There are no friends like Downtown friends. Plus Thursday news

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May 282015

I want to start off today’s post with a reminder of what a wonderful community we have Downtown.

One of my friends had a couple of people over to his first-floor Downtown condo Saturday night after Sunset Symphony was over. The guests left a little after midnight. My friend didn’t bother to get up to lock the door; his building is behind a security gate so he didn’t think anything of it. He fell asleep in his living room chair, and a little while later he was awakened by the slam of a door. He got up to investigate and found that his wallet and his phone were gone.

“I was shaken up,” he told me. “I was glad I wasn’t hurt, but still, the next morning, I was ready to move out of Memphis.” He was also wondering how he was going to get through the rest of Memorial Day weekend. He had no cash, and no ATM card to go get cash, and the banks wouldn’t be open until Tuesday.

Then a beautiful thing happened. His friends heard what happened, and showed up at his door, handing him cash, in some cases as much as $200, and some of them were people who really couldn’t afford to part with that money but offered it to him anyway. “I had access to $1000 if I needed it,” my friend said. “Also, all the bars and restaurants I go to offered to run me tabs. They said, ‘If you need food, anything, order it and pay us back when you can.'” The outpouring of kindness and generosity really restored his faith in our city. Our Downtown community is truly a special one.

Compliment for a Downtown restaurant tweeted by legendary WWE announcer/Hall of Famer Jim Ross today: “Blue Plate Cafe in #Memphis best breakfast I’ve had in years.” For those new to the city, the restaurant is on the south side of Court Square and they serve lunch too.

It’s the last weekend for Tennessee Brewery: Revival. The brewery is open 11-9 today, 11-11 tomorrow and Saturday, 11-9 Sunday. Craft beer (and PBR!), food trucks, live music, art for sale, a game room, good people, good times. Invest in good times!

Out in East Memphis, Memphis Italian Festival starts today. It’s like BBQ Fest in that there are cook teams in booths competing, but Italian food instead. It’s at Marquette Park at the corner of Park and Mt. Moriah. The festival runs through Saturday.

Swingin’ Leroy headlines tonight’s Peabody rooftop party. $10 cover, doors open at 6, ladies free until 7. Admission includes a buffet of Italian sausage and ravioli, and if you’re in VIP there’s an additional buffet of brushetta, mini pizzas, and gnocchi with pesto cream sauce. There’s a peach margarita special, a Malibu promo of rum sparklers, and a bar promo of Bellini.

The Flying Saucer is having its anniversary party June 19. Here’s a look at the rare beers that will be on tap.

Photo May 27, 7 47 32 PM

From MakeUseOf: 10 Tinder Pick-up Lines that Actually Worked. Some of these are pretty clever. Example: “I forgot my password and for the hint it keeps telling me ‘Jordan’s phone number.’ Can you help me out?”

Pretty good night last night. I had a dinner of crawfish fritters and seaweed salad at Bluefin, then I wandered over to Blind Bear. My friend Zach was playing trivia as a team of one. The final question was, here are five news stories that TIME Magazine named the top five news stories in 2013. Charles listed the stories to be put in order: Government shutdown, Supreme Court finds for gay marriage, botched Obamacare rollout, Boston Marathon bombings, the Snowden leaks. I suspected Charles had done something clever: He had listed the stories in reverse order of their ranking. I told Zach, who went with my suspicion, and became the only player/team to take down the entire 45 points for the question, vaulting him into a second-place finish. That certainly worked out better than my “No idea” debacle at Saucer trivia last week!

Catching up with some old friends after work. Should be another fun evening. Outta here for now.

Wednesday update 2

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May 272015

Enough news for a second post today. Let’s do this…

Beale Street said goodbye to B.B. King today.

A naked man was found swimming in the Mississippi today. He refused several life preservers and made it several hours and 7 miles before he was finally pulled out.

Memphis Tigers football will be on national TV at least 3 times this fall and very likely 4. That’s what a good season will do for you.

The I-55 bridge across the Mississippi is scheduled to close for 9 months. Won’t happen until 2017 though.

Robocallers and text-message spammers may soon be a thing of the past. The FCC votes next month to strengthen the rules against these nuisances.

High schoolers: The Orpheum is accepting applications for its STAR (Students Take A Role) Council. Council members help plan and coordinate events throughout the year. This would look great on a college application, especially if you’re planning on being a theater major.

Work is over for the day. PBR time.

Wednesday update

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May 272015

Looking in my spam folder this morning, I have to laugh. Subject: “Let’s get busty Celestyna Q. closer to Paul Ryburn and break the ice of love.” Interpretation: “Let’s get spammy hackers closer to Paul Ryburn’s sensitive bank account information.” I mean, are there really people stupid enough to fall for this kind of thing? I guess so because they keep sending it.

From WREG: Rowdy drivers block off busy street in Downtown Memphis. I had this happen to me one time, before I lived Downtown, in 2001. I was driving home from Raiford’s and due to street closures (I think it was during Memphis in May) I got re-routed onto Linden, between Third and Second. It took 35 minutes to get one block, and I was scared to death. Where were the police, I wondered.

Also from WREG: B.B. King’s daughters claim their father was poisoned. I just spent a few minutes scrolling through Twitter looking at the ceremony honoring his life. Looks like it was a beautiful event.

This was all over Facebook yesterday but in case you missed it: Make Lego gummy pieces. We need these in the Moody Ques booth next year.

Photo from last night:

Photo May 26, 8 05 52 PM

I really need to get up to the rooftop more and get more of these gorgeous sunsets. It was a goodbye party and I had a great time hanging out with my Number 10 Main family. It made me realize all the different families I have Downtown. There’s also my Moody Ques family… and I consider myself part of the Squeal Street family even though I am on a different team… and then there are my families at the various bars where I hang out. Grateful for all of them. They keep me sane… well, at least to some extent.

I’ll be out at the usual places after work. Time to run a few errands then back at it…

Early afternoon good music alert and Sunday news

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May 242015

Quick time-sensitive post that is a good music alert. Bluesman Eric Hughes will be performing at Central BBQ Downtown today from noon to 3. If you want to start off your day with some excellent music, that is absolutely what I recommend.

I had one of the new steamed hot sandwiches from Max’s Sports Bar Friday night. Well, okay, I didn’t order one, but Michele gave me a piece of her sandwich. DAMN that was good. Max’s was never a food destination until they got that sandwich bar, but it is now. Give one a try if you haven’t already.

The Majestic Grille is having a paella patio party on June 9 in the next of its 10 ’til 10 series. I love paella! Anyone want to go?

So there’s a margarita festival on June 27 in Overton Park and a tamale festival not far away same date, practically the same time. Anyone else think a shuttle between the two would be a great idea? Do the people who run Ride the Roo read my blog?

The Weekend at Porky’s BBQ team is missing their team flag. If anyone has seen it email me at and I will arrange to get it back to them.

Bonus Panda time: Panda is working a double at Bardog on Memorial Day, 8 AM to 8 PM. Come see her. If you work Saturday day shift and don’t get any Panda time, this is your chance.

A few of us checked out Tin Roof yesterday afternoon. Here are a few pics.

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First time I have ever had “totchos,” tater tots covered with toppings as though they were nachos. I must say, I am a fan. I will very likely go back for these.

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Much later, at Blind Bear. Anna Carrie (Hope I spelled that right; in glasses) is a teacher and just started her 8-week summer vacation. I must admit I am rather jealous. I miss the schedule of teaching.

D-RANKS with B-RAD at 11 AM. A Sunday with no Monday behind it is going to be a very fun day.

Question for my readers

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May 232015

Rare post from my phone. Damn the WordPress iPhone app has gotten super awesome since the last time I posted this way. Otto please pass my compliments on to the team. 

So, I’m not doing Tube Top Month this year. But I like to have fun on this blog and try new and interesting things. 

If I were to replace Tube Top Month with something else for one year only, original time frame (June only, not expanded), what would you recommend? Not at all restricted to women’s clothing items. Anything goes. Think as far out of the box as you want. 

Email your ideas to I want to have some fun and turn over new leaves on here. I appreciate your suggestions. 

Reuben egg rolls @ South of Beale

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May 232015

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Yesterday I got off work a bit early. With most of my crew out of town, I decided to change things up and lead off at Max’s Sports Bar. About 6 PBRs and 3 Fireballs later, I decided it was time to make the trip back north. As I passed South of Beale I looked in the window, and saw Kaylea behind the bar. Kaylea used to work at Blind Bear and is one of my favorite people to harass. There were open bar seats, so I went in. I was just going to have a beer, but then I realized SOB has one of the best food menus in town and I should have a little something to eat.

I got the Reuben egg rolls, a take on the Reuben sandwich but as an egg roll. Corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese rolled up and fried, and served with a generous portion of SOB’s homemade Thousand Island. Yummy and exactly what I needed to keep going for another couple of hours. If you’re a fan of the sandwich, or of egg rolls, give them a try.

You know, there are a lot of different takes on egg rolls Downtown. SOB does the Reuben egg rolls… the Blue Monkey has its hot wing egg rolls… the Majestic has Cajun chicken egg rolls… Kooky Canuck has Asian BBQ egg rolls… and Yao’s has, well, egg rolls. Maybe we should organize an egg roll fest… heck, there’s a festival in Memphis for nearly every other kind of food.

I really enjoy being in South of Beale and wish I got in there more often. I feel the same comfort level there that I do in the bars I call my “Big Five” (Bardog/Bear/Saucer/Goose/Max’s). It’s just that when I want to hang out in the Downtown core, it’s slightly out of the way, and when I decide to head south, I tend to go all the way to Max’s (or this month, the brewery). SOB is a great place run by great people and needs to be on my radar more.

Definitely a high point in what has been mostly a crap week for me. However, the weekend is here and I am going to make the most of it. Hitting the usual place at 11 then I will see how I feel about getting out to Overton Square.

Cornhole tournament coming up in June plus more Friday news

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May 222015

The first annual Main Street cornhole tournament will happen Saturday, June 13 from 6 to 10 PM. It will benefit the Life is Good Kids Foundation and will be held outside the Life is Good store on the Main Street Mall. Music by Look Left Entertainment. Teams have until June 1 to register.

Next time you walk down the Main Street Mall, notice the new lights that have been installed. It’s part of the Main-to-Main project.

Have you tried the recently-returned Goldcrest 51 beer? It’s on tap at Bardog now.

New live music joint Tin Roof is on Twitter if you want to give them a follow.

Here’s a story on the great work St. Patrick’s does feeding those in need. They feed not only the homeless, but those who have a place to live but not enough money to eat. The 38126 zip code just east of Downtown is one of the poorest in the country.

Hungry Memphis gave Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl in Bass Pro at the Pyramid a try.

Last night a few of the BBQ team members had dranks at the Silly Goose. The team vice-president, the head cook, and “Mr. Load-in” were there. We were discussing how well the team did this year. Having core members of the team take over the cooking was a great decision. We’ve always been known as a party team (and have no plans to change that) but we now see ourselves as an up-and-coming team in the kitchen. I was SO EXCITED to hear the team leaders talk about entering some regional BBQ competitions to get practice, They also talked about sending some people to judging school, to find out exactly what the judges look for. I have wanted us to do those kinds of things for YEARS. The Moody Ques are going to roll into 2016 stronger than ever!

Weird weekend. Many of the gang I hang out with are on their way out of town for a canoe trip. I’m going to be by myself for the most part, so maybe I’ll change things up a bit. Perhaps I will hop a Lyft to Midtown and check out the Overton Square 45th anniversary party or Roundhouse Revival tomorrow. We shall see. My plans for tonight are undecided as of yet, but believe me, I will be out.

Tube Top Month: I have made my decision

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May 212015

Early Monday I posted a “Should I keep Tube Top Month for 2015, or kill it?” post. I have since taken it down because I felt it was too personal, too deep a gaze into my soul, although it was a fantastic piece of writing. In the day and a half it was up, I got many responses.

Oddly, the majority of those responses were neither “keep it” or “kill it.” Most responses were along the lines of, “I think you should do whatever YOU feel in your heart is right, and by the way I really enjoy your writing.” A few of them said, “I not only enjoy your writing, but I also enjoy you as a person apart from your blog.” Thank you. Those words meant a lot to me.

Of those who picked a side, there were more on the side of “keep it” than there were “kill it.” That made me happy. I am proud of the fact that I invented Tube Top Month, and kept it going 10 years.

However, this year I’m just not feelin’ it. One of my favorite marketing authors, Scott Stratten, once said, “If you can’t publish AWESOME content, don’t publish any content at all. It’s better to be silent than to be boring.” I just don’t feel like I could do an awesome job with Tube Top Month this year, especially in its expanded 40+ day format. I need to be in a certain kind of mood to rock a concept like Tube Top Month for that long, and this year my mood is just not there.

Sorry, guys. I’m not saying it’s gone forever. I may bring it back in 2016.

But for now,


Tube Top Month


Thursday news

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May 212015

The All-NBA first team has been announced, and look who’s on it: Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol. CONGRATULATIONS MARC!!!!! Gasol is no longer in the shadow of other centers who tend to draw more attention, such as Dwight Howard and Boogie Cousins.

Bruce V from the Memphis Flyer has a very interesting editorial column: Third Street is not the street we should name for B.B. King; Riverside Drive is. “If Memphis is going to have a B.B. King Boulevard, let’s do it up right.”

Speaking of B.B. King, plans have been made for a final tribute to him on Beale Street. It will happen Wednesday, May 27. From 11 AM to 12:30 PM there will be a musical tribute to B.B. in Handy Park. At 12:45 there will be a processional on Beale, beginning at Second and going east on Beale then turning right on Third.

The Molly Ringwalds headline the Peabody rooftop party tonight. Admission is $10 and includes a Creole buffet. Doors at 6, ladies free until 7.

Help a Downtown business win some small business grant money: Go here to vote for Downtown Candle Company.

Dr. Herman Green’s 85th birthday party is Sunday night at Blues City Cafe. Dr. Green has performed on Beale Street since the 1940s and currently performs with FreeWorld.

Tin Roof on Beale, a new live music joint, is officially open as of today.

That’s the news for today. I’ll be out at the usual spots after work.

Thank goodness for Gloria Gaynor

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May 202015

Last night I stopped by the Flying Saucer around 9:30. There is trivia there on Tuesdays at 7:30 and 10. Graham who runs the event was running short on people to play the late game, so he asked me to do him a favor and join the late game as a team of one. I haven’t played trivia at the Saucer since 2012, but I figured, why not? After all, I won as a team of one back in 2005, and that win led me to invite two of my neighbors, the beginning of the legendary Rapscallions team that is probably the all-time money leader at the Saucer. Let’s see how I did:

Photo May 19, 10 18 45 PM


Photo May 19, 10 38 21 PM

After question 15 (of 30, three rounds of 10) I saw no need to continue. There were a ton of movie questions and that is my weak subject.

Congratulations to Memphis Grizzlies forward Tony Allen, who has earned a place on the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the third time in his career.

There will be an International Ceviche Competition at Cafe Keough Sunday, June 7. Celebrity chefs from all over the city will compete to see who can create the best ceviche, a raw fish dish prepared with lemon or lime and spiced peppers. Having lived in San Diego where it was served at damn near every restaurant, I can tell you it is GOOD if you have never tried it. Admission is $15 and along with ceviche sampling, you get live music and drink specials. Part of the proceeds benefit Church Health Center.

There was a media sampling of Capriccio’s new modern Southern comfort lunch menu yesterday. That’s comfort food inspired by the South, not food made with the alcoholic beverage Southern Comfort, although that would be a good menu too. I didn’t make it to the tasting due to my job in Horn Lake, but Holly did and she has lots of good photos.

I worked from home this afternoon, so I am out a bit early today. Time for a PBR!