Thursday update: vacation so far, this weekend

I signed a new lease on my apartment yesterday. That’s a huge relief. I had been worried that my building would go condo, or jack the rent up since it’s one of the few remaining apartment buildings downtown. But they signed me up for another year at the same rent I’ve been paying since 2003. So I’m a Downtowner until 2007 at least.

This has been a great vacation week. People have asked me, “Why don’t you take a road trip? Go out of town for a few days?” But the thing is, I don’t need to or want to. There is no place where I’m happier than Downtown Memphis. I have places I enjoy hanging out, and an abundance of wonderful friends.

Monday night I actually made an excursion outside of downtown. I had been at the Saucer that afternoon working on my laptop, and one of the waitresses asked me, “What are you doing tonight? I want to go to Bluegrass Night at the Buccaneer, and I need someone to go with.” Having never been to the Buc, I agreed. I’ve read good things about it in Rachel and the City and other blogs, and was curious. So about 11 she got off work, and we took my car out there. She drove, as I had been drinking beer since about 2 in the afternoon, and she got to watch in amusement as I turned my apartment upside down trying to find my parking pass, and then couldn’t find my car in the garage. But anyway, once we got to the Buc I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Small, dimly lit bar with a great band and reasonably priced PBR on tap. Definitely a place I’ll check out again in the future.

During the days this week I’ve been helping a local company make updates to their website. I know that doesn’t sound like much of a vacation, but I can take my laptop to local Wi-Fi enabled bars and do it there. And besides, I really like this company. They do architectural design and drafting, mechanical drafting, and 3-D and 4-D CAD work, and they have a business model that allows them to deliver top-quality work to their clients at less than half the usual cost. Check out their samples page – that’s mainly what I’ve been working on this week. If you know of any architects or anyone in the design business, they need to take a look at this site.

So what are the plans for the rest of my vacation? Nothing definite for tonight. The Rapscallions are again hitting TJ Mulligan’s for their trivia night tonight, but I spent 6 hours playing NTN at Sleep Out’s yesterday and am absolutely trivia’d out for a few days. Besides, for some reason I just can’t get into Mulligan’s. It doesn’t hold the same appeal as my Holy Trio of downtown bars – Sleep Out Louie’s, the Flying Saucer, and the Tap Room.

Tomorrow it looks like I’ll be hitting the South Main Trolley Art Tour with fellow blogger Kat. Kat has never been to the art tour and I have to teach her how to sniff out free wine at the galleries.

Saturday day there’s a Psychic Fair at the Mt. Moriah Holiday Inn, and I’ll probably swing by and see what’s going on there. I don’t talk about it much in this blog, but I am actually quite interested in this stuff and have read quite a few books about it. Here’s a link to the info about the fair. The Holiday Inn is right off I-240 Exit 17, near the Mt. Moriah Center for the Performing Arts.

Saturday night… undecided on this one. There’s a Soul Party at the Hi-Tone. I went to the last one, and was struck by two things: 1) how incredibly good the ’60s vintage soul music was, and 2) how I knew almost no one there. I’ll figure it out between now and then. If I don’t head to Midtown for the Soul Party, I may do the next best thing and hit Raiford’s. Haven’t been there in several months, and if I go to Raiford’s I don’t have to drive.

And of course, then there’s Sunday brunch at Sleep Out’s to cap off a near-perfect week.

In the meantime, I have simpler pleasures to enjoy. Like taking a bunch of crackers over to Court Square and feeding the pigeons. And I have my downtown lunch spots to hit this week. I’m thinking it’s going to be Erika’s today for some good German food, and then tomorrow I’ll hit Culinary Productions, where it’s usually salmon or some other fish on Fridays.

Couple of other random notes:

– I read in the paper yesterday that Thomas Boggs of Huey’s fame and the chef at Tsunami have teamed up to lease the old Cafe Samovar location, and will be opening a new restaurant there. No info about what type of restaurant yet, but the current sous chef at Tsunami will be running the kitchen.

– Any veterinarians read this blog? Last night I was talking to a friend, discussing a business idea he had. He wanted to bounce ideas off veterinarians or other people who work with animals, and asked if I knew anyone. Surprisingly, I don’t. I had a former student who was going to vet school, but I haven’t seen her in 4 years. So I figured I’d try to use the Power of the Blog to see if anyone can help. E-mail me (paul at paulryburn dot com) if you can.

And that’s the mid-vacation update… the bars open in less than an hour, guess I better shower and get dressed.