Thursday, November 12, 2009

Progress report: Preview of Memphis

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Took a trip into Memphis today, even though I am still two days' walk from there. It's been so long since I've been in a city of any size that I hardly knew where to start. First, I verified that the I-55 bridge across the Mississippi does indeed have a pedestrian walkway, so that logistical problem is solved--no police escort will be necessary. Then I visited the National Civil Rights Museum, which is in the building that used to be the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. The front has been preserved as it was. The museum also includes the rooming house across the street, where James Earl Ray shot King. The interiors of these buildings have been gutted and converted into exhibition halls, but key rooms have been preserved. Very moving, and full of information about the history of the civil rights movement. Well worth the visit.

Next I visited the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the city's main fine arts museum. Not many works by big name heavyweights. Lots of "school of so and so" stuff, you know. But a nice collection of paintings, all in all.

On Monday, the next day off, I'll visit Graceland, which I'll be walking past on Sunday. Should be some good paintings there--on black velvet.

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