Wednesday update: Italian Fest, Pink Floyd, Starbucks, Pearl’s

– 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.