This week I was in Memphis for a few days for a work trip. It’s cliche to say this, but that city has so much potential, so much opportunity. There is one main strip, Beale Street, downtown that is lively: lots of bars, pedestrianized, live blues spilling out into the street every night. It’s like a tame version of Bourbon Street. Nearby, in downtown, there are some classic dive bars, barbecue joints, and some trendy new spots. But that’s about it for downtown.
South of there, still within walking distance, is the South Main area, full of old brick warehouses, a nice little Main Street with brick facades, street trees, a trolley line, and a few nice dive-y spots from Elvis’s heyday. This area seems ripe for redevelopment, and I don’t know what the missing key is…other than that most people don’t live downtown, because most jobs are outside the city, so there’s no market downtown…not to mention issues of historic city-county struggles, race relations, and so on…and so the cycle continues. I really hope Memphis can someday turn this cycle around.
Anyway, some photos: