Monday, October 1, 2012

Walking In Memphis...

...Is quite a contrast from the walks we've been enjoying on the beach in Jupiter, but the weather's been nice and we've traipsed through some great views of The Mississippi River as well as the sights and sounds of this river city's downtown life.

All iPhone pics
(sorry, haven't pulled out the Nikon yet)
Seems there's always something going on down here, and if there's not, we just a take a short walk from our loft and we're on the banks of The River. Memphis has done a nice job with this river walk; head north and we're walking on Beale Street, to the south and we're walking through the scenic neighborhood of South Bluffs, then high across Riverside Drive via the pedestrian bridge to Martyrs Park where you continue on to Tom Lee Park. All of this delivers wide and vivid panoramas of The River.

Tom Lee Memorial in the Tom Lee Park in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tom Lee Park is the venue for the World Famous Memphis In May International Barbecue Contest, the Beale Street Music Festival, and the Sunset Symphony. When those events aren't happening it's just a nice place to jog, walk, meditate, walk your dog, or just sit and watch Old Man River roll by.

Our new dwelling is right on the trolley line which can be quite handy if you're heading up to the downtown core's bars and restaurants... and sometimes... prudent for the ride back.

Our hood is the South Main Arts District.

Cut from Wikipedia:
Two great points of historical interest in Memphis reside in this area. One is the National Civil Rights Museum. The other is the historic restaurant the Arcade, located on the south corner of South Main and G.E. Patterson. It is the oldest coffee shop and one of the oldest family owned restaurants in Memphis. Elvis used to hang out at the Arcade[1] and it has become a favorite among filmmakers; several movies have had scenes filmed at the diner-styled restaurant.
The Arcade Restaurant

Cut from South Main's website:
Our History…
The South Main District is an area that is “coming back.” Coming back from boarded up and dark and deserted. This district grew up in the hustle and bustle of the boom era of the train stations – Union Station and Central Station. Most of the South Main buildings were built between 1910 and 1920. The area’s businesses catered to the railroad passengers and employees – hotels, bars, restaurants and other small businesses. But when railroad days ended in the 60s that marked the end of South Main. It became warehouses and empty buildings.
In 1982 eleven blocks and 105 buildings were designated as an Historic District and the early 90s the district started it’s comeback. Today there are restaurants, upscale apartments, galleries, photographers, graphic designers and retail with more and more buildings being renovated for lofts, condos and apartments.
The South Main Arts District attracts a diverse group of people who love the urban living experience. Whether you want to live in something old or something new, a period place or contemporary chic, South Main has it all. The views of the Memphis skyline and the Mississippi River are breathtaking. Residents can enjoy downtown activities just a few short blocks away or take a stroll on the Riverwalk. Living and playing on South Main is a full time job and the sense of community among those living in the area is a strong attraction.

Star and Micey
This is not a slick production with actors, these folks just happened to get on the trolley with Star and Micey while they were doing a gig on the Art Trolley Tour. (Hope the dancing lady got home okay)

 On the last Friday of each month, an event called "Art Trolley Tour" is put on by the owners of the South Main businesses and art galleries. It's always crowded and enjoyed by many.

 Everything is art
Nope, not Halloween.

This weekend, Mel's visiting old friends in Indiana and she left the boys and me to fend for ourselves. So the pups and I have done a little wandering around.

First stop, The Memphis Music Foundation.

Our good friends Jim Gaines and Sandy Carroll-Gaines were both presented with notes on Beale Street's Walk of Fame by the Memphis Music Foundation
(Someone scrawled 51 New Avenue on Sandy's for some reason)
After a  stop at the Memphis Music Foundation's building and a glass of Sangria, the next stroll was a block north for a walk through of the the Blues Foundation's store

 Muddy Waters

Johnny Winter

Downtown is very proud of it's history of harboring the blues legends through their hard times as well as their good times and the Blues Foundation is the organization dedicated to just that.

Cut from The Blues Foundation's website:
The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renown as THE organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form.
Then we wandered over to the Memphis College of Art's Gallery where they were displaying some nice works done by their students.

And of course, it's Memphis, so there's always Barbecue art.

This weekend was Muddy's, Radar's, and Bob's excellent adventure. Today it's raining which makes for a good football day even though the Tennessee Titans are being pounded by the Houston Texans.

Crew Istaboa is really enjoying the hiatus, it's a nice diversion from our life aboard and an interesting contrast that will make going back to the boat even more enjoyable.

So now you probably know more about Downtown Memphis than you ever wanted. 
If you've never visited Memphis and you have an opportunity to, take it. Downtown's a trip and this city is unlike any other in Tennessee.

We're really happy we moved Downtown, it's as good a fit as wherever we are aboard Istaboa.

How odd to have re-discovered our hometown and found it so fascinating after 20 years in the woods or on the boat.

Thanks for checkin in with us.




  1. Wow, what a rich musical history Memphis has. And the title to your blog is one of my favorite songs. What a great place to live if you're a music fan.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Codi... You and Brad are always welcome to come to Memphis and stay at our new place.
      If we're here or not.

  3. That's a great idea Bob!! We've never visited Tennessee. I'll have to talk Brad into another vacation soon :) Much Love to Mel and the kiddos!