Posted: Feb 23, 2014 10:58 am
Complicated question, believe it or not. I asked a similar question 25 years ago when I moved to Memphis. Coming from landlocked Columbus, Ohio, I wanted a river view, an unfinished loft, if possible, for band practice. Before moving, I made a couple trips to Memphis to look for apts and houses and soon found no properties like that existed. Or, the ones that did were snatched up and I probably couldn't afford them anyway. Asking some people I knew and liked--they told me I would like midtown--but WARNED me--don't go west of Cleveland, east of E. Parkway, north of N. Parkway, and I can't remember the southern barrier, but at that time it was probably Central, as Cooper-Young was only beginning to be developed, no restaurants or stores, besides the Second Time Around thrift store, which is no longer there. Of course, this info is very outdated now. And, of course, I didn't take their advice then, moving to Binghampton and promptly getting burglarized. After the third incident in a year and a half, guess what, I moved to midtown! Of course, being pro-active can help against crime, having roommates, having a BIG dog, etc. After having two cars stolen, I began a routine of using THE CLUB on the steering wheel and disconnecting the battery cable at night, seemed to work, knock on wood. For me, the appeal of Memphis was the music culture and history, I smile at thinking I got to see the Fieldstones at Green's Lounge, Jessie Mae Hemphill and Booba Barnes at the Music & Heritage Fest, Junior Kimbrough at his club in Holly Springs, and Charlie Feathers at Bad Bob's Vapors, just to mention a FEW. In contrast to the culture, was the culture shock I experienced moving from a large University campus environment to Memphis. In 1989 there was no internet, no Goner records or Shangri-La records. You couldn't even buy a falafel sandwich in Memphis back then. No Gonerfest! Those times have changed, for better or worse, with the internet and cable tv leveling out things. (It was actually fun back then to read books and see live music) Another appeal for me was cheap rent, back then it was half of what we paid in Ohio, like going back in time 20 years. Of course, wages were also half!!!! I'm not sure how current rents compare with Portland. Cheap houses are abundant in Memphis, but if you find a $5,000 house (very easy to do Chelsea/Hollywood area, heck $50,000 would buy an entire street of homes) you probably won't get to sleep through the night without being murdered--kinda takes away from the bargain, doesn't it? I know my info is outdated and based on my personal experience, and I may be rambling at this point, but I would agree with Tim Teabag in that Memphis is not for everyone. But, I have really enjoyed living in Memphis, just the same.