The trip through Tennessee, incidentally, was beautiful. Hilly, with roundabouts and full forests. Fun to drive. I tried to take some pictures with my phone, but they all came out pretty assy.
I arrived at Memphis at around 4:20 which I later discovered was 3:20. Ah time zones.
Looking for a place to eat I headed south down the road to what I hoped would be a nicer area since my hotel room gives me a beautiful view of the freeway. Walking through Memphis I got the impression that this is a city that's either on the verge of a fall or the verge of a comeback. At first I thought it was the former, though now I'm leaning towards the latter. There's a lot of nice things around, decent restaurants, nice views, ok shopping... but for every location with activity there seems at least one other that's boarded up with big For Lease notices stickered to the window.
The other thing I noticed as I was walking was that nobody else was. Nobody. The city was dead to walking traffic. Period. When you've been to places where there's tons of people around the feeling of aloneness can be jarring. I slipped into a Steakhouse where they grilled the steak in the middle of the restaurant. It was cooked perfectly, and had a nice taste thanks to the hickory charcoal they used. Walking back I noticed more people around as I took a street a couple over from the one I walked up, and there was trolley-type system that seemed to be getting some use as well. I'll reserve judgement for later.
I also came across a park that had the beautiful view of the Mississippi above. It also had this statue in it.
Hard to see cause of the glare on my iphone but that's Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. The park was Confederate Park, and there were cannons facing out towards the Mississippi. No comment.
Oh, and in relation to the title. Beale is a street in Memphis. For some reason I always thought the lyric was 'off a beale.' Which makes absolutely no sense in retrospect since wtf is a beale? But there you go.