One thing that surprises me (or maybe it doesn't) is the response I get from a lot of people when I tell them I will be leaving for graduate school--"leaving" as in "moving away" from Memphis:
"Good for you! You're getting out of this place!"
What? I like Memphis. What?
Granted, I've "only" lived here for...sixteen years...not a lifetime, but I get a bit defensive when people talk down about the city. A few professors discussed this phenomenon during my last semesters as an undergraduate.
One (originally from Canada, who got his Ph.D. from Rutgers) talked about the low cost of living and the great night life. He said that no matter where you went in Memphis, even the smallest "dive" or "hole-in-the-wall" the music was amazing. He said there was no "bad" music here, the "worst" band in Memphis would be the best in any other city.
Another talked about how he couldn't believe the negative comments he heard about the city, because he liked it to (and he's lived all over the place). Our first class meeting, we got in a circle and he point blank asked everyone WHAT they thought about the city and WHY.
I don't get it. I mean, sure--I get it. Murder. Mayhem. Drugs. Violence. Poverty.
But there is plenty to love about the city. I've been reading the ILOVEMEMPHIS blog a lot lately, and I think I am going to visit it several times a day after I move...
Love ya, M!