The front of the deteriorating Hotel Chisca. More here.
This is a hotel I was slightly obsessed with. Look closely. The sign is lit, there are cars, and a wreath on the door. But look closer. Look at the vines coming up the front stairs, the broken windows. It looks dissolute and yet grand, like an old Tennessee Williams character, clinging to her debutante past. I kept being drawn to this place. I should have knocked on the door.
This awesome-looking gentleman and I had a funny interaction on Front Street and he allowed me to take his picture. Front Street was so empty (well, most of Memphis felt empty) that if you encountered someone else on the road, it only seemed polite to acknowledge it and say, “Hello” or “Good morning” or “Happy New Year.” To fail to do so would be like refusing to acknowledge another human you ran into in the forbiddingly empty Sahara. What, you’re gonna just pass on by through the whistling sand dunes and not say, “Hey, there, what’s up?” Anyway, I was taking a picture, and he had stepped out of a doorway, and found himself caught in my picture, so he froze, I laughed, then he laughed and posed, as though he were at a photo shoot. It was all very jovial. Look at him. I’m happy just looking at him.