Thirty years ago this month, a handful of intrepid young men and women published the first issue of Memphis magazine. Back then it was called City of Memphis , and the city of Memphis itself was struggling: Downtown was deserted, the suburbs were rapidly filling, and we were still reeling from the tumultuous civil rights era. And yet, this group of young Turks believed in Memphis -- and themselves -- enough to create a publication about, and for, their city.
Thank goodness they did, and not just because without them, many of us would have left town in search of employment, but because over the years, this magazine has been a mirror by which the city viewed itself, for better or worse. From award-winning features on Martin Luther King Jr. and an adoption-for-profit scandal to entertaining tales of buried treasure by the likes of Lancelot Bueno, Memphis has been the vehicle for it all.
And as the city changed, so did the magazine, but no change has been as comprehensive as the one we've spent the last few months implementing. An introduction, then, is in order.
We now open with new departments that comprise our EMPHASIS section, including CITY JOURNAL, which takes a hard look Memphis' politics and policies, leadership and, occasionally, lack thereof. Also new is HABITAT, highlighting home and garden trends, with beautiful images and helpful how-to advice. INSIDE/OUT takes a look at health, beauty, and fitness, and the latest ways and places to help you become a better you. Emphasis also includes features on what's what and who's who about town, some seriously stylish retail must-haves, and wraps up each month with a Q&A profile. The goal? More topics, more variety, and hopefully, more entertaining for all.
Vance Lauderdale fans, have no fear. Your favorite history buff is alive and well on page 133. Each month you'll get your full two pages (and two cents) worth of our eccentric columnist and his words of wisdom, kicking off the lifestyle and arts departments that follow our monthly feature stories. Dining reviews by the talented Nicky Robertshaw, as well as Chris Herrington's latest music notes have remained unchanged, as has Leonard Gill's book review, with one small exception -- the addition of a staff-pick. Make sure to check out the BUZZ, where you'll find the unpretentious words of wine connoisseur Tom Black, cocktail recipes, and information on wine tastings and other buzz-worthy events around town. And finally, the magazine's back page, Last Stand, where you'll find opinions and essays on topics ranging from the serious to the silly, and all things in between.
We hope you'll enjoy the magazine we've (re)created, and I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. I'm curious to see what the next 30 years will bring, both for the city and the magazine that bears its name.