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Thread: Walking and floating in Memphis. (Broadband for sure.)

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Walking and floating in Memphis. (Broadband for sure.)

    Well, this is my first city tour photo thing here on Cyburbia. I thought I would share with you my trip to Memphis last Thanksgiving.
    I consider Memphis my second city, having grown up in Denver, but spending a good portion of my life with family that lives in Memphis. Last Thanksgiving the family paid to have my girlfriend and myself fly out. Being the GF's first trip down south, my grandfather lent me his car and we drove downtown to walk and take an eventual riverboat ride- to show my GF the city, and for me to take some pics

    I will begin with some shots of the east Memphis neighborhood we were staying in. It is near the suburb of Germantown and the streetscape is very different than what I am used to in Colorado. I had to take a photo because I was seeing it through "Planner Eyes"





    For the sports fans....
    The Pyramid, former home of the Memphis Tigers (C-USA) and the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA). Now rarely used....

    Due to the construction of the FedEx Forum. Gotta have those high revenue luxury seats...


    We now to got the famous Beale Street. Home of blues clubs, night life, and cheap t-shirt gift shops...


    Interesting facade...



    Getting a little thirsty


    And the famous BB King's where I saw Ike Turner perform "Proud Mary" with the house band a couple years ago.


    And now, it's about 1:30. Time to walk to the River for the 2:00 boat trip...

    Mud Island Park and Mississippi River History Museum

    I-55 bridge from Downtown.

    Downtown from the River.

    Homes along Riverside Drive facing west to the River. Some are nice, but these tend to be expensive.


    Eclectic mix of architecture.


    And finally, for the transportation buffs... Bridge Shots!!!
    I-55...

    West to Arkansas

    And I-40. There are two bridges going into Memphis one each of I-40 and I-55. I-40 is more north, and unfortunatly we did not go near it on the riverboat trip, but we drove over it!


    Well there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I apologize for the quality of some photos as I just received that camera a week before the trip.
    Comments welcome, as I may want to do more.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    One of your photos showed a structure called the pyrimid which you said was a sports arena. When was it built? It looks pretty new to me. What was the interior configuration like? Any plans for it?

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983
    One of your photos showed a structure called the pyrimid which you said was a sports arena. When was it built? It looks pretty new to me. What was the interior configuration like? Any plans for it?
    just googled Memphis Pyramid - http://www.pyramidarena.com/
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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983
    One of your photos showed a structure called the pyrimid which you said was a sports arena. When was it built? It looks pretty new to me. What was the interior configuration like? Any plans for it?
    I want to say the Pyramid was built during the early 1990s I think. It seats about 19,000 and was the main basketball arena for the University of Memphis. It also hosted concerts, conventions and other events. I believe the seating is below grade a little bit to accomodate the shape of the top.

    I will look up more info later, but my granfather told me that they will still use it for concerts and other such events, maybe even high school sports. I'll double check later, unless a Cyburbian may know exactly.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    No pics of Graceland!?! Memphis is one of those places that I really don't ever think about visiting but keep reminding myself that I should whenever I hear about it. Thanks for sharing.

    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    And the famous BB King's where I saw Ike Turner perform "Proud Mary" with the house band a couple years ago.
    Did he slap you around a little bit after the show?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Thanks for the the pics. Memphis is high on my list of cities to visit. I've never been to the Mid South area of the country.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Checked out the website, it says its home to the Grizzlies and U of Memphis men's b-ball. I guess they need to update. I'm surprised the arena is only 15 years old. Thatsa pretty short design life.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
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    Memphis is my second home as well. I think I've seen that neighborhood you stayed in before... is it off Yates (White Station, maybe?) north of Walnut Grove and backing up to I-240?


    It seems to me that an extremely large portion of the city looks like this. Pink brick neocolonial ranches are becoming extremely popular here, much to the chagrin of many longtime Memphians such as my family. The neighborhood looks almost exactly like Massey Pointe, the east Memphis subdivision where my aunt and uncle lived with their two children until very recently.

    And check out the areas off Shady Grove, Tuckahoe, Sweetbriar, and Wild Oaks in East Memphis... some of the most beautiful residential architecture in the country.

    On a non-planner's note, the Memphis Jewish community is one of the most tight-knit, friendliest communities that I've ever been a part of. Truly one of those places where the notion of a big extended family comes to life.

    Note also the very interesting trends in street-typing here: use of suffixes is spotty at best, and "court" or "cul-de-sac" are NEVER used for dead-end streets. They are always called "cove." I have fond memories of summers spent playing "in the cove" in front of my grandparents' house (That neighborhood, full of 1960s-era custom-built ranch houses, is kind of charming as well).

    In addition, there's the system of giving directions previously described here a few months ago: "out" refers to anything further from downtown than where you are currently standing, and is used in place of any other cardinal directional marker when giving directions. Indeed, "Go out Poplar" or "Go out Walnut Grove" come out of my mouth in an almost Pavlovian manner when I am asked to give directions between two Memphis addresses.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the great pics. The pyramid looked great, but then I am a pyramid fan.

    I just answered an AICP practice exam question on pyramids, "Where is the 4th highest pyramid locatated?"

    My answer: Mexico City
    Correct answer (apparently): Las Vegas, NV

    I am married to a Southerner (Mississippi/Tennessee). I am a Westerner. We spent New Year's Eve in Memphis several years ago. My most lasting memory of New Year's eve in Memphis from 11pm-1am: Beale Street: 95% African-American Peabody Hotel: 100% Caucasian

  10. #10
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Great pics, I love Memphis and went there all the time when I lived in Oxford, Miss. (about an hour away).

    FYI: The Pyramid is a big cluster... there was much debate when the new basket ball team came in and all of a sudden the Pyrymid is not up to code!!?? WTF?? It was built less than 10 years ago and it is not up to code? Okay, you can prove that it is not... so then explain why that was allowed!? There are other arena's out there older than a decade so what is the deal!?

    On a lighter note, did you make to Rendezvous or to see the ducks at the Peabody?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Great Pictures! I will have to do one of these someday of the UP and quiz Bear on the locations.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I want to say the Pyramid was built during the early 1990s I think. It seats about 19,000 and was the main basketball arena for the University of Memphis. It also hosted concerts, conventions and other events. I believe the seating is below grade a little bit to accomodate the shape of the top.

    I will look up more info later, but my granfather told me that they will still use it for concerts and other such events, maybe even high school sports. I'll double check later, unless a Cyburbian may know exactly.
    Is it true they did not built the Pyramid to seismic codes, despite the location on the New Madrid Fault?

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by H
    Great pics, I love Memphis and went there all the time when I lived in Oxford, Miss. (about an hour away).

    On a lighter note, did you make to Rendezvous or to see the ducks at the Peabody?
    I have been to the Rendezvous many times before, but not on that trip. My GF and I did see the ducks at the Peabody for the first time, but it was crowded and my photos did not turn out.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by drucee
    Memphis is my second home as well. I think I've seen that neighborhood you stayed in before... is it off Yates (White Station, maybe?) north of Walnut Grove and backing up to I-240?
    You're really close. It is just off Walnut Grove on the "out" side of Germantown Parkway.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15

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    Thanks for the pictures, zman. Really like the mixture of photos. Theres a pyramid type thing not too far from here - its the HQ of some bank or other.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
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    Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    You're really close. It is just off Walnut Grove on the "out" side of Germantown Parkway.
    ...which would make it technically Cordova (although, in my opinion, the neighborhood should have another name, as "Cordova" for me encompasses everything north of Walnut Grove up to I-40, where it becomes "Wolfchase"). Did Memphis annex it yet? I imagine you're somewhere near Sanga Road and the Jewish Home. Another area I have fond memories of... I had a friend who lived off Sanga Road back when I was in middle school.

    But I can remember being about seven years old and my grandfather (who lived near Yates and Walnut Grove) driving me out past Shelby Farms to show me "the end of Memphis." We got as far as Bazemore Rd and the area looked, well... rural. I felt incredibly far from Memphis at the time... but today, the area is considered "convenient." Last December, I asked my grandfather to do the same thing. We got as far as Oakland, TN (11 miles from Wolfchase) this time.

    Suburban growth in Memphis seems to be happening at an aggressive clip now, especially in Mississippi (Olive Branch is one of the ten fastest-growing towns in the US, I believe), but the situation is not nearly as dire as it was five to seven years ago, with people fleeing the city for the suburbs with very little net growth in the metropolitan population. Yes, parts of downtown do still look like a ghost town, but Harbor Town, South Bluffs, and still other new developments really are bringing people back to the 38103 zip code. Witness the construction of the new downtown elementary school and the revitalization of the "South Main" gallery district. Midtown is still hugely popular, and even Whitehaven, once considered a poster child for "white flight," is attracting new construction, especially on its fringes near the MS border. I believe the Mayor lives in this part of town. Winchester near Hickory Ridge Mall, which five years ago was lined with vacant big-box stores, pawn shops, and dollar stores, even seems to be showing some nascent ethnoburbization. Give it 20 years, and it might become the next Buford Highway (Atlanta's suburban ethnic-mishmosh street).

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by drucee
    ...which would make it technically Cordova (although, in my opinion, the neighborhood should have another name, as "Cordova" for me encompasses everything north of Walnut Grove up to I-40, where it becomes "Wolfchase"). Did Memphis annex it yet? I imagine you're somewhere near Sanga Road and the Jewish Home. Another area I have fond memories of... I had a friend who lived off Sanga Road back when I was in middle school.

    But I can remember being about seven years old and my grandfather (who lived near Yates and Walnut Grove) driving me out past Shelby Farms to show me "the end of Memphis." We got as far as Bazemore Rd and the area looked, well... rural. I felt incredibly far from Memphis at the time... but today, the area is considered "convenient." Last December, I asked my grandfather to do the same thing. We got as far as Oakland, TN (11 miles from Wolfchase) this time.
    We were in Cordova, but just up the street was the City of Memphis which you passed through while going to Walnut Grove. If you look at my first posted photo, the large trees in the distance mark the Memphis/Cordova line, and beyond that lies Walnut Grove Road.

    My grandfather was telling stories of Shelby Farms and how it was worked by prisoners back in the day. He said they wanted my Grandfather (a dentist) to come out and look at the prisoners' teeth every now and then. But he turned it down, being that Shelby Farms was 'too far" from Whitehaven where they lived.

    I don't think there are plans for Memphis to annex Cordova, out there at least. I am surprised at the size of Memphis (land wise) because it can annex land. The land area seems quite large especially compared to Denver, where they have been prohibited to annex land by the Poundstone Amendment (except for when they built the airport). Denver Metro seems to be more suburb than central city, while Memphis seems to encompass most of its own metro area.

    Both are great cities though.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Z......what are those "things" walking around in the Beale Street area? Humans on sidewalks and not in cars? WTF?

    Your pictures make me want to visit Memphis. Nice blend.

    I worked for a number of years for a guy from a Mississippi suburb of Memphis. He had the neatest accent.

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  19. #19
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I have been to the Rendezvous many times before, but not on that trip. My GF and I did see the ducks at the Peabody for the first time, but it was crowded and my photos did not turn out.
    Good to hear. Both great!

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    Member Nor Cal Planner Girl's avatar
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    Thanks for the pics. Mud Island Park and Mississippi River History Museum..? sS the wavy metal thing in the back-ground is not a bridge- but a..... rollar coaster?

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    Great pics Zman I love Memphis...been there a few times...and I have been in the Pyramid, twice to see the Dead (great shows ) The pyramid was fun..
    I also visited Memphis on a "New Urbanist" bus tour to see Harbour Town and about three other developments in the City. It is a great time in Memphis!! I need to get there again soon...

  22. #22
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Nor Cal Planner Girl
    Thanks for the pics. Mud Island Park and Mississippi River History Museum..? sS the wavy metal thing in the back-ground is not a bridge- but a..... rollar coaster?

    The metal thing in the background is not a roller coaster, but the giant Hernando de Soto bridge which takes Interstate 40 over the Mississippi.


    Glad everyone enjoyed the pics.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sweet.....

    Very cool pics.....thanks.
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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    Great pics, Memphis is an interesting city.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian oulevin's avatar
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    Great pics...but none of Harbortown, Memphis' New Urbanist psuedo river community?

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