Thursday, February 16, 2006

memfra

here in memphis staying in a hotel beside the pyramid. if you've never been to memphis, yes, there is a lifesize pyramid downtown. it's odd...and i completely forgot it was there until we pulled into town and ernie remarked "what the hell is that!?"
ernie had business meetings all day yesterday, so i had the day to myself to wander around this fine city. my first stop was lunch, at the front desk recommended restaurant called "westy's". how the lady at the front desk knew that this would be one of my new favorite restaurants, i have no idea. it was almost as if i had written the menu myself. here are a few sample items:
-cream cheese and olive on grilled rye
-honey melt, grilled cheese with honey in the middle
-peanut butter n' honey grilled sandwich
-turkey rueben (a fave of mine at any sandwich shop)
-chicken n' spinach with cream cheese sandwich
-around 20 wild rice dishes
-3 different kinds of hot tamales
-and of course, my all time fave: fried pickle spears

i sat down at the bar, beaming, and ordered a ginger ale, my usual drink of choice. then noticed the waiters roaming around with pitchers of iced tea. SWEET TEA! how could i forget that i'm back in tennessee, and they actually serve fresh brewed sweet tea, everywhere. i was saddened with my ginger ale decision.
at the end of the meal the waitress kindly offered me dessert choices, which i wasn't hungry for in any way, but on the menu, one of westy's specialties, is...are you ready...fried biscuits with powdered sugar, cinnamon and honey. dear lord...who knew they were selling pieces of heaven at a diner in memphis.

after lunch, i hopped on these trolley cars that run up and down the memphis streets and headed down to beale street, because honestly, i couldn't think of any where else to go. my idea of getting on a bus and heading over to the stax museum of soul music was dashed when my waitress at westy's told me that it wasn't really the type of neighborhood i should be taking the bus to. when in rome, i suppose.
so, beale street it was. beale st has really changed since the last time i was here, it's much more, gentrified, but still some nice and dirty dives if you know where to look. the first thing i noticed was the massive amount of squashed penny machines there were, and being myself an avid collector, i quickly rounded up quarters and pennies and made my way down the street, machine by machine. i was even able to find a very rare squashed dime machine that embedded your tender with a very odd and sort of creepy pic of elvis (of course).
my favorite stop had to be at a store called A.Schwabs...i can't believe these places still exist. my guess is that it was an actual old department store from back in the 20's before the mallification of america...thing is, it's still pretty much the same store. i must have walked around for an hour looking at the dollar toys, overalls, old women's stockings, homemade canned goods and lye soaps. another thing i noticed in the store was the amount of voodoo items, and books on dream interpretation and number readings. odd placement i thought for these items, but i guess the voodoo community is thriving in memphis. my purchases from this fine establishment, included two pamplets: MacDonald's Farmers Almanac for 2006 (which will be quoted many times later in this blog, i'm sure) and Dr.MacDonald's Astrological Dream Book, a comprehensive and scientific system for the interpretation of dreams (their words not mine).
after this amazing experience, i headed to a record store and bought a bill withers cd, since i had been craving that 'use me' song since i got here. i also bought some nice postcards, thelonius monk, and mississippi john hurt. to end my day, i headed over to the museum of rock and soul which is owned and operated by the smithsonian, a small museum but very informative. the best part is the headphones they give you, and throughout the museum are jukeboxes, you can punch in the numbers on your headphones and just sit and listen to music if you want. my favorites were 'blues stay away from me' by the delmore brothers (i've always loved this song) and 'i can't stand the rain' by ann peebles (missy didn't do this song justice)...and so many others...just sitting and listening to old blues, country and soul was literally a perfect end to my day.

cheers.

5 comments:

Chelle said...

I have not been to "memfra" in years. LOL, sounds like you had a hoot. Made me think back to the old days of the 90's runnin around. Glad you had a super good day!

Anonymous said...

do you guys actually have real jobs or do you just vacation 365 days a year??

aprildawn said...

to be quite blunt, no, i don't really have a "real" job, as they say...but my dearest counterpart travels with his work quite a bit, so i join him when i can.
in the spring, hopefully it will be paris and ireland, but not sure.

rach said...

oh memfra...remember the sky dogs...that super hot lead singer.. and times when we could party hard with MQ

aprildawn said...

my fondest memory of MQ is her being tossed high into the air on a blanket in your front yard on my graduation. it was the best graduation present ever. hehe.