Has the weather been totally schizophrenic where you are? Because it sure is here: 75 degrees one day, 30 the next. I’m over winter. And I don’t know how to dress…ever. I left home on Wednesday, for example, in bare legs and Hunter boots as the temperature was 65 degrees at the time but it looked as if God might rain down his wrath at any moment. An hour later, I got to a meeting, and the mercury had dropped to 45 (before noon!). That night, I drove home in 35-degree weather, still in my rain boots and rain jacket, freezing but…no rain. I simply can’t win. Let’s hope it doesn’t start snowing during the wedding I’m going to tonight as I don’t even plan to take a jacket.
But last weekend, I found myself in Memphis for four days tackling three magazine assignments during a rare mild period, and while it was hardly my first time there—I visit a couple times a year due to extended family living in the Bluff City—I did get the chance this go-around to adopt full on tourist status and show SVV (a Memphis newbie) the ropes. (Isn’t he cute? Fresh off the Greyhound, trying to blend in with the locals.)
We spent most of our Saturday downtown, bumming about South Main Street and doing our thing (mainly taking photos with my iPhone and Instagramming if we’re being honest; I didn’t even bother to pack my camera equipment on this quick trip).
South Main is one of my favorite districts in Memphis with its beautiful, old, red, brick buildings and cute indie shops. It’s also got an Amtrak station, and one day I would love to hop the train from here and head south to New Orleans or north to Chicago. I love train travel, and each trip is about the same amount of time (if not less) than were you to drive.
In the same neighborhood is the National Civil Rights Museum, possibly my favorite museums in the world, so we stopped by to pay our respects to Dr. King.
It was a quick visit, as the facility has been undergoing one massive reno and the Lorraine Motel section was not open, but the new exhibits debut on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on April 4. Once done, it’s going to be incredible, and you can believe we’ll be back soon.
I gave SVV the quick walk-through of Beale Street; as it was a sunny Saturday and the University of Memphis basketball game just let out from the FedEx Forum, the place was a madhouse. We popped into A. Schwab to poke around the three levels of curiosities, ran into one of my college friends, then vacated Beale quickly (we’re not much for crowds).
We walked past the Peabody and opted not to go in, though I have seen those cute little ducks on parade on numerous occasion.
Outside the hotel, there’s Memphis’ own version of a Walk of Fame, only notable local figures are commemorated by a set of duck prints. Quack, quack.
I’ve stayed in the Peabody in the past, which is just lovely and a great experience—and they just completed a massive renovation in fall 2013—but we changed venues this go around and made our base camp at the Madison Hotel.
I instantly fell in love.
You guys, this hotel is beautiful, and the contemporary music theme woven throughout the decor made me legitimately feel like a rock star.
And don’t even get me started on the Twilight Sky Terrace on the Madison’s 17th floor; it’s only a shame it was closed for weather (what? it hadn’t rained in four days!) while we were there, but we still got to go up and take in the view.
We pretty much ate the whole city over the three days we were there—and as such, I’m now back on the Paleo bandwagon for (at least) 30 days!—but I’ll detail all those delicious things in a separate dining post if you’d like.
I really do adore Memphis, and I don’t think its due to the passion I have for my home state. It’s just plain cool and one of Tennessee’s most underrated parts, and as Nashville inevitably falls off its pedestal of popularity—c’mon, it happens to every “it city”—I can see Memphis one day taking its place in the spotlight.