Thrilled. Stoked. Excited. D- all of the above. That's how I feel about finally kicking off the start of a personal project that I've been waiting to share with you!
I call it.... My Memphis.
Growing up in this area, I've come to realize that no matter where we are from, there's an energy. And while I'm no world traveler, I have yet to find a place that matches Memphis's soul. It seeps into your bones and it lives there. Despite all the things we may find unappealing (Memphis drivers a-hem) I find that I'm not ashamed to tell people that this is where I'm from. No one is perfect. As long as there's love, we gon' be alright, y'all.
As for the project, I'm shooting at places that have special personal meanings and also that I would recommend to some one who isn't from here. Which was very appropriate because my model for Part I, Lindsay, is a transplant from Texas. She was excited about seeing different parts of Memphis and getting to know the city a little better. Being that she's from Austin, I wanted to keep true to her roots, so I took her to the eclectic Cooper Young Arts District.
My absolute favorite places there are Java Cabana and Burke's Books, who graciously allowed us permission to photograph. They remind me of a very special birthday celebration I had with a friend a few years ago, where we had the most amazing conversation, gut busting laughter and a lovely cup of joe. It's a memory I will cherish forever!
The personalities of these places give you a sense of wonder and belonging, unlike an impersonal corporate owned chain. They are small businesses that have thrived despite all the changes our country has seen. And it's because they are good to people. They are thankful for customers. I identify strongly with that because I'm one of them, too. It's about the connection and community.
I would recommend the Cooper-Young District for any one who digs art, likes to support locals and loves to curl up with good book.
We also swung by Overton Square and saw a few sights before the sun went down. Overton has really bloomed and come into it's own. I'm happy to see that the city took an interest in making it amazing. Some of my favorite restaurants adorn the square and I love seeing people from all walks of life hanging together.