South Memphis is Memphis

“You don’t look like you belong here.”         

New Isaac Hayes mural by Jamond Bullock, @alivepaint

New Isaac Hayes mural by Jamond Bullock, @alivepaint

          This was the first thing I heard as I got out my car to take a photo with a new mural installation. The funny thing is, I felt completely at ease and like I belonged. I know you’re a bit confused. Let’s start from the beginning.  

            Murals have become so cool and trendy now that most don’t remember when they were frowned upon. They were the trademarks of urban neighborhoods and suggested crime and danger. Boy have things changed. What was once bad has been flipped into something cool. Kinda like how the old housing projects have been replaced with  triple level luxury apartments. Go figure.  

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               One of the best artists in the city and a good friend of mine, Jamond Bullock @alivepaint, recently finished a new mural of Isaac Hayes, Ike as the hood calls him, at 745 McLemore. I think the location is perfect and will keep the trendy Instagrammers away and bring the real fans of art that also feel comfortable in the “inner city”. Why? Well this mural is on the side of a corner store. If you’re from any urban area, you know all about the corner store and you know exactly what I’m getting at. 

          As I was getting ready to snap a few pics of the mural, local fly guy Rick, who was standing in the parking lot of the store, approached me. “You don’t look like you belong around here”. I get this often and I kinda understand. I sort of stand out with my fitted jeans, sweater over my buttoned down shirt and oxfords. I definitely don’t look the part and the hood knows it. 

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“Nah my dad grew up around the corner in Lemoyne Gardens.” I said.  

Rick responded, “It ain’t about yo daddy. Where are you from?”  

          The one thing about Memphis is that where you’re from really means something. It’s like a gang of sorts. If you’re from South Memphis, you don’t go to North Memphis just because. You gotta have a pass from the members of that neighborhood. Rick was checking my hood credentials. 

“I grew up in Pussy Valley and Westwood.”  

“Oh you good young blood!”  

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          I passed the test. The insertion of PV probably validated my claims. Not many know that area of Memphis. Rick and I spoke about the mural. He wanted to know who painted it. He had a funny story about how he met Isaac Hayes and I told him my mom was his next door neighbor when she was a little girl. He asked if I could snap a pic of him and I agreed.

Fly Guy Rick

Fly Guy Rick

           That’s the real Memphis right there! Memphians will welcome you in if you come correct. Even if my hood credentials didn’t check out, as long as I was respectful and cool, they would extend that same courtesy. Memphians are tough in the outside but are full of Southern hospitality on the inside dying to get out. So don’t be afraid to visit the real hood to see one fo the coolest new murals in the city. If you see Rick, tell him Mike said what’s up.

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Life is for Living,

Michael B.

New Orleans Architecture

I recently made a visit to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. While the partying was insane, I wanted to do a bit more while in the Big Easy. So I took to the streets with my newly purchased Samyung/Rokinon 35mm F1.4 AF lens paired with my Sony a7ii camera. Before I go any further, I want to say this lens is an absolute beast and I'm so in love with the 35mm focal length.  

Ok I've gotten that out the way. I've been to Mardi Gras numerous times, but it's only been to party and come right back home. Seeing how I had a brand new lens, I decided to explore downtown New Orleans a bit. I quickly found out this city's architecture is simply amazing. Take a look at these images I captured. 

 Disclaimer: All images are copyright protected and the property of one901.com. Images cannot be used without written consent 

I loved every minute of my urban exploration. I wish I had more time because everywhere I went in the city, I ran into someone that was extremely nice and talkative. I definitely plan to go back when there's less Mardi Gras action. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

Brief Time on Beale

         After seeing The Break Up Show on last Saturday, I figured I would take a few pictures on Beale Street. Little did I know that my battery was dying in my camera. So I didn't make it all the way up Beale. So here's a quick few shots on the East side of Beale Street.  

New Daisy

New Daisy

The Tinroof

The Tinroof

Where the drinks are cold and strong  

Where the drinks are cold and strong  

The Patron Saint of Beale Street  

The Patron Saint of Beale Street  

Other than these rules, everything goes  

Other than these rules, everything goes  

Watchful Eye

Watchful Eye

       And this is where my battery decided to go to the Pearly Gates. Sucks because the real party was on the other end.  

 

          All photos taken with a Sony a7ii with Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens. Edited in Capture One Pro. All photos are copyrighted.  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.