Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis site redesigned

I’ve been sitting here at Sleep Out’s for the past two hours, banging away on the laptop. Pam is sitting here with me. Pam has a tube top on. Anyway, I’ve spent most of yesterday and today working on a redesign for the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis site – go check it out, it’s a lot better than the original created-in-a-lunch-hour design. Our core objectives now have a link from the main page, and there’s also links to information about who we are, accomplishments so far, and police contact numbers. We now have a site that can grow with us.

What I did last night: Hung out on the rooftop of my apartment building with neighbors and friends. Went to the Saucer. Went to Pat O’s. Went to Raiford’s. I didn’t have my usual Raiford’s attire – had a black polo shirt and shorts and sandals on – but I discovered that I could still dance. Today I discovered that I had a hole in my sandal – good thing I didn’t dance on any broken bottles. I’m going to have to find out where there’s another Payless Shoe Store now that the downtown one has closed.

Plans for today: Sit at Sleep Out’s. Drink champagne. Play NTN Trivia. At some point later in the day there will probably be visits to the Saucer and Big Foot as well.

Memories of my childhood: the air-conditioning wars

I was reading Charly’s blog this morning and she was complaining that her roommate is running up the electric bill by keeping the thermostat at 67 degrees. Heh. That’s exactly where my thermostat been set for most of the past month.

It reminded me of the battles I used to have with my grandmother, growing up in Little Rock in the late 1970s, back in the era when tube tops were “in” the first time. (The fact that they went “out” in the ’80s makes me think the ’80s weren’t as great as everyone believes they were.) Every March and April it would happen. We’d have a warm spell and the temps outside would kick up into the low to mid 80s, and it would begin to get uncomfortably hot inside the house. And the arguments would begin.

“Grandmama, I’m hot. Let’s turn on the air.”

“Paul, we don’t need the air on. It isn’t that warm in here.”

“I’m looking at a thermometer. It’s 80 degrees inside.”

“Well, 80 isn’t that bad.”

“It is to me. Especially when all we have to do is flip a switch and it’ll be comfortable.”

“Why don’t you open a door, or a window? That’ll cool you off.”

“Grandmama, it’s 84 outside. Opening a window and letting 84-degree air into an 80-degree house won’t cool it down, it’ll make it even hotter.”

“The wind is blowing. The breeze will blow in through the window.”

“That doesn’t matter! It’s still going to be blowing in 84-degree air! It’s simple physics! You can’t cool down a house by opening a window and letting in warmer air.”

“Paul, it’s March. It’s too early to think about turning on the air. Besides, you never know, it could be snowing next week.”

“Who cares what month it is? It’s HOT in here! If it gets cold next week, we’ll turn the heat back on. It’s not like we’re making a lifelong commitment to air conditioning. We can flip the switch back and forth from air to heat whenever we feel like it.”

“You know, back when I was your age we didn’t have air conditioning at all. Not in March, not even in August. But we were able to make do.” (“Make do” was a phrase my grandmother used frequently.)

“But it’s not ‘back then’ anymore – things are BETTER now! We have access to a tool that can keep us comfortable year ’round. It’s silly to have that capability and not use it.”

“Oh, Paul. Think about what President Carter has been saying. He’s been asking the country to conserve energy by setting their air conditioners to 78.”

“Okay… it’s 80 in here now. Let’s at least turn the air on and set it to 78. Although, even that’s not my idea at all of a comfortable indoor temperature. And when did you become an environmentalist anyway? You certainly weren’t a couple of weeks ago when it was cold outside, and you cranked up the heat. Didn’t President Carter say we should set the thermostat to 65 when heating?”

“Paul, air conditioning is expensive. Think of what we’ll be doing to the electric bill.”

“Turning on the air in March to cool this place down a couple of degrees surely wouldn’t add more than 50 cents. It’s not like we need to leave it on all day. Isn’t it worth 50 cents to be comfortable?”

“Oh, Paul.”

That was her answer to everything. “Oh, Paul.” And the air stayed off.

A few hours later my mother would come home from work. I’d try to recruit her as an ally in the air conditioning war.

“Mama, let’s turn the air on. It’s hot. Grandmama won’t turn it on.”

“Oh, Paul.” (Here we go again.) “Why don’t you open a door, or window?”

“It’s hotter outside than it is in here. That won’t help.”

“Well, why don’t you go get a cold rag and put it around your neck to cool off. Or pour yourself a nice, refreshing glass of ice water.”

“Why can’t we just turn the air on?”

“Paul, please. Be considerate.”

“Be considerate? Why can’t she be considerate? It’s 80 degrees in here… no, wait, it’s gone up to 82. You can’t tell me you’re not hot. Find me one normal person who thinks 82 degrees is a comfortable indoor temperature. Surely your office doesn’t keep the thermostat set that high.”

“Paul, you have to learn to compromise.”

“How is doing things 100% her way a compromise? I did try to compromise. I suggested we turn the air on and set it to 78, like President Carter suggests. Whereas, if I had it my way I’d turn on the air and set it to 72. I was willing to meet her more than halfway.”

“Paul, you’re not being fair.”

This kind of stuff went on for years. I almost never won the battles to get the air turned on, simply because I was a kid and had to mind the adults who supposedly knew better than I did.

The next week, it once again got uncomfortably hot in the house. But the temperatures outside had returned to normal for March in Little Rock, mid to upper 60s. I opened a door and a window to cool off.

A few minutes later, my grandmother walked into the living room. “Paul, what are you doing? It’s freezing outside! Shut that door! And the window!”

“Grandmama, it’s not freezing. The weatherman on TV just said it was 68 outside. It’s 80 in here. Today is a day when it makes sense to open the doors and windows – cooler air will come in and cool the place off, and we won’t have to spend any money on air conditioning.”

“68 is way too cold to be opening doors and windows.”

“Why do you think they call 68 ‘room temperature?'”

“Paul, you can’t tell me that most people keep their house at 68 degrees.”

“Maybe not all do. But no normal people think 80 is comfortable!”

“I’m sick and tired of hearing about ‘normal’ people. Now close that door and that window!”

The next day: Once again, 68 degrees outside, and getting hot inside. I was in the living room, and my grandmother was back in her room. I walked to the thermostat and turned on the air.

“PAUL!!! Did you just turn the air on?”

“No, Grandmama, that’s the heat. I was getting cold.”

“Oh… well, that’s okay, I guess.”

Twenty minutes passed. “Paul, are you sure that’s the heat? It feels like it’s getting colder in here.”

“Hold on, I’ll check… Whoops, you know what, you were right. I accidentally flipped the switch the wrong way and turned the air on.”

“Well, turn it off.”

So I turned it off. But in those 20 minutes I had managed to cool the place down from an unpleasant 80 to a much more livable 75. So I won that round.

Now I’m an adult, I live by myself, and I don’t have to argue with people every time I adjust the thermostat. My summer electric bills run about $65 a month. I could probably cut them to $45 if I left the air on 77 rather than 67. And if I turned the air off during the day while I’m at work. And if I didn’t turn the air on at the beginning of March and leave it running until well into November.

But you know what? It’s worth that twenty bucks a month to be comfortable. I sleep better. I get more done when I’m home. After being imprisoned in a damn cubicle all day, I at least get the reward of coming home to a cool apartment. In my mind, that’s money well spent.

All right… got a busy day ahead of me… gotta rebuild the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website so that it doesn’t look like it was built in a lunch hour. But before I do that, I’m going to sit in my 67-degree apartment for a while and watch some TV.

The lunchtime post I didn’t think would happen: car inspection, tube tops, and Krystal

– My car passed inspection!!!! I was really wondering whether it would – last year it barely came in under the standard for hydrocarbons. And it’s 12 years old. And I’m about 1,000 miles past when I should have had an oil change. But, surprisingly, it performed even better than last year, with the hydrocarbon emissions at less than half the standard. Glad to have that out of the way for another year. And I got in and out in only 30 minutes, so I have enough time left over to do a lunchtime post.

– Now. Let’s get down to business. I have a problem with Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that’s generally a very good source of information. I spend quite a bit of time on the site reading biographies and history. A lot of the trivia questions I get right are the results of having read Wikipedia. But this morning I pulled up a Wikipedia article and it’s just plain wrong. Very, very wrong, and the kind of false information this entry spreads is distressing.

Wikipedia writes, “A tube top is a shoulderless, strapless ‘tube’ that wraps the torso, not reaching higher than the armpits.” Okay, that all sounds good so far. But then it continues, “It is kept in place by elasticity or by a single strap that passes round the back of the neck and has both ends attached to the front of the tube.”

No. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!! If it has any straps at all, it’s NOT a tube top. The entire point of the tube top is that there are no straps holding it up, and therefore there’s always the chance that it might not stay up. Add a strap and you take away the hopes and dreams of everyone who appreciates tube tops as much as I do.

I’m disappointed in Wikipedia. They need to do a little more fact checking.

– As I was sitting in the inspection line, I thought to myself, now that I live downtown and am able to walk to bars and clubs, there’s one thing that has been missing in my life. And that thing is the run to Krystal on the drive home after a night out on the town. Now, Krystal’s little square mini-burgers are pretty gross, I’ll grant you that. But Chili Cheese Pups… YUMMMMMMM. I can eat some Chili Cheese Pups. Those things are goooooood at 3 in the morning.

And while their little burgers are nasty, they used to have a full-sized burger on their menu which was not only topped with bacon, but a slice of ham as well. Now that’s some good eatin’ right there. I think it was called the Big K. But I just checked their website and it looks like it has been replaced by something called the B.A. Burger, which can be ordered with bacon but not ham.

I haven’t been to Krystal in over 5 years. I’ll have to drive through there sometime and check out the new B.A. Burger, and maybe a Chili Cheese Pup as well.

– Now I’m hungry. And I don’t have time to go back out. Maybe I’ll hit the cafeteria here at the School Board. I stayed away from it for a long time, but finally I broke down and tried it, and it’s not half bad. And reasonable. One day for breakfast I ordered a salmon croquette, some hash browned potatoes, and a biscuit. The cost? A mere buck ninety-five. Another day I got a huge hunk of lasagna for lunch, along with green beans and a roll, for $3.05.

I think they’re serving fried chicken today though. They had it yesterday too. Why do people in the South think fried chicken is, like, the greatest thing ever? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll drive through KFC or hit Gus’s once in a while. But I don’t want to eat it every day. Even once a week is a bit much. I’m surprised the people who work here don’t walk down the hall clucking, as much chicken as they eat in the cafeteria.

– Anyway… lunch break is over. Back to work. Maybe I’ll post a “what’s going on this weekend” post later in the day if I have time.

Best downtown bum story ever

I just realized, I promised you a good story about one of the bums downtown, and I never delivered.

Last week, when I was at the South Main Association meeting, one of the members took me out to the building’s back door and pointed across Mulberry to an old shed next to a dumpster. He explained that one of the local crackheads, who goes out on the streets every day and bums money from people to support his habit, lives in the shed. “He even has electricity in there,” the SMA member explained. “He has it wired up from the building next door. The landlord of the building lets him get away with it.”

But it gets better.

“You’re kidding,” I said. “He’s out on the streets doing his ‘help the homeless?’ line all day, when in fact he has a place to live and he even has electricity?”

“Oh, yeah,” said the SMA member. “Last December, he even put up Christmas lights.”

A bum with Christmas lights. Now I’ve heard everything.

(I’m sitting here, realizing I need to hit the Publish Post button, shut down the computer and get out of here or I’m going to be late to work. But it’s Tube Top Month. I can’t make a post during June without referencing tube tops in some way. But how the f&?k do I relate tube tops to a bum who puts up Christmas lights?)

I can’t wait until December, so I can grab my camera and head down to the South Main district and take some pics of his lights. But right now it’s June. There are currently no Christmas lights up anywhere. So I’ll have to take pictures of tube tops instead.

(That was awful, but it’s getting so late that I’m gonna have to do 50 down Union to get to work on time.)

Just checked my tracker that counts this blog’s visitors. My number of hits is well above average for this point in the day… guess the word is getting out that this is now the place to go for the latest gossip on Z-list celebrities like Master Polo.

Have a good Thursday, gotta run…

Drunk post

So tonight I was DEAD tired when I got home. I just wanted to go out, have a nice dinner, and come home and crash. Being in the mood for Mexican, I went to Rio Loco. Had the shrimp nachos. And while there I noticed that Rio Loco has $6 happy hour jumbo margaritas. So I had one. Then I went to Big Foot and had a 34 oz. beer. Then I felt compelled to have another one for some reason (the bartender asked, “Paul, another beer?”) Then Mendi who leaves her debit card all over town left most of her 34 oz. beer and I couldn’t let it go to waste. Then I went to the Saucer and had a Fire Sale with my former student Naseera and her friend Mary. Naseera promised to make out with me at some point in the future for watching their purses while they went to the restroom. Naseera also admitted to me that she thinks about boffing half the waitresses at the Saucer. Nice to know that Naseera and I see eye to eye about some things.

Okay, let’s pick up where we left off last time. So I was in the coffee shop today, doing my lunchtime post. Afterward I walked around and looked at the bulletin boards.

“Host an international exchange student in your home. 901-555-xxxx”

I whipped out my cell phone and dialed. “Hello? Yes. I’d like to place an order for a Romanian, please!

“Oh, they’re high school students? It didn’t say that on the ad. Sorry, no jailbait. Thanks anyw… wait. Wait wait. These high school students… are any of them seniors? Or whatever they call the last year in Romania. Are any of them 18? Can you send one of those?

“You can? Fantastic. My address is 10 South Main, Apar… what? Radu? You’re sending me someone named Radu? You’re sending me a GUY???! What kind of pervert do you think I am… never mind, just cancel the whole thing, forget I called.” (click)

So tonight I went out to Big Foot among other places. Mendi who has now been mentioned in this blog several times came in. She told me that the elusive Master Polo was indeed at Raiford’s Saturday night, but he wanted to keep his identity secret, so he didn’t attempt to meet me. Dude. I totally understand. If I had been a pro wrestler in the 1980s, do you think I would have unmasked Mil Mascaras? Or Mr. Wrestling II? Or The Masked Superstar? Or The Super Destroyer? Although, the Super Destroyer got unmasked eventually and was revealed as Scott “Hog” Irwin. And his brother “Wild Bill” Irwin was Super Destroyer II. But anyway, point is… Master Polo, I would like to know who you are. You are a Z-list celebrity, after all. If you don’t want the blog to know who you are, understood. I won’t reveal you.

I also got to meet Mendi’s friend Meredith. Meredith had on one of those tops that tied around her neck and she commented, “If I untied it, it would be a tube top!” Sigh. I went through this with Carmel last year. Same shit, different year. The lengths I go through to educate you people. Meredith, you know how many days left you have to get it right before Tube Top Month comes to an end.

By the way… 20 days into Tube Top Month and Carmel has not worn a tube top yet. What’s up with that?

In other news… still haven’t found a Razorback tube top for Charly. If anyone can help out let me know.

When I planned this post in my head it was 4 times as long, but I need to get some sleep so I’ll be prepared for the Dempseys at the Saucer tomorrow. No lunchtime post tomorrow because I have to run my car through the inspection line. It’s 12 years old. I hope it passes.

Falling asleep as I type… gotta go…

Wednesday update

I’m hung over. This post is probably going to suck.

As usual, I’m sitting in Otherlands using their Wi-Fi to make my usual lunchtime post. Kinda hungry for a burger. Let’s see what they have on their menu… “Veggie burger (choose a Garden or Boca burger).” Hmmm. Yeah. I think I’ll be hitting Burger King’s drive-thru on the way back to work.

The new Memphis Flyer is out… let’s see what we’ve got this week. Leon Gray’s show on Progressive Talk 680 AM got cancelled! Wow. When I worked in East Memphis I used to listen to his show every afternoon on the drive home. Now that I work in Midtown the drive is too short to even bother turning on the radio, so I wasn’t aware he was gone. Apparently mum’s the word from the station manager. Anyone got the 411 on why Leon left? E-mail me if you do. I won’t mention it on the blog if you don’t want, just curious as a Leon fan and progressive radio listener.

There’s a musical at Playhouse on the Square called “Urinetown.” This is probably a musical about the Main Street Mall, which reeks of urine because the bums use vacant storefronts as their own personal bathrooms. The horses that pull the carriages urinate on the mall too, but the carriage drivers carry buckets of soapy water to clean up after the horses. Nobody cleans up after the bums.

Mpact Memphis is having its After Hours on the rooftop of The Lofts, Tennessee at GE Patterson, next Wednesday at 6 PM, with music by The Glass. I haven’t done anything with Mpact in a while but this event sounds pretty cool. I guess I’ll check it out. I wonder if I’ll be the only one who shows up in shorts. I can’t help but think back to the event Mpact did at AutoZone Park last June, where I wore a T-shirt and shorts and everyone else was wearing “business casual” attire or suits despite the fact that the event was outdoors and it was, like, 99 degrees. Being comfortable is more important to me than projecting the image of a “young professional.” I’m a young un-professional. They better have alcohol at this event.

I really like my horoscope for this week in the Flyer. I’d post it but it would take too long to type and besides, posting and commenting on horoscopes is Kat’s thing. Kat is a fellow Scorpio. Liana the blond Romanian who was here last summer is a fellow Scorpio (we actually share the same birthday). The Most Annoying Woman On The Planet is a fellow Scorpio, and I’m tempted to type a few comments on her Scorpio traits, but again, it would take too long.

Quick recap of events at the Saucer last night: My Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis co-founder Mike King presented me with a framed copy of last week’s Flyer article about our organization and my blog. His dad had it framed for me. Thanks Mike, and Mike’s dad.

Let’s see… what else happened… I ran into Mendi, who put “I made Downtown Paul’s blog!” on her MySpace page last week. She was there to pick up her debit card, which she apparently loses all the time. I just took another look at her MySpace page… under “Heroes,” she lists Raiford. This girl is cool. We gotta hang out sometime.

Our trivia team turned in a poor performance last night, but then, a lot of the questions just plain sucked. There were almost no pop-culture questions, nullifying the Nuh-Uh Girl’s contribution to the team. Trivia Guy did a “here’s a world map, identify the marked country” question and it was Iraq. I was shocked how many people didn’t know it was Iraq. Hasn’t anyone watched the news in the past three years?

One of the bartenders recommended a good beer mixer – a chocolate cherry. Half Young’s Double Chocolate, half Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Haven’t tried one yet but it sounds pretty good.

And lunch hour is over. My plan was to start work on a redesign of Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis’ website with links to our objectives, accomplishments and all that stuff, but what did I do instead? Spent an hour typing this crap-fest of a post. Oh well. Pam e-mailed and requested that I post some new reading material on my blog, and since Pam’s profile pic on her MySpace page is a pic of her in a tube top, how could I say no. Back to the cubicle for an exciting afternoon of figuring out why my Page_Load event and my Button_Click event are conflicting. There’s an ad on the back of the Flyer that says, “Make your computer problem, our problem.” My computer problem is that I have to sit in a damn cubicle all afternoon when I’d rather be at a bar. Perhaps I should call this guy and see if he’ll come sit in the cubicle for me. Anyway, I’m outta here. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday…

Thank-you post

Two weeks ago, when I was trying desperately to get the word out about crime downtown, my friend and fellow blogger AngieDawn sent out an e-mail, containing the crime posts and a link to my blog, to 70 Memphians. That e-mail led to interest from Channel 5 and other organizations, and led to us getting the attention and exposure we needed to get Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis off the ground.

Angie now lives in California, but when she lived here she did a lot of good work to promote Memphis and make it a better place to live. She and I worked together on several projects in Mpact Memphis. Since moving to Cali, Angie has obtained her MBA and is now a successful, profitable online entrepreneur. As thanks for all her help, I would like to list some of the shopping sites she runs, and I’d like to ask my readers to consider purchasing from her sites, as thanks for her help for spreading the word about our fight against crime. Purchases from all of these sites are 100% secure.

Fashion sites:

  • is a great place to buy designer handbags by Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and more! All orders receive free shipping and returns, and come with a 110% price guarantee and a 365 day return policy.
  • offers shoes for the entire family. ShoeSaurus carries all sizes and brands that you’ve seen at other stores, but it also offers free shipping, free returns, no sales tax, and a 110% price guarantee.
  • is your one stop shop for Lacoste Women’s Shoes. You’ll get a great selection, free shipping, free returns, and a 110% price guarantee!
  • If you’re looking for reviews on the latest summer wedges and espadrilles, you should check out Shoes features include Michael Kors, Anne Klein, Kenneth Cole, and more!

Technology site:

  • helps users to find and purchase the web hosting plan that best fits their needs. It’s especially good for bloggers or those who would like to create their own homepage. Plans start at less than $5 a month.

Those are only about 5 of the 15 shopping sites that Angie has created. You can see them all at, and you can also go there to keep up with her latest adventures in L.A., Memphis, Italy, or wherever she happens to be.

Hey Angie, how about a tube top e-store for my readers?

Monday update

(Note: I made a slight correction to the info about the Goodwyn party, see below.)

– First and foremost: Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis now has their core objectives posted online. Mike King and I worked for hours on these objectives yesterday. Check them out – go to the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website and click on the link that says “news section.” If you have any questions or comments about the objectives, shoot us an e-mail at

– Next up: Got a one-question quiz for you. Someone forwarded this to me in an e-mail this morning.

There’s a well-known company that has slightly over 500 employees. It has the following statistics:

  • 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are current defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the past year

Can you guess the identity of this company? Answer at the end of this post.

– I wouldn’t be a good downtown blogger if I didn’t post a pigeon pic every now and then. Today I was walking to Jack’s Food Store and I saw this unusually-marked pigeon in Court Square:

Definitely different-looking from the usual gray-and-black (-and-purple-and-green) pigeons that we see every day. There must be some white doves or other white birds in his ancestry. Despite the different look, he was still as annoying as all the other pigeons in the park.

Attn The Most Annoying Woman On The Planet: The pigeons request that you come stand in the middle of Court Square, so that they’ll look good by comparison.

Saturday night I went to Raiford’s. I didn’t want to deal with the crowd downtown that had come to see the boxing match, so I got to Raiford’s at 10:30 and parked myself there for the night. What I discovered: Raiford’s isn’t so much fun when you go by yourself. About 2 in the morning my buddies showed up and from then on I had a great time. I danced with a girl in a white tube top. I had my usual outfit (maroon sequined shirt with matching pimp hat, sunglasses, and platform shoes) on. I need to get a pic of that to post on the blog. Maybe I’ll make that my new profile pic.

When I got home, I checked the archives of the OttoCam to see what the cruisers had been up to. It wasn’t as busy as I expected, but the streets did get congested for a while. Here are some pics:

12:23 AM Saturday morning. Intersection of Front and Peabody Place is in the foreground, with Front and Beale farther back. Note the white Monte Carlo turning left from Front onto Peabody Place.

12:24 AM: The white Monte Carlo has made about one car length of progress.

12:25 AM: Again, the Monte Carlo has moved forward by less than a car length. This is how bad the streets get clogged up on Saturday nights. If it were all people trying to get somewhere it would be one thing, but that’s not the case – at least half these people are cruisers, just driving around for the fun of it.

1:05 AM: The streets are still jammed.

1:07 AM: The cops finally shut down the intersection and…

1:09 AM: …things are back to normal.

A friend of mine who lives in Gayoso House, who was returning from an event in Midtown Saturday night, told me that it took her 30 minutes to get into her parking garage once she got downtown because of all the cruiser-related congestion. Once inside, she was treated to the thundering sounds of car stereos for hours and hours, making it impossible to sleep.

One thing I’d like to do is go over there some Saturday night with my digital camera, which is also a voice recorder. I’d like to record how loud the stereos are, from inside an apartment, and post the recording on the Residents for a Safer Downtown Memphis website. I’d also like to start a campaign within the Gayoso where all of the residents of that building who are disturbed by car stereos on Saturday night call the downtown precinct (525-9800) and report violations of the noise ordinance. Inundate the police with calls so they understand how fed up that building’s residents are with the cruising. And if the police can’t clean it up, then have all of the residents call their City Council representative (I won’t post his phone number here, but I have it and will give it to people individually) and complain until something is done.

A few events coming up this week:

Wednesday: I’ve been forgetting to remind people that LoLo’s Table on Monroe does Wine Wednesday every week. They select a different red and white wine each week, and sell them for $12 a bottle or $4 a glass. They also select appetizers that complement the wines and put those on special too. This is a good choice for a mid-week date. Don’t know if I’ll be there, but nonetheless I recommend it.

Thursday: Reception where you can get info about the condos in the Goodwyn Building, at the corner of Madison and Second. The condos are currently under development, but they’ll have plenty of information and presentations so you can get a feel for what the interior will look like. Reception will be held in my building (10 S. Main) from 5 to 8 PM. (Correction: I had initially said this would be on the rooftop, but it looks like a different party – a private party – will be on the roof, so I’m guessing this will be in the lobby. Just want to make sure no one shows up at the wrong party) The developers restoring these condos are the same ones who restored No. 10 Main, so I have no doubt they’ll do an excellent job. They’ll have free appetizers and booze, so it goes without saying that I’ll be there for this one.

Thursday: The Dempseys, at the downtown Flying Saucer. Show starts at 9:30.

Between the Goodwyn party and the Dempseys, I probably won’t make it to the Peabody rooftop at all this week. What’s the point in going up there for an hour and then leaving? Although, people do it. Every week, I see people lined up to pay cover at 9:15, when the event ends at 10. What’s the point? By the time you stand in the line for an entry ticket, stand in line for a drink ticket, and stand in line to get the drink, it’ll be over.

All right, let’s wrap this up. The well-known company I described at the beginning of this post, with 535 employees, is the United States Congress. 100 Senators and 435 Representatives. That’s their track record. Is it any wonder that Congressional job approval (according to RealClearPolitics) is at 25.8%?

Pics: Memphis Farmers Market

Click here to view the rest of the pictures

The Memphis Farmers Market is held at the Central Station Pavilion at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM through the end of October. For once on a Saturday I woke up early, so I rode my bike down there.

I didn’t snap a pic of every booth, but I tried to get pics of enough booths to show the variety that you will find at the market. One exception: there were some arts and crafts vendors there as well, but they had “no photos” signs in their booths, so I respected their wishes. I resized most of the photos to 800×600, except where there was fine detail I wanted to leave in: those I kept at 5-megapixel resolution.

Quote of the morning comes from Julie from Cafe Francisco, who has been reading my recent blog entries about crime and tube tops. “If there were more tube tops,” offered Julie, “perhaps there would be less crime.” I think she’s right. Smart lady.

Looks like not much exciting happened on the OttoCam at Front and Peabody Place last night, after reviewing his webcam archives for the past 24 hours. I guarantee you it’ll be busy tonight though, with a big boxing match downtown in addition to the usual Saturday night cruising. Once again, I would expect the busiest time to be 11 PM – 3 AM.

And that’s it for now. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

A window on downtown

I’m sitting here at the Saucer on my laptop. Didn’t intend to be working on the computer on a Friday night, but it was important to me to get the news section of the Residents of a Safer Downtown Memphis site up as soon as possible – and it just came up. Check it out. Besides, the Saucer is not a bad place to sit and work. A girl in a tube top keeps walking by, and of course the waitresses are here. Mikey is sitting here with me working on the site (now that this is back to being my personal blog, he’s “Mikey” again, not “Mike King”). We’re jokingly referring to the Saucer as “our office.” I think our office needs to hire a few Romanian employees.

One thing I mentioned in a post last week is that we have bought a video camera and plan to start using it to record crimes committed downtown. We plan to focus on two problems in particular which we see as gateways into other types of crime, areas which we feel are not currently being adequately addressed: panhandling and cruising.

To re-state a point I made in an earlier post, we’re going to record some of the shit that goes down in this area on the weekends. (Now that this is back to being my personal blog, I’m not inserting an asterisk in place of the “i”, and I’m not apologizing for foul language.) We’re going to record aggressive panhandlers cursing people out and following them down the street after they’ve said no. We’re going to record prostitution. We’re going to record violations of the noise ordinance. We’re going to record flagrant violations of traffic laws committed by cruisers. Then we’re going to make DVDs and send them to city leaders to convince them how out of control these situations are. We may put the videos on the web as well.

Well, since that idea came into being, we’ve received e-mails from people wanting to help. One of them has set up a webcam that overlooks the intersection of Front and Peabody Place: you can see the current image here, and the image is updated every two minutes. (You’ll have to hit F5 in your browser to refresh the image; it doesn’t automatically reload the page when a new image is captured.) You can also view all images taken over the last 24 hours by selecting from this index.

The intersection of Front and Peabody Place is in the foreground of the image, and farther back you can see the intersection of Front and Beale. This is prime cruising territory on the weekends, and it will be very interesting to see what the camera picks up. Unfortunately the webcam doesn’t have sound, so we won’t catch any noise violations. But I think it will give everyone downtown an idea how badly the cruisers snarl up traffic between about 11 PM and 3 AM, on Friday-Sunday nights and especially on Saturday.

We’ll see what happens. Happy weekend everybody…