Oct 242014

Good development news for Downtown: The CEO of Hard Rock Cafe is in talks to build a 200-room hotel Downtown. More hotel rooms mean we can attract bigger conventions, so this is a good thing for our economy.

I wonder if the hotel will have pool parties like the one in Vegas does? I remember seeing tons of pictures of those parties on the Hot Chicks with Douchebags site.

From Fast Company: Inside America’s first cat cafe. These cafes are popular in Japan. People who cannot keep pets in their apartment can go there and enjoy some cuddles with the resident cats along with their coffee.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has visited eighty3′s new patio.

The 2014 WSOP Poker Hall of Fame inductees have been named: Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland. Negreanu goes in at age 40, the first year in which he was eligible. The legendary Chip Reese was the only other player to get inducted at age 40.

The Memphis Business Journal’s BBQ Brackets are down to the round of 8. Notable matchup: Central BBQ vs. The Bar-B-Q Shop.

Highs in the low to mid 80s this weekend. Who’s wearing a tube top to RiverArtsFest?

Weekend! The Halloween party I’m going to doesn’t start until 9, so I have time to hit a few of my favorite spots first. Should be a fun night!

Oct 242014

The green buses that have temporarily replaced the Main Street Trolley will detour this weekend due to part of Main being closed for RiverArtsFest. The buses’ alternate route will be:

South on Main
East on Dr. MLK Jr. Ave.
South on Second
East on G.E. Patterson
North on Third
West on Dr. MLK Jr. Ave.
North on Main and begin regular route

I picked up my Halloween costume yesterday! It was an original costume idea, not something I bought off the rack. I took my concept to Josh who does screen printing in the basement of Winfield’s at Madison and Main. He understood what I was looking for and NAILED it. Josh also printed our BBQ team’s 2014 T-shirts and did an outstanding job. If you need custom printing done on shirts I recommend Josh highly.

The Rockin’ RiverArtsFest Preview Party happens on South Main this evening, with performances by Luther Dickinson, Amy LaVere, Ms. Sharde, John Paul Keith and the 145s, and the Mighty Souls Brass Band. It’s free and you can get a first look at the 180 RiverArtsFest vendors.

Tonight is also the first night of the Hard Rock Cafe grand opening celebration. Brasher Rogue performs at the new location at 126 Beale, with Nuttin Fancy and Randy Lee. There is no charge for admission.

The Grizzlies play their final pre-season game against the Miami Heat tonight at 7 at the FedExForum. With all these events going on, expect traffic to be heavy between Union and G.E. Patterson this evening. Expect to pay a premium to park if you can’t find a spot on the street.

The Grizzlies are hosting their annual tip-off luncheon Monday. If you’re willing to part with some $$$$$ you can sit at a table with a player or team executive. All the players will be there. Proceeds raised from the luncheon benefit St. Jude.

The Grizzlies’ affiliate NBA D-League team, the Iowa Energy, will host the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Saturday, November 8 at 5 PM at the FedExForum.

Here are some pictures of the partial solar eclipse we missed yesterday due to cloud cover.

In the news: Super drunk woman mistook jail for a bar. (No, not a local Downtown Memphis story.)

I have enough news for a “Friday update #2″ post after work, so there may be one. Or, I may just push it back until Saturday morning, because I have to get my Halloween costume together. If you’re going to the same Halloween party I am tonight, in the South Main district, I will see you there!

Oct 232014

Well, I got a nice surprise yesterday. About 9:30 I was at the Blind Bear. It was their trivia night but I wasn’t playing; I just happen to be in the Blind Bear a lot that time of night. I was at the end of the bar talking to a few friends, when Charles announced the winner of Best Team Name for this week. It was a table of six, and the prize was a free PBR for each player. I guess none of them like PBR, because they sent all six to me! Thank you! Drinking another six PBRs at that hour would not have been good for my performance at work today, so I worked out a rain check with Colin for most of them.

If you want to watch the Tigers football game at your favorite bar Saturday, better figure out if that bar carries ESPNNews as part of its satellite/cable package. The game will be on that channel at 11 AM. The Tigers travel to SMU hoping to get back on the winning track after a bye week preceded by a loss to the Houston Cougars.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in the Mid-South today, if clouds don’t cover it up. The MemphisWeather.net blog has details. It will begin at 4:52 this afternoon, hitting its maximum at 5:53, continuing until sunset at 6:14.

Grizzlies official watch parties for select away games have been planned for the 2014-15 season. Here’s the list. One of those parties will be in the Downtown area: December 3, at the Rendezvous, to watch the Grizzlies play the Houston Rockets. The Grizz GIrls and Claw Crew will be at these parties and there will be giveaways. I won a Grizzlies headband playing trivia at one of these last year.

Tony Allen was voted toughest player in the NBA in a recent survey of team general managers. Marc Gasol received 25% of the vote for best center, second only to Dwight Howard.

Comedian Brian Regan plays the Orpheum tonight.

From the Memphis Flyer: The Green Machine mobile grocery store is looking for a permanent home Downtown. The store specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables, and its owners are hoping to fill the void left when the Easy Way at North Main and Jefferson closed. They are looking at the viability of going into the Easy Way space itself (which would be convenient because the equipment is still there), and also of locations in the Vance Avenue and South Main neighborhoods. Here’s a link to the project on ioby.

My favorite blogger/MILF asked me to mention the new bike lanes on Danny Thomas Boulevard. I haven’t seen them yet because I rarely take that street to or from work, but she commented “people are morons and are still driving in them.”

That’s all for now. I’ll be out at the usual places after work. I guess I will have to go to the Blind Bear at some point and finish those PBRs.

Oct 222014

A week from Saturday, November 2, is the annual Harbor Town Dog Show at Nursery Park in Harbor Town. The event is sponsored by Downtown Animal Hospital. This year’s show has a disco theme and there will be a “Doggie Disco Dance Off”. Other categories include least obedient, most glamorous, best rescue dog, most original costume, and best float. For $45 you can enter your dog in two categories. Spectators may attend for free or pay $20 to be in a VIP area with gourmet food and drink.

The Friends of the Library fall book sale is this week at the main library, 3030 Poplar.

If you’re a hockey fan and you’re looking for a place Downtown to watch, Kooky Canuck has the NHL Centre Ice package. Just ask the bartender to switch to your game on one of the many TVs above the bar.

This basketball season, the FedExForum will have three fewer suites, but that space will be converted into theater boxes which are sort of a halfway point between club box seat and suite.

The Grizzlies, by the way, have a pre-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at the FedExForum at 7. Expect heavy traffic Downtown.

That’s the news for now. Time to run up to the Kroger at the top of the hill from where I work and get some cold cuts. I’ll be out at the usual spots after work.

Oct 212014

One of Downtown’s biggest festivals happens this weekend. RiverArtsFest will happen on South Main between Huling and Georgia Saturday and Sunday. 180 artists will have booths and will be displaying and selling their work. There will be live music on four stages, and you can view the schedule here. There will be food vendors as well, and the food is above average compared to typical festival fare. $5 admission each day. There is a free festival kick-off party Friday night.

Want to be a part of the French Fort neighborhood’s revival? There’s a party called An Evening with Friends of the Fort Saturday. It’s at the Marine Hospital on Metal Museum Drive. There will be guided tours of the hospital, horror movies shown on the hospital lawn, an acoustic live music jam, local beer, wine, and Bardog sliders and dogs. Attendees are welcome to bring blankets and even an instrument to jam along with the music, although coolers won’t be allowed. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door and include food, 3 drink tickets, tours and movies.

Hear “Conjunction Junction,” “Interplanet Janet,” and other Schoolhouse Rock classics performed live. The show comes to the Orpheum November 14. Tickets are $15 or $25 for VIP and can be purchased on the Orpheum’s website.

Here’s a video of new Grizzly Vince Carter blocking his former teammate Dirk Nowitzki at the rim.

How wing fans: I have not been by to verify this myself, but I hear that the Mad Earl adjusted its hot wing recipe and the wings are now much, much hotter. A friend of mine ate there yesterday and was very pleased with what she got. I’ll have to get by there soon and try them. By the way, I didn’t make it to Thursday night Burlesque Bingo last Thursday, but hopefully I will make it this week.

I had a relaxing evening last night at three of my favorite bars: Bardog, Flying Saucer, and Blind Bear. The only hitch in the evening came when I nearly got run over by a guy on a bike delivering sliders to an office building on Front Street. I need to look more carefully when I walk, I guess.

That’s it for now. Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days, had some Internet connectivity issues.

Oct 182014

Joe Navarro, an ex-FBI agent who specialized in counterintelligence and behavior analysis, writes books on psychology and body language. He is also a poker player and co-authored Read ‘em and Reap, a book on poker tells, with Phil Hellmuth. Check out his latest article on the Psychology Today website: 12 Things Narcissists Think.

I downloaded Joe’s latest book onto my iPhone Kindle app and am reading it now. Joe is very interactive with his fans. Follow him on Twitter at @navarrotells.

Oct 182014

After I spent an hour typing it. Didn’t save a draft or anything. So real quick – Widespread Panic at Orpheum at 8, Ex-Cult and The Limes perform behind the Montessori School on the Island at 7, Tchaikovsky piano concerto by MSO at the Cannon Center at 7:30, DNA meeting Tuesday at 6 at the Railroad Museum with rare underground tour and new MATA GM speaking. Bad things happen when you sing karaoke.¬†Gettin dranks at Bardog at 11, join me if you feel so inclined.

Friday news

 Uncategorized  Comments Off
Oct 172014

I’ve been asked to post a link to Team Ernst, the website of Mike Ernst and his team fighting against ALS. Mike is a former Memphian who started on the Harvard football team. Because of ALS he is now in a wheelchair. If you’re so inclined, please take a minute to visit the site and learn more about ALS and Mike’s very real struggle.

The MBJ has the schedule for MemFix in the Edge tomorrow from 10 to 8. Come help re-imagine the area around Monroe and Marshall while enjoying food, music, pop-up shops, poetry, art, new public spaces and more.

If you’re driving Downtown tomorrow, allow extra time for heavy traffic in the area around FedExForum mid to late afternoon due to Memphis Tigers Madness.

Tomorrow is “Secure Your Identity Day” at the Commercial Appeal building, 495 Union, from 9 to noon. Bring up to 5 bags of old credit card receipts, bills, and other personal paperwork you no longer want and they will be destroyed for you at no cost. You don’t even have to get out of your car.

The Incredibles plays on the big screen at Beale Street Landing tonight, 7 PM.

Downtown and Midtown square off in the rubber match of Sandlot Baseball Sunday at 2 PM at Tom Lee Park, on the new Get RiverFit soccer field at the park’s south end. Winner gets bragging rights and the pennant. The series is currently tied 1-1. Sache will be on site printing shirts.

There was a minor fire at the Rendezvous this morning. It is out and the restaurant is open for business.

Check out the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Downtown Fall/Winter guide.

The MBJ has a look at the Old Dominick distillery that is coming soon to the Front Street Chicken District.

Plans for tonight: I’ve got the first of back-to-back birthday parties to attend at Blind Bear. Tonight it’s red rover, red rover (no, not the agency), and then tomorrow it’s the girl who wore a tube top to Stumbling Santa in 27 degrees (LOVE HER!!!). I definitely don’t mind spending time at the Bear so this should be a fun weekend.

Oct 162014

Last night was the Nuh-Uh Girl’s final night of her Memphis trip, and I learned something from her: How to hide rice.

You see, the Nuh-Uh Girl likes to eat at a sushi buffet out east. She gets plates of nigiri, and she pulls the rice that is wrapped with it off and eats only the fish. By the end of her dinner she accumulates a giant mound of uneaten rice on her plate. She has been reprimanded by the sushi chef and told that since it is an all-you-can-eat buffet, she must eat the rice along with the fish.

However, she found a solution. She gets bowls of soup and hides the rice in the soup. That’s pretty clever.

The Silly Goose’s pasta bar is officially up and running. They are going to have it Monday through Friday during happy hour from 4 to 7:30. Shorty has expanded his toppings and you have a huge selection of meats, veggies and mushrooms from which to choose. You can get as many toppings as you want, and it’s $10 a bowl.

By the way, the Nuh-Uh Girl and I were at the Silly Goose when she told me the nigiri story. After she finished the story, she asked me, “I’m hungry. Will you order a bowl of pasta so I can have something to eat?”

From Live at 9: Learn how to make Oshi’s Toro Burger, an ahi tuna burger.

There’s a bocce tournament today starting at 5:30 at the court at South Main and Talbot.

At SEE Memphis on the Main Street Mall, there will be a Ray-Ban party tonight from 5 to 7:30.

Montgomery Gentry and Kristian Bush play a free concert at Handy Park, Third and Beale, tonight at 7.

Trolley Trials: Something’s Missing on Main Street is the cover story in this week’s Memphis Flyer. The interview with new MATA director Ron Garrison gives me hope that our public transportation system won’t be among the worst in the country for too much longer.

Next time I go to the Blind Bear, I have a free entree waiting on me. I hit the first step in their loyalty card program. If you don’t have a loyalty card, ask your server or bartender how you can start earning free food.

If you use Nextdoor, the app that connects people that live in the same neighborhood, and you live in what Nextdoor calls the Downtown South area, you can add yourself to a Treat Map to indicate that you will be giving out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. That’s pretty cool. If there’s a bar map I’ll add myself to that.

Having another knock-down, drag-out, slobberknocker brawl with jQuery today at work. But you know what? If jQuery is the worst foe I face today, it will be a pretty good day. I’ll be out at Jessica’s bar at the Silly Goose after work and I may see Shorty about some pasta while there.

Oct 152014

I didn’t think I was going to come up with a Halloween costume for this year. Something scary? Something spooky? Something icky? I couldn’t decide. Then yesterday, on my day off, I was watching TV at the Flying Saucer when inspiration hit. I contacted Josh who has the T-shirt printing business in the basement of Winfield’s, and explained what I wanted. “I can do that Paulie,” Josh replied. The costume will require two accessories, one of which I can print myself, and the other will require a trip to Kroger. Not going to tell you exactly what it is, but I have certainly provided some hints here.

And no, I’m not dressing up as a Saucer girl, in case anyone was worrying about that.

Crap. I just realized, to do the costume properly, I will need to hold a prop in each hand (although one of the props will be released at times). How am I going to hold a beer too?

For those of you who had been asking if Downtown Dining Week would be coming back, the answer is YES it will. It will be the week of November 16-22 (my birthday week!) with many restaurants offering $10.14 lunch specials and $20.14 dinner specials. Holly has a list of participating restaurants. Let me repeat my advice one more year: If there is a particular restaurant at which you would like to dine that week, DO NOT DELAY calling and making reservations. The most popular restaurants’ reservations will fill up weeks before DDW begins.

One of the DDW restaurants, Rizzo’s Diner, is moving to a bigger space. Chef Michael Patrick announced this week that Rizzo’s will be moving around the corner to 492 South Main. I believe that’s the old Cafe Soul location. The move will add more space for tables, a bigger kitchen, and a bar. I know that there are some South Mainers who are very excited about the bar.

Shorty took the Silly Goose’s pasta bar for a second test run yesterday. Isn’t this a nice-looking bowl of pasta he made me?

Photo Oct 14, 4 57 37 PM

I got sausage, onions, black olives, and bell peppers over pasta with a red meat sauce. They also have a marinara sauce if you want a red sauce without meat. I’ll have details soon on when the pasta bar is in regular operation and what the price will be.

Back at work after a 4-day weekend. Monday I was hanging out at the Blind Bear with Jason. Today I am populating data tables with JSON. Pays the bills though. Happy hump day everyone. I’ll be out for dranks at the Silly Goose about 5:30.