May 312007
 

- BREAKING NEWS: City Councilman Rickey “Re-” Peete, the City Council member who was indicted last November on federal bribery charges, has resigned his Council seat. Peete had previously done two years in prison for a 1989 extortion charge (hence the Re-Peete nickname). For more details, check the CA’s website. See ya later Rickey, been nice knowing you. Don’t drop the soap!

- Joan from the Westin e-mailed to let me know that Di Anne Price will be appearing there not only the last Monday of every month for the Downtown neighbors’ event, but EVERY Monday from 5 to 9, in the lobby bar.

- There will be fireworks tomorrow night after the Redbirds game, since the ‘Birds weren’t in town over the Memorial Day weekend. Also, the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Championship trophy is at the park and available for public viewing through June 3.

- The dance troupe Project:Motion presents Bouncing Off: New Directions in Dance this weekend and next. The show will be at Theatreworks (2085 Monroe) Fri-Sat June 1-2 and Thur-Sat 7-9, and Sun June 3 and 10. One of the choreographers has been collaborating with Memphis poet IQ, so it promises to be an interesting show. Tickets are $15 adults and $10 students and seniors, except for the Saturday show which is $20 and includes “Cocktails & Conversation” after the performance. Thursday the 7th is buy one, get one free night. For more info or to buy tickets visit their website.

- Rooftop parties tonight: Tom, Dick and Harry at the Peabody; Daddy Mack Blues Band at the Madison; Garry Goin & G3 at EP Delta Kitchen.

- Let’s finish this post with a quiz: Which person in the photo below is best dressed?


I’ll even give you a hint: It’s definitely not the guy, because he’s wearing a necktie, one of the stupidest fashion ideas of all time and one that needs to be retired permanently. So it’s one of the other three. You’ve got a 33% chance of guessing it right.

Answer to be posted tomorrow.
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Drunk food

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May 312007
 

This is a drunk post. I planned to make it to Pearl’s tonight but ended up staying at the Saucer. Useful information: Tomorrow night there’s a band called Tangerine Panties playing. It will not be the first time I’ve seen tangerine panties there.

So I left the Saucer about 9 and remembered that the Not-Yo-Crawfish is now on EP’s dinner menu. Before, you had to wait until 11 to get it. The Lobster Pronto Pup and the Duck Quesadilla (which I’ve been told is da bomb, haven’t had it yet) have moved to the dinner menu as well. So I’m sitting here wiping Not-Yo-Crawfish (crawfish nachos over sweet potato tortilla chips) off my hands in order to type this. 8 bucks and it’s enough food to feed two.

May 302007
 

- The annual Italian Fest at Marquette Park is this weekend, running from Thursday, May 31 to Saturday, June 2. Italian Fest is a little like BBQ Fest in that there are cooking teams, and it’s more fun if you know people on the teams and get invited into their booths. However, it’s still possible to have a lot of fun even if you don’t know the teams.

Pink Floyd cover band Pulse will play the festival Thursday night… but I just found out they won’t be taking the stage until sometime around 9:30 or 9:45. They tell me it will be a short set and they’ll be playing most of Floyd’s most recognizable hits. I know that’s a little late for people with 8-to-5 jobs, but if you can stay up that late, these guys are awesome. They’ve blown the crowds at Neil’s away this spring, and last month they played a blues fest at Helena, following Eric Burdon and the Animals on stage.

- The Starbucks in the Westin Hotel, on Third Street across from the FedExForum just south of Beale. Their door sign says they’ll stay open until 10 every night. So, you now have a place to get Starbucks downtown without being inside a noisy mall.

Of course, there are plenty of other places to get good coffee downtown – Bluff City Coffee in the South Main Arts District, Blues City Pastry at Main and Peabody, Memphis Coffee Exchange on Madison inside the Tobacco Bowl, and Cafe Francisco in the Pinch. All of these places offer free wireless Internet (unlike Starbucks, which charges for theirs).

- Plans for tonight: I’ll probably work on the online store I’m building for an hour or two after I get done with the rat race for the day, then I’ll head out. I’ve been wanting to try Pearl’s Oyster House, which I still haven’t been to since the official opening. I’ve heard that the owner and staff are super friendly and that lots of Downtowners hang out in the downstairs bar. So, I think I may stop by the Saucer around 7 to see who shows up for “Buy the Beer, Keep the Glass” night (it’s Sleeman Creme Ale) and see if I can recruit anyone for a drink at Pearl’s after they get their glass. If not, I’ll head down there by myself.

Tons of pics to post soon, but as usual, I have to find the time to download them from the camera.

Crime

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May 302007
 

Over the past week I’ve received a LOT of e-mails about the crime situation in Memphis – city-wide, not just downtown – and how it’s getting completely out of hand. People have asked me to post details of particular crimes, and use my blog to ask the people in power to do something.

I appreciate all the e-mails, and I sympathize with them. Only a few days ago I cautioned that the lax security on Beale Street was going to lead to problems, and sure enough there was an incident involving a gun down there this past weekend. I’m also aware of how bad crime has gotten in Midtown – friends of mine have been victims, and the situation there has definitely deteriorated over the past 12 months.

However, I CAN’T let this blog become “the crime blog” like it did for a couple of weeks last June. Some good results did come from it, but it took too much out of me and it felt like my blog wasn’t my own for a while. Besides, a blog isn’t the best way to draw attention to the issue on the Web – public forums/bulletin boards are, where everyone can post, not just one person.

I don’t have time to set up and administer forums (I’m swamped right now) but here are the basic steps if someone wants to pick up the idea and run with it:

1) Purchase a web hosting account – I use GoDaddy but there are many other good hosts out there if you have a different preference. This should cost no more than $7 a month. Make sure the account is capable of running PHP, a popular web scripting language. Register a domain name to associate with it.

2) Install phpBB on the new web hosting account. This is forum software which is very popular, easy to configure and free. There are other alternatives out there if you have different forum software that you like better than phpBB.

3) Once the forums are up and running, put the word out that the site is there. Encourage people to register for the forums and post their thoughts on crime in Memphis. Eventually the site will build a following and city leaders will have to pay attention to it – just like they did my blog last year – but this time they’ll be hearing MANY voices, not just mine.

If anyone decides to do this, a couple of recommendations: Don’t allow anonymous posting – require users to register and log in to post. Also, I recommend that you make it a policy to immediately remove any posts containing racist content, and to ban users who repeatedly make such posts. If you don’t see why this is necessary, pull up any of Thaddeus Matthews’ posts and take a look at what gets left in his comments section.

If anyone decides to do this, let me know – I’ll be happy to give you as much publicity as I can in my blog, and I’ll participate in the forums as a user/concerned citizen. That way everyone can have a say about crime, and I’ll be able to keep this blog as it currently is.

May 292007
 

(Before I get started: Apologies for not posting at lunchtime today. Over the weekend I’ve received several e-mails about the crime problem in Memphis, and I spent so long trying to figure out how to respond that I ended up not posting anything. My response to the crime e-mails will be posted later tonight or tomorrow morning.)

Last week I ran across one of the most interesting job-search sites I’ve ever seen. It’s called Climber and it describes itself as being like “dating for jobs.”


Visit Climber.com

(Click the banner to visit Climber’s site)

Here’s how it works: You, the job hunter, go to their site and fill out a profile in which you assess different aspects of yourself, your career life, and your ideal work environment. This is called your Career Fingerprint. Companies join the site and fill out a profile of their own, providing an accurate assessment of their corporate culture. This is called their Corporate DNA. Climber then matches individuals and companies who have compatible Career Fingerprints and Corporate DNA. Companies can then contact those individuals and request more information about them and/or an interview.

It’s said to be “like dating for jobs” because this is similar to how dating sites like eHarmony work: People fill out profiles, computers analyze the profiles for compatibility, and then offer compatible people the option of meeting.

The profiles are completely anonymous – your name is not revealed to any companies through Climber until you choose to give them that information. Also, it’s free for individuals to fill out a Career Fingerprint and see which companies they match.

Unlike most job-hunting sites, Climber positions its services toward “passive job-hunters” – people who are already employed and aren’t actively searching for work. It’s more for people looking to find a BETTER job than it is for people looking to find A job. It’s always been my opinion that everyone should passively job hunt (this is why I encourage people to keep a current resume online and make sure Google has spidered it). That’s how you see quantum leaps in your income in your income and job satisfaction in just a few short years, instead of settling for the rat race and 3% raises. I’ll have more to say about this in a couple of weeks.

Really cool idea… the founders of Climber thought way outside the box on this one. I like it.

May 282007
 

A few days ago, I mentioned that tonight, and the last Monday of every month, will be Downtown night at the Westin’s bar from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, a chance for Downtowners to socialize and get to know their neighbors, with happy hour drink prices and complimentary hors d’ouevres.

Well, I’ve since been given an update about the event – the fabulous Di Anne Price will be performing, so now there’s even more reason to go. Di Anne is one of Downtown’s favorite musicians, and regularly entertains crowds at venues like Cielo, Cheesecake Corner and Downtown Huey’s. Should be a perfect way to wrap up a long weekend.

Sunday was fun day as expected… we started at the Majestic for brunch, then took the show to the Saucer and then EP’s patio. Best part of the day was throwing Frisbee on the grass on MLGW’s lawn. Some of the crew is going skydiving today and invited me along, an invitation to which I quickly replied “HELL no.” I’ll catch up with them later today.

That’s all for now… have a great Memorial Day everyone.

Attn cooks

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May 272007
 

I know that on this long Memorial Day weekend, many of my downtown neighbors who are good cooks plan on serving up a delicious meal for their family and friends. Well, for those cooks I have some valuable, important information for you.

Jack’s Food Store, on Main Street just north of Jefferson, is selling Cheese Enchilada Hamburger Helper for 50% off. Seriously, I’m not making that up. How often do you get to treat your loved ones to a gourmet dish like Cheese Enchilada Hamburger Helper, AND save 50% at the same time? It’s almost too good to be true.

With the money you’ll save, you’ll have extra change to give to the bum who’ll hit you up for a “donation” 10 feet outside the front door, or the other bum who’ll hit you up 20 feet outside the front door.

Look for it in a cart across the aisle from the beer cooler, with a sign reading “everything in this cart 50% off.” Did I mention that the Hamburger Helper is flavored by spices from Old El Paso? It just gets better and better doesn’t it.

DAMN! My favorite blogger/MILF went to Sunset Symphony last night, and she had a tube top on! I knew I should’ve gone! That’s the trouble with Downtown – we have so many balconies/rooftops, etc. from which to watch the fireworks, that we don’t actually go down to the park. In 2008 I’m going.

Cruising

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May 272007
 

According to the clock on my DVR, it’s 3:13 AM as I type this. I can see the corner of Second and Monroe from my living room window, and the intersection is jam-packed with cruisers. And they’ve all decided to honk their horns at each other. Now and then I can hear a stereo operating at full blast. Keep in mind that my apartment is half a block away from the intersection, and 13 stories up. And I can STILL hear this racket.

I’m awake anyway so it doesn’t bother me, but I feel sorry for the poor people at the Holiday Inn Select and the Peabody who paid $150-300 a night or more to try and sleep through this.

May 262007
 

Last summer, Beale Street security had the street blocked off on the weekends from 9 until close. Security personnel at the entrances checked every person’s ID and wanded them with a metal detector to make sure they weren’t carrying weapons. It was a little bit of a hassle and it made the lines to get on the street longer, but it was well worth it to feel safe.

Last Saturday night after BBQ Fest, two friends and I had drinks at EP’s, then walked on to Beale about 12:45 to head to the Tap Room. There was security at the entrance, but he waved us right in without carding us, and there was no metal detector.

Now, it doesn’t bother me that much that we were waved in – all three of us are obviously old enough, and we’ve been seen on Beale for years and the guards know our faces. But this guy also waved in the ten people in front of and behind us, only stopping to check the IDs of people who clearly didn’t look anywhere near 21. I thought the rule was, if they look under 30 you’re supposed to check IDs?

Also, the lack of metal detectors bothered me. When I came out of the Tap Room about 2 in the morning, I looked around at the crowd and I can just about GUARANTEE you a few of those people were carrying weapons. Last year, they never would have gotten on the street.

Maybe security was just overwhelmed by the BBQ Fest crowd and didn’t have the manpower to do everything they needed to last weekend. I’ll try to go back to Beale this weekend or next and see if the situation has improved. But if what I saw last Saturday was any indication, security needs to get it together, or there are going to be problems on the street this summer.