Bluff City (Memphis) – On the banks of the Mississippi…

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IMG_2947Why Memphis?  Well, it’s becoming one of my favorite cities and it’s my 70th birthday.
Yes, yes, it’s true, I have spent the last fifteen or more years turning various ages in Las Vegas. And wow, LV is so much fun.  All those lights, that action, the people watching. And our friend Amber is the most extraordinary host and she always makes my birthday one to remember.  She leaves strawberries and IMG_1949champagne in our room and always surprises me with a show-stopping birthday cake, each cake more impressive than the year before.
So why Memphis? I don’t know. 70 just seems different.  More reserved and quiet than Las Vegas.

TWWNCBUIP and I, and Linc and Lola love to stroll the banks of the Mississippi and don’t forget, there’s Gus’s Fried Chicken, the Pink Palace, and the Five in One Social Club. And our boy lives here with his bride and their dog Frank. Also, the humidity reminds me of home.

So for this year I turned 70 in Memphis.
We were greeted by MMCB at our hotel with a picnic dinner gathered from the goodies found at Ms. Cordelia’s.  When we went up to stow our bags in the room we discovered that the hotel had left

Sears Crosstown Before

The Old Sears Crosstown

chocolate covered strawberries and champagne…what??  How did they know? Did Amber call ahead?
We gobbled the strawberries and toasted to my old age with the champagne before going out for our midnight picnic. Did I mention that our hotel is located on the banks of the Mississippi?  It’s pretty cool to walk out of your room and get to take a midnight stroll along the river.  Linc and Lola love it.

As many of you know, waking up at TCON is a little late for the 10am coffee in the hotel library nook.  This trip I was

The new Sears Crosstown

determined to get down there in time for coffee no matter what. So I left the curtains open in our room and sure enough, that Mississippi sun broke through my dreams and woke me up just in the nick of time. I grabbed my fluffy hotel robe and made my way to the nook.  Yes! The coffee pot was still there! I poured myself a little china cup of coffee and settled in to enjoy my morning. I think getting up before TCON may have potential for my new old age.

MMCB arrived at our hotel a little later and we set out for the day.  First stop, Five in One Social Club.  It was the last day before they closed up to move to the new space on Summer Avenue.  I must say it was bittersweet.  We are thrilled for the kids moving into a new space but that little red building was a special place and we will miss it….even though it is only a block away from the Summer Avenue space.

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We decided to lunch at Sears. Not really “Sears” anymore.  The Sears catalog distribution center (remember the Sears catalog?) in Memphis Tennessee may seem like an odd place for lunch (as it happens the center has been converted into a …. well,  Crosstown Arts. This massive space hosts a public high school, restaurants, bars, a YMCA, residences and office spaces and art. Art everywhere. It’s such a great space. As I was saying,  we lunched at the Global Cafe in Sears and dined on Sudanese, Venezuelan ad Syrian cuisine.  You may have seen this on NPR.  Really good food. Global.

Memphis is not just about bar-b-que anymore. But the birthday cakes from Amber still can’t be beat.

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