It’s time to go to Memphis again.

We first stopped in Memphis in 2005, as a waypoint between Massachusetts and Missouri. Going in, we knew a little about the city’s reputation as a birthplace of American musical and culinary traditions. The unique cultural factors and tensions behind Memphis’s creativity still exist today — something we didn’t learn until we were on the ground — and they continue to evolve.

Even as the city grows and changes, it remains a place with a true sense of self. We’re preparing to dig back in this week with our fourth Memphis-focused trip.


From the Manic Archives: Ten New Photos

Before we hit the road, we thought we’d share some previously unpublished photographs from our work in Memphis. Click to see full size!


Car troubles solved with muscle and good cheer.
It sure is easier to steer than to push, June 2005.


A cold beer can in a koozie with a skull on a picnic tablecloth, with gambling money in the background.
Partying with the Dead Soldiers and Hooten Hallers, May 2016.


Adline's Hot Wings Express staff outside the store.
Adline’s Hot Wings Express staff outside the store, June 2014.


a child enters a mobile home trailer converted into a colorful food trailer
Lamar south of 240, May 2016.


Young kids in the back of a pickup truck
East Parkway North, June 2016.


Interior view of a law office within a gas station, looking through windows covered with advertisements for divorce and child support work
Gas Station Lawyer’s Office, June 2014.


Poplar Lounge's bartend points out his Budweiser drafthorses.
One last look before it’s gone – Poplar Lounge, June 27, 2014.


Deadly Lo-Fi at the Hi-Tone
Deadly Lo-Fi at the Hi-Tone, May 2016.


Bucc patrons gathered around Paula & Raiford's limo
Bucc patrons gathered around Paula & Raiford’s limo, Fourth of July.


Looking out into a rainstorm from within a restaurant, with a reflection of lunch visible in the window
Showboat Barbecue, Hickory Hill, June 2016.


The Manic American Map of Memphis

We’re lucky to have made some great friends in Memphis, and they continue to help us find places we would never find otherwise. Here’s where we’ve been and where we’re going.

And we’re always open to suggestions — especially those that pertain to food, music, and urban planning. Each trip, we meet new people, try new food, see new bands. Some things change, some things stay the same. But it all gets photographed, and some of the stories end up here.

As always, we’ll post updates to Facebook and Twitter during the trip, April 18-24, 2018. Follow along!

–Rob Bellinger and Dan Meade
April 17, 2018

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