The Ugliest Fascinating City in the World

No Depression dusted off this 2003 article today.  There’s a pretty good history of  Stax Records in the article, as well as descriptions of some of the best spots in town.  What I really admire though, is the author’s attempt at writing about Memphis as a social phenomenon, or the city’s “sense of place.”  Many people struggle to capture the character of places with strong identities.  Often such courageous attempts are met with criticism or complete rejection.  Trying to get at the meaning of a place is irresistible, though, perhaps because the real meaning of a place comes from our collective perception, and not anyone’s individual idea.  

Anyway, it’s a good article:
http://archives.nodepression.com/2003/07/memphis-in-the-meantime/

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Filed under blues, food, funk, gospel, history, museums, music, pop, soul, Tennessee

Just can’t wait.

2009BLACKPOTPOSTERClick on artwork (by Jillian Johnson of Work Agencies) for more info.

“Twenty-somethings with tattoos shared the floor with dancers in their 60s and 70s, all of them–no matter their age–swinging and swooping and hollering. Cajun culture, it would seem, is alive and well, and ready for another century.” Wayne Curtis for Smithsonian Magazine

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Filed under cajun, events, festivals, food, Louisiana, music, Uncategorized

Memphis Farmers Market – Winter Dinner Tour

mfm-winter dinner tour

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Elizabowl

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This year Sarah K. O’Brien received the International Housewares Association’s Student Design award for her Elizabowl.  O’Brien created the fruit bowl while studying industrial design at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Inspired by origami and ruffled Elizabethan collars, the Elizabowl folds and unfolds according the amount of fruit that it holds. The separate compartments keep the fruit from spoiling. Since winning the award, O’Brien has moved NYC where she is launching a product design department at the architectural firm 212box.

Read O’Brien’s design development document (very cool)
Read New York Times coverage

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Audubon Insectarium

ant-on-menu
On Monday The New York Times ran another article about New Orleans’ new Audubon Insectarium:

Read Monday’s article
Read August’s article
Visit Audubon Insectarium
Audubon Insectarium on Facebook (become a “fan” and watch some creepy, crawly videos)

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William Eggleston: Democratic Camera

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Photographer William Eggleston is being honored with a retrospective at The Whitney Museum of American Art. You can catch the tail end of the show if you get there before January 25th. Apparently the exhibit is going to travel throughout the US, but details are scarce. I’ll try to get to the bottom of it.

Eggleston is a pivotal figure in the color photography movement. He mostly photographs personal acquaintances and places close to home: Memphis, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Delta. What I find appealing is that Eggleston doesn’t particularly want to be known as a Southern artist and he never sets up a picture. He’s less about “place” and all the preconceptions that go with it, and more about time and the senses: light, form and feeling in a given moment. In abandoning “place,” Eggleston shows us that consciousness of the moment is always available to us. Anytime. Anywhere.

Exhibit site
Eggleston Artistic Trust

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Andrew Bird

andrew_bird

Andrew Bird is featured in today’s New York Times Magazine.
Read article
Visit Bird’s site (to pre-order “Noble Beast,” which ships January 20th)
Visit Bird’s Myspace (to see tour dates and listen to his music)
Visit Fat Possum Records (Bird’s label)

UPDATE: listen to all of “Noble Beast” on npr.org

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