Friday, July 21, 2006


Alright, first off, I'm tired today! Angie and I stayed out late last night playing trivia. I would have thought of sleeping in this morning, except that the refridgerator is supposed to arrive today now.

So, I'm going to have to find a way to shake off my tired thoughts and get to work... eventually. :-)

For now, I'm pondering a little over Memphis. I came to visit to see how I feel about the city in its current state. Overall, things are looking good, but there are still a few concerning things...

  • Religion is a huge part of the culture here. My issue isn't with the religion, but it seems that when it becomes such a part of life, there are often dividing lines between different groups of people. That's the part that I don't like.
  • It's hot. This week, it's been over 100 degrees every day. Lucky for me, I don't mind it much, but still... it's hot.
  • The bugs. This point is actually a little unnerving for me. Almost every place I have ever lived in Memphis had a ton of bugs (spiders, mosquitos, roaches, ants...). They like it here because it's so warm and humid. Anyway, to make a long story short, they like to bite me-- a lot. It's just an added thing to have to remember to put on bug spray when I leave the house...
  • Racial tension. There's always been a lot of racial tension in Memphis. Clearly, this is in part because the Civil Rights Movement happened here. It's a VERY important issue. Unfortunately, the day to day tension can be very uncomfortable. Twice since I've been here, I ended up in the 'wrong' part of town. I would be okay with that, but both times, a stranger spotted me, identified me as someone who wasn't where I was 'supposed' to be, and then took actions to try to scare me. That's unfortunate. I'd like to hope that the tension is there is because Memphis is experiencing growth and positive change.
  • Crime. I've heard about the crime rate skyrocketing this year from everyone. It seems to be one of the main topics of conversation these days. Two of my friends had their houses broken into this year; one of them twice. I've been hearing about shootings and robberies... tying folks up in their homes... being hit from behind walking down the street. It's terrible. I'm not sure how to interpret it though, because I keep hearing that crime's up all over the country. What's the deal?
  • Housing costs. The price of an apartment downtown has gone up significantly since I left two years ago. This would really make more sense to me if the job market here had grown significantly... or if employers were suddenly paying 30% more... or maybe if there had just been a huge influx of residents moving into downtown. However, none of these things seems to be the case. I'm going to be checking out a place on Saturday that's for rent for $1200. That's how much I pay in Santa Monica. Except, in Santa Monica / LA, there are tons of jobs and companies and I'm within walking distance of the beach.

As my friends know though, Memphis is my favorite place... so don't assume by my thoughts above that anything has changed. I'm just milling through my observations.

1 comment:

Angela Copeland said...

OH MY GAWD -- Julie! I had NO idea it was you. :-( I'm SO sorry to hear that, but I'm glad you're okay.

Thanks for your note and for the perspective. Wow.