Memphis Bluff

I was chastised by one of my readers for focusing exclusively on the negative aspects of Memphis without depicting the flowering of some of the historic neighborhoods. Evidently they’re much better now than just a few years ago. So I’ll highlight one of the select spots in town that are currently flourishing after decades of … Continue reading Memphis Bluff

Marsupial Urbanism

Does this landscape look familiar? There are places like this all over the country. Half forgotten neighborhoods populated by vacant parking lots and semi abandoned buildings can be found everywhere. The tide of history has left them behind. People don’t want to live here. Folks with resources can afford to be elsewhere. The more property … Continue reading Marsupial Urbanism

Legends Park

In recent years many failed public housing projects have been redeveloped into mixed income HOPE VI neighborhoods. The theory goes that concentrated physically isolated low income housing projects trapped people in poverty and kept families dependent on government aid from generation to generation. By integrating different kinds of people at a variety of economic levels … Continue reading Legends Park

Solvent Savings

Memphis is full of commemorative plaques that declare the spot where so-and-so once lived or operated a successful business, or where a prominent religious or cultural center was erected. These were genuine millionaires, bankers, insurance executives, war heroes, political figures, scholars, and philanthropists. I learned a lot about the trajectory of the city and its … Continue reading Solvent Savings

Easy Payments

. . . . . This is the Bass Pro Shops flagship store inside the Memphis Pyramid. It feels like the love child of Dolly Parton and I.M. Pei. It’s part civic icon and part retail fantasia complete with an indoor climate controlled cypress swamp. A mermaid in a seashell brassiere invites guests to a … Continue reading Easy Payments