It might have been my imagination or perhaps wishful thinking but when I stepped outside this morning I was welcomed by a cool breeze which means that summer is winding to a close and I for one could not be happier about it. It is finally September, the start of my favorite half of the year. Since today is September first or 9/01 it has been adopted as an unofficial holiday in Memphis as a day to celebrate the city since the area code here is 901. I have officially been a resident of Memphis for exactly two months now and I could not be happier and I would like to blog today, 901 day, about some of the things I love about the city in which I now live.
One of my absolute favorite things about living in Memphis is all of the parks. I have mentioned it in a previous blog but Shelby Farms one of the larges parks in the United States is just a five minute drive from my apartment and its the park my wife and I frequent most often. It is a great place in the midst of a city to get in touch with nature. With multiple walking trails, both paved and un-paved, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to take a walk around one of the lakes or ponds located in the park or you want to have a true nature walk through the woods where I have seen deer on almost every occasion you will not be disappointed. If you are a bike rider Shelby Farms has a lot to offer you as well. Within the park there are many trails accessible by bicycle as well as a BMX dirt track for the more adventurous rider. If you want to venture outside of the park you can hop on the greenline an almost eleven mile trail that runs from Shelby Farms all the way to Midtown Memphis. It is not accessible by cars making it a stress free ride through the city. If you really just want a place to relax you can find that at Shelby Farms as well. Today marks the opening of a brand new restaurant, the Kitchenette in the park where visitors can grab some food and enjoy it on the back patio overlooking the largest lake or can even venture down onto the expansive lawn to have a serenity filled picnic.
Another thing I love about Memphis is the Fedex Forum, the stadium where the Grizzlies play basketball. It’s a fine building but what I love about it is the atmosphere during the basketball games. The Grizzlies are the only professional sports team in the area and the city stands behind them and supports them completely. Especially during the playoffs you can feel the camaraderie amongst Memphians and supporters of the team. A win for the Grizzlies is a win for the city and the atmosphere at the games is electric. I am fortunate to have been able to attend some playoff games at the Forum and they are absolutely some of the best experiences of my life. Another great thing about the Forum is you can get really cheap tickets that are pretty decent seats. They’re not court side but you can still see everything and experience the magic of a live Grizzlies game.
I know it’s completely cliche’ but one of my absolute favorite things about the city is the barbecue. I’ve eaten a lot of barbecue in my twenty-five years of living but nothing has come close to being as good as Memphis barbecue which is why many people consider it to be the barbecue capital of the world. My favorite barbecue here is the dry rub ribs from Corky’s barbecue. The succulent meat just falls off the bone and the dry rub combination of spices enhances the flavor of the meat rather than a wet sauce that sometimes can overpower it. I also love the barbecue nachos from Central Barbecue, a dish that has been featured on Food Network and is in my opinion the most unique barbecue dish. It’s tortilla chips piled high with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheese, and jalapeños and if you’re ever in Memphis I highly recommend you try it. The barbecue sandwich of my choice is the brisket sandwich from Topp’s Barbecue. It’s a pretty simple sandwich with just the brisket, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw but the flavors are incredible which is why whenever I’m craving a sandwich I go to Topp’s. Luckily for me is less than two minutes down the street from where I live.
There are many things I love about Memphis but the parks, the Fedex Forum, and the barbecue are some of my favorite. If you’ve never been here I feel that you are missing out. If you listen to the news the city is plagued with violence and crimes and while there is a lot of both that isn’t what defines Memphis. Memphis is defined by the people and the experiences that make it a great place to live. Happy 901 day! I hope to celebrate many more in the years to come.