This past weekend we were in Memphis so Jordan could officiate the wedding of friends who are members at our church. We arrived on Friday, the wedding was on Saturday, and we departed early on Sunday to make it home to Jameson for Father’s Day. We didn’t have a ton of time, but we did our best to sample and see some of the great things Memphis has to offer.
For dinner on Friday night, we opted for Cajun-Creole food at The Second Line, a restaurant in a converted house in the Bellair Woods neighborhood. Jordan and I had spent the week leading up to this trip apart, due to him having to travel to South America. It was great to catch up over delicious po’ boys and bread pudding as evening light streamed in through the wooden shutters. We had grand plans to find some live blues and explore Memphis at night, since Friday was our only free night, and we wanted to take advantage of being away from Jameson and not needing to get home to relieve a babysitter. But at 8:30 p.m., we were both yawning hard — Jordan exhausted from his week of travel, and me exhausted from my week at home alone with Jameson. We were both asleep by 9:00 p.m.
The upside of going to bed early was that we woke up refreshed and ready to walk around downtown Memphis. I’d been to Memphis twice before, more than 10 years ago for business travel. But I was fresh out of college and knew little about how to explore a new place on my own, so I was looking forward to experiencing more of the city.
We started with breakfast at Automatic Slim’s, and as we typically do when we’re eating breakfast outside of NYC, we gawked at how inexpensive the bill was. Then, we walked across the street and into the famous Peabody Hotel. It was still early, and while we wanted to see the popular duck show, we were under tight time constraints, so we just took a few minutes to take in the lobby’s ornate decor.
We walked over to Beale Street, and as a street that comes alive at night, it was practically empty during the day. It was still fun to take in the store fronts and old buildings from the 1800’s. We walked over to Main Street to see the Orpheum Theater and trolleys passing by.And then we walked through the South Main Arts District, which has a series of murals and sculptures, as well as old buildings and the National Civil Rights Museum.My favorite mural was the I Am A Man graffiti wall by Marcellous Lovelace, which depicts the Sanitation Workers Protest March that took place on South Main Street in 1968. And while we didn’t have time to visit the museum, we at least walked by the Lorraine Motel and snapped a photo of Room 306, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Before heading back to our hotel to get ready for the wedding, we made a stop at Rendezvous for a plate of ribs, because sev-er-al people told us if we like barbecue, we had to go there. That dry rub is straight up ridiculous. We brought some of the rub home, and I can’t wait for Jordan to go to work with it.
And then it was on to the wedding, which was for a couple we absolutely love. Aeron and Amber are from Memphis but live in Harlem. We met them nearly three years ago after Amber read our story on ABC news. They joined the first small group we started in our apartment a year before we launched our church, and they breathed southern vibes into our community. Jordan always said nothing would make him happier than to preside over their wedding, and on Saturday, he got his wish.
We’re grateful to have played a small part in their special day and to have had a reason to explore Memphis! Love you, Mr. & Mrs. Glover.