The Soul of Memphis

Despite setbacks, the Mississippi River city has held onto its rollicking blues joints, smokin’ barbecue and welcoming, can-do spirit

A throbbing two-block entertainment district is all that is left of old Beale Street, most of which was razed in urban renewal schemes. (Lucian Perkins)
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He pulled up in a pleasant new square hacked out of an abandoned lot and pointed out the window. “Look at that!” I poked my head out and peered up to see a miniature, octagon-shaped white house perched on a tall metal pole.

“Looks like a birdhouse to me,” Turley said, savoring the word, even singing it slightly.

Jamie Katz writes often on arts and culture. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lucian Perkins lives in Washington, D.C.


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