Thursday, February 26, 2009

10 Things I Like About Memphis…Continued

This post continues the discussion that began with our last one.

To recap, following a recent post about thoughts for the new year, someone challenged Charlie Santo to name 10 things he liked about Memphis. He replied with more than three times that many, and he said he was just getting started. We said that we'd post our 10 things today, but we'd rather post yours. They're a lot better.

Thanks, and we hope you'll keep them coming in.

Here they are:

From antisocialist:

  • Payne's BBQ
  • Pink Palace
  • MEM Terminal exterior
  • FedEx planes flying overhead at night
  • Tom Lee Park
  • Playhouse on the Square
  • Young Avenue Deli's Fries
  • Cooper-Young Development Corporation
  • Silky's goats (are they still there?)
  • Pirtle's
  • Top's BBQ sauce

From Michael Hughes

  • The culture of food in this city. From the wealth of independent restaurants to the hordes of individuals who enjoy dining out, cooking at home or simply just discussing food. This is a great city for those who like to eat.
  • Many factors contribute to the ability to "find" oneself or at least a good career path. I moved here almost 9 years ago & held a number of jobs in different industries until I found what I was truly passionate about. The cost of living & connectedness of the city (everyone knows everyone else) allowed me to afford to find what I was not only good at but loved doing. If I would have stayed in San Francisco I don't think that would have been possible or affordable.
  • People love to give back here. We've held two benefit parties at our house alone in the past 9 months that were very well attended & everyone opened their checkbooks.
  • The arts community is so vibrant & varied. It's amazing to me that we have such an incredible talent pool of creative, artistic individuals here.
  • Most people that I have come across here are eco-conscious in some way. There seems to be an overall desire to "green" this city.
  • Project Greenfork. With the abundance of restaurants comes an abundance of waste. PG is helping restaurants do something about that.
  • The enormous immigrant population. There is nothing more fantastic than walking into the Vietnamese market on Cleveland. It's as if I've gone to a foreign country.
  • Everyone has a story. People come here from all over & bring with them many stories to tell. All you have to do is listen, most of the time its pretty interesting.
  • This is a city for independent businesses. We love to support the small guy, the start-up, the passionate believer. Our small businesses are our soul & personality. They speak volumes about us.
  • Filmmakers. According to MovieMaker magazine, we are the #8 best city for filmmaking. That's something to be proud of.

From Jenny Sharpe:

1. The countless opportunities to do something meaningful in a big way that impacts the entire community.
2. We're not too small for a project to be insignificant and not too large to have too many barriers or red tape to get it done.
3. The ability to feel a great sense of community due to having so many groups with every interest possible.
4. We're real. We're honest. We're authentic. We got soul.
5. We know how to have a good time!! We're not as stodgy or snooty as other cities.
6. There's a major upsurge of organizations starting to work on elevating and cultivating Memphis' amazing cultural assets.
7. We're gritty and resilient. We've been through hell and back numerous times - from the Yellow Fever Epidemic to the MLK assassination - and we rise up to fight our way back up every time.
8. You can get around the greater Memphis area so easily! People who complain about the distance from "out east" to "all the way downtown" are so spoiled.
9. Our many talented entrepreneurs, as we have always had.
10. Being a part of the community during its upswing is a thrill.

From Louise:

  • Overton Park West Redevelopment Corridor
  • Broad Avenue Arts District
  • Wolf River Trail System
  • Memphis Heritage
  • Stewart Brothers and Gate City Hardware Stores
  • South Main
  • Shelby Forest
  • Shelby Farms before being discovered
  • The Parkway System and Overton Park
  • Memphis Botanic Gardens
  • Snowden Elementary School
  • Belvedere Boulevard
  • Highpoint Grocery
  • The Urban Arts Commission
  • Methodist/Le Bonheur Medical Center-Memphis Bio-works Redevelopment including St. Jude and Uptown
  • Collierville Town Square
  • Humphreys Boulevard
  • Neon

From Courtney:

A few things that weren't on Charlie's list ...

  • New Ballet Ensemble
  • The dental school and eye school that bring hundreds of students into the area ... now only if we could convince more of them to stay.
  • Lots of places for a lazy runner to stretch her legs ... especially if you start at my front door.
  • Downtown Elementary
  • The community of writers living here and Memphis Magazine for running an annual fiction contest
  • Stacey Greenberg--basically everything she does, but most especially dining with monkeys.
  • Autozone
  • Shelby Forest
  • The Mississippi River
  • University of Memphis--for employing my husband and letting me go back to school.
    I know sort of a personal list, but it's mine. (Note: That's o.k., Courtney. That's what Memphis is – personal.)

From Zippy:

1. Central BBQ when they cut the meat right.
2. Peabody Hotel
3. The People
4. Shelby Buffaloes
5. The Zoo
6. Sun Studio Shakes (and tour)
7. HiTone
8. Music Foundation
9. Common Ground Memphis
10. The new effort to curb crime, Blue Crush and all it's ancillaries, Cyberwatch
11. Town Hall Meetings
12. MidTown North Community Assoc.
13. Tomeka Hart
14. Dr. Kriner Cash
15. Bridges and Tarrin McGhee
16. Pink Palace
17. Independent Filmmakers and Theaters
18. Staxx/Soulsville and the school
19. Police and Fire Department
20. Sanitation workers do a great job
21. The Landscaping, Stringer's
22. Mud Island Park
23. The Flea Markets and antique shops
24. Summer Ave from Knox East
25. Cooper Young Burke's Books
26. Golden Palace Indian Food
27. Memphis Drum Shop
28. Church Health Cntr
29. Bangkok Alley
30. Coach Cal and the boys!
31. Smart City blog!
32. City Champs Band
33. Opera Memphis,
34. Symphony
I could go on all day!

From Michelle Shafer:

  • The Memphis Zoo
  • Beautiful Rhodes College Campus
  • Downtown YMCA - diverse and full of people how are trying to live healthy lives
  • Ms. Cordelia's Deli
  • Harbor Town green belt
  • Snowden school
  • Central BBQ on Central
  • Trolley rides
  • Not having to wait in line to ride the trolleys!
  • Our beautiful antique midtown bungalow
  • All the antique and beautiful buildings in Memphis
  • The Orpheum
  • Being able to actually drive my car down town
  • Walking to Cafe Eclectic
  • Memphis Tigers
  • Springtime in Memphis


Steve Steffens said...

Well, I might as well get in on this, I've only lived here 36 years.

1. Memphis Music & Heritage Festival

2. Center for Southern Folklore (full disclosure - I'm on the board, but I would say it anyway

3. The gazebo in back of the Ornamental Metal Museum - there's not a better place to watch the River.


5. The greatest ribs on earth at Central BBQ.

6. The remarkable people

7. The Folk Alliance Conference each February

8. Great food of every cuisine you can imagine and a few you can't.

9. Riverside Drive - day or night

10. The skyline as you enter from the west over the Desoto Bridge.

Joe Spake - Memphis said...

At least 10 Things I like about Memphis:

Payne's Barbecue
Memphis Roller Derby
Center for Southern Folklore
Memphis Music and Heritage Festival
The Riverwalk
Huey's Midtown
Overton Park
Local Music

Amy Fortenberry said...

I am not a native Memphian, but I am proud to call it home. And while I admit that there are times I get scared, angry, discouraged, critical and even embarrassed about what goes on in this city – it is still my home, it is where I voluntarily chose to move and to live, and therefore it is my duty (and right) to defend it and do what I can to make it a better place for all. So, for my list:

1) The sheer number of churches - there's something for everyone, regardless of who/what/why you choose to worship (or not worship). AND the open mindedness of most people, which makes this possible.

2) The Mississippi River in all its majesty. I'm lucky enough to see it almost every day because I work downtown, and it never ceases to take my breath away. (Speaking of the river, I have to include the fireworks show on the 4th of July.)

3) Trees, trees, trees, and more trees. In all seasons, they are beautiful, from first buds in spring to the starkness of the bare branches in winter. I'm excited now for all the green to start poking through - but I love being able to actually see all of the bird nests tucked away in the branches right now, before the leaves hide them.

4) The fact that you can get anywhere - be it Millington to Southaven, downtown to Collierville - in about thirty minutes. For that matter, the fact that you could actually hit three STATES in less than thirty minutes.

5) The Farmer's Markets - both the one downtown at the train station, and the one out east at the Agri-center.

6) All the open, green areas, right in the middle of urban development. Shelby Farms, Audubon Park, Overton Park, etc.

7) The fact that I-40 doesn't go straight through Memphis, but around - because of the zoo! (Some people might not think this is a good thing, but I do - the beauty of the zoo and the surrounding area more than makes up for the minor inconvenience of having to switch to 240 temporarily. I once heard that this is the only place in the nation where I-40 doesn’t go straight through. I don’t know if that is actually true or not, but I get a kick out of it anyway.)

8) The medical facilities, such as the Med, Baptist East, Le Bonheur, and St. Jude's. While I pray that neither my family or yours will ever need them - I'm thankful to know they are here and available for those inevitable times when we do.

9) The opportunity to further your education at any number of institutions, from Crichton to Southwest to Memphis to Rhodes.

10) Fed-Ex and AutoZone! Two world class organizations that make their home here, and do great things for the community.

Lori said...

Wow, what a great post (smile)Sadly, I no longer live in Memphis, but the following is a list of things I miss about the city I still call home . . .

1) My family & friends

2) Vollentine-Evergreen (my old neighborhood)

3) Davis-Kidd Bookstore

4) Driving past Rhodes College

5) The narrow lanes on Poplar Ave

6) The River

7) Shows at the Orpheum

8) Circuit Playhouse & Playhouse on The Square

9) The music!

10) Africa In April Celebration

11) The food! (Corky's beef barbecue sandwiches & chicken dinners; Lenny's subsandwiches; Neely's barbecue smoked sausage and pound cake

12) Midtown & Downtown

13) The long, hot summers

thirty-three rpm said...

As a newcomer to Memphis, I can easily list the things that drew me here to my neighborhood in Midtown from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007 without even having to pause to think about it.

1. Affordability.
2. The people. Folks are friendly and proud to be from here.
3. The fabulous mix of housing types and architecture in Midtown. Single-family, multi-family, condos and everything else all mixed together to create vibrant sustainable neighborhoods.
4. The V&E Greenline. The most remarkable neighborhood-supported urban greenspace/trail I know of.
5. The Memphis Zoo, the Brooks Museum, the rehabilitated Levitt Shell and Overton Park in general. Beautiful, beloved public places!
6. The unique must-see sights. The Stax Museum, Sun Studio, The Rock and Soul Museum, Graceland, The National Civil Rights Museum, Center for Southern Folklore, The Pink Palace, The Ornamental Metal Museum, The Orpheum, Summer Drive-In, Mud Island and the Mississippi River.
7. The food. Gus’s World Famous Chicken, Cozy Corner BBQ ribs, Payne’s BBQ chopped pork sandwiches, the BBQ Shop, Dino’s, Soul Fish...
8. The can-do, entrepreneurial spirit of local businesses like Goner Records and Shangri-La Records, who help foster a unique Memphis music culture that draws tourists here from all over the world.
9. The local live music scene. All the bands, clubs, recording studios, bars and live music venues.
10. The rich and vibrant history of this city.

And my list could go on and on: the weather, the festivals, the trees…