Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beale House Rock

I just enjoyed couple days in Memphis, a city I never visited. This is too bad, since it was fun and lively and reminded me of living in Atlanta. I lived there less than two years, but that was enough to make me the ambassador of the South to other conference attendees, mostly Europeans, some of whom never even saw America before. It was fun taking them out for Southern food and explaining grits, corn bread, green beans with bacon and sugar, fried green tomatoes, fried okra, fried catfish, fried fritters, and even fried fries. I warned them about sweet tea, the table wine of the South. They all listened to me, which wasn’t part of my plan. I was hoping one of them would be adventurous and try it, providing cheap amusement and credibility.

Of course, I told them all about Elvis, and tried to convince them that Elvis was not only alive, but looked about the same as he did 50 years ago. Despite countless signs to the contrary, they didn’t believe me.

This was really close to my hotel. Either it is unique, or they have several hundred such plazas all over Memphis.

This is at Graceland. They would know, don't you think?

I also forgot about the itinerant and elusive southern belles, two of whom I met on my first night. I was talking to a cop who I had bribed with a Mozartkugel in exchange for information. Molly and Anna materialized and said they were celebrating their birthday. Two gorgeous and flighty blondes and one neuroscientist. I knew this wouldn’t last, so I managed to get the picture below before they disappeared as quickly as they emerged.

Right shirt choice?

Continuing my MO to ingratiate locals, I managed to get out the next night to a club in midtown with good live music. This was all thanks to a helpful tip from a thoroughly more impressive woman who lived in Memphis. Unfortunately, our clubbing adventure ended early when she lost her cell phone and one of her friends got sick. She later cut her finger while talking to me. I doubt I'll see her again, and can't really blame her.

On Sunday, I went back to Beale Street with my conference buddies. Sunday was much, much quieter than the last two nights, made all the more eerie by the tininess of the Beale Street drinking area. They basically cordoned off about three blocks of one street, flooded it with cops, and called that downtown Memphis party central. They make up for it by legalizing beer on streets and allowing alcohol sales until 3 AM, which is generous in America but still makes Europeans shake their heads sadly.

Like previous trips to Colorado, I had over 100 pounds of luggage, mostly consumables. Unlike before, very little was pumpkinseed oil. So, I went back to my room and created the picture below. Note I already gave away two bottles of schnapps and a lot of chocolate. Also, the five Chinese silk paintings from Suzhou aren’t shown because there wasn’t room. I need some of it for my conference and workshops in DC next month, but most of it will be distributed among friends and family in CO and CA, often with me present to play Indian giver.

Loot, mostly chocolate and bottles of schnapps. Amazing what you can do with Photoshop, eh, US Customs Agents?

Sign at a gift shop in Denver airport.

1 comment:

Pink Diary said...

Memphis is Elvis hometown?