If you walk out of my building, take a right and walk about a block, you'll find a trolley stop. Have a dollar bill ready and get on. Unless it's lunch on a weekday... then... FREE!
The Riverfront trolley takes you up Main Street, past the Civil Rights Museum and the Hotel Lorraine, where Dr. King was assassinated. Then, it stops at the corner of G.E. Patterson and Main.
Get off the trolley and cross the street and you'll be standing in front of the Arcade Restaurant.
It's not a place where you play video games, but rather the name refers to an architectural style that incorporates arches and columns. The arcade is the oldest restaurant in Memphis and was founded by a Greek immigrant family in 1924 and is run by that same family today.
That's my favorite part of the story of this National Historic Landmark. It was made by immigrants and it's an integral part of Memphis history. It's one proof of thousands, I believe, of how so many individuals have contributed to what we now take for granted as natural outcomes of being "plain, old" Americans. None of us are plain, old Americans, are we? Like the Arcade restaurant, we have a little story that somehow connects us all to some other place besides the one we now call home.
While you're sitting in that restaurant munching on sweet potato pancakes and feeling like you're a part of living history, it might blow your mind when someone tells you that Elvis used to chill out here all the time.
Maybe even in the booth you're sitting in.
What a trip.
This is Memphis, baby.
Tell me about the places in your town that have stories linked to the past. Do you visit them often?
Photos taken and edited on my Motorola DROID X.