Resting on the banks of the mighty Mississippi is Memphis, Tennessee. Don’t be surprised if Country n’ Western music is floating through your head right now; Memphis is the most sung about city in the world, featuring in no fewer than 899 songs.
Revered among musicians, Memphis is the birthplace of myriad musical genres including the blues, gospel, rock n’ roll, Buck, Crunk and "sharecropper" country music. The city has churned out a proliferation of musical icons - think Elvis, Otis Redding, B.B. King; Roy Orbison…the list goes on. The city's other passions include pork (barbequed if you please) and literature (the city has been immortalised in many books, notably in author John Grisham’s ‘The Firm’).
Central Memphis has been given a facelift in recent years and is one of the most densely inhabited in the US. Other parts of Memphis, its old city centre in particular, still boast its former beauty.
Restaurants and bars are in abundance - especially on Beale Street - and the city’s packed live music calendar will leave music lovers spoiled for choice. Quieter spots can be found on the east side of the city, where beautiful, expansive parks are in abundance.
While the city boasts many charming features and offers no shortage of activities for families, couples and singles, it ranks fairly low on the US’ best cities to live in, given its high crime rate.
Families and professionals tend to favour Arlington, Collierville and Germantown, the latter two of which have the lowest crime rates, best public schools and great shopping.
What is special or unique about your city?
Memphis is the second largest city in Tennessee and is located in the south western corner of the state. It borders the Mississippi River and due to its geographical position, makes it one of the largest freight/cargo centres in the world (Memphis Airport is the largest Cargo airport in the world).
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
Newcomers' first impression of Memphis is that it is more like a large country town than a large, populous city. The majority of people you meet are friendly, willing to help you find your way around or to recommend a good restaurant or music hall for great Blues bands.
Are these impressions likely to change?
Most people fall in love with the city the moment they arrive. The hospitality of Memphis will draw you in and you might never want to leave.
What is the local language?
The official language spoken in Memphis is English, however there many nationalities in Memphis and you will most likely hear several different languages being spoken throughout the city.
What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
Because Memphis is a major music and biotech hub, people from many walks of life live here. Memphis is home to many diverse cultures and respect and acceptance of other cultures should be shown at all times.
As a general rule, people in the United States value their personal space, which is at least an arm’s length between you and the person next to you. Also, asking too many personal questions when you first meet someone and/or using certain hand gestures (such as displaying your middle finger) is considered offensive
How might the local weather affect my daily life?
Memphis has a hot, subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters. On average, Memphis receives 54 inches of rain. Memphis occasionally has snow of less than two inches in any given year that snow falls. Memphis' location is prone to severe thunderstorms during the spring, summer and autumn.
Additionally, during winter months, occasional ice storms can occur in the Memphis area. They break tree limbs onto power lines which in turn, can cause wide-spread blackouts. Therefore, you are advised to prepare an emergency kit containing items such as blankets, non-perishable foods, water, battery-powered radio, etc., for occasions such as these.
Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
The people of the south have a reputation for being hospitable and Memphis is no exception to this. People in Memphis are warm and very accommodating to newcomers. It is very easy to develop enduring friendships with people who live in Memphis.