Monday, January 19, 2009

Random Thoughts on My Trip to Memphis

1. Scary city. Can't imagine living there.
2. BBQ Places and Sub Shops are among the best. This is a BBQ sandwich my co-worker had at Neely's.

3. Downtown (Beale St. and the like) is awesome.
4. Only saw two bicycles the whole week I was there.
5. (Getting on) Public Transportation in Memphis: Not the smartest thing I've ever done.
6. Walking aimlessly from the hotel in Memphis: Also not the smartest thing I've ever done.
7. St. Jude's Hospital has an impressive spread right off the interstate. Instantly went back to the bikeathons as a kid.
8. Racial tension seems incredibly high still in Memphis.
9. If they expect wind chills near zero, there is a special scrolling statement on the weather channel that tells them to layer up and to wear hats and gloves. Took me about twenty minutes to quit laughing over that one.
10. Our hotel sucked. The Ramada on Mt. Moriah road is also a scary place. When we told the desk clerk (after finding out our keys no longer worked on Wednesday) that my co-worker's door was left open a crack all day after housekeeping left, she didn't even respond. Just reprogrammed the keys and handed them back. Unreal.
11. Asked a good 'ol boy how he was doing in the hotel and he responded: Guh, hah ute?
12. Most people speak with what one cab driver told us is the "Memphis Mumble". Very accurate description.
13. The hotel workout has the following sexist statement on it's signage: "Consult your physician before exercising and follow *HIS* advice".

14. Stopped at Graceland at night. Said 'hey' to Elvis. Cross that off my list of things I could care less if I ever seen in my life. Yet another scary part of town.

No future trips planned to Memphis if I can help it. I live in South Dakota for a reason. Memphis helped solidify many of those reasons.

7 comments:

Hooterville Mayor said...

Got lost in Memphis once. Stopped at a gas station for directions. The BlackGentlemans suggestion? "git yo white ass outta here!"
Very charming. Of course, that was 20 some years ago. Sounds like it hasn't changed much.

jay said...

I live close enough to Memphis to have an informed opinion, and there are certainly places one doesn't want to spend a lot of time. But some parts of Memphis are plenty nice. There is a good group of bikers. Maybe not commute-to-work cyclists...

Cold weather is a big deal to us. Big deal.

Graceland, whoa, yeah, shady part of town.

Memphis has the largest urban park in the United States. There are a few trails there, and canoeing, etc.

Anyway.

Gregg said...

Memphis has a decent bike culture for a town that has done nothing to encourage it and as spread out as it is. Quite a few commuters and some really fit racers. Good cyclocross community too. Yeah, when it's cold a few bundle up and ride but most of us stay inside. I know...

I hate that your impression of the city was impacted by your stay in such a poverty-stricken area as Mt Moriah. (Honestly I couldn't find a Ramada on Mt Moriah so I wasn't sure where you stayed exactly). You will find "scary" areas in any city. Memphis is over 1 million people and has some of the worst poverty in the nation, including one of the top 5 poorest zip codes in the nation (note I regularly cycle through this area). Racial issues are still significant here, but the new generation of leaders are working to change that.

If you have to come back, let me know and we'll find a bike for you. It's a great city to see on a bike.

Glad you saw St Jude, had some BBQ and saw Beale/Downtown. Stax, Sun and the other music historical locations are worth as visit. As is Graceland, but they've jacked the price up so much it's hard to justify.

Impressive commuting streak
Take care
Gregg Smith

bikingbrady said...

Jay/Gregg,

Sorry I didn't get to see the urban park. Probably wouldn't have had time anyway, but I should have done my homework.

Mt. Moriah Ramada used to be a Holiday Inn Express. Right off the interstate near all the car dealerships.

Gregg, I'll take you up on that offer if we do make it back that way!

Snakebite said...

"Only seen two bicycles"

I only SAW two bicycles.....

You should go to St. Louis. It will make Memphis seem rather nice.

bikingbrady said...

Geebus Snakebite the English Prof. Duly changed.

Been to St. Louis. Didn't make it out of downtown, but have heard stories about (I believe) East St. Louis.

Life with Tony said...

thought about visiting there may have to cross that off my list. But the BBQ looks good.