At the very end of the video for Marc Cohn’s iconic song, “Walking in Memphis,”—which should be required listening for anyone visiting or moving to Memphis—there’s a sweeping shot of one of Memphis’ riverboats.
It’s sometimes easy to forget for those of us who don’t live downtown or on Mud Island that Memphis is a riverfront city with a vibrant and active location for events. Recently, I had the pleasure of doing one of my top three things on my Memphis bucket list that are near or around the Mississippi River, and it was a blast!
With arguably the best rooftop views of Memphis,–(when I was in the market for a house, I visited the Artesian Metropolitan Residences that hands down has the best views of the entire city)—I picked a great night to join a friend at Twilight Sky Terrace atop the Madison Hotel to grab a drink and take in the views and the breeze of the riverfront. With an expansive view, you can see two of Memphis’ four bridges, both of which light up with a dazzling display of lights. With a sophisticated casual dress code, it’s a great place to celebrate a special occasion or just to celebrate the end of a tough day, which many folks were the night I went. There’s a $10 cover, and which I thought that was a bit crazy at first, after spending most of my evening there I felt it was totally worth it. The constant motion of the river with it’s barges and boats, the shimmering lights on the bridges, and the sunset, I felt the stress just melt away. The bar, while sometimes a bit backed up, has a great variety of spirits to keep your own spirits high, and the service was great. If it gets cold, there’s a circular fire pit that allows you to remain cozy and to have a great conversation with new friends. I highly recommend it if you haven’t been, and if you have I’d say it’s worth another visit soon.
As far as the other two riverfront bucket list items, I still would love to go on a Memphis riverboat–mainly because it reminds me of one of my favorite musicals, “Showboat” and I want to hum its showstopper Old Man River—and I want to walk the width of the Mississippi River at Big River Crossing. I guess with the school year coming to an end in just a few days, I’ll have a bit more time to experience both hopefully soon. Maybe I’ll try it with my mother who is coming to visit me at the end of next month.
By the way, I need your help in figuring out two things that I don’t understand that seem to be only in Memphis.
- What’s up with all of the ironworks signs that are in front of government buildings like schools? They all seem to have the same look, but I’ve never seen them anywhere other than Memphis.
- There’s this floodlight-type light that I’ve seen flash at traffic lights at intersections. It’s not apart of the actual traffic lights. It’s kind of off to the side and sometimes it looks like there’s a small camera on the bottom? I just want to know what the flashing signifies and why it’s there?
If you know what’s up with either two of those things, can you let a brother know? Oh, and while you’re at it, if you have any other suggestions of things to do at the riverfront or some of the things I should do with my mother when she comes into town, I’d love to hear it!