Tuesday update

From Action News 5: Safety concerns arise as police investigate deadly carjacking. You know, as bizarre as it sounds, when I first heard of the shooting, I hoped it was gang members shooting at each other, and it just happened to take place Downtown. But no, it was thugs with guns out on the street, preying on an innocent victim who happened to be stuck in heavy traffic.

A couple of comments here. First of all, the time of this carjacking illustrates how badly we need FedExForum and Orpheum events back at full capacity. If we had them, there likely would have been cops at the intersection of Main and Peabody Place directing traffic at 10 PM Saturday.

Second, the police have let thugs get away with speeding, reckless driving, and noise pollution for the past year. By not cracking down hard on those crimes, cops might as well have hung a “crime committed here” sign in the heart of Downtown. They’re tempting the criminals, saying, go ahead, see what more you can get away with.

This is the least safe I’ve felt Downtown since 2006. Now that pandemic restrictions are starting to go away, I’d like to spend some nights in South Main at Max’s, Earnestine & Hazel’s, and (once it reopens next week) Longshot, but I question whether I’m going to feel comfortable walking home at 11, 12, 1. Never before did I ever give that a second thought.

The Commerical Appeal has an article on Acer Edge, the folks behind the knife-sharpening booth at the Farmers Market. Local restaurants like The Bar-B-Que Shop and Dory avail themselves of the service on a regular basis.

Posted by the Downtown Memphis Commission yesterday:

Calling all cocktail lovers 🥃
Are you an Enjoy AM cocktail connoisseur?
This Wednesday, April 21, @thegraycanary will host their monthly cocktail dinner. Enjoy a welcoming cocktail from 6:00 pm-6:30 pm followed by a four-course dinner with cocktail pairings for $75/person.
Call (901)249-2932 or visit the link below to reserve your spot!

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog took a breakfast trip to CIMAS, the new restaurant in the Hyatt Centric. They’ll expand to lunch, dinner, and bar service this Friday.

ESPN has a detailed description of how the NBA play-in tournament works. Long story short: Memphis will stand a much better chance of advancing to the playoffs if they finish 7th or 8th in the Western Conference than if they finish 9th or 10th. Following their double-overtime loss to Denver last night, the Grizzlies hold a one-game lead for 8th over Golden State and San Antonio.

The Memphis Flyer profiles JoBeth Graves of Grecian Gourmet Taverna.

Random thing I learned yesterday: Gruntled is a word. As in, the opposite of disgruntled. It means “pleased, satisfied, and contented.”

Memphis is about to have its first Black female police chief. Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, currently the chief of police in Durham, NC and a veteran of the Atlanta police department, will take the top role pending the approval of the City Council next month. I have to say that while she sounds like a fine pick, I agree with City Councilman J.B. Smiley that the selection process could have been more inclusive of the public.

That’s it for today’s post. Back tomorrow with more.

Monday update

It’s the morning after my second Pfizer COVID vaccine, and I am pleased to report NO side effects other than a sore arm.

I had been warned I might have a fever, headaches, muscle aches, and extreme exhaustion. As a precaution, I went to bed super early, before the sun went down. I left the air conditioner on, something I don’t normally do when the low is expected to fall into the upper 40s. I feel perfectly fine this morning. Ready to go kick ass at work here in a bit, then celebrate the first day of my post-pandemic life.

And YES I will keep wearing my mask until the health department says I don’t have to anymore. I understand that it may be possible to still spread COVID even if there is a very low chance I could personally come down with the virus.

I could be noble and say I got the shot for the kids, but that wasn’t really it at all… I got the shot so my friends in the service industry can hopefully soon work until 3 AM and make the money they didn’t make last year.

Edited to add one comment: If you’ve ever had to fill out forms at a Walgreens pharmacy, you’ll figure out real quick why the reader glasses display is located nearby.

Jaren Jackson Jr. has been upgraded from “out” to “doubtful” for tonight’s game against Denver. That is major news. If not tonight, soon…

The headline story in the DM this morning: 50 years ago, activists stopped an interstate from coming through Overton Park; now they may stop an environmentally racist oil pipeline. The leader of the National Poor People’s Campaign, Rev. Dr. William Barber II, stopped in Memphis yesterday to speak out against the Byhalia pipeline.

WREG has updated info on the homicide that occurred at S. Main and Peabody Place Saturday night. Sounds like the gunmen may have been trying to carjack a Monte Carlo SS. They have a photo of one of the suspects, who used a face mask to help conceal his identity.

Get ready for the Earth Day Riverfront Market this Saturday 1-6 at Beale Street Landing. Over 20 vendors + free skate rentals.

The NBA has warned teams to expect possible game postponements as a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial will likely be handed down this week.

Today is National Hanging Out Day. Therefore, in the interest of being a good citizen who observes important holidays, I’ll drop by the Silly Goose for a PBR or two after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

Y’all, if you didn’t make it by Friday, please show The Peanut Shoppe some love this week. They’ve faced a difficult past few years. People have read about a peanut shop closing on Summer and mistakenly thought they closed too. The visibility of their entrance was blocked by construction for a long time. And now, COVID has reduced foot traffic on Main to a dribble. If you can’t make it there in person, you can order online.

Beck and Call, the rooftop bar at the Hyatt Centric, is hiring a Food and Beverage Manager.

Dennis O’Hagan’s Great Brewery Tour stops at Grind City Brewing Co. today at 2. He’ll play his own tunes, traditional tunes, and covers you rarely hear (Grateful Dead, John Prine, early college rock).

Rowdy Franks plays Carolina Watershed today at 2.

Cool site I found this morning: StoryShots, which offers free summaries of nonfiction bestsellers. The menu of the book categories is at the bottom of the page, which is pretty terrible web design, but the summaries are good.

The Grizzlies got a nice win over the Milwaukee Bucks last night. They improve to 29-26 (.527) for the season. The Grizz have widened the lead over the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs for 8th in the West to 2 games. But wait, there’s more… the Grizzlies have now snuck up on the Dallas Mavericks to pull within 1 game of 7th place in the West. Next up is a road game at Denver tomorrow at 8.

From Fansided: Jaren Jackson Jr.’s return will break the Western Conference

This NPR story is long but a good read: The untold story of the SolarWinds hack

Cordelia’s Market is partnering with Dress for Success Memphis to host a spring cleaning this Friday, April 23, from 5 to 8 PM. Clean out your closet and help disadvantaged women achieve career success. Specifically, they are asking for

  • Matching suits – jacket/pants or skirt – all sizes
  • Interview-appropriate blouses
  • Work-appropriate shoes – all sizes but especially 6-11
  • Jewelry and scarves
  • Briefcases, portfolios, work-appropriate handbags

They want clothing that is dry-cleaned before donation and no more than 3-5 years old. They would prefer donations to be on hangers.

Your donation is tax-deductible. Cordelia’s will be grilling out that evening. Bring 5 clothing items or 5 canned goods and get a free burger or hot dog. They’ll also give away tickets to the Lichterman Nature Center.

Ladies, it’s National Transfer Money to Your Daughter’s Account Day. You may want to make sure dear old Dad is aware.

Weather: Upper 30s Wednesday morning and highs in the 60s most of the week. Well that forecast looks like a pile of garbage. Normal for this time of year would be 74/54.

I watched a little of Prince Philip’s funeral yesterday. I’ve been reading about the Royal Family on Quora. You know who you rarely hear about, but is a total badass? Anne, Princess Royal, the second child and only daughter of the Queen and the late Prince Philip.

No additional news on the homicide that occurred three and a half blocks from my front door last night… if you’re not aware what I’m talking about, scroll down and you’ll see MPD’s tweets about it. As I’ve said before, look at the bright side… the shootings will depress property values and keep my rent down.

Holy crap, COVID Act Now has Shelby County’s infection rate at 1.18. That’s terrible! Here’s James Aycock’s always excellent (although this week, not what I hoped to read) COVID Week-in-Review. I’m happy to say I’m doing my part – this afternoon I take a walk to Walgreens on Union to complete my vaccination card.

Notable piece of good news in James’ summary: Deaths from COVID-19 dropped dramatically once vaccination started. That’s most likely, he says, because those at highest risk, our elderly, were vaccinated early in the process.

James also has news of a community canvassing project on Friday to help get out the word about vaccination.

Once again, if anyone is undecided about getting the vaccination, you’re welcome to email me at paul@paulryburn.com for an honest and respectful conversation on why I decided to get mine.

I’m not promising a post tomorrow, because I’m not sure how the vaccine is going to affect me. Whatever minor discomfort I suffer will be worth it though. Back with more news when there’s news to report and I feel well enough to report it.

Saturday update: Let’s dance!

Health Directive No. 20 is in effect as of 12:01 this morning, and it is once again legal to dance in bars and clubs.

Of course, if some hot, sexy, single young lady comes up to me today and starts grinding her body all over me, I will have to tell her she can’t do that because she’s not in my close contact group.

Well, unless I develop amnesia and forget there’s a health directive out. Hey, amnesia happens to people all the time. If you don’t believe me, you need to watch soap operas.

I’ll share a bit of business wisdom I read on Medium yesterday: The two-pizza rule. It is a rule first made popular by Jeff Bezos of Amazon. If two pizzas are not enough to feed everyone at your meeting, you’ve invited too many people. That’s a great rule and it should apply to Zoom meetings as well even though there’s no pizza.

Great news for the Memphis Tigers: Landers Nolley II and DeAndre Williams will return next season. It’s possible Memphis could get Moussa Cisse back too if he doesn’t get picked in the NBA draft.

Following a win over the Chicago Bulls, the Memphis Grizzlies continue to hold a one-game lead on 8th place in the Western Conference. The difference is that the team in 9th has changed. Former Tiger James Wiseman and the Golden State Warriors are now the closest team behind the Grizz. Memphis will travel to Milwaukee for a showdown with the Bucks tonight at 8.

As a professional writer, I do a fair amount of web searches. Last August, I switched my default search engine to Bing so I could take advantage of the Microsoft Rewards program. As of this week, I had accumulated enough points doing searches to earn a $25 Walmart e-gift card. I mean, if it’s something you’re going to be doing anyway, might as well get paid for it, right? Plus, I can still access Google whenever I want by typing www.google.com in the address bar.

I also earned a $10 Amazon gift card from the ReceiptPal app, taking photos of my Walgreens and DGX receipts. Again, it’s free money. It’s true, some corporate marketing team somewhere knows I like Mountain Dew and Cinnamon Toast Crunch a lot, but I really don’t care. I’m willing to trade that info for $10.

Just in time for spring, Memphis Made Brewing Co. has a new session IPA out called Kitten Nap. It’s brewed with Calypso and Lemondrop hops for a fruity, citrusy taste. Its ABV weighs in at 4.8% so this beer won’t have you passed out under the kitchen table after two of them the way some IPAs do.

Website owners: Be careful where you get your images. The owner of a wrestling site I read searched Google Images for a photo to use for an article about Wrestlemania. He was contacted by a lawyer, saying the image was the property of a big-shot photographer, and that he could be liable for damages up to $150,000. The website owner had to settle out of court. It’s a total racket, but it’s a legal one. There are seriously lawyers who employ people to spend all day long doing image searches. It’s the online version of ambulance chasing.

The image at the top of this post, by the way, is from Unsplash, a site full of photos that are free for commercial or non-commercial use. So I’m good.

Happy Saturday, YOGA! There will be Vinyasa Yoga on the Patio today at Central Station from 11:15 to noon. Class cost is $16 or free if you’re a hotel guest. If you’re a member of ENVISION Memphis or Downtown Yoga you can use your package to pay for the class. If you’re hungry following the class (does yoga give people the munchies the way smoking weed does?) you can stay for the hotel’s fabulous brunch, or hit the food trucks next door at the Farmers Market.

There will be a talk about Victorians & Dinosaurs today at the Mallory-Neely House, 652 Adams, at 6 PM. The Victorians were the first to make the discovery of dinosaurs a big deal. $10 per person with a capacity of 20.

Twitter seems to be down as I type this, but if you follow COVID news, keep an eye on James Aycock’s (@firstresponses) account later today. I’m interested in his analysis of the COVID cases spiking to the 260s day before yesterday and the 180s yesterday. Several more days of 180+ would be cause for alarm and a sign that Dr. Randolph might re-think letting go of a lot of the remaining mandatory restrictions next month. Please go get vaccinated so we don’t have to delay the Roaring 2020s!

I plan to spend a fair amount of time at the Farmers Market and South Main bars in the Saturdays to come, but today I have business to tend to close to home. Bardog will be my lead-off, where I will dance with Perjorie T. Roll (part of my close contact group) to the jukebox. Then over to the Silly Goose, which I have been absolutely loving this past week. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

If you need your COVID vaccine, might want to go to the Pipkin Building today or Saturday. The first 2500 people in line get $20 Kroger or Walmart gift cards, according to this Daily Memphian article. You do not need an appointment either day. People who went yesterday or the day before reported waits of only 5 to 11 minutes.

Another option is to go to the U of M’s Friday night spring football game tonight. Let them vaccinate you at the game and get a $10 coupon to spend on concessions.

262 new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday in Shelby County, and compared to recent days, that’s a lot. We haven’t seen daily case numbers in the 260s since mid-February. There are two possible explanations:

  • People got out and spread the virus because of the Easter holiday and beautiful 80-degree weather we enjoyed last week, so this is a temporary uptick that will soon go away; or
  • We’re experiencing a fourth wave of COVID as states like Michigan are

Let’s hope it’s temporary. We’re so close to these stupid restrictions being over… let’s not take a step backward now. Those of you saying, “I’ll get the shot whenever I get around to it,” get around to it today and score you one of those $20 gift cards!

Sign of the times… for the first time in over a year, the Blind Bear will have passwords at the door this weekend. Know the speakeasy password of the evening and you won’t have to pay their cover charge. Follow the Bear on social media to keep up with the passwords.

Sign of the times II… your days of being able to get a burger at Chez Philippe are dwindling. According to the DM’s Jennifer Biggs, a burger, a Caesar salad, and two bourbon cocktails will set you back about $60 pre-tip at Chez. Yeah, I think I’ll just pass on that one.

Memphis Jazz Workshop, a nonprofit devoted to cultivating the future of jazz in our city, will bring world-renowned jazz pianist Steve Lee to Fourth Bluff Park this Saturday at 2.

Five hours later, there will be another musical event in Fourth Bluff Park, as Cat’s Ballroom presents Salsa at Sunset. It’s a free beginner class as the sun sets over the river.

A Welcome Back to Beale parade and event is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. The event will be done with COVID-safe protocols, so be prepared to wear a mask and distance yourself 6 feet from those not in your close group of people.

In a partnership with the Downtown Memphis Commission, the Memphis Redbirds will offer Nacho Average Tuesday every Tuesday home game of the 2021 season, beginning with the home opener May 4. An order of ballpark nachos will be included with every admission, and ticket holders will have an option to upgrade to BBQ nachos for a small surcharge.

The owner of the Rumba Room is interviewed on this WMC piece about the new health directive allowing dancing.

There is a controversy on the river bluff about the wife of Steve Harvey – yes, Family Feud Steve Harvey – hiring people to cut down two magnolia trees that were on the bluff’s public space. The trees partially obstructed the river view of a home owned by the Harveys, which they bought in 2018. The home was built in 1992 by Cybill Shepherd.

It’s the Day of the Mushroom. My suggestions to celebrate would be a Mushroom Swiss burger at Kooky Canuck, the Madison Avenue burger at Huey’s, or one of the wild rice dishes topped with wild mushrooms at Westy’s.

MPD has made its first arrest following the placement of ShotSpotter technology at Park and Grand in Orange Mound. The technology detects gunshots and pinpoints their location, allowing police to respond in real time. Police found a man carrying a Glock with an extended 26-round magazine near the spot where shots were detected.

Downtown Walgreens’ pharmacy will reopen on Monday, April 19, according to a post on Nextdoor. No word yet if they will start offering the COVID vaccine as several other Walgreens pharmacies in town are doing.

Max’s Sports Bar is taking a week off from doing crawfish, but they’ll be back Saturday, April 24. Max’s will still be open at the regular time Saturday with their regular menu and 5 different flavors of slushes.

That’s it for now. Off to kick ass at work for a while, then it will be time to go out and celebrate the weekend. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

The Memphis Flyer’s cover story is a must-read for Downtowners: Down by the Riverside, a history of Riverside Drive and its various reconfigurations over the years. Riverside Drive was built in the early 1930s to turn the river bluff into something nicer than a place to dump garbage.

Health Directive No. 20 has dropped. Closing time remains 1 AM, but we can dance now. You can only dance with your household or close contact group, a rule that will be completely unenforceable. Festivals can now be held, and they only have to submit a safety plan to the health department if over 500 attendees are expected.

The Aldo family of restaurants and bars, including Bardog, Momma’s, the two Slider Inns, and the two Aldo’s Pizza Pies, are all hiring, and they come bearing gifts for new employees.

Need your COVID vaccine? From the City of Memphis:

**By popular demand, Wide Open Wednesday is being extended at the Pipkin building through Sunday, April 18**
No appointment necessary
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
940 Early Maxwell Blvd.

From the DM: Hyatt Centric brings something old, something new to Downtown

Also from the DM: Baron’s Man Cave reopens this week. The men’s salon and grooming center is at 50 Peabody Place, Suite 101.

ZipRecruiter has a Downtown restaurant manager position open. Reading the description, I tend to believe this would be the Flying Saucer.

The CA’s Jennifer Chandler checks out The Backlot in her New Eats column this week.

The MBJ reports that another new market may come to the South Main area. An exterior improvement grant has been issued for a concept called Big River Market, at 516 Tennessee Street in the Emerge Building. The market will offer “food, groceries, drinks, and coffee.”

Africa on My Mind, an exhibit by Ethiopian artist Dereje Demisse and  Nigerian artist Johnson Uwadinma, will be on display at 410 S. Main this Saturday through July 31. The art will represent a conversation between West Africa (Nigeria) and East Africa (Ethiopia).

WREG has coverage of yesterday’s unveiling of updated plans for Tom Lee Park. A log scramble among the woods at the south end has been added to the plans, as has a 220-foot outlook. The Tom Lee Park plans are important because, with the stupid pandemic restrictions almost gone, Memphians need something to argue about next.

Turnstyles performs at the Live at the Tracks live music series tonight at Central Station Hotel, 6:30 to 9:30. This will be a weekly Thursday thing through May 20, featuring a different band each week.

No, today is not tax day. Due to the changes in tax regulations related to COVID relief, the IRS has extended the federal filing deadline to Monday, May 17. You also have the extra month and two days to make 2020 contributions to retirement accounts and health savings accounts.

Happy Jackie Robinson Day for my readers who are baseball fans. That’s all I’ve got for today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update: South Main to get a grocery store

I am so very happy and excited for my friends who live in the South Main District!

Here in the core, we don’t have a big-box grocery retailer either. But between Walgreens, City Market, DGX, and convenience stores, we can mostly get by.

South Main, by comparison, has been a relative food desert, at least in the sense of buying groceries. Residents have to trolley to the core or get in the car and travel to Miss Cordelia’s, West Memphis Walmart, or the Crosstown or Midtown Kroger. True, they do have one of the most kick-ass farmers markets in the U.S., but only 5 hours a week, 7 months a year. The lack of grocery options has dragged down South Main’s walkability a bit.

Great news for South Main came yesterday, however. They’re going to have a new grocery store, called South Point Grocery, and it will be run by people who know what they’re doing. The ownership group currently operates the Cash Saver grocery chain as well as High Point Grocery.

The address on the map is 138 Webster. If you’re having trouble visualizing that on a map, Webster is the second street south of G.E. Patterson, after St. Paul. The block of Webster the grocery is on will be the block between S. Main and S. Second. The store will be small for a grocery at 8000 SF, but it will be high-end with a deli, fresh produce, and a butcher. There will be plenty of parking and a covered patio.

Peanut Shoppe fans: You’ll want to take a walk up there on your lunch break Friday, because the Planters Nutmobile will be parked outside from noon to 3. You’ll be able to go absolutely nuts with photo opportunities, and grab some snacks while you’re there.

Image courtesy plantersnutmobile.com

Tug’s Casual Grill will host the first in a series of live music in its courtyard this Thursday from 6 to 9 PM. Max Kaplan & The Magics will perform. From Tug’s email flyer:

With a captivating frontman, soulful guitar leads, and a tight rhythm section, Memphis-based Max Kaplan has an exciting and original sound harkening back to the sonic landscape of funky Motown and Stax era soul, to the guitar driven blues of the 1960’s.

Cheers to Downtown nonprofit Meritan, which has been partnering with MIFA to get COVID-19 vaccines in the arms of MIFA’s homebound Meals on Wheels clients.

Memphis River Parks Partnership will present a Virtual Design Update on Tom Lee Park this afternoon at 4:30. Studio Gang’s and SCAPE’s designers will update you on the latest plans for the park and changes to Riverside Drive. There will be a Q&A as well. RSVP here

Blind Bear folks and other friends… don’t forget to vote for Mary today so we can help get her profiled in Yoga Journal. You have until 9 PM Central Daylight Time Thursday to vote, and you can vote for her once a day.

The CA’s Jennifer Chandler has a look at what’s different inside South of Beale’s (SOB’s) new location on South Main.

A new health directive is expected to drop this week. Restrictions on dancing and live music in bars and clubs are expected to be relaxed. Buffets will return, although rules will have to be followed. Dr. Randolph indicated that more restrictions could be changed from “mandatory” to “highly recommended” in the May health directive, depending on the virus numbers. Y’all go get your shots so we can do away with the remaining restrictions! Don’t forget, it’s No Appointment Wednesday at the Pipkin Building 7 to 7 today.

You’ll want to grab a jacket as you head to work this morning. It’s considerably cooler outside than it has been. MWN predicts a high of only 62 this afternoon with gusty northeast winds.

That’s it for today. I’m going to spend another afternoon at home with my writing, so I can get out when the 80-degree weather returns. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

The folks who run Longshot, the bar in the basement of the Arrive Hotel with 5 shuffleboard tables, made an announcement yesterday: They’ll be back Wednesday, April 28. More to follow. I hear they’ve been working on a new and even more awesome menu. Cannot wait to be in there again.

The Daily Memphian’s headline article this morning discusses how restaurants are dealing with a shortage of employees. Several owners and managers make a valid point – everyone blames the government, but restaurants also compete with a booming logistics industry for employees. That industry creates a ton of part-time positions that pay quite well, and in that industry, you don’t have to deal with customers who won’t wear a mask because “it’s all a hoax.”

Also in the DM: 2021 NIT champions the Memphis Tigers will play in the 2021-2022 pre-season NIT in November. Opening rounds will be at local sites (including possibly FedExForum) with the final two rounds in Brooklyn around Thanksgiving. Xavier, Virginia Tech, and Iowa State will join the Tigers in the tournament, giving Memphis some chances to impress the NCAA tournament selection committee early in the season.

The South Main Association has their monthly South Main Social at Beck & Call, the new rooftop bar atop the Hyatt Centric, tonight at 6. Jason Wexler, president of the Memphis Grizzlies, will speak. I imagine a rep of the new hotel will speak too. Someone should ask what Carlisle corporate management is doing to work with the city to get cruising downtown, and the related shootings that sometimes break out as a result, under control.

In case you’re curious how outsiders see our city: Jacksonville, Florida magazine The Jaxson has a tour of the Memphis Riverfront.

The Masonic Lodge Building at Fourth and Court was sold last week to a local developer. The developer wants to save the building, and possible uses include law firm offices or a hotel. One issue that will have to be figured out is that the building pre-dates the automobile era, and therefore there is no parking.

Blind Bear people (and anyone else willing to do your favorite blogger a favor) – please take a moment to vote for Mary so she can be featured in Yoga Journal. You can vote once per day and there are about 3 calendar days (counting today) left to vote.

It’s National Peach Cobbler Day. Good day to travel out to The Edge for some of Chef Tam’s peach cobbler nachos, perhaps?

If you haven’t gotten vacc’d yet, tomorrow is Wide Open Wednesday at the Pipkin Building. Just show up between 7 AM and 7 PM. No appointment needed! The sooner we all get vacc’d, the sooner these stupid restrictions will go bye-bye.

The Grizz got a win over Chicago last night. However, San Antonio got a W as well, so Memphis’ hold on 8th place in the Western Conference remains at only 1 game. Next up: Memphis hosts Dallas tomorrow at 8:30. NATIONAL TV ALERT: The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

If FedExForum doesn’t host any more opening-round March Madness tournaments for years to come, you can thank the misogynistic, homophobic assholes in Nashville. Our piece of shit state legislature recently passed legislation barring transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports. The NCAA has reserved the right to hold its events in locations that are free from discrimination. I don’t blame them. Laws like this one make me embarrassed to be a Southerner.

Ya know, I don’t get into religious/spiritual beliefs much on here, but just this once, I’m gonna let it fly. I believe we are all part of God, and that we were given the same creation powers that God (him/her/it)self has. Therefore, if a person born as a man feels he’d be more comfortable living his life in a woman’s body (or vice-versa), that it would be a truer expression of who she really is, I view that as a Godly decision.

I mean, we humans in the 21st century have the ability to change another human’s gender. Where do you think that ability came from? Hint: Three letters, rhymes with “Rod” and “Todd.”

Happy Tuesday, YOGA! Free yoga tonight on the river 5:30-6:30. Bring a mat, towel, and water. If you don’t want to leave the house because you’re afraid of getting the virus, there’s an Instagram option.

Watch 25+ SXSW shorts for free

WTF is going on in Michigan??? COVID Act Now has them at 73.9 cases per 100K and a positivity rate of 15.7% currently. That’s about as bad as Memphis had it in late December/early January. The governor has asked people to avoid indoor restaurants and for schools to go virtual and cancel youth sports for two weeks. The restrictions are voluntary though. By comparison, Shelby County is at 12.4 cases per 100K and a positive test rate of 4.3%.

I don’t listen to the Shelby County COVID task force press conferences anymore, but I follow @local24brad who tweets updates in real-time.

Interesting fact I learned from Morning Brew today: You can turn any Youtube video into a GIF by placing “gif” in front of “youtube” in the URL. Here’s a GIF of Mandy Rose falling down the ramp on her entrance to Wrestlemania.

That’s it for this post. Probably going to take a few days off from going out after an unexpectedly entertaining weekend. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

Uh-oh: Shelby County has experienced 4 days in a row of being above 150 new COVID cases a day. The positivity rate was 6.3% yesterday, above the 5% threshold that indicates we have the virus under control. That makes it unlikely that county health officer Dr. Randolph will relax the remaining restrictions in a new health directive this week.

The DM’s Jennifer Biggs has info on Backlot, the new breakfast and sandwich shop going into the location portrayed as the Bluff City Law office at 266 S. Front. She included a photo of the menu with the article. Backlot will open Wednesday if the refinished floor is dry by that day.

It’s National Grilled Cheese Day today. The Deluxe Grilled Cheese at Bardog, with ham and bacon added, would be my recommendation if you want to celebrate.

StyleBlueprint has an article about 3 women running legendary Memphis restaurants, and two of them are Downtown restaurants. Interviewed are Patrice Bates Thompson (The Four Way), Anna Vergos Blair (The Rendezvous), and Kelcie Zepatos (The Arcade).

The Grizzlies’ hold on 8th in the West got more tenuous last night as they lost to the New York Knicks on the road. Memphis now leads San Antonio by only one game. The Grizzlies host the Chicago Bulls tonight at 8.

Another Sunday night, another report on Nextdoor of gunshots fired Downtown. This time it was at Front and Jefferson about 11:45 PM. I guess I slept through that round of gunfire. If you hear gunshots, report it to 901-545-COPS. I didn’t hear those gunshots but I heard plenty of squealing tires and revving engines last night.

That’s it for this post. It’s supposed to be 80 today but much cooler the rest of the week, so I think I’ll postpone my professional writing activities until tomorrow and go out after work. Back tomorrow with more news.