City - American South - Memphis

City - American South - Memphis

Memphis is musky and cool, fermented with all that’s complex about the South. It is more than mallard ducks on parade and the shag-and-gilt tomb of the King. And proud Memphians don’t shy from the grit-grind of the true city, past and present, honoring heroic figures like Ida B. Wells and celebrating the city’s mixtape of Alex Chilton, Carla Thomas, 8Ball & MJG. Living up to the Egyptian mystery of its name, Memphis in many ways is a city of reincarnation. Wafts of smoke cover barbecue joints of world renown, circled on a million maps: Payne’s, A&R, Cozy Corner and Rendezvous, whose bow-tied gentlemen carry on circa-1948 dry-rubbed traditions. In Midtown, visit the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, notably for its robust photo collection of two local sons: civil rights documentarian Ernest Withers and William Eggleston, godfather of color photography. For deeper historic cuts, head to the well-done Stax Museum, where artists like Otis Redding and Booker T. & the M.G.’s rained hot buttered soul upon the world. And there’s never a bad night to end up at Earnestine & Hazel’s, a red-tinted bar with a haunted jukebox and a midnight soul burger worth grease drippings on your suit. Look around: This is the real-deal Memphis.



Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, 52 Second St,, @rendezvousmemphis

Stax Museum, 926 E McLemore Ave,

Earnestine & Hazel’s, 531 S Main St,