle. It’s a great side-read.