Best of Memphis
As a Memphian who has lived in Dallas for the past three years and returned home earlier this year, I had only to read the Flyer's "Best of Memphis" issue (November 10th) to understand the lengths this city has to travel to reach the next cultural level. In several categories, preeminent favorites should and did win (James Davis, Brother Juniper's, Grisanti's, LoLo's Table), but they were overshadowed by corporately owned, concrete caverns.
The "Best of Memphis" should list the cultural distinctions of our city. Where are the independently owned gems like Isabella's (women's clothes), Passions (gift store), or Joseph (women's shoes)? Instead, we have Target (best gift store?), DSW, Chili's, and Red Lobster.
If you talk to any Nashvillian who has moved to Memphis, they'll tell you the differences that Memphis has to offer: small, quaint, independent restaurants, a rich culture of (non-country) live music, and a plethora of independently owned stores.
Come on, Memphis, expand your horizons! Maybe in the future, the Flyer could provide instructions to readers that could enlighten them to some of the more unique businesses that our city has to offer.
You know you live in Memphis when Red Lobster wins Best Seafood.
Editor's note: Mmmmmmm. Red Lobster.
Czechoslovakia, the country you mentioned in your "Eyesores" article (November 3rd issue), no longer exists. It is either the Czech Republic or Slovakia. After the "Velvet Revolution" and the "Velvet Divorce" of the two equal federations, both countries are now independant states. So there's your lesson in international relations.
Love the new Flyer look. Keep up the good work.
Likes the RDC
In his piece "Too Many Credit Cards" (November 10th issue), John Branston expressed financial concerns about our city that should interest all of us. But the mean-spirited way in which he expressed those concerns does a tremendous disservice to Memphis and the Riverfront Development Corporation and its volunteer board of directors.
We are in lean financial times and agencies such as the RDC must do their part to conserve dollars and act responsibly. In its five-year history, the RDC has saved Memphis between $2 million and $7 million by more efficiently managing its riverfront assets. Shutting down this organization would return the riverfront to the subpar condition of 1999, not to mention losing a $10 million federal and state grant.
The Beale Street Landing project and the creation of an attractive promenade overlooking the Mississippi River with public/private development can stimulate economic growth for the city by attracting new businesses and residents and increasing the numbers of tourists and conventioneers.
If you compare the tax base of downtown Memphis 10 years ago to today, you must conclude that downtown development -- which includes RDC projects completed and in progress -- has had a tremendously positive impact on the financial condition of Memphis. Memphis must continue to grow and make progress in order to broaden its tax base and become the world-class city it is destined to be. To do otherwise would be unconscionable.
Libertyland and Justice For All
The children of Memphis need you to fight for their right to inherit Libertyland. This unique and precious park means too much to the young people of Memphis for it to be lost in a crooked land deal. It is not the city's place to sell out Libertyland to a pack of developers.
The loss of $500,000 in annual revenues (the "reason" for closing Libertyland) is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the millions squandered by City Hall.
Libertyland just needs some fine tuning and better promotion. The summer jobs Libertyland provides for area teenagers must not be lost. The acreage adjacent to Libertyland may need a redesign, but if you ask any child, they all say: Don't tear down Libertyland! And caring parents agree.
This week it starts in earnest — the questioning. You can't escape it. It comes from your spouse, your kids, your parents — at the breakfast table, in the car, on the phone, via email: "What do you want for Christmas?" ...