This weekend my younger brother got married. We flew down to Memphis for his big day. Unfortunately it looked like my folks would be completely absent, but then, thanks to technology, we were able to Skype them the entire ceremony! They even got dressed up nicely even though they were at home! The ceremony was held in Memphis's historic and still functioning Central Station.
In addition to seeing that icon of Memphis, we also went to the National Civil Rights Museum. If you are in Memphis you need to go (but maybe not if you're with young children as some of the images are graphic). We ate (twice) at the Arcade, which I can't recommend enough. The thing to go to if you are with children is the Children's Museum of Memphis, which I seriously can't recommend enough.
One take away we had was how hard it's been on that city during the recession. Things were just starting to improve - they had a pedestrian mall set up with nice national retail stores like Gap etc, they built some really nice looking houses/apartments right down town - but when the economy tanked, Memphis seems to have lost all forward momentum. In fact, the retail stores are all empty except one or two, so you might say that the gentrification and forward momentum was put into reverse while grinding the gears. You'll have a wonderful looking building sitting next to a burned out shell of one- boards in windows. Even nice looking buildings that looked like they should be court houses or post offices or cooperate offices were boarded up.
Keep in mind mostly here I'm talking about down town. The other areas seemed like Anywhere America.
I was really happy to get away from the unpacking and to spend time with my family. I was enormously excited to sit next to my mom and dad (I was operating the laptop).
And when we opened the door to our new apartment tonight- the crazy work I put in last week paid off. It was like being welcomed back with a warm cup of cocoa and a hug.
p.s. I might not get pictures right away, because while packing/unpacking I could find only one camera sans battery and one battery and charger that of course did not belong to the camera I had in hand.