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Author Topic: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?  (Read 825 times)

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Offline Manny

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Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« on: June 22, 2023, 05:23:15 AM »
My daughter wants to visit Graceland, and perhaps have a couple of days in NYC on the way home.

Doing some light Googling, it appears Memphis might be a bit iffy:

Quote
Graceland is in a very diverse and unique neighborhood. The area is home to many different types of people from all walks of life

Quote
Despite its status as a tourist destination, Memphis is fraught with danger. When traveling in the city, visitors should be aware of their surroundings and use caution; there is a higher crime rate throughout the city than in nearby towns.

So my question is for anyone who knows something about Memphis, are those quotes accurate? Is it somewhere to get in and out of ASAP? Or is it worth spending a few days there?

Often these things are written online and the truth is no such thing.
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Offline Lord of the Dance

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2023, 06:25:14 AM »
Never been there myself, but I can't imagine it's any worse than NYC. Just tell her to watch her back and keep valuables out of sight, you know... the basics.
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Online Faux Pas

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2023, 08:13:27 AM »

Quote
Despite its status as a tourist destination, Memphis is fraught with danger. When traveling in the city, visitors should be aware of their surroundings and use caution; there is a higher crime rate throughout the city than in nearby towns.

So my question is for anyone who knows something about Memphis, are those quotes accurate? Is it somewhere to get in and out of ASAP? Or is it worth spending a few days there?

Often these things are written online and the truth is no such thing.

Is she going alone? I've spent a lot of time in Memphis. Graceland is located in a sketchy part of town but very doable and I've been there at night (a private function) but it is only open in the daylight hours. The difference is literally night and day. There are some places in Memphis at night one doesn't want to be caught alone.  Neighborhoods in the city proper and area towns is not recommended. Beale St is fine and surrounded by many hotels as are most of the tourist attractions. Downtown at night is fine as long as you don't venture off of the beaten paths. Take a taxi to where ever she wishes to go. Although it's a bit pricier than other hotels I would recommend the Peabody


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Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2023, 12:11:12 AM »
Is she going alone?

No, I'd be taking her.

Although it's a bit pricier than other hotels I would recommend the Peabody

I've read that elsewhere too.  tiphat

As LAD mentioned, would you say it's comparable to NYC then? Just normal wits about you and don't engage with nutters stuff?

You mention Beale St, some of what I read said to avoid it in the evening.
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Online Faux Pas

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2023, 05:47:44 AM »
Is she going alone?

No, I'd be taking her.

Although it's a bit pricier than other hotels I would recommend the Peabody


I've read that elsewhere too.  tiphat

As LAD mentioned, would you say it's comparable to NYC then? Just normal wits about you and don't engage with nutters stuff?

You mention Beale St, some of what I read said to avoid it in the evening.


If you're going with her you've got nothing to worry about. But, yes you are correct keep your wits about you and don't do anything stupid and you'll be fine. Memphis is much like any other major metro city in the US, it's crime ridden. I would compare it more to New Orleans than NYC. The city proper and several of the area towns are largely black and in most instances in the daylight you'll be fine, at night as with anywhere anything could happen. Memphis is smaller than most Metro cities but the crime rate is higher.

There are places to avoid and that's anything off the beaten path especially at night. However, there is a lot to see and do. I would encourage you to go. It's a fun and entertaining city. The concierge at the Peabody is your best friend, tip him and he won't lead you astray. Beale St comes alive at night and that is the best time to go. Probably the best barbeque in the world is at a joint on the same block as the Peabody is called the Rondevous. Looks like you'll miss a chance to catch a Redbirds game.

I've been all over the city of Memphis day and night and never had a serious issue. Of course I'm armed everywhere I go so that might explain my bravery. Just know, it's one city in the daytime and a completely different city at night. as most are

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2023, 06:06:08 AM »
Also, I meant to add that the lobby bar at the Peabody is a great place to people watch. There is no telling whom you might see or run into. If there are any celebs in the area chances are they are staying at the Peabody.The march of the ducks is quite a spectacle twice a day. It's cheesy but fun to watch

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2023, 05:38:27 PM »
I would compare it more to New Orleans than NYC.

I came to post this.  Think of Beale Street like Bourbon Street, enjoy the touristy parts, stay clear of the dodgy parts.

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Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2023, 03:32:45 PM »
So I did my ESTA (US Visa) tonight and it seems inconclusive.  :chuckle:

ila_rendered

Perhaps my travel record to China and Russia renders me liable to review.  :whist11:

It will be hilarious if I am denied as my wife once was, while thousands flood in from Mexico.

So we wait and see............
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2024, 11:13:34 AM »
So I finally booked the trip to Memphis.

I've been researching hotels, the Peabody is having some construction it seems and there's a lot of recent reviews mentioning noise, bad staff attitude and cockroaches. Looking at the other top ten hotels on Tripadvisor, many seem in very high crime areas and the bad reviews are like, really bad. There doesn't seem a lot of choice, and nothing at all five-star. That led me to a place called River Inn in Harbor Town, right on the Mississippi. It looks to be a little north of downtown, being uptown. Can anyone opine on that hotel or area?
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2024, 11:52:54 AM »
I thought I'd share this as it made me laugh. So I'm looking at hotels on Trip Advisor, and if a hotel owner, you can sponsor your listing to put it at the top of the search. Look at the lead image on the Roulhac Mansion:ROFL:

ila_rendered

The place has PAID for that photo of Cletus sitting in what looks like Granny's parlour as an advertisement. I can't imagine what type of clientele they are hoping to entice with this image.

I guess that's Memphis-style marketing.  :coffeeread:
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Online B.B.

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2024, 02:25:25 PM »
The place has PAID for that photo of Cletus sitting in what looks like Granny's parlour as an advertisement. I can't imagine what type of clientele they are hoping to entice with this image.

I guess that's Memphis-style marketing.  :coffeeread:

Egad.

On Expedia it looks like a tidy AirBnB (not mansion).  And Jethro (or Cletus) is nowhere to be seen in the photos.  They should have gone with that version.  :chuckle:

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2024, 03:41:40 AM »
So I did my ESTA (US Visa) tonight and it seems inconclusive.  :chuckle:

(Attachment Link)

Perhaps my travel record to China and Russia renders me liable to review.  :whist11:

It will be hilarious if I am denied as my wife once was, while thousands flood in from Mexico.

So we wait and see............


Bloody hell... We have been planning to go to the US for a few years now, but defo visiting next year. I wonder if they will let me in  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2024, 06:35:38 AM »
Manny, that place looks very conveniently located for fine dining! If you stay there, you'll be only a 16-minute walk away from Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken.

What more could a man of culture need?

I will be disappointed if you do not stay there and give a review of Uncle Lou's chicken!
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Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2024, 10:59:33 AM »
It's actually slim pickings in terms of culture by the look of it. There isn't a single five-star hotel, the Peabody (4.5) which is most people's default choice, is having remonting done and recent reviews aren't good.

Food-wise, there's got to be a lot of southern barbecue going on, and the US is never short on steaks, so I'm not too worried about the grub.

I won't be there that long though, apart from a walk down Beale St, Graceland and Sun Records, there isn't an awful lot to do there. And crime seems rather high, so it doesn't seem like a place I want to hang around in. Two or three nights should do it. We're off to NYC then.
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2024, 11:44:52 AM »
So I finally booked the trip to Memphis.

I've been researching hotels, the Peabody is having some construction it seems and there's a lot of recent reviews mentioning noise, bad staff attitude and cockroaches. Looking at the other top ten hotels on Tripadvisor, many seem in very high crime areas and the bad reviews are like, really bad. There doesn't seem a lot of choice, and nothing at all five-star. That led me to a place called River Inn in Harbor Town, right on the Mississippi. It looks to be a little north of downtown, being uptown. Can anyone opine on that hotel or area?

I would have thought the Peabody was a 5 star. Bummer if they're doing renovations, I recommend going elsewhere. There is a Crown Plaza and a Hilton Double Tree in the downtown near the action. There use to be a Hampton Inn right on Beale St or next to it. Any of those should be close to the level of comfort you seek. You can still go to the Peabody to see the duck march, if that's your thing. The lobby bar (normally) is a great place to hang out for people watching. You never know who you'll see.

There is a number of good quality white table cloth restaurants in downtown area along with a number of barbeque joints. Likely all of them great to excellent as long as you're not expecting ambience. If it's barbeque you seek, the best in Memphis IMO is Rendevous. Tops is also really good but more of a fast food place

Uncles Lou's is some really good chicken but for me it's Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. I've no idea what makes it world famous but it's some good stuff

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2024, 06:29:28 AM »
And crime seems rather high, so it doesn't seem like a place I want to hang around in. Two or three nights should do it. We're off to NYC then.

I thought I'd follow up on this as I've been and come home now.

I didn't see any of this crime people speak of personally, but you can tell it's there. About 7pm the police blocked off the end of Beale St and had an airport-style scanner there and you had to show ID to get in. I asked the cops, they said it was to keep guns and knives off the street. However, if you were there before 7pm, there was no roadblock. So any crim who wanted to have a gun there would go at 6.30, wouldn't they? The cops had no answer to that.  :chuckle:



One side of Memphis looks like it's been bombed by NATO. Street after street of abandoned factories, buildings, shops and yards with collapsing roofs etc. where the blacks all seem to live. Like zero economic activity and some areas, you'd probably not go after dark. But the other side, I think the east, looks quite respectable Republican country. All nice houses, flags out front, nice trucks, etc.

Like anywhere, the taxi drivers were a mine of information on everything from the best food places to shopping, local history and all sorts. Everyone I met seemed very friendly and I had no issues there at all. Although I did notice the far end of Beale St seemed to go very quiet and a bit sketchy all of a sudden, my spidey senses told me to turn back. Main Street seems to close down early, around 9:30 - 10, it goes quiet and then you see the opportunists come out looking to hustle you.

Graceland and Sun Records was great to visit. Did a bit of shopping over the border in Mississippi. 

But overall, I liked the place and the people. The famous southern hospitality and friendliness I guess.   :thumbsup:
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2024, 06:33:29 AM »
And crime seems rather high, so it doesn't seem like a place I want to hang around in. Two or three nights should do it. We're off to NYC then.

I thought I'd follow up on this as I've been and come home now.

I didn't see any of this crime people speak of personally, but you can tell it's there. About 7pm the police blocked off the end of Beale St and had an airport-style scanner there and you had to show ID to get in. I asked the cops, they said it was to keep guns and knives off the street. However, if you were there before 7pm, there was no roadblock. So any crim who wanted to have a gun there would go at 6.30, wouldn't they? The cops had no answer to that.  :chuckle:

One side of Memphis looks like it's been bombed by NATO. Street after street of abandoned factories, buildings, shops and yards with collapsing roofs etc. where the blacks all seem to live. Like zero economic activity and some areas, you'd probably not go after dark. But the other side, I think the east, looks quite respectable Republican country. All nice houses, flags out front, nice trucks, etc.

Like anywhere, the taxi drivers were a mine of information on everything from the best food places to shopping, local history and all sorts. Everyone I met seemed very friendly and I had no issues there at all. Although I did notice the far end of Beale St seemed to go very quiet and a bit sketchy all of a sudden, my spidey senses told me to turn back. Main Street seems to close down early, around 9:30 - 10, it goes quiet and then you see the opportunists come out looking to hustle you.

But overall, I liked the place and the people. The famous southern hospitality and friendliness I guess.   :thumbsup:

Just out of interest, did you take any photo's?

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2024, 06:52:05 AM »
Have you been to NYC before?

I remember my first visit there, back in the '70s. As a kid, I envisioned the USA as a place where the streets were paved with gold. That first visit told me otherwise! I was amazed at how messed up everything was even as a young child. The roads made their first impression as we travelled from the airport—JFK, as I recall. We were staying close to Times Square. This was before the area became Disney-fied. It was exciting but dirty and, well, nasty. I very much enjoyed the few days we were there. I still have some pics I took back then. Later visits, the area became 'nicer', but it also lost something at the same time.

Overall, after many visits over the years, it seems to me that cities, at least, are a mixture of broken poverty and great wealth, and the two do not mix. We Britons might moan about the UK, but the U.S. is a whole other ball of wax.
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Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2024, 07:03:46 AM »
Just out of interest, did you take any photo's?

I just put one in the post, I'll put a few more on.

Have you been to NYC before?

I was last in NYC 20 years ago. I'll put my thoughts about NYC on the topic I did asking about that.  :hidechair:

I'll tell you what was better than my previous visits: US Immigration. Maybe it was just Atlanta, I dunno. Fast, efficient and how it should be. None of the 2 hour queues and idiotic questions I had to endure in the past.

Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Online andrewfi

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2024, 07:21:51 AM »

I'll tell you what was better than my previous visits: US Immigration. Maybe it was just Atlanta, I dunno. Fast, efficient and how it should be. None of the 2 hour queues and idiotic questions I had to endure in the past.

If that's become a more general thing, then that's all for the good. My previous visits had been horrendous. It has been a while since I was last on the North American continent, but the last trip was to Canada for work, and, I confess, I was entirely happy that that was the case.
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Online Faux Pas

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2024, 07:49:35 AM »
And crime seems rather high, so it doesn't seem like a place I want to hang around in. Two or three nights should do it. We're off to NYC then.

I thought I'd follow up on this as I've been and come home now.

I didn't see any of this crime people speak of personally, but you can tell it's there. About 7pm the police blocked off the end of Beale St and had an airport-style scanner there and you had to show ID to get in. I asked the cops, they said it was to keep guns and knives off the street. However, if you were there before 7pm, there was no roadblock. So any crim who wanted to have a gun there would go at 6.30, wouldn't they? The cops had no answer to that.  :chuckle:

(Attachment Link)

One side of Memphis looks like it's been bombed by NATO. Street after street of abandoned factories, buildings, shops and yards with collapsing roofs etc. where the blacks all seem to live. Like zero economic activity and some areas, you'd probably not go after dark. But the other side, I think the east, looks quite respectable Republican country. All nice houses, flags out front, nice trucks, etc.

Like anywhere, the taxi drivers were a mine of information on everything from the best food places to shopping, local history and all sorts. Everyone I met seemed very friendly and I had no issues there at all. Although I did notice the far end of Beale St seemed to go very quiet and a bit sketchy all of a sudden, my spidey senses told me to turn back. Main Street seems to close down early, around 9:30 - 10, it goes quiet and then you see the opportunists come out looking to hustle you.

Graceland and Sun Records was great to visit. Did a bit of shopping over the border in Mississippi. 

But overall, I liked the place and the people. The famous southern hospitality and friendliness I guess.   :thumbsup:

Where did you stay and where did you eat?

BTW the barricades is just a "dog and pony show" for the tourists to make them feel safe. There are endless areas/places for the criminal element to get into and out of Beale St with ease.

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2024, 09:36:51 AM »
I ended up staying at this place called Arrive on Main Street. Across the street from the Civil Rights Museum. It was OK, nothing to shout about, but OK.

I put half a dozen short videos on Twitter >>here<<

Just down the street was this classic American diner called Arcade, I tried breakfast there. This is apparently an omelet.



I can't say I am too struck by grits, and what's with the "whipped spread" instead of butter? The ingredients list looked like a chemical cocktail. And those omnipresent god-awful "buttermilk bread" things that are like a cross between a muffin and a scone. The best thing about Arcade was the waitresses.  :)

A cab driver recommended a place called Sunrise a short drive away on Jefferson, that was much better and we had breakfast there the rest of the time.

I found a great steakhouse just off Beale on Peabody Place that was quite up my street, The Majestic Grille. Did the Southern Fried Chicken thing at the Blues Cafe, and tried BB Kings too.



The old trolley buses are quite cool.



The front of Graceland.



Elvis' living room.



A "gritty" part of town.  :chuckle:



Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2024, 09:37:07 AM »




The outside of Sun. I recommend the tour.  :thumbsup:



How cool is this sign? A bit of classic old USA.  :nod:

The videos on Twitter linked above will maybe give folk a better feel.

I didn't expect to like Memphis as much as I did. I'm not sure I'd go again as a main destination, but I'd certainly do a few days there again if passing through. My next stop was NYC, my thoughts on that are >>here<<
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Offline Manny

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Re: Anyone Know Anything About Memphis?
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2024, 05:29:23 AM »
BTW the barricades is just a "dog and pony show" for the tourists to make them feel safe. There are endless areas/places for the criminal element to get into and out of Beale St with ease.

I thought that, there's no way to secure a full street of buildings like that. Anyone that wants to take something in there could do it before, or surreptitiously through a building, alleyway or side road. But I suppose it's good they are on hand, it's probably a deterrent.
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<< - Read a trip report from South Korea, China and Hong Kong >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.


 

 

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