Even as a mid-sized market, Memphis' downtown and inner city is unexpectedly small and lacking in density. The central business district has retained much of its building stock and has slowly built up over time. But as you move north, south, east or west, the change is dramatic.
Much of the city's downtown has evolved into an unpredictable hodgepodge of surface lots and low-density residential developments (a surprising proportion of it public housing). Memphis has maintained its economic importance thanks to its transportation infrastructure but its growth has failed to improve the urban condition of its core.
December 2011 Archives
NYC Chef and outspoken food writer Eddie Huang takes viewers on a road trip to find America's best food deals. From free pizza in NY, to donuts that only cost a quarter in Memphis, Tennessee, Eddie will show us where the best cheap bites are found.
Note that the promo clip doesn't use Cooking Channel's usual tagline construction, which in this case would be: "He's Eddie Huang, and he's always looking for new ways to stay cheap." Probably a good idea to try something new.
Some are pegging Huang as the new Anthony Bourdain, or Rachael Ray's "$40 a Day" with "more urban flair."
In the modeled case study of these four cities, all located on major U.S. fault lines, Los Angeles (not the smaller cities) would fare the best on a relative basis because it's a better-built environment with stronger seismic building codes and practices. Conversely, Memphis, would experience average building damage ratios eight times larger* than that of LA, and would experience nearly eight times the rate of fatal injuries.
Why? In natural disasters of any kind, it's all about resiliency or the ability of a community to survive and then bounce back from disaster --- and resiliency is directly related to the quality of the built environment, building codes and record of enforcement.
* Blogger's emphasis added.
Some background, for anyone who doesn't subscribe to Dentistry Illustrated Weekly: the plasma brush isn't a toothbrush, but actually a tool dentists are hoping to use for two primary situations. The first is breaking up plaque; the plasma torch, though it's no hotter than room temperature, is excellent at breaking the bonds that adhere plaque to a tooth. The second is as a sort of primer for filling cavities.
Read all the excerpts of user comments on Sullivan's post. People did remarkable work with search engines and Google Earth images to solve the riddle.
Most of Cincinnati was sleeping at 2 a.m. April 27 - 18 days after Gen. Robert E. Lee's forces surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Va. That's when the Sultana, overloaded with soldiers returning home and steaming up the Mississippi River, exploded into flames and went down near Memphis.
No one is sure how many died that night, when the Sultana's overworked boilers exploded. But the U.S. Custom Service put the number at 1,547 - many of them emaciated and half-dead soldiers liberated from Confederate prison camps, and sick and wounded soldiers who came on board when the steamer stopped at Vicksburg, Miss.
It was - and still is - the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history. The death toll surpassed even the 1912 tragedy of the Titantic, which struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic, when 1,517 passengers and crew died.
PICTURED: An illustration from Harper's Weekly shows the sinking of the steamboat Sultana on the MIssissippi River on April 27, 1865.
A 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Scotty, who worked in a Memphis dry cleaning shop and played guitar on the side in honky tonk band, connected with Presley wholly by accident. His vibrant work on Elvis's Sun and early RCA recordings, blending Chet Atkins fingerstyle playing with slashing blues numbers, remains the fountainhead for many rock, country and rockabilly players.
Even Keith Richards, the ultimate devotee of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, considers his longtime pal Scotty a Holy Grail or sorts, and was long obsessed with Moore's solo on Elvis's Sun recording of "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone." Still active, Scotty has continued to perform and discuss his legacy--and that of Elvis.
Elvis thought so highly of Moore as a guitarist and friend that he insisted that Moore and the other original sidemen joined him on his 1968 comeback TV special. Read the whole article, and check out the many video clips of interviews as well as studio and live performances.As he nears 80, and having outlived Elvis by generations, Moore continues to keep alive the raw, gritty legacy of Elvis, Sun Records and that old Memphis sound.
PICTURED: Scotty Moore performs on July 5, 2004, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Elvis' "That's All Right Mama."
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"If you look at what happened to those three defendants, it was mishandled from the very beginning," says Grisham. "They rely on bogus confessions. They rely on jailhouse snitches."The show airs at 8 p.m. CT on CNN.
Grisham was living in the Memphis area when three young Cub Scouts were brutally murdered in 1993 in the town of West Memphis, Arkansas. Three teenage boys, who became known as the West Memphis 3, were convicted of the murders despite the lack of physical evidence. "There was this very sensational trial and the community wanted justice," says Grisham. "They had some bad confessions to work on and these three guys get convicted, and they spend 18 years in prison." The West Memphis 3 defendants were released in August.
Longtime Texas musician Dale Watson always knew he wanted to make a record at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tenn. He just didn't expect it to be like this.Wondering which club that was? From the promotional kit for The Sun Sessions:
After his tour manager called ahead to confirm a tour date in Memphis, the club owner replied that the traditional country singer wasn't on the calendar. And to add insult to injury, the club had a dance DJ booked instead.
Rather than canceling the trip in frustration, Watson called Sun and booked the studio that night ... .
"I didn't plan on this record," Dale says. "I was originally booked to play the Hi-Tone in Memphis the night I recorded this album, but after advancing the show on the way there from Austin, Texas, I was told by the Hi-Tone Lounge, 'No we have a DJ on Tuesdays, we do not have you booked.' After feeling awful that a music town with such history would rather have a dance DJ than live music, I thought, 'What the hell. I got lemons, let's make lemonade.'"
Having closely studied all available musical and historical sources related to the opera--including Joplin's own instrumentation jottings in his personal copy of the piano score--Mr. Benjamin aimed to create a new, historically correct performing edition of the opera that would reflect the original musical character intended by Joplin. In 2003 Mr. Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and singers premiered this version semistaged in San Francisco, and gave subsequent performances in recent years at the historic Saenger Theater in Joplin's hometown of Texarkana, Texas, and at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (America's oldest black college) among other venues. Mr. Benjamin notes that he has also "allowed my edition to be produced by Opera Memphis and several other opera companies."
... "'Treemonisha,'" says Mr. Benjamin, "is truly a rare artifact of a vanished culture: an opera about African-Americans of the Reconstruction era--created by a black man who actually lived through it. As a unique work of art, it doesn't fit the usual templates. It is the product of a great American genius, and we hope at least to help focus attention on what's truly wonderful about it."
It turns out that the awesome power of the Mississippi River that was unleashed this past spring both gave and took away in the Mississippi Delta south of Memphis. An old cotton field in Coahoma County, Miss., that was buried under sediment in the Great Flood of 1927 was rediscovered after this year's historic flooding:
Fast forward to this past spring when floodwaters from the Great Flood of 2011 swept away the 5 feet of topsoil that the 1927 flood had deposited on the field. Like washing away a layer of mud from the bottom of an old pair of boots, the floodwaters revealed once again the treads of the old field, perfectly preserved sets of ancient mule tracks and old cotton rows.
Bowen Flowers and Pete Hunter, two Coahoma County cotton producers, were lucky enough to have seen the field while hunting this spring. Flowers took a few pictures on his iPhone. "You can actually see where the mule tracks were when they were rowing it up," said Flowers, who is serving as the president of the Delta Council this year. "It was like they were petrified."
The buried field avoided much damage from devastating flood of 1937, unlike Memphis up the river:
Since last spring, work to repair broken levees and subsequent rains washed away forever what was left of that tough cotton field in Coahoma County, Miss.
Those improvements in the 1930s helped confine the 1937 flood to a smaller area than the 1927 flood, according to Camillo. "We had to operate Birds Point that year (1937), but once you got down to the mouth of the Arkansas River, the flood kind of petered out because of the channel realignment, which had lowered flood stages by 10 to 12 feet. Most of the damage from the 1937 flood was limited to between Cairo, Ill., and Memphis."
Hey, Memphis: Are you happy? Are you sure? Because Men's Health magazine isn't so certain.
Last week, in a list of the "saddest U.S. cities," Men's Health ranked Memphis, with its subtropical climate and legendary music scene, as the third-saddest city in the country. Clearly the place has taken a dive since February, when Forbes reported that Memphis is the sixth-happiest city to work in. Memphis is apparently a little slice of heaven -- as long as you're sitting at the office.
But for some some reason, these lists never seem to quite mesh with reality. Financial Times writer Edwin Heathcote pointed out recently that many of the places that top the "most livable cities" lists are places no one really wants to live -- it's always (no offense, guys) Provo, Utah, and Ann Arbor, Mich., and Manchester, N.H. "What, you might ask, no New York? No London? No L.A. or H.K.?" asked Heathcote. To reduce a city to metrics "is to strip out all the complexity, all the friction and buzz that make big cities what they are."
"First they asked us to let them pull the plug," Judy recalled one recent afternoon, as we sat in the living room of the Coxes' house in a Memphis suburb. "Then they tried getting us to sign a do-not-resuscitate order." Without one, the doctor explained, hospital staff would be forced to revive Chris each time he started slipping away, which could mean cracking his ribs and shocking him with electricity. Even if they managed to keep his body alive, what was left of his brain would surely die in the days ahead.Wayne and Judy refused to sign. "This is not some dog we're talking about putting down," Wayne shouted. "This is our son."
Some recent reports have suggested that the prescription sleep aids Ambien and zolpidem can suddently awaken people who have spent years in a vegetative state. The trick to pursuing an avenue with a patient like Chris Cox is figuring out which responses -- whether physical or merely detectable via electrical brain activity -- constitute consciousness and which are merely concidence. Also complicated and painful for families and caregivers is when to decide that the patient has recovered all he or she can:
"Once a patient progresses to minimal consciousness, we can't predict what's going to happen," says Dr. Joseph J. Fins, chief of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College and author of a coming book, "Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics and the Struggle for Consciousness." Some patients have recovered full consciousness, but many more remain stuck in limbo. The only way to know the outcome is to give the patient time.