Hilariously lackluster tourism video for Memphis

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/13/hilariously-lackluster-tourism-video-for-memphis.html


“Does your city have a duck parade?”

No, no it doesn’t, and now I feel empty inside.


The tone of this felt more like mocking than a love letter. To me, anyway. The Bass Pro Shop…that deserves to be mocked. That’s ridiculous. But the BBQ and the music in Memphis are legit. The ducks at the Peabody are a cute and quirky tradition that isn’t harming anyone, and Elvis is Elvis. I would visit Graceland, too. Are the prices ridiculous? Of course. It’s a tourist destination. Most of the prices for such things are ridiculous.


Hah. Let me just say that the Peabody is a super nice hotel. But… When you’re staying there while on tour with a Broadway musical, the duck parade happens right around the time you’re trying to get to your room for a nap, or get to the venue for the show and everything is shut down lol. Argh! Memphis is okay, the BBQ is good. It is kind of boring though.


Seth Meyers Idk GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers


i’m always surprised that local people, no matter where they are, seem to hate the things that make their cities unique and interesting to everyone else.


I must admit that I’ve experienced all these things, and mostly enjoyed them. I lived fairly close to Memphis back in the day. But I didn’t pay for the Graceland stuff because I was in media, and the Pyramid was a concert venue. One of my fondest memories was seeing Steve Winwood at Mud Island on my birthday and sipping cocktails while listening to the music and watching the riverboat lights.


RIP, Omar!


The one place I’ve lived where that didn’t seem to be the case is Kansas City. The Jazz District, the local BBQ joints, the Negro League Hall of Fame and Museum, the Power & Light District, the Plaza, all the fountains, the Nelson Atkins Museum, they’re all maybe loved more by locals than by tourists. Of course, it doesn’t have the reputation of a tourist destination, even though, in my opinion, it should be. It’s a bit of a hidden gem.

ETA: I forgot Union Station and the WWI Memorial.


I’d add the Arabia Steamboat museum and the TWA Museum at the downtown airport, for certain types of history buffs.

Memphis is a great place to visit.

1 Like

Which unfortunately is probably going to have to relocate somewhere other than Kansas City because new sports stadia are apparently more important. They had announced they found a new location in St. Charles, which is on the other side of the state near St. Louis, but that fell through. So who knows what’s going to happen to that now. It’s sad.

1 Like

I keep forgetting about these guys. The fact that they co-opted a Skrewdriver song and made it their own is pure awesome to me. I still have to watch their documentary .

I tell people about my city Atlanta, “it’s a nice place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit there.”


While in a touristy diner in Memphis, I asked the server what recommendations she had for places to visit. She said “Nothing. I can’t wait to leave this city.”

1 Like

They did a whole EP of white power bands, before Omar Higgins passed.

And the other members went on to form Seize and Desist:


I lived in Memphis for 10 years. “Elvis lived here” is a pretty thorough summary of the city. Despite a lot of great talent there, it often felt like the city hadn’t figured out how to move past its musical glory days and feel good about current artists, who maybe dont have the reach and pull and sheer hits of Stax and Sun’s heydays but are still doing great stuff. It is a great place for artists as it’s a big city but has a low cost of living and is not in a high pressure limelight, there is room to develop in a smaller pond.

Memphis does have a massive self-esteem problem. It’s been in slow decline for a long time, it frequently reminds me of Detroit in the issues it faced and its seeming helplessness in having any ability to reverse its fortunes. It used to be an economic powerhouse and practically ran the state; Nashville eventually surpassed it as it’s “New South” energy won over Memphis’ old south energy (which has its tradeoffs; to me Nashville is kind of shallow glitzy could-be-anywhere, while Memphis is for better or worse “funkier”). Crime and poverty and bad racial relations are so entrenched I really felt a weight lift when we moved away. I do wish it the best because there are many wonderful people and wonderful things we miss (most of which arent in the video) but dang they have to figure some shit out.

(ETA srry dont know why this ended up a reply to xkot)


you can’t go home again.
when I lived in Nashville, downtown was only a “destination” if you worked for the government, or in my case went to Hume-Fogg High. the Ryman was closed. no stadium. 2nd Ave 's attraction was a Sherwin Williams. the physically closest business to school was the shabbiest strip club of all time (I’m serious.) The Frist Center was still the post office. my school was falling apart, literally. Tootsies Orchid Lounge was there, but being a teen from Nashville in the late 80s, country music was in a huge nadir and teen poison. I couldn’t have gone anyway because underage. I see Tootsies on tv now and it looks clean. it looked the evil opposite of clean when I used to walk by.

Nashville was completely different last time I went 15 years ago. My friend who went to school with me goes regularly and describes it now as “a place for bachelorette parties. places have signs on the door ‘no bachelorette parties’ because there are so many.” Hume Fogg has been renovated.

it was a run-down dump full of nothing, but it was somehow welcoming once you got used to it. now it’s a shallow, glitzy could -be-anywhere.

Memphis seemed a lot the same back then when I visited. I’m glad I got to see Graceland when all his cars were still on premises and the guide was a local citizen.
I don’t think I’d care to go now that the guide is John Stamos on an ipad.


Compared to the Clermont? :thinking:


people at the Clermont are having fun.
and yes, shabbier. they didn’t even have a stage. it was just depressing.

edit: oh, and no liquor license. you could byo, but you had a “two drink minimum” at the door. the drink tickets were for mixers. but me and my friends were only 18, so we just had like plain orange juice and we realized it was stupid and didn’t bother redeeming the second one

1 Like

Oh, that’s sad! :sob:

1 Like