Tuesday update: Orpheum art auction, Downtown Night at the Westin review, Chris Benoit found dead

– The Orpheum will have their 12th annual art & antiques auction Sunday, July 1. See below for details:

As the poster above indicates, they’ll have a special preview Friday, June 29 from 6-7 as part of the South Main Trolley Art Tour, with free eats and booze. Should be a good time – last month’s Trolley Tour was probably the best I’ve seen in my five years Downtown. South Main is hopping these days and the Trolley Tours should keep getting better and better. If you go to the tour, keep in mind you’ll be walking around outside a lot as you go from gallery to gallery – it gets hot this time of year, so be sure to dress appropriately. A tube top is always a good choice.

– Another monthly event that is really hitting its stride is Downtown Night at the Westin, which was held last night. In only two months it has become exactly what the Westin envisioned – a night for Downtowners to come together and mingle and get to know one another. It was an elegant setting with delicious hors d’ouevres and drinks, and yet casual enough that I didn’t feel out of place in shorts. Exactly what I like Downtown to be. The next one will be Monday, July 30. Of course, if you don’t want to wait that long to check out the Westin lobby, Di Anne Price plays piano there every Monday night.

– Wow… shocking news from the pro wrestling world. “The Canadian Crippler” Chris Benoit was found dead yesterday at his home, along with his wife Nancy and their 7-year-old son. It is believed that Benoit killed his wife and son and then committed suicide.

Benoit isn’t the first prominent wrestler to die, but with most of them there was at least a history of instability and/or drug problems. With Benoit no one saw it coming. In fact, he was scheduled to win the ECW World Championship Sunday night on pay-per-view, which he no-showed due to “family problems.”

A bit of wrestling history… in 1996, Benoit was a young wrestler in WCW. The booker (writer) was also a wrestler, named Kevin Sullivan. Benoit’s wife Nancy was married to Sullivan at the time and was his valet, called “Woman.” Sullivan wrote a storyline where Benoit stole Woman away and Sullivan was out for revenge… but in this case the storyline became real. Nancy fell in love with Benoit in real life and divorced Sullivan. Since then Sullivan really has been out for revenge. The police are calling it a double murder-suicide, with Benoit being the suicide, but I wonder if Sullivan is somehow involved.

That’ll do it for now… time to get some work done. I’ll be at the Saucer tonight for team trivia.

Summertime money-making idea for Downtown’s bums

Ever walked the streets of Downtown when there’s even a 20% possibility of rain? All the bums will be out, carrying the rattiest-looking umbrellas on Earth. If as much as one drop falls from the sky, they’ll open their umbrellas and rush over to you. “Here, sir, let me keep you dry,” they’ll say as they hold the umbrella over your head. Then they’ll walk with you and tell you their sob story. “I ain’t had nothin’ to eat in about three days…”

Well, last night I was walking home, after an evening of drinking mimosas and hanging out with friends. About every 10 feet, I had to stop and scratch my legs – yep, it’s officially mosquito season. They’re everywhere. One of my friends, who had a tube top on, got several nasty bites on her back. As I walked home I noticed I wasn’t the only one stopping to scratch and slap mosquitoes away – everyone was doing it.

So, if I were a bum, I’d head to Walgreens and invest in a pocket-sized bottle of Off or Cutter, then walk around the streets and look for people trying to chase mosquitoes away. “Bug spray, sir?” Those bugs were making me absolutely MISERABLE last night and I gladly would’ve tipped a dollar for the chance to spray down my arms and legs – as annoying as the bums are, the mosquitoes are worse.

Today, I invested in some Cutter myself – got a value pack, a 6-ounce bottle and a bonus 1-ounce pocket-sized bottle. Think I’ll keep the 1-ouncer with me all the time for myself and my friends, and just use the 6-ouncer to refill the little one when it gets low. Unlike the bums, I don’t plan on charging… although, hmmm… maybe I should.

Don’t forget – Downtown Night at the Westin tonight

Downtown Night in the Westin lobby tonight, 5:30-7:30 PM – happy hour prices, free appetizers, Di Anne Price on the piano.

I’ll probably be there but not long – busy working all afternoon, will probably hit the Saucer around 5:45ish to have one beer, recruit people to go to the Westin, and to see if any of the other patrons have a tube top on. After that will hit the Westin for the last hour of their gig.

"38103" shirts back on sale

In past years many of you have seen me walking around in a 38103 T-shirt. 38103, of course, is the Downtown Memphis zip code, so it’s a way to represent downtown. A lot of people have asked me where I got the shirt – my friend Ryan made and sold them, but they’ve been unavailable for a while.

Well, they’re now available again. Ryan has created a 38103 CafePress store and is now selling the shirts from there. He has several varieties of men’s and women’s shirts available, as well as coffee mugs. Unfortunately there’s still no 38103 tube top, which is something I’ve been urging Ryan to create for a while.

If you’re proud of Downtown and want to show it, go check out the store and buy a shirt or a mug.

Thinking about moving into Number One Beale

Last week the Memphis Business Journal had an article about business offices opening for One Beale, the new ultra-luxury hi-rise condo/hotel building being built at Beale and Riverside. Last night I was thinking to myself, you know, I should buy one of those condos.

You see, last night I was going to go out for an evening of tube top watching, but then I discovered that the books I had ordered from Amazon had arrived. I was kind of tired anyway, so I decided to just lie around and read.

As the evening went on I got hungry. I looked in the refrigerator. There was a bottle of salsa, but I didn’t have any chips to go with it. By this point Walgreens had already closed for the evening, and I didn’t feel like walking down Main to Jack’s and running the gauntlet of bums asking for money. And I couldn’t get in the car and drive somewhere for chips – it’s after dark and one of my pop-up headlights refuses to pop up, and I haven’t gotten it fixed yet.

Then I thought to myself, you know, they say that the condo owners at One Beale will have access to the same amenities at One Beale as the hotel guests. So, if I lived there I could ring up the concierge desk and ask them to go get me some chips.

So, I’m planning to buy at One Beale. There’s only one minor hitch that could derail this plan. That is that the units start at $450,000, and I don’t currently have $450,000. However, I’m not letting that stop me. Surely I can find a way to come up with $450,000 by the time the office opens next week. If anyone has any tips on earning $450,000 in a weekend let me know.

The latest nightclub to come back from the dead on MySpace

Last year I wrote about being invited to be Club Six-1-Six’s MySpace friend, seven years after the club closed its doors for the last time. Well, there’s now another nightclub of the past that has been resurrected on MySpace… Raiford’s.

Let’s get some atmosphere up in here! This is gonna be a night we ALL gonna remember!

I had trouble viewing the MySpace profile in Firefox though… I never got scroll bars to move around the page. It came up properly in Safari. I didn’t try it in IE. Heh… if ever there’s a MySpace user who should “pimp their profile,” it would be Raiford’s.

Too bad Raiford’s closed right before Tube Top Month kicked off this year… Raiford’s probably had more tube tops per square foot on Friday and Saturday nights than any other place in town.

Going commando for Tube Top Month

Once again, I never made it to the Peabody last night after saying I was going to go – went to the Saucer then EP’s, and remained at EP’s until God knows when. It was a good night last night though – got several tube top photos. The previous Thursday I had a blog reader inform me that she had just bought 4 new tube tops… well, she was back at EP’s and had one on. “I’m going commando underneath my tube top!” she told me, although I actually figured it out before she said anything. Here’s a pic – not sure if she would want her identity revealed to the viewing public so I’ve covered her face.

I’ll be out in East Bumblefuck today… got a meeting at Buffalo Wild Wings out there at 1. Been looking at their wing sauce menu, trying to decide what to get. Usually when I order wings I get one step below the hottest sauce – called “extra hot” at many restaurants and called “wild” by BWW. But I’ve been told I’ve been missing out by not experimenting with the other flavors of wings. Hmmm… the parmesan garlic sauce and the Caribbean jerk sauce both sound good… maybe I’ll get 6 of each.

Afterward I’ll probably hit the Wolfchase Mall and get some shopping done, then find a coffee shop with Wi-Fi and get some work done. I definitely don’t want to drive home during rush hour, so I’ll probably be out in East BF until 6:00, 6:30 or longer.

Happy Friday everyone… I doubt there will be 5 posts like there were yesterday, but you never know.

Circa opens today

Just checked Amy W’s blog and found that Circa opens today. You can check their website to find out all about them. Quick summary: Dinner entrees in the $teens and $20s, huge wine selection, located in the Pembroke Square building on the Main Street Mall, in the old Market on Main space. John Bragg is chef.

I won’t be able to get by there tonight, as I’ll be out tube top hunting at rooftop parties. I look forward to reading Amy’s review of the place, and trying it myself in the coming weeks.

Thursday update: Online file folder, Mpact Memphis events, Westin Hotel

– My friends and I have been wrestling with the issue of exchanging photos since last Halloween. There are several of us with digital cameras, and we’ve tried exchanging photos by burning CDs, passing flash drives around, and trying free online file-sharing services. Nothing seemed to work very well.

Well, today I decided to do something about it. My hosting service www.GoDaddy.com offers a feature called Online File Folder, where you can buy up to 2 GB of space to use to share files. So today I bought the two gig (it’s inexpensive – only $19.95 a year) and set up an account. Pretty cool service – not only can you upload and download files through Online File Folder’s interface, but you can also connect using Windows Explorer, Mac OS X, or FTP. You can also e-mail people a link to your shared files. Well worth the money to not have any more file-sharing hassles, and now I can share all the tube top photos I’ve taken.

– There are a couple of Mpact Memphis events downtown next week. Monday the Community Involvement Committee will meet at the Cheesecake Corner at 7 PM. You can meet them for dinner, cheesecake and a discussion about bettering the community. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to have a slice of cheesecake (Cheesecake Corner has dozens of flavors) and meet some new people.

Mpact will also participate in the NBA Draft Party at the FedExForum – Thursday, June 28, doors open at 5, party starts at 6. Get the inside scoop from the Grizzlies operations team, and get autographs from the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies dance team, the Beale Street Flippers, and Grizz the team mascot will also be there. Free door prize to the first 1,000 attendees. Music by the Grizzlies house band, Elmo and the Shades and the Grizzlies Jazz Ramblers band. Will be interesting to see who we draft that night… I’d kind of like to see us get Joakim Noah – from what I’ve read he seems unusually mature for his age, has tons of energy and enthusiasm, could help Pau in the paint and could fill a motivational role for the team the way Battier used to.

– Downtown Night at the Westin happens this Monday night from 5:30 to 7:30 in the hotel’s elegant lobby. Happy hour prices (last month I had Crown & Cokes for $4), free appetizers (last month they had enough food to make a meal), and Di Anne Price on the piano.

– Also at the Westin, the new Starbucks is now open. They have a patio, it’s the only Starbucks downtown with street level access and it’s open from 6 AM to 10 PM daily.

– If you’re going to any of the rooftop parties tonight, you may want to stop by the Saucer where Deep Shag will be performing at 9:30. They’re very good. So my schedule tonight will be the Saucer for a friend’s plate party, then the Peabody rooftop, then the Saucer again to catch Deep Shag’s first set, then EP’s. Out for now, time to get a couple hours work done before the evening begins.