Recently I stumbled upon a blog post written by my friend Emily Gluntz where she told a story of how easy she found it for her friends to bike to and through Overton Park one evening for a nice picnic dinner. The post highlighted the perks of a city that has taken “livability” seriously as it has added so many miles of bike lanes. (Memphis is expected to have 273 miles of bike lanes by 2016! For more on biking in Memphis see our new Bike Guide.). Emily’s post made me want to hear more about her time in the city as she has moved back to Memphis from Indianapolis.
Jeff: Emily, tell Choose901 readers a little bit about what you’re doing in Memphis now?
Emily: Ten months ago I moved back to Memphis to join the Service Over Self Intern program called the SOS Academy. Through this eye opening & challenging season I have fallen in love with the city and rich community here, so in the fall I’ll be joining the full time staff team at SOS to serve as a Homeowner Relations liaison and Office Administrator. I also own a wedding photography business and it’s been exciting to serve more couples in the Memphis area!
(See Emily’s photography website here: Fernweh Photography)
J: You once lived in Memphis, how has the city changed from memories of your childhood?
E: The city has changed so, so much. I remember living in Binghampton in the 90’s and feeling the immense racial tension as another “wave” of white flight took place. To come back 15 years later and see the unity of a changed & thriving city is so encouraging. I think almost every Memphian would say that we still have much to learn but growth is taking place and we’re seeking to create more diverse community.
J: I recently read your post about biking to Overton Park with your fellow SOS Academy interns. Share about that experience: ease of biking, the route your crew took, your time spent at Overton Park.
E: My roommates and I currently live right near the Hampline and Overton Park so it’s a really simple route to bike! We take full advantage of our current location to run, bike and spend time at the park. There are great trails, beautiful open areas and perfect little picnic spots all around and we often run into people we know! I love how the Shelby Farms Park Green Line, Hampline and bike lanes on Broad have made many more areas of town easily accessible by bike!
J: What have become your favorite Memphis destinations?
E: That’s so hard to say! Memphis is full of quirky little neighborhoods, amazing restaurants and beautiful parks. But I’m especially partial to Broad Ave and Overton Park since they’re so close to my house. Whether I’m in the mood for a little shopping (Found & Five-in-One Social Club), throwing up my hammock to read a book (Overton), working out of a coffee-shop for a few hours (City & State), or fitting in a photoshoot– there are always options!
J: What makes Memphis unique in comparison to the Indianapolis area where your family lives?
E: Indianapolis is also a beautiful city but I love that Memphis is a river city and hosts LOTS of festivals! It’s also just refreshing to be in the south again.
Enjoy these photos taken by Emily from her evening picnic at Overton Park:
Also see this video to learn more about the SOS Academy – the program that brought Emily back to Memphis: