Mystery Train

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Just in time for barbecue fest and all the downtown traffic, the South Main Association has installed its latest neighborhood beautification project.

Made up of 10 panels painted red and emblazoned with song lyrics (in white) about Memphis and trains, the South Main project follows the red lead set by Anthony Lee's "Modern Hieroglyphs" paintings on the Central Station wall.

"The symbols start a darker red and then fade to orange, and we liked how he did that," South Main neighborhood improvement committee chair Lorie Chapman told me last month. "We thought we could do something to complement that."

The project was meant to quickly (and fairly easily, but volunteers might disagree) beautify a vacant lot that has some environmental issues that have thus far prevented it from being developed.

See for yourself. This is what it looked like before:

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But seriously, it's Tuesday afternoon and already barbecue traffic is a little out of control. If you don't have to come south of downtown, I wouldn't, but that's just me. Anyhoo, this is what it looks like now:

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