10. The people. Sure, we have crime, but what big city doesn’t? The people in Memphis are interesting. A trip to the grocery store can turn into a two hour conversation with a stranger about their time in the service or their new dog. Memphis is home to about as many different people as there are in the rest of the world. You have blacks, whites, Latino, Asian, mixed, and the occasional Prince Mongo (because no one really knows where that guy is really from…). And the wonderful thing is, we live in harmony. We are Memphis, no matter what our race or ethnicity.
9. Small town feel in a big city area. There’s downtown and midtown, those are rather populated, lit up areas. But just a 40 minute drive on I-40 West and you’re standing in corn fields listening to cows and goats. It’s just far enough away that you can see every star in the sky, yet close enough to still have those neon lights. The suburbs and northern Shelby County are just enough to give you that small town feel. Take a drive out to Shelby Forest (but take a real map, you will lose cell service and you will get lost).
8. Downtown. There has been a major push to bring downtown back to its glory, and it is working. There’s so much character and history if you look for it. Walk down Beale, visit the Peabody, go to the Loraine. There’s so much to see and learn about this incredible city.
7. The fact that no Memphian has been to Graceland… As much as we pride ourselves with Elvis, ask anyone from here. None of us have ever actually been to pay homage to the man who made this city great.
6. The music. Do I really need to explain this? We are the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll.
5. Memphis in May. Yes, we have an elite month dedicated to our culture. By that I mean we have a month of BBQ and music fests. During this month, you can expect the entire Riverfront area to smell like a wonderful mix of BBQ, herbal drugs I will not name, and sweat.
4. And that brings me to BBQ. If you think your city has the best.. You’re tragically mistaken. Take one smell of Rendezvous BBQ sauce and you will pass out from a BBQ induced coma. I refuse to eat BBQ anywhere else other than Memphis.
3. Jesus. There is literally a church on every corner. (Excuse the cliche..). These churches do so much for our city. Just go look at lifechurch.com and you can see that the religious individuals here really care about our city and want to make it a better place for the next generation. So many churches have such servant-minded congregations that go out of their way every week to better our culture.
2. University of Memphis. The campus is big enough to make you feel like you went away to college (even if my parents only live 40 minutes away) but small enough to not overwhelm you. It’s gorgeous, well laid out, safe, and has great ways to get involved. Not to mention the number of Starbucks’ we have on campus (enough to supple every white girl with all the white chocolate non fat mochas she could ever want.)
1. Basketball. Grit grind. Whoop that trick. We da tigerz. Go tigers go. I could go on and on. If there is one thing that binds this city together more than BBQ, it’s basketball. U of M Tigers games are known to sellout the FedEx Forum and are the most fun you’ll have in college. They sit the students right behind the basket that the Tigers shoot in last (I’m sure there’s a term for this but I’m not sport savvy). Plus, they give you cute little gold and blue towels to wave around at Grizzlies games. I have a growing collection. These teams bring our city together, give us something to look forward to, and boost morale. You won’t understand if you’ve never been how incredible it is.
And this is a list of reasons why I love my city. It’s hard to put into words and I’m probably rambling, but to finish off with a song lyric from my favorite musical; “Memphis lives in me.”