@whiskeyyankee @Ferryp @CPAT1971
We were in Memphis this past Thursday and Friday and spent time in the downtown area and at Rhodes. We were very lucky with warm, sunny weather on Thursday but it was pretty chilly and overcast on Friday, which kept us from walking around as much as we would have liked. Our hotel was downtown on the trolley line so we either walked or grabbed the trolley to get around that area. We did not have a car so Uber/Lyft elsewhere. We checked out the Peabody Hotel (ducks in the lobby!), Huey’s (burgers, yum), walked over to Mud Island (absolutely worth it), spent time on Beale Street (touristy but enjoyed good music and BBQ), walked around the zoo and a bit in the neighborhood around Rhodes before the tour.
A lot has been asked about the safety of Memphis and the area around Rhodes. As two women navigating Memphis for a couple of days we did not feel unsafe in any way. We were aware of our surroundings and did not stay out late, just as we would behave in any city, especially one we are not familiar with. The people we met were very friendly and helpful with suggestions of things to do. The Rhodes campus is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, which I was told are primarily the homes of faculty and rental houses for students. We walked from campus to Cafe Eclectic for lunch on Friday before our campus tour.
We were able to walk around campus on our own before the tour and even in a building. The campus is small but beautiful, with Gothic buildings and touches of stained glass. Once we were on the tour, our tour guide took us in additional academic buildings, the library and the dining hall. The tour group could not enter the dorms as they are currently occupied. After the tour, there was time with a professor and a student panel. We were told classes are currently hybrid and they have weekly random covid testing. They have not yet announced the plan for the fall. The kids were given gift bags with swag and made to feel very welcome.
I wish we’d had a bit more time and that covid did not have the campus and city somewhat shutdown. It would have been helpful for my D to see more campus life, but with limited in person classes plus the weather there weren’t many students around. Perhaps also because it was a Friday afternoon. There are many galleries, museums and funky shops in downtown we would have loved to explore. There is also a trendy shopping and food district about 1.5 miles from Rhodes, Crosstown Concourse. I understand students hang out there a lot. There was not much (that we saw) within an easy walk of Rhodes, other than a couple of small cafes, a small market, and the zoo as it seemed mostly residential.
Hopefully that overview is useful. Feel free to ask me any specific questions.
ETA: Downtown Memphis was fairly open. One impressive thing is the way the city has handled covid. All restaurants require patrons to sign in and include a phone number in case contact tracing is required. Even on Beale Street we felt the protocols were being enforced and taken seriously.