“God bless the boys from Memphis, blue suede shoes, and Elvis Presley.” -George Jones
Now, let me preface. My time in Memphis last week wasn’t my first trip to the area, but I loved every minute all the same. It’s fun to have the opportunity to explore cities close enough to home that they already feel familiar, but you undoubtedly find something new each time you take a look around. This trip was no exception.
When you travel alone you get used to doing things by yourself–whether it be exploring a new area, trying a local restaurant, or even taking an Uber to a neighborhood you’ve been wanting to see (struggles of being in fun cities without a car of your own). During my Leadership Development visit with our Gamma Zeta chapter at the University of Memphis, I decided to take an afternoon off to head over to the Cooper Young District–a thriving area home to young professionals, delicious food, and hipster coffee shops, AKA my personal version of heaven on earth. The day wouldn’t have been complete without a nod to Mr. Elvis Presley himself, so of course I wore my favorite blue suede heels from J.Crew (they no longer sell the color but I’ve linked the style for reference).
Here’s a little rundown of my afternoon stroll:
- Muddy’s Bake Shop: This place is so comfy and fun and was the perfect nook for me to catch up on email and get some work done with a matcha latte in hand. It used to be a residential home so it has its own fireplace, porch, and a distinctly local feel. They even have a cake studio where chefs create custom designs for weddings and parties!
- Burke’s Book Store: I’m fairly certain I could spend the rest of my life in this bookstore. It’s one of those rare gems where I could sit for hours looking through history books and dreaming I lived back in the 1920s (totally a reasonable thing to wish, right?). Another fun fact: this bookstore is the place where I bought my first copy of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden two years ago, which has since become my all-time favorite novel.
- Java Cabana: This place reminded me of JJ’s Marketplace in Nashville so naturally I loved it immediately. I got the iced chai with almond milk (second coffee shop drink of the day, no shame) and enjoyed the eclectic little atmosphere and fair trade coffee samples. There was a book club gathering happening in the corner and it was tempting for me to join in, but alas, I wasn’t prepared with the proper reading material.
For more details on Cooper-Young happenings, visit their website here. They have a whole series of events throughout the year and I wish I had longer to stay! This tiny neighborhood is just a taste of what Memphis has to offer and I already can’t wait for my next trip. (Hint: Graceland and Beale Street will definitely be on the agenda!)