I’m gonna dance

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Sep 052015

Oftentimes I finish blog posts with plans for the evening or day or weekend, but this time I’m going to start off with it.

Plans for the weekend: I’m gonna dance.

The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival happens today and tomorrow on the Main Street Mall between Union and Gayoso. There will be six stages, two of them inside in the air conditioning. Nearly every kind of music imaginable will be represented: Rock, country, blues, folk, gospel, rap, rockabilly, bluegrass, R&B, soul. I plan on being at the festival the majority of the time these two days. I’m going to find some bands I like and then I’m gonna dance.

Hey, they finally posted the schedule! About time.

Being the opening weekend of college football, I considered a trip south to Max’s Sports Bar for today. However, my team Arkansas is not playing a significant opponent. They’re heavily favored versus UTEP. When they start playing quality opponents (i.e. the SEC West) my trips to Max’s will increase.

My “DAWG” John D tipped me off to a good place to eat on the outskirts of Downtown: Sabrosura, a Cuban/Mexican restaurant at Washington and Manassas. “Diagnosis delicious” was John’s verdict on Sabrosura. He described the menu items and our friend Clay said, “Some of those dishes sound more Peruvian than Cuban.” The Memphis Flyer agrees in this article from June, also picking up hints of Ecuadorian cuisine. It’s a little far to walk from the Downtown core, but it’s reachable by bike, so I hope to try this restaurant soon. You can “Like” Sabrosura on Facebook. Here’s a review by Jennifer Biggs.

Be careful if you drive on Tennessee highways this weekend: The Tennessee highway patrol is using a big rig to catch distracted drivers. It gives them an excellent vantage point to see who is texting or using their phone in other ways that they shouldn’t be doing behind the wheel.

Copeland Coaching is back with another first-class job announcement: The Grizzlies seek a producer/editor responsible for generating video content for use on TV, websites, and other media outlets.

The Peabody has a new website. Check it out.

A question out-of-towners have asked me is, “If I only have time to visit one local brewery in Memphis, which should it be?” All four local breweries are good, but I have to admit I’m partial to Memphis Made. I have known both owners years before they opened the brewery from the Flying Saucer: Andy as a frequent customer, Drew as a bartender. They have a passion for great craft beer and their goal is to bring it to the Memphis community. One of the ways they get involved in the community is to brew special beers for local events, including two that are coming up. Memphis Made is on South Cooper, near the railroad bridge in Cooper-Young.

Speaking of beer: Seth has announced a craft beer garden for Best Memphis Burger Fest.

Since we all walk Downtown, this app might be something to put on our phones: Campanion allows you to have a friend virtually walk you home. If there’s any sudden jarring motion to your phone, as would be the case in a robbery or other violent crime, Campanion sounds off a loud alarm drawing attention to you, and it provides the option to call the police immediately.

Great news for those who use Google Chrome: In new releases, Chrome will use less memory. As both a web developer and end user, I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. I use Chrome at work, and Chrome or Firefox (whichever is the lesser of two evils) at home. I laugh when people ask me if I use IE.

Interesting article: A look at international air travel in the 1930s. The article focuses on the British Empire, on which the sun never set in that era.

Nice article about WordPress, the content management system that powers this blog and 24% of all websites worldwide: The billion-dollar company with no offices or email. WordPress was the main sponsor of The Ques Brothers/The Moody Ques BBQ team 2009-13.

Yesterday afternoon I was at happy hour at the Silly Goose and my friend Katie Mac pointed this out:2015-09-04 17.39.14

Pretty neat.

Time to get started. Panda/Michael Time at Bardog at 11, librarian glasses at Blind Bear at 1, festival at 2. Let’s get dancin’!

Friday update

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Sep 042015

This week I returned to the poker table at the Blind Bear after an absence of most of 2015, playing the Sunday and Thursday games. Sunday was pretty much a disaster but last night I came in third, out of the money for a gift card but earning some final table points.

While at the table, I learned something from one of the other players: The Memphis Public Library has a mobile app that lets you check out books and read them on your Kindle or iPad. All you have to do is sign in with your library card number. That’s pretty cool. I need to go get my library card renewed so I can use that service.

High Cotton Brewery at 598 Monroe is doing a brewery tour this Saturday at 3. For $12 you get a tour of the brewery, a pint glass, and beer samples.

On Sunday, High Cotton has Service Industry Day in the afternoon. If you bring a pay stub, a business card, or wear your work uniform, you can get pints for $3.50.

Rep. Steve Cohen is giving away several tickets to see Pope Francis when he addresses Congress later this month. The tickets are standing-room-only, but hey, it’s the Pope.

The Orpheum’s annual showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show is tonight at 8. Doors open at 7 and you can arrive early and purchase prop bags. I have been to this and it is a lot of fun.

In addition to the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival and the Beale Street Cigar Festival, I have learned of yet ANOTHER festival happening Downtown this weekend. Hometown Festival is a family-friendly festival at Bass Pro Saturday and Sunday. Free funnel cake samples, hot dogs, apple cobbler samples, ring toss, crafts, photo booth, face painting, duck pond, and more.

Pianos in the Park Jazzfest happens tomorrow at Handy Park, Third and Beale, 6 to 9 PM.

Holly has five reasons to go to the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest on October 17. Good stuff.

The Belz Museum now has a new audio tour that is only $3 and is free for the visually impaired. Check it out if you come to the area for Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend.

That’ll do it for this lunchtime update. I don’t anticipate an after-work post but I should be back tomorrow with more news. I have to make a brief stop at Max’s Sports Bar after work but I don’t anticipate being there long, at most one hour/two beers. Hopefully work will let us go early and I can get there right at 4:30 and get this done. After Max’s I will head back to the Downtown core, check Foursquare/Swarm/Facebook to see where people are, then plan the rest of my evening.

Hunting and Waterfowl convention coming to Bass Pro, plus lots more news in this Thursday update #2

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Sep 032015

Bass Pro at the Pyramid is set to host the first World’s Hunting and Waterfowl Expo October 16-25. There will be a number of celebrities appearing at the event. Celebrities will include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Si Robertson from Duck Commander, and a host of other names I would recognize if I hunted or fished. The Big Cypress National Duck Calling Championship will be held there October 24. The Super Retriever Series will be October 17-18, with jumps performed by the top hunting dogs in the world.

With college football season starting up, Max’s Sports Bar will revert to its 11 AM opening time Saturday. It had been opening at 4:30 PM during the summer. In my opinion there is no better place to watch football Downtown. 10 TVs inside plus more in the back on Max’s Big Deck. It is in the Arcade Building, all the way to the eastern end on G.E. Patterson.

Join us, just for the grill of it is the theme of this week’s Memphis Farmers Market. It’s the last three-day weekend of the summer and a great opportunity to grill out. The Market has all the meats you need, everything from beef to lamb to seafood. I noticed that one of the vendors even sells BBQ tofu. (Can you grill tofu? I wouldn’t know.) Of course, the market has veggies you can put on the grill too. This week Opera Memphis brings “30 days of opera” to the Market with a performance at 10 AM. UT Extension Agent Sheryl Miller will give demos making Sheryl’s Apple Salad at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30. Live music by Davy Ray Bennett 8:30-10 and Adam Levin 11-12:30. 7 AM to 1 PM, under the pavilion at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson, every Saturday through November 21.

Paul Morris who runs DMC has said that one of the organization’s main missions is to increase property values. He tweeted this graphic that shows how much property values have grown in Downtown’s districts since 2005. Look at South Main! 90.7%! My heart (and my address) will always be in the Downtown core, but man, I wish I had bought some South Main rental property in 2004!

Life is Good will have a tent sale during the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend, with many items on sale. They’re located on the first floor of the Peabody Place office tower facing Main Street.

From the MBJ: The Carlisle brothers share their vision after plans for One Beale are approved

Ugh… one of my least favorite Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia, will deliver the annual Constitution Day lecture at my alma mater Rhodes College on September 22. Despite being an alumnus I think I will skip this event. The speech will be titled, “Rights? If I Had My Way You Wouldn’t Have Any (Unless You’re a Corporation).” No I’m just kidding… the speech’s real title will be “Constitutional Interpretations.”

Home from work. Leading off at happy hour at Blind Bear to see my favorite pair of librarian glasses. After that, I will decide between Blind Bear poker and a Saucer visit. One more day until Labor Day weekend.

Every day is a festival

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Sep 032015

This morning I posted on Facebook that the forecast for Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend is mid 90s both days with heat index probably near 100. I said I might have to take some “Bear Breaks” (trips to the Blind Bear, within the festival borders), to cool off. My friend Gary commented, “so every day is a festival for you!” I really like that as a philosophy on life. I think I will adopt it.

The South Main Association is bringing back its legendary Oktoberfest celebration. Sunday, September 27, from 3 to 7 Oktoberfest will be held at the Farmers Market pavilion at the corner of South Front and G.E. Patterson Avenue. Food, beer and wine will be served compliments of the SMA, and you will be able to dance to the music of Pam and Terry. There will be a silent auction featuring items from local businesses. The event will happen rain or shine. For SMA members tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For non-SMA members, $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Purchase tickets here.

Burlesque is coming to the Brass Door Saturday September 12 8-10 PM in a 21+ show. This is the only burlesque tribute personally approved by author George R. R. Martin himself, and it has sold out up and down the East Coast. It will star Bella LaBlanc, Bree MaDonna, Cherie Sweetbottom, Dante the Inferno, Lily Liqueur, Moxie LaBouche, Ray Bullock, and Xander Lovecraft, and will be hosted by Ego Von Hubris. Purchase tickets here Doors at 7, show at 8. No one will be seated during the harrowing Mountain vs Red Viper duel sequence.

Tonight is the regular season finale for the Memphis Redbirds. All who attend will receive a voucher for a 2016 season field box seat, for any date except fireworks dates. 2016 schedule magnets will be given away, and it will be a Fan Appreciation Night and fans will have the chance to win Redbirds merchandise every inning, including autographed memorabilia. Gates at 6, first pitch 7:05. The New Orleans Zephyrs are the opponent.

There’s a ton of college football on tonight. Here’s the schedule.

There will be a Community Open House for the newly completed Halloran Center for Performing Arts and Education, adjacent to the Orpheum on South Main, Saturday, September 12 from 10 AM to 6 PM. There will be self-guided tours and performances by Ballet Memphis, Collage Dance Collective, Hattiloo Theatre, Mömandpöp, Music for Aardvarks, New Ballet Ensemble, Opera Memphis, Theatre Memphis, and Voices of the South. Food trucks including Sin City Grillers, MEMPOPS, Parker’s Italian Ice, and Cariflavor will be there. The center will have classroom space, start-of-the-art 361-seat theatre, dance studio, cutting-edge audio/video lab, and a rehearsal hall to enhance education in the performing arts.

Memphis Magazine’s luncheon series, “A Summons to Memphis,” will continue Monday, September 14 at the Peabody’s Grand Ballroom, 11 AM to 1 PM. The speaker will be Mick Cornett, the first four-term mayor of Oklahoma City, named by Newsweek as one of the five most innovative mayors in the U.S. His progressive policies on downtown redevelopment, urban design, and health and wellness are a good model for Memphis city planners to study. Purchase tickets here. $50 individual/$450 table. Through tomorrow, use code ADVANCE for 20% off.

The Daily News has an article on planning what’s next for the soon-to-be former Memphis College of Art space at 477 S. Main.

That’ll do it for now. Check back about 6, because there may be a second post. I have Memphis Farmers Market news and we will see what else I find to talk about.

Diamond Dave Day update

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Sep 022015

Tonight is Diamond Dave Day at the Brass Door, to celebrate 10 years of Dave being here. There will be an alley party with kegs and beer pong, and then at 7:30 there will be Dave’s British Bingo with $4 house wine and Fireball and $100 in prizes to be given away.

Tickets are now on sale for the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest. This is my favorite beer festival of the year. It’s an opportunity to learn about beer and talk with the brewers. Date is Saturday, October 17. Definitely worth a Lyft to Cooper-Young.

Moody Ques vice-president Clay met with team workhorse “Mr. Load-in” last night at the Blind Bear, and there was some bad news: Both of the fall regional BBQ competitions the team had planned on entering, Al Chymia and The Art of Q, have been cancelled. Only Best Memphis Burger Fest remains on our calendar, and that’s not a practice cooking championship pork shoulder. It’s good in the sense that we’ll have extra money in our bank account, but not good because we won’t be able to get feedback from judges on our product. The closest BBQ competitions are in Chattanooga and an hour south of Macon in Georgia, and while the expense of traveling to those would not be prohibitive, it definitely would not be pleasant. We’d have gas costs for towing the cooker and hotel expenses on top of the entry fee. If any other BBQ teams have advice on how we can practice and get feedback, email me at paul@paulryburn.com and I will pass the info on to the team.

The CA has an article on this weekend’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. Center for Southern Folklore head Judy Peiser says there will be an additional emphasis on dance this year.

The company that handles concessions at FedExForum is holding a job fair Friday and Saturday. Come “dressed for success” with your resume. There will be a variety of concessions jobs for which to apply.

Elmwood Cemetery will have its 10th annual Costume Twilight Tour Saturday, October 24. Volunteers will bring this 163-year-old cemetery to life. This event is family-friendly, and children under 12 are admitted free. Adults pay $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Visit elmwoodcemetery.org/events for more information.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, bad news: You may have been hacked.

Possibly a second post, so check back. I will be out after work, but as of yet undecided which place.

Memphis Tigers schedule released and tons more news (Tue update #2)

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Sep 012015

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball schedule for 2015-16 has been released. It kicks off with the Memphis Madness open practice October 24 and includes four teams that are expected to be nationally ranked: Oklahoma, SMU, Cincinnati, and UConn.

Radio personality @JohnMartin929 tweeted that the University will be featured as part of ESPN’s Thursday Night Showcase three times in conference play: At Cincinnati, 1/21, vs. UConn, 2/4, and vs. SMU, 2/25.

Radio personality @Jon_Roser tweeted that there will be three FedExForum doubleheaders this basketball season: 12/29 Tigers vs Tulane and Grizzlies vs Heat; 1/16 Tigers vs USF and Grizz vs Knicks; 2/6 Tigers vs Cincinnati and Grizz vs Mavs.

Bedrock Eats & Sweets, in the old Frank’s location at Main and Vance, has been open for several weeks. Now they are finally getting around to having a grand opening on Saturday, September 12 at 8:30 AM. They are calling it Wafflemania and there will be free mimosas, chocolate espresso and of course waffles. They will be rolling out their new menu and are proud in particular of the bacon, egg and cheese waffle.

Speaking of new menus: New Blind Bear chef Alex Switzer has tweaked the menu there. Don’t worry, the pepper jack mac & cheese is not going anywhere. Alex seems to be going for a lower price point, with almost all the menu items $12 or under. New to the menu is a Mexican pizza with spiced angus beef, house made salsa, shredded cheddar, triple layered on corn tortillas with fresh romaine and cilantro with sour cream and chili lime for $10.

As I reported earlier, Memphis College of Art is closing its location at 477 S. Main, previously home to its graduate studies programs. Artspace has been engaged to help determine some possible uses for this building, a large building that is one of the cornerstones of South Main. In September, Artspace is holding three public meetings at the building to get input and ideas on this unique property and opportunities for its future use. The meetings are September 15, 5:30 PM; September 16, 8:30 AM; and September 16, 12:30 PM.

The River Series, a concert series, returns to the amphitheater at Maria Montessori School on Mud Island this fall. Concert dates are the evenings of September 12, October 3, and October 24 and you can view the lineup here.

The Memphis Yahoos will be the featured entertainment this Thursday at Tacos & Tunes on the patio of Felicia Suzanne’s 7-10 PM. $2 tacos, $5 margaritas.

A City Council panel recommends spending $2.25 million for trolleys.

Memphis’ tallest building, 100 N. Main, has sold following years of delinquent taxes and late utility bills.

The Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic History is looking to hire someone part-time. Email info@belzmuseum.org if interested. The museum is located in the basement of Pembroke Square.

Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend, plus more Tuesday news

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Sep 012015

The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival happens Saturday and Sunday on the Main Street Mall between Union and Peabody Place. This is one of my favorite festivals of the year, with regional music from just about every genre that exists being performed on multiple stages. It is presented by the Center for Southern Folklore and there is more than just music. There is food, from food trucks and also from the Folklore Hall kitchen (recommendation: Ella Kizzie’s greens and hot water cornbread). Crafts vendors, storytelling, kids’ activities, dance, and drum lines are some of the other reasons to go. The activity starts around noon and keeps going until about 11 at night both days.

Needless to say, I will be at the festival both days, even foregoing the first Saturday of college football to be outside. Of course, one of my “Big Five,” the Blind Bear, is on the festival route, so there just may be a few stops.

Oh who am I kidding with that “may” comment. Of course there will be stops.

Memphis Oktoberfest returns October 3 and this year it will be at Station 3, the firehouse at Third and Dr. MLK Jr. Avenue. The event is presented by High Cotton Brewing Company. There will be Bavarian fare by Central BBQ and High Cotton beer. Live music will be provided by the Dead Soldiers.

I would really like to go to Oktoberfest, but regretfully I am going to have to miss it. That is the same day as Best Memphis Burger Fest at Tiger Lane, and the Moody Ques are first-year participants. I’ve been told by team leaders that the presence of “Mr. Load-in” is pretty much required.

Wine on the River is a new event coming to the Mud Island River Park Saturday, October 10 from 5 to 9 PM. There will be national and international vineyards. The international section will have an “Around the World” theme spotlighting the food and wine of cultural regions. Tickets are $45 in advance, $55 day-of, with proceeds benefitting Youth Villages. Live musicby Well Strung, Eric Hughes Band and Circle Music Player Piano, and lots of other fun. You get a souvenir beverage glass to keep. 21 and up with a valid ID, and children are not allowed.

City Market is not done expanding. The owners of the market say that Downtown and Cooper-Young are tight-knit communities, and they are looking for more such communities in which to expand. They listed High Point and the University of Memphis areas as neighborhoods they considered before choosing Cooper-Young.

Singer CharveyMac makes another rare Downtown appearance tonight. He will be at the Silly Goose from 10 to 1.

This is another of those “too much news to fit in a lunchtime post” days. Back about 5:30 with a second post.

Breakway-Bardog 5K results and more Monday news

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Aug 312015

The results of the Breakaway-Bardog 5K can be found here. 1217 people are listed as having run (or walked, wheeled, whatever). Given the amount of the entry fee, that should put Bardog well north of the $30K line without even counting the other fundraising components.

This year’s head-shaving victim, Lauren Dunn, did not manage to hit her goal of raising more money that last year’s victim Amanda “Panda” Parks. That’s to be expected; Panda was a bartender at the time she did it. Bartenders tend to have more regular customers than servers. Also, Panda had been there since the day Bardog opened. Lauren raised over $6000, last I heard, an incredible number. Massive respect to The Ninja for making the sacrifice this year.

This past weekend, new manager Bjarni told me that live music will be brought back to the Flying Saucer Friday and Saturday nights beginning next month. That is good to hear. A lot of people pre-game at the Saucer and then go other places. Live music will give them a reason to stay past 9 PM.

The first residents have started to move in at the Chisca. Residents are moving into the old motor lodge in the back, the newer of the two buildings and the easier to renovate. The building is said to have many different price points for its dwellings, which should attract a diverse array of residents.

The MBJ reports that MATA is rolling out more rubber-wheeled trolleys. I guess I won’t be able to use the term “South Main Green Bus Night” on here anymore.

The MBJ released its first podcast today. Listen here.

The University of Memphis has announced player suspensions that are a result of the post-game brawl at the Miami Beach Bowl. Players who participated will receive suspensions ranging from half a game to one and a half games.

Congratulations to Dave Brown on his retirement, and thanks for many great years. The MemphisWeather.net blog has a post about Dave that is worth a read. Congratulations also to Ron Childers on being named Chief Meterologist at Action News 5. He’s had many years to learn from the best.

Home from work. Time for a couple of PBRs at Melissa Monday at Bardog, then over to Blind Bear to hang out at Mary’s bar and then Jeannette’s bar. Four more days until a three-day weekend.

Monroe Avenue Fest (but it will always be the Bardog alley party to me) 2015

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Aug 312015

Bardog Tavern celebrated its 7th birthday in style, throwing a huge block-long party in conjunction with a few of its neighbors, the celebration renamed Monroe Fest.


My friends at Gossett Porsche stepped up and sponsored.


VIP area with tastings from area restaurants including Felicia Suzanne’s.


Pete and John D


You never know what you’ll find at the alley party… er, block party… er, Monroe Fest. I am never going to get used to calling it that.


Dunk a hot dog, 4 balls for $3.


One of the prizes in the raffle


The band


Lauren raising money for the head shaving


Some people walked out of Monroe Fest with a new pet


Chef Gary Williams of DeJaVu






Members of the Downtown crew


DJ Lil’ Egg Roll


Backey has his war paint on for the meatball eating contest.


We finally figured out a way to make Marc be quiet: Feed him meatballs.


Brad Pee has a great shirt on.


Uncle Ray


Aldo conducting the raffle




Lauren and her lovely assistant raising money for St. Jude


Crazy Joe and Charles the poker/trivia guy


People hide from me.




“Shave the Ninja” begins. I believe this is the first time a head-shaving victim has cut their own hair.


Previous head-shaving victims have cried. Lauren, on the other hand, smiled all the way through.







What a fabulous party. Thank you Aldo for giving us such a wonderful place to hang out the past 7 years. I have had happy times, weird times, sad times, hilarious times at Bardog but I am so grateful that the places is there. It is one of my homes away from home. Thank you to all who raised money for St. Jude yesterday. Complete photo album here.

Breakaway-Bardog 5K

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Aug 302015

I got up unusually early for a Sunday this morning, so I decided to walk over to Front Street and get some photos of the Breakaway-Bardog 5K runners as they took off.

Click a photo to view it full-size.

























The runners have finished the race (unless they’re really really slow) and are now at the after-party. That will turn into Monroe Fest aka Bardog Alley Party at noon. I will be there. Congratulations to all the runners for raising tens of thousands of dollars for the kids of St. Jude.