Today was mostly spent partaking in a self-guided walking tour of Memphis. The riverfront on the Mississippi is nicely landscaped and gives a view of the neighbouring states of Arkansas and (maybe) Mississippi. Despite a few derelict buildings, Memphis city centre also has some really nicely preserved old architecture. One of the most prominent is the Peabody Hotel which I would later find out is perhaps most famous for having ducks wandering around inside. Seriously! I stopped off in Huey’s (rated 16/1193 of Mephis restaurants on TripAdvisor) for a chicken sandwich. It was nice but not as good as the one in Detroit.
After dinner I went down to see the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Motel the site of the Martin Luther King assassination. Outside was a lady, Jacqueline Smith, who’s protested there since 1988. It seems that her main gripe is that the site has been turned into Disney-style tourist attraction, glorifying MLK’s death. She probably has a point. The racist killing of Dr King should be a source of embarrassment and not embraced as some sort of visitor attraction.
At the other end of town is another landmark, the Memphis Pyramid. This iconic structure, supposedly the tenth biggest pyramid in the world, was built in 1991 as an arena. By 2004 it was derelict. The Pyramid stood empty for years but has recently been converted into a hotel and enormous outdoorsy fishing shop. Apparently it did not meet the specifications required to host NBA basketball so therefore a new arena was built next to Beale Street. Talking about Beale Street, Wednesday nights is traditionally Biker Night. Drink driving implications aside, my immediate thoughts were about whether there’d be any bother. However during the time I was there I witnessed no trouble. Perhaps I’m just prejudiced having seen Sons of Anarchy and read Hell’s Angels.