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:
Click 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
:: :: :: :: :: ::
We are absolutely running behind on this. Haven’t even made it down there for a glimpse. Prospect.1 New Orleans claims to be the largest international contemporary art biennial ever organized in the US. Like all good art biennials, venues are located throughout the city. Word is, building some of those yawning exhibition halls wasn’t in the budget and the result is a series of about 25 intimate settings. The exhibit is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 am-6 pm, until Sunday, January 18th. Complimentary shuttle service leaves from the W Hotel (333 Poydras, map) every 30 minutes or so. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Be on the lookout as Cabinet of Seeds reports.
Maps (We recommend the “Official Navigation Map.” It lists artists by venue, satellite venues, other city art spaces, and shuttle schedule.)
New York Times review
If you get the art coma, we recommend reviving at El Gato Negro, 81 French Market Place, 504.525.9752, just behind the US Mint, a Prospect.1 venue.
Prospect.1 Welcome Center @ Hefler Warehouse, 851 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA, map, 504.715.3968
Filed under accommodations, architecture, art, events, exhibits, film, food, libations, Louisiana, museums, outsider art, painting, photography, restaurants, sculpture, tours
I think this sounds grand. American Dream Safari tours leave out of Memphis daily in a restored ’55 Cadillac, and include: Delta Day Trip (“Highway 61 blues and blacktop”); Yards, Gardens, and Architecture (in Memphis); Juke Joint Full of Blues (good way to hit the town and cut loose, fee includes entrance to three clubs); Drive by Shooting (not a funny title, but allows one to pretend to be William Eggleston for a day); Road Therapy Tour (if you just need to get away and cruise through the Arkansas countryside); Gospel Church (fee includes tithe and lunch at the fantabulous Gus’s Fried Chicken); and Tupelo Day Trip (to you-know-who’s house.) You just hop in the car and the driver whisks you away. Perfect.
American Dream Safari; 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week; email@example.com; 901.527.8870; PO Box 3129, Memphis, TN, 38173; www.americandreamsafari.com
Filed under Arkansas, art, blues, food, gospel, history, Mississippi, museums, music, outsider art, people, restaurants, Tennessee, tours
photo courtesy of Mossop+Michaels
Mossop+Michaels, a landscape architecture firm in New Orleans, has won a 2008 Professional Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The award goes to Mossop+Michaels for the firm’s plan to help reestablish the Vietnamese farming community in New Orleans East. Long home to one of the most beloved farmers’ markets in New Orleans, New Orleans East was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The plan for an urban farm and market includes both family and commercial sized plots, a livestock area, rain collection gardens, and a bio-filtration canal. Developed in conjunction with Tulane City Center, Urban Landscape Lab LSU, Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, and the City of New Orleans, the plan is currently being implemented.
For a detailed tour of the plan, visit the ASLA 2008 Professional Awards page. For the quick version, click here.
photo courtesy of Deep Fried Kudzu
This past New Year’s Eve, my friends and I had dinner at this Greenwood, Mississippi, restaurant and it was completely delightful. Housed in a nondescript downtown storefront, Lusco’s serves up steaks, Southern and Creole comfort food, and a few Italian dishes. What makes Lusco’s, Lusco’s, is that each table is set in its own little alcove with a curtain. The alcoves provide a clandestine feeling that’s just sort of exciting and allows everyone to relax, really connect, and cut loose a little more, too. It’s sort of difficult not to go completely Eloise and abuse the doorbell on the wall that calls your server, even though it’s probably not necessary. The service was pretty good for a packed house in a sleepy Southern town on New Year’s Eve. Bring your own wine, but if you forget, there’s a liquor store across the street with an adequate, and only slightly overpriced, selection. You have to make your choice and pay the clerk through a bullet proof glass wall. Just keep your expectations in the right place, and the whole experience is a ball. Read Michael Stern’s colorful and honest review here: www.roadfood.com
Lusco’s Restaurant, 722 Carrollton Avenue, Greenwood, MS, 601.453.5365