Sunday update

I strongly encourage all of you to read James Aycock’s end-of-week COVID analysis thread on Twitter, and take it into consideration when planning your activities for the coming week, especially on Halloween. To sum it up, new cases are spiking this week, not just in Shelby County but across Tennessee. Other counties are starting to send their cases here. Aycock fears that we will have to put the old Commercial Appeal building to use as an alternate hospital by Christmas.

I’m not going out on Halloween at all. My friends and I have even canceled our normal 11 AM Saturday meetup at Bardog. That holiday will make too many people feel as though they have license to disregard masking and distancing guidelines.

I completely agree with James on this point:

Shutting things down again will force business owners, possibly including friends of mine, to close permanently. We can’t do that. On the other hand, if cases rise to the level of 500 or more new ones per day, which the data suggests they will, we can’t just keep on with business as usual.

We’re close enough to Halloween now that weather forecasts are out. Let’s see what we’ve got:

  • Normal: 69/49
  • Mid 60s, mostly sunny
  • Weatherbug: 64/49, mostly sunny
  • Weather Channel: 67/49, mostly sunny
  • WREG: 62/45, mostly sunny
  • WMC: 63, partly cloudy
  • Local 24: 63/45, sunny

Big news for those who live on the island: Soon you won’t even have to drive across the A.W. Willis Ave. bridge to get Cocozza Italian-American Kitchen dishes. Their line of Take & Bake products comes to Cordelia’s Market Thursday, October 29.

The Forsyth County (Georgia) News has a good piece on the history being how Elvis acquired Graceland.

The Broke Backpacker has a list of places to stay when visiting Memphis. Not surprisingly, they recommend Downtown as the neighborhood to stay when visiting Memphis for the first time. They have some AirBNB recommendations and for those who prefer a hotel, they recommend Springhill Suites.

We ordered Insomnia Cookies again yesterday. Here’s a pic of Pejorie T. Roll eating a chocolate mint cookie. Those are her favorite because the chips are the same color as her hair.

Wishing a very happy birthday to Mama Bear AKA Jeannette, proprietor of the Blind Bear, today.

The Memphis Tigers got a win over Temple, 41-29, yesterday. Alabama rolled to a 48-17 win over Tennessee.

The first College Football Playoff rankings will not be revealed until Tuesday, November 24 since COVID has totally f’d up the schedules this year.

From Scoops Memphis: Man gives officers fake name after being caught with chopped catalytic converter. I wonder if this is the guy who has been stealing catalytic converters in The Edge District and from parking garages in the Downtown core.

Time for a full day of professional writing-related stuff. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Big news: The parking lot that spans the block between Front, Main, Peabody Place, and Beale, commonly thought of as “the Orpheum parking lot,” will be turned into a Downtown mobility center. It will add far more spaces than are currently there (1400 total), will provide amenities for those on bikes as well as for those using alternatives to owning a car, and will have a rooftop restaurant.

I love it, and not only because it adds parking and amenities. It will fill in a gap that creates a perception of a divide between the Downtown core and South Main.

On the downside, this move will eliminate jobs, well, sort of. That parking lot is the closest thing Downtown’s crackheads and panhandlers have to “work,” posing as fake attendants and collecting $10 (or more, if they think they can get it) from unsuspecting people who park there.

There’s a sidewalk sale for Black Entrepreneurs Day going on outside Makeda’s Cookies, 488 S. Second, today from 11 to 4. Vendors:

  • Respected Crown
  • Pickles & Co.
  • Jazmon’s Jewels
  • Cynthia’s Secret Garden
  • JenGin Wellness Boost
  • Local Vibes Only
  • Meekies Munchies

TamiTPower99damix will provide the music, and the Maja Wings food truck will be on site. Giveaways by Makeda’s Cookies and L.V.O.

Text from one of my readers: “Just paid $14 for 7 hours in the garage above Silly Goose. You might want to let your readers know.” I don’t deal with parking garages anymore so I’m guessing that’s high?

My guess is because there was a classic Halloween movie at the Orpheum last night. Now, a social-distanced 20-year-old ghost flick is by no means going to fill up a 12-story parking garage. My guess is, like everyone else, they’ve been hit hard financially by the pandemic and are trying to get their money where they can, and you just have to go with it.

It’s kind of like, later today, I will go to one of my favorite watering holes and pay $4 for a PBR. Every time I do that, it burns my butt because a PBR is not worth anywhere close to four bucks. But by paying it, I realize I’m helping good people stay open during a pandemic. So I mind it a little less.

New Memphis is hiring a Manager of Collegiate Engagement. The successful candidate will manage a program called Launch that connects college students to professional opportunities in our city.

From Action News 5: Website tracks every broken McDonald’s ice cream machine in America

Catch a performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at Wiseacre Brewing’s Broad Avenue location today at 2.

Gary Hardy plays Alfred’s this afternoon 3 to 6.

#2 Alabama plays Tennessee at 2:30 on CBS. I’m guessing this will be a very fun game to watch.

The Memphis Flyer has a look at tarot readings at The Broom Closet on South Main. The readers note that they started seeing the Tower Card, representing big change, disruption, for more people beginning last fall.

Time to do weekly laundry, then go out and pay for $4 for PBR while watching the Vols get slaughtered. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

I had an unfinished idea yesterday. Maybe someone can pick up the ball and figure out how to run it into the end zone.

It was about 5 PM and I had spent the evening doing stuff related to my professional writing career: learning how to set up an email list, taking notes on the posts of authors on Medium I admire, that kind of thing. I felt like I was getting a little burned out, so I decided to take a quick break.

I signed into Amazon Mechanical Turk as a worker and accepted 14 activities where I would look at two pictures and determine which looked more like a reference picture. Each activity took about a minute to complete and paid 7 cents, so I made 98 cents on my break.

Now, some of you may be wondering: Why in the world would someone with a master’s degree perform rote activities for below minimum wage?

Well, two reasons, really. One is that I never have to pay for books anymore. Every so often, I accumulate enough in my Amazon gift card balance to buy a book. Alternately, I could use the money to buy other writing-related supplies (Pilot G2 blue extra-fine 0.5 mm pens are my jam). Or, since it’s Amazon, I could use the money to buy groceries.

More importantly, though, it’s the reminder to myself that at anytime I want, I can go earn myself a little money. No one has to choose to hire me for a job. It’s all up to me. Now, when my writing is earning me $500 or $1000 a month, Amazon Mturk will not be worth my time anymore. But in the early months of my writing career, it’s reinforcement that I can earn money on my own.

After I logged off Mturk, I looked out the window and saw some of our homeless friends sitting on the benches outside. I thought, how cool would it be if they could log in and earn a few bucks anytime they like? If they could earn 20, 30 bucks a day on Mturk or something similar, that money could be life-changing – not only in terms of spending power, but in the feeling of empowerment it would give them to earn their own money.

But there are reasons why I can earn that 98 cents on Mturk on my break, and they can’t. There are reasons I could earn 30 bucks a day on there if I wanted to, and they can’t.

One, I have a $500 laptop and I pay $100 or so a month for high-speed Internet. If I didn’t have those things, I could still use Mturk on my $650 phone and whatever I pay AT&T for unlimited data.

Two, I have a bank account that I could deposit Mturk earnings into. They don’t.

Third, I have an Amazon account that I alternately divert the earnings into, so I can buy books and groceries. Now, they could set up an Amazon account as well. But what they don’t have is a shipping address.

How cool would it be if they could log onto a site like Amazon Mturk or Microsoft Rewards or Qmee (a new site I found recently that pays you to take surveys) and earn a few bucks anytime they liked, and then were able to transfer the earnings onto an electronic gift card they could actually use Downtown – like a Walgreens e-card or a Jimmy John’s e-card?

Or what if they could transfer the earnings into an account that can be spent on nights at the shelter?

Just an idea. Like I say, if anyone wants to take it and run with it, be my guest.

On to the news…

Those of you who live in South Junction apartments, this is another reminder to lock your car doors. A member of Nextdoor observed two males jump the complex’s fence around 9:00 last night and start checking door handles to see if cars are unlocked.

In other news gleaned from Nextdoor, speeding is said to be a problem on Island Place East, the major thoroughfare on the “inland” portion of Mud Island.

Free A. Schwab’s shot glasses when you buy an AM/PM bourbon shot at the Beale Street dry goods store’s Harvest Fest Saturday beginning at 2 PM. While you’re getting liquored up, the kids can enjoy $1 ice cream, $2 hot dogs, balloon “carving,” and a Jones Orchard pumpkin patch.

Slider Inn Downtown weekend entertainment schedule:

FedEx will hold a job fair Saturday for positions at its hub. These positions are in and of themselves not glamorous, throwing boxes. However, they offer a major perk: A foot in the door. If you show up on time for work for a year and do your job, that’ll put you in the top 20%, and you’ll be able to bid on corporate jobs with the company. Some of the company’s top leaders started out in the hub. Pay is $15 an hour and some jobs pay $18 an hour. Also, if you’re uninsured, the health insurance alone can make these jobs worth your consideration.

Big weather changes coming today. If you go out this afternoon, take an umbrella. If you go out tonight, take a jacket.

Yikes, the morning got away from me! None of the remaining news in my queue is time-sensitive so I’ll push it until tomorrow’s post. I watched the debate last night. Trump was much, much, much more in control this time. Perhaps no pre-debate nose candy this time around? Biden stuttered and stammered a bit but his performance was in no way bad. We will see if the debate allowed Trump to catch up enough ground but I don’t think it did. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Elmwood Cemetery will present an encore of its popular Scandals & Scoundrels Tour on All Saints’ Day, Sunday, November 1 from 1 to 3 PM Central Standard Time. (The word “Standard” is used for emphasis here: November 1 is the day the clocks fall back an hour.) Learn about the famous residents of Elmwood and how some of them came to a questionable end. Good walking shoes are recommended. Cost is $25 and space is limited.

The Daily Memphian reported a couple of key facts from the Southern Lodging Summit, which was supposed to be hosted by the Peabody Hotel but which ended up being held virtually:

  • Hotel occupancy nationwide is about 40% following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; in Memphis it’s 50%
  • The lodging industry is not expected to fully recover to 2018-19 levels until 2024

Every restaurant (full- and limited-service) should have signs like these at their bar areas, as long as bar areas remain closed by health department directive:

Wednesday I was at a restaurant (not the one pictured above) and a man came in, wearing a mask. He walked past three signs saying you must have a mask on except when seated. He walked right up to the bar, took the mask off, and asked, “Do I really need this?”

By the way, the back part of this sign, the part facing the bartender, needs to be a reminder not to serve customers standing at the bar.

COVID Act Now reports that the infection rate in Shelby County is up to 1.17. That is really not good! We need to get that back below 1. We’re also back up over 20 new cases per 100,000. 25 is considered “out of control.” Many counties in Tennesee are over 25 already.

Jennifer Chandler of the CA had a taste of brunch at Coccoza recently. I want one of those Antipasti Bloody Marys!

There’s a sales associate job open at Trek Bikes in South Main.

Free tacos at Taco Bell next Wednesday, October 28 thanks to Mookie Betts stealing a base in the World Series, paying off the “steal a base, steal a taco” promotion.

Tennessee men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes indicated the game with Memphis won’t happen this year.

Tonight in the Downtown Dinner + Music Series:

  • Tonya Dyson at Huey’s
  • Deborah Swiney at Canopy and Rendezvous Alley
  • Life Explicit at patio between Automatic Slim’s and Kooky Canuck (wait, what patio?)
  • Tori Whodat at Blind Bear
  • Mississippi Sounds at Peabody and Main

It happens 5-7 PM. Come listen to some live music and support some great Memphis restaurants.

That’s all for today. I’m going to watch the final debate tonight. Here’s the drinking game. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

There’s going to be a rule change in the debate tomorrow night between the Trumpster and Joe Biden. During each candidate’s opening two-minute response to a question asked by the moderator, his opponent’s mic will be cut. LOVE IT! No more interrupting! The first debate reminded me of Archie Bunker arguing with the Meathead on All in the Family way more than discourse between two nominees to the world’s most powerful office.

Tomorrow after work will be a stay-home day for me, for sure. Even though I’ve already early voted, the new rule makes the debate must-see TV.

After years and years of talk, One Beale is finally leasing apartments. For now, potential residents will be limited to a virtual tour. December is the move-in date. In other project news, plans for the office tower have been scrapped.

In yesterday’s COVID-19 press conference, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced a new faith-based initiative to support places of worship that have been affected by the pandemic. These places can apply for grants that can be used in one of two ways:

  • For those organizations that would like to stream services online, the grant can be used to cover those costs;
  • For organizations that prefer to worship in person, the grant can refund the cost of PPE to make that activity safe.

So there have been grants for hair salons, bars, and faith-based organizations. Mayor Harris, I have a question for you. WHAT ABOUT THE STRIPPERS? Adult entertainment businesses have been shuttered since March. How about some financial relief for people in that industry? In college, there are Pell Grants to help those in need. How about Pole Grants, for pole dancers?

In other press conference news, Health Department Director Dr. Haushalter and Assistant Director David Sweat reiterated that the second wave of COVID-19 is here. 342 new cases were reported yesterday, and over 800 the past 3 days. The Facebook “health experts” are starting to come back out of the woodwork too. I’m sure Halloween will give them plenty to complain about.

WMC Action News 5 has a 5 Star Story about Bass Pro at the Pyramid.

Forbes had some love for Bass Pro at the Pyramid as well, particularly the Mississippi Mud Cookie that is part of turndown service at the Big Cypress Lodge hotel there. Check out their chocolate lover’s destination guide.

The DM’s Chris Herrington discovered the Smurfey’s Smokehouse food truck recently. That’s my favorite BBQ food truck. Pulled pork baked potato! Herrington is starting a new street food column, a fine addition to the publication.

City Council members were skeptical about the plans for a 30-to-45-story tower in the Pinch District in yesterday’s meeting.

The Memphis Tigers will once again be on national TV for their road game at Cincinnati on Halloween. The game will kick off at 11 AM and will be carried either on ESPN or ESPN2.

The MBJ has a slideshow of convention center renovations. The slideshow is free to view, although you have to be a subscriber to read the accompanying article.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Downtown Dining Week is coming back! This year it will be November 1-7. That’s earlier in November than DDW usually occurs, and no doubt they are doing it so more people will choose outdoor dining options. It’s often still patio weather in early November; much less so the closer we get to Thanksgiving.

This year, rather than sticking to a 3 courses for $20.20 theme that may have been a bit limiting during a pandemic, DDW is letting each restaurant choose a theme or special that best expresses itself. There’s a Daily Gift Card Giveaway you can enter (follow the link for rules) and Explore Bike Share will offer free bike rides for DDW.

Time for me to sound like a broken record and give the yearly advice: If there’s a restaurant you feel like you want to go to during DDW, make reservations now or you won’t get a seating during the prime dinner hours. This is especially true with the really popular restaurants like Felicia Suzanne’s, Rizzo’s, Bishop, Cocozza, and the Andrew Michael Downtown restaurants (Bishop, Catherine & Mary’s, Gray Canary).

As we get ready to celebrate the Halloween season, the Orpheum has announced three scary movies to get everyone in the mood this week. They are:

A proposed tower of 30 to 45 stories, if approved, would, well, tower over The Pinch District. City Council members will hear about the plan today, which would include a hotel facing Main Street. There would be condos and a rooftop lounge as well.

Katrina Burgoyne plays South Main Stream, broadcast live from South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main, Friday 6:30-8:00 PM. They’ll have limited seating inside and unlimited seating online.

University of Memphis quarterback Brady White has been named Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week. The honor comes following a comeback victory over UCF after trailing by three touchdowns in the third quarter.

Great quote I saw over the weekend:

“The best revenge is not being like your enemy.” -Marcus Aurelius

So true!

Primas Bakery + Boutique will have an Election Day Bake Sale. Come by for patriotic-themed cookies and cakes after you vote.

Stacks & Rowell play Momma’s, corner of Crump and Kentucky, at 6:30 Friday.

This past weekend’s Women of Soul concert must have been a success, because the Orpheum has announced WOS 2: Stefanie Bolton, Kia Johnson, Tonya Dyson and Taliba Safiyah for Saturday, December 12 at 7:30. Tickets are $34.

Food company Sysco is still searching for an outside sales rep to cover the Downtown and Midtown areas.

Only in Memphis: A rapper has been charged with unemployment fraud after he bragged about it in a music video.

Downtown nonprofit Meritan is collecting gifts and monetary donations so 300 homebound seniors in Memphis can have a merry Christmas.

Two weeks out from the election, Biden is down to a 1.0% favorite in Florida, according to the latest from RealClearPolitics. He had been ahead in the 3.5% range for much of the campaign. Biden has paths to 270 that don’t include Florida, but the Midwestern states and Arizona would become much more important in those scenarios.

I’ve stayed home the past two days, so I will treat myself to a stop at the Blind Bear today after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Even the Halloween decorations at Bardog Tavern wear PPE

Three cheers to the Memphis Tigers, who made a comeback against the foe that has given them trouble like no other, UCF. The Tigers, down by 21 in the third quarter, came back for a 50-49 win, the first against Central Florida since 1990.

On the other end of the state, the Tennessee Vols lost to Kentucky at home for the first time since 1984. The 34-7 loss was embarrassing even by UT standards, and the program is three years removed from Butch Jones so his recruiting can’t take much of the blame. The University of Tennessee should voluntarily step down to the Sun Belt Conference so an institution with competent leadership can take its place in the SEC.

The Daily Memphian reports that South City developers have given up trying to recruit a grocery store to that neighborhood. The challenges of serving that community and the Downtown community at the same time are said to be too much for grocery chains to be willing to tackle. The incentive money that was included in the South City project for a grocery will be redirected to other purposes.

Front Street will reopen tomorrow between Poplar and Jackson. That section of Front has been closed for a year, creating some major traffic snarls. Main Street will reopen in a week, much to the relief of Pinch District restaurants.

Here’s a link to James Aycock’s COVID week in review for Shelby County. He has concerns about the reclassification of schools in the latest health directive.

Ohio has flipped back to red in FiveThirtyEight’s election simulation. Trump is a 51/49 favorite there over Biden. Ohio has also flipped back to Trump in RealClearPolitics’ no toss-up states map of aggregated poll numbers.

Alexis Taylor plays Slider Inn today at 1.

Here’s a pic of a troll eating an Insomnia Cookie, and that’s all I’ve got for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Mid-afternoon yesterday, I walked down to the Shelby County Election Commission at Second and Poplar to early vote. The facility was very professionally managed: Volunteers kept everyone six feet apart in line, and I was offered hand sanitizer as I came in. I got to keep the Election Commission pen I used to sign forms, preventing spreading germs by using the same pen as other people. They gave me a wooden stick to use to vote, so that I didn’t spread germs by touching the touch screen.

One note I want to point out: My ballot was three pages long. The first page was the Presidential ticket, the second page was the U.S. Senate race, and the third page had both the U.S. House race (the Steve Cohen one) and the Tennesee House race (the Barbara Cooper one). I almost didn’t realize I needed to vote twice on the third page, so keep an eye out for that.

I was probably 12th to 14th in line when I walked up, and was at the counter in about 5 minutes, plus another 2 to complete the voting process. I gotta tell you, I don’t understand why anyone waits until Election Day. Early voting is so much easier.

Perjorie T. Roll will be old enough to vote in the 2036 presidential election. “We’re sending a troll to the White House that year!” she informed me. God help us all.

From the folks at Walking Pants Curiosities gift shop, where you can find all kinds of really cool stuff sold by good people:

Walking Pants
We are a couple of weeks late but now that the store is open again it is time to celebrate our 4th anniversary!
From the bottom of our hearts, we are grateful, for each of you. We had an idea for a crazy little store in the South Main of Downtown Memphis and all of you helped bring that dream to life and proved love works!
Thank you for believing in impossible with us!
Ashley and Daryl

Walking Pants is in the same shopping center as Arcade Restaurant, Cheesecake Corner, and Max’s Sports Bar on G.E. Patterson at Main.

Very cool: Google now lets you search for a song by whistling and humming

Maciel’s now has online ordering. I tried it Thursday evening and it works great. There’s just something about not having to talk on the telephone that makes me so much more likely to order.

Cossitt Library will present Riverfront Story Time at 4 PM tomorrow, Sunday, October 18, in River Garden Park. They will read the book Quick as a Cricket. Kids must be accompanied by an adult and masks will be worn by everyone including library staff. Everyone will be properly social distanced. Blankets and chairs welcome. You’re encouraged to sign up in advance.

You remember how, in pre-COVID times, the Memphis Farmers Market had Master Gardeners on hand to give you free advice? Did you ever wonder how one becomes a Master Gardener? The Daily Memphian has the deets.

COVID stats update: 17.0 cases per 100K, 1.08 replication rate, 7.1% positivity rate for Shelby County. All of those numbers fall into the “not quite alarming but definitely not good” category.

No new Downtown updates but Scoop Memphis continues to be my new favorite website.

Someone who works near Beale but not on it, and who is a reliable source of this type of information, told me that Beale Street restaurants are allowed to stay open until 5. All other restaurants are directed to close at midnight by Health Directive 14. I am so tempted to comment on the absurdity of that situation, but why even bother…

Last night at the Blind Bear, Jeannette handed me a business card and told me this would be a good business to tell Downtowners about.

(click/tap image to view at a larger size)

Red Rover, Red Rover, who’s coming over? Not just everyone… happy birthday Neal AKA Hollywood.

The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is in town and will be at the Edge Motor Fest today 10-3 at 645 Marshall.

Coca-Cola is getting rid of Tab, one of the original diet colas. Oh, man, I have a co-worker who is going to be extremely disappointed.

Memphis Magazine’s Ask Vance column has info on the building that is now home to the Rumba Room. 100 years ago it was the Whistle Bottling Company.

Don’t forget, UCF at Memphis is on ABC at 2:30 today. Looks like the game of the week will be #3 Georgia vs. #2 Alabama at 7:00 on CBS. Based on today’s schedule, I would surmise that the old farts corner table at Max’s Sports Bar will fill up early today.

Hospitality HUB has had to abandon its plans to build a women’s shelter on top of the old auto inspection station on Washington Avenue.

2 Crazy Fellas will be at Ghost River this afternoon 3-7 serving their Cajun-inspired menu.

That’s it for now. Got a full schedule today, the fullest weekend schedule I’ve had since the pandemic hit. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

I want to make a reminder to my readers that is very important in the age of COVID-19: If you have reservations at a restaurant and can’t make it, please call and let the restaurant know so they can re-book the space. Jennifer Biggs of The Daily Memphian reports that this is a big problem during the pandemic. With many restaurants forced to operate at half capacity or less, keeping tables 6 feet apart, a no-show on a reservation hurts twice as much as it normally would.

There are a couple of American Athletic Conference games on ESPN tonight: #17 SMU at Tulane at 5:00 and independent powerhouse #14 BYU at Houston at 8:30.

Women of Soul, a concert featuring Karen Brown and D’Monet, happens at the Orpheum at 7 tomorrow tonight.

However, tomorrow morning’s performance of Baby Shark Live scheduled for the Orpheum has been canceled.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will hold its first in-person monthly meeting since February on Tuesday, October 27 at Loflin Yard. DNA members will be given priority over non-members with space limited to 50 because of COVID regulations. There will be temperature checks and contact tracing at the door.

The Memphis Business Journal asks, whatever happened to the proposed Mud Island aquarium? The city first proposed the idea in 2018 but has been unable to find an investor.

By the way, if anyone from the MBJ is reading, you might want to do a Google search on that article’s headline. My daily Google Alerts indicate there are some shady websites scraping your content.

The pandemic led to a $1.7 million loss for Memphis in May this year. That’s nearly three times the largest loss of any previous year.

The Shelby County Health Department has revised its recommendations for Halloween. While trick-or-treating is still not recommended, there are best practices you can follow. You can give out individually bagged candy so kids are not reaching into a common bowl. You can give candy to kids outside, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently.

It looks like the popular Monster Mash party at the Mallory-Neely House in Victorian Village is still on. The party is outdoors and is limited to 100 guests, and therefore is considered a “small gathering” (less than 200) by the Health Department.

Marcella and Her Lovers perform at Health Sciences Park today 11 AM to 1 PM. A food truck will be at the park. Masks are encouraged and sanitation supplies will be available.

Alexis Taylor plays The Vault tonight at 8. Prior to that she’ll be on South Main Stream Live at 6:30.

That’s it for now. I’m going to early vote after I get off work this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

The Memphis Chess Club opened yesterday at 195 Madison. They offer casual play, tournaments, and family play. If you’re new to chess or need a refresher on the game, they have classes for both kids and adults. They also have a full cafe with sandwiches, salads, pizza, and a kids’ menu.

The club is open to the public, and you’re always free to drop in, play, and watch games. However, they think you will find reasons to want to join the club. Here’s their list of weekly events (hat tip to Jerred Price for posting to Facebook. A star indicates registration is required):

  • Wednesdays: Blitz Tournament* 7:00-8:30 PM
  • Thursdays: Ladies’ Knight 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Fridays: Music Knight 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Saturdays: Quads Tournament* 2:00-5:00 PM
  • Saturdays: Adult Beginner Class* 5:00-6:00 PM
  • Saturdays: Adult Open Play 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Sundays: Kids’ Open Play 1:00-4:00 PM
  • Sundays: Kids’ Beginner Class* 1:30-2:30 PM
  • Sundays: Kids’ Intermediate Class* 2:45-3:45 PM

In addition to the scheduled classes, private lessons are also available.

Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team has an opening date: It will be November 25 vs. Ohio State in South Dakota as part of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic. Fans will be allowed but required to wear masks. Strict testing protocols for players and staff will be in place.

In other college basketball news, FedExForum has been selected as a site to host first and second rounds of the 2024 NCAA tournament.

The Memphis Flyer has more information on The Paramount, the restaurant to be opened at Front and MLK Ave. in the former Bluff City Law office from TV.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. has an Alt-Radio beer this month to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Radiothon for the Ronald McDonald House on 98.1 The Max. A portion of the sale of every case of beer will go to support the house, offering parents a place to stay while their kids undergo treatment at St. Jude.

From the Green Beetle:

Hey everyone! Join us and River Rat Rounders Tuesday October 20th to raise money to support Dannie Medlin, the much loved father of two of our employees. We will be doing a tasty sandwich special and donating proceeds from its sale straight to the Medlin family.

Dannie is a hard working self employed father of 4, an avid cyclist and unfortunately was diagnosed with a brain tumor on September 28th. He was immediately admitted for surgery whereby a mass the size of a tangerine was removed. He spent 10 days in the hospital with his wife Diana by his side every second and luckily is home now but they are awaiting on biopsy results. He has a long road ahead of him and we want to do whatever we can to help!

Come join us Tuesday in support of our employees and a family man who needs our help! We will also be hosting a shrimp boil on Sunday the 25th to raise money (details on that to follow).

MLGW is accepting applications for seniors (60 and over) and the disabled to join their winter moratorium program. Those participating in the program won’t have their utilities cut off during the coldest part of the year, December 1-March 1, although charges will continue to accrue.

The Edge Motor Museum will host a car show this weekend.

From The Daily Memphian: Meet the man making a 1700 mile Mississippi River journey in a pontoon boat

The New York Times has a look at when mail-in and absentee votes will be counted for the November 3 election.

Interesting new Memphis publication I found this morning: Scoop Memphis. It seems to highlight crimes not reported by mainstream media. The Downtown Family Dollar and the Silly Goose have both been in the publication recently.

Lyft recently consulted with UT Health Sciences to develop a clean ride guide, a set of standards for properly disinfecting a vehicle between rides in the era of COVID-19.

In other COVID-19 news, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive.

Better take the jacket if you go out: A cold front is bringing big changes today. There’s a chance of afternoon showers followed by a plunge into the mid-40s for Memphis.

The Downtown Dinner & Music Series is back tonight. Music lineup includes

  • Ryan Peel at Main and Monroe
  • Angie Holmes at the mural on Main just north of Gayoso
  • Jay Daskreet at the same mural
  • Mississippi Sounds at the corner of Main and Peabody Place

If you decide to partake in the dining as well as the music, may I recommend the Blind Bear’s new dinner menu? They have an expanded patio just steps away from the music at the mural.

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra presents Amadeus: Inside the Mind of a Genius tonight at the Halloran Centre.

That’s it for today. I’m off to work, then this afternoon I will be out at Blind Bear and Silly Goose. Back tomorrow with more news.