Day 173

On Monday, I was forced to amend my thoughts of Memphis after discovering the Midtown area. Well, let’s just say things didn’t end there, as last night I found myself in another bustling neighborhood—South Main Street.

As I mentioned, when the youth and excitement of Midtown finds its way into the downtown area, Memphis is going to grow by leaps and bounds. Well, it turns out there’s already a movement to make that happen. From restaurants like Bluff City Coffee and The Arcade to shops and galleries like Sache, the area is unlike anything I’ve seen in my portion of downtown. I realize this journey is about finding the wonders of each city in a natural way, but I truly wish I had discovered this place a few weeks ago.

I first came across South Main Street, after seeing a flyer for Tennessee Brewery Untapped— an event that combines live music, locally sourced beverages, food trucks and other makeshift fun all in effort to rediscover the hidden potential within one of the city’s historic properties. It seemed like an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up and the event certainly elevated any expectations I had going in. The crowd skewed more toward my demographic and it was clear to me that many of the attendees lived in the neighborhood. After chatting a few of them up, I learned that this is an up-and-coming neighborhood, which is still rather new. They told me lofts are popping up everyday and with the diversity of new business, the downtown area is finally starting to draw people back from Midtown.

After the great time I had last night, I’m making it a point to venture back down to South Main Street for brunch this weekend. My hope is that it will give me a chance to further explore what the area offers. You can tell there’s a lot of development going on, which is a good thing, as is the American Apparel located on the corner. It shows that national brands are taking notice of the area’s efforts and justifies the enthusiasm of those I spoke with the night before.

Between the neighborhoods of South Main Street and Midtown, I have a feeling there’s a new Memphis starting to take shape—one that embraces the future, without neglecting the city’s rich history. As more and more of the city supports this mindset, I can’t wait to see what downtown is like a few years from now.