Zombie video, Megan needs to buy me a drink, film contest, Cinco de Mayo, and more

This year, instead of shooting pictures of the Memphis Zombie Massacre that happened last night on South Main, I decided to go for video. Here it is:

8 minute, 16 second video. Warning: The first minute or so starts off a bit slow; after that it gets good. Video shot outside 417 South Main.

Recap of last night: Almost started the evening at Big Foot. As I was walking past Big Foot on my way to the Saucer, I saw server Megan in the window and I knocked on the glass. “Megan, buy me a drink,” I said. She shook her head no, so I decided to skip Big Foot. Megan needs to learn how to cultivate good customers. Perhaps I should make a rule: No more trips to Big Foot until Megan buys me a drink. Hmmm. I’ll think about it.

I then headed to the Saucer. Two beers there, then on to Trolley Tour where I first stopped by Bluff City Coffee to get an Acai Plus Smoothie as suggested by AL. It wasn’t bad. I’ll admit I felt a lot better after drinking it. I’ll probably grab another one today as I head to the hot wing festival.

Then it was on to Mikey’s patio, where the group had gathered to watch the Zombie Walk. Hung out there, shot the video shown above, drank Miller High Life Light, a brand of beer I did not even know existed. “The West Memphis Walgreens was out of PBR,” Mikey explained.

Left the patio for a while to make a tour of the art galleries. The gallery next door to Calhoun’s has Red Rooster co-owner Robby Bobby’s work on display. Cool. Glad to see him making a name for himself in the Memphis art community. I was there when he created some of those paintings onstage.

Hung out on the patio until about 10, then headed back to the Saucer. I would have preferred to stay in South Main longer, but the skies were threatening rain and I didn’t want to be so far from home. Saucer sucked – the weekend night crowd was there – so it was one and done. That moved me on to my next stop, the Red Rooster, and I got there before 11, considerably earlier than I usually go on the weekends.

While there I had a revelation – I’m way too hard on girls who score free drinks at bars. I was sitting at the bar to the right of the stage, and this group of girls came in and sat in the seats next to mine. Before they even sat down a bunch of guys had pounced, offering to buy them drinks. The one next to me said she had just bought a drink, and one of the dudes said, “When you’re ready for the next one, I’m right here.” They had about four more offers for drinks in the next 15 minutes. Then someone bought them all shots. And the girls weren’t doing ANYTHING to encourage it, other than sitting there, watching the band, and being hot. I chatted with the one next to me. She was actually really, really sweet. I kinda can’t blame them for going out and scoring free drinks. I don’t know how they put up with all the loser guys though.

In the news: ArtsMemphis will hold a screening party for the finalists in its film contest next Wednesday, April 30 at Studio on the Square from 6:30 to 8:30. The winner will be announced, and $3,000 in cash prizes will be handed out. You’ll also be able to vote on a film to receive a special patron’s choice award. To reserve your seat, e-mail lboyer@artsmemphis.org.

The South Main Association will hold a Cinco de Mayo party at the Arcade Restaurant Monday, May 5 from 6 to 10 PM. Free for South Main Association members. Free food, and two free drink tickets. If you’re not an SMA member you can join at the door – $25 for individuals, $35 for two-person households, $80 for businesses.

Yikes! Hot Wing Fest started two hours ago. I need to get down there.

Don’t forget! Southern Hot Wing Festival tomorrow

The Southern Hot Wing Festival happens tomorrow at Main and G.E. Patterson from 10:30 AM to 6 PM.  Here’s a link to their site with more information.

Also, Calhoun’s Sports Bar and Grill has announced that they will open early (10:30 AM) so festival goers can come by.  The NFL draft is tomorrow, so stop by and watch it happen on their 5 flat-panel TVs.  $1.50 PBR all the time – can’t beat that.

I’ll probably be at the hot wing festival in the early afternoon, so if you see me, say hello.

Mississippi River finally receding

Yesterday I took this picture of the Mississippi River from a third-story window in the Falls Building:

That’s Mud Island with the Mud Island logo in the background.  You can see that at its highest point, the river almost completely covered the top of the word “MUD,” but has since gone down to the point that almost all of “ISLAND” is now visible.  That means it’s dropped at least a couple of feet.

Here’s a Memphis Business Journal article on the receding waters.

Today’s the big day. Also: Good news for Skippy fans

The second annual Memphis Zombie Massacre happens today.

The horde of zombies will gather on Beale Street outside the New Daisy at 6:30, and about 7:15 they will begin their march down Beale, turning north on Second, west on Peabody Place, then south on Main and walking through the South Main Trolley Art Tour.  The zombie walk will end at the back room of Earnestine & Hazel’s, where the Creeping Cruds will play their after-party.  Here’s the map of the route:

The zombies invite you to join them.  Three ways you can do it:

1) Show up at the parking lot next to the Plush Club at 5 PM, and professional make-up artists will hardcore zombify you.

2) Do your own makeup and clothes, and arrive at the New Daisy around 6:30.

3) Stand somewhere on the route wearing an “X” made out of duct tape, on clothes you don’t mind having ruined.  The zombies will see you and attack you, turning you into a second-generation zombie in the process.

Here’s a page with lots of zombie makeup tips.

I’ll be down there (but not zombified) and will take pictures.  Hmmm… since Bluff City Coffee is nearby, maybe I’ll stop in and get one of those Acai Plus Smoothies that AL talks about all the time.  Maybe I’ll remain down there after Trolley Tour and hang out at Nate’s bar at E&H later in the evening.

Good news for those of you who are fans of Commercial Appeal writer Skipford M. “Skippy” Blank.  Skippy, who uses the nom de plume “Christopher Blank” for his CA columns to protect his identity, now has a video feature on the CA’s Appeal TV.  Just go to the CA’s homepage and look for Appeal TV on the right side.  Then select “Memphis stage shows” from the menu underneath the video screen to watch a 3:42 video of Skippy summarizing the plays and musicals you can see in Memphis this weekend.  Skippy even has a tie on for this feature.

To tie this entire post together, I’ll end with a pic of Zombie Skippy from the 2007 Memphis Zombie Massacre:

Drunk post: Swig closes its doors, Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar, and other notes

Tonight I learned that Swig has closed its doors for good.  They tried to hang on for a while, but finally gave up.

Started the evening at Itta Bena.  For those (probably just AL) who care what I had to eat, I had a bowl of she crab soup.

From there I went to the Saucer to see the Dempseys.  I got a spot near the window where I could people-watch the crowd across the street at Atlas.  Except it really wasn’t a crowd.  It was pretty dead.  Last year I’d watch Atlas from the Saucer’s window and the place would look linke a f-ing mosh pit.  Tonight I actually saw floor space at Atlas from the Saucer.  Air Traffic Mike came in, and told me he talked to a 24-year-old friend about Atlas, and she asked, “Why’s everybody so full of themselves there?”  EXACTLY.  That’s why I don’t go.  That’s why I make so much fun of the place.  Congrats to his friend on the insight.  24 is way too mature to go to Atlas.

However, I did get some valuable news about an upcoming event Downtown, Pub Olympics at Hoop’s Bar.  Here are the details:

Get your team registered now!!!  Mendi has been bragging for years how bad-ass her Sunday drinking team is.  Will she back it up?  Guarantee you I’ll be there, either covering it for the blog or on a team.

Time for bed.  I’ll be at Trolley Tour/Zombie Walk by 6:30.

Our BBQ team is looking for a few more members

Our Memphis in May BBQ Fest team The Ques Brothers is looking to add a few more members. The deal is, you pay $200 to join, and that gets you wristband access as a team member during park hours (there are some 24-hour wristbands but those have already been spoken for). You get to eat BBQ (last year our cooks put out brisket, ribs, chicken, pork shoulder, etc.) and drink beer, wine and liquor Thursday, Friday and Saturday as a team member. You also get to invite a few of your friends to stop by our booth for some food and a drink on those days (note the way that sentence is worded: It does not say you get to invite 40 of your friends to come in and hang out and eat and drink all weekend without paying to be on the team). You also get a pass for “Friends & Family Night” Wednesday night. And, you get a Ques Brothers shirt. I’m not sure what the plan is for shirts this year, but last year we did polos which were nice enough to wear to work at most companies.

Here’s a link to last year’s photo album, where you can see how much fun we all had. Terex is not back as our sponsor this year (if your company wants to sponsor us, we can talk). Most of the team members pictured in the photos will be back.

We are in the shoulder category, which means we will be located in the south end of the park. Our booth was roughly parallel to the Huling entrance to the park last year, and I’ve been told we’ll have approximately the same location again. We have fantastic cooks and in our rookie year placed 12th out of about 80 shoulder teams. Our head cook knows exactly what he needs to do better this time around, and it’s possible and maybe even likely we’ll take home a top-10 trophy this year.

Since we have a cook team in place, you won’t have to worry about being involved in that. I believe we also have people to build the booth, so you’ll probably be able to get out of that duty as well. Basically you won’t have much responsibility beyond showing up and having a good time, although if you want to contribute (volunteering to go on liquor runs or whatever else there is to do during the festival) I’m sure it will be appreciated.

THIS OFFER IS ONLY OPEN TO PEOPLE WHO I KNOW PERSONALLY, AND KNOW SOMEWHAT WELL. We have a great team dynamic going on and I don’t want to mess it up by adding people I’ve never met. Sorry, but that’s the way it has to be. You need to be someone I’ve at least talked to several times and got along with well, not someone I met at the Saucer at 1:30 in the morning that one time a couple of months ago when I was on my 11th beer.

Great opportunity for someone who has always wanted to be on a BBQ team but has never figured out how to get connected with one. Also a great way to get better connected to our large informal network of early 20s-45ish Downtowners. There were quite a few people in the booth I didn’t know at all last May who are now good friends. We even have a team member who met his future wife in the booth last year.

If interested e-mail me at paul@paulryburn.com. This is not a first-come, first-served offer; I’m going to wait until about Sunday or Monday to see who all wants to do it, run the names by the team, and then invite the people who we think will be the best fit. I know there are a few people out there who are “the right people” who we just haven’t asked yet; for those people, we’d love to have you aboard.

Thur update: Cheap cell phones, networking for entrepreneurs, Main Street, parties, ice cream correction

I have a widget on my Google homepage called “Today’s Reason to Drink.”  It tells me that today is something called Newman’s Day, where you are supposed to drink 24 beers in 24 hours without changing your daily schedule, falling asleep, or vomiting.  Hmmm, better run up to Jack’s and get a couple of 12-packs of PBR cans.

Anyone need a new cell phone?  Amazon.com is running a TODAY-ONLY deal where you can get any new AT&T cell phone, except the Tilt, for a penny when you also purchase a service plan.  This is your chance to get a high-tech phone instead of el cheapo.

There’s a new organization called LaunchMemphis whose mission is to support entrepreneurs who have ideas they want to launch, and to help those entrepreneurs connect with investors, in order to bring focus to such activities in Memphis and deliver new tech startups to our economy.  Find out more about them here.  They’re holding a kick-off networking event on Thursday, May 8 from 5 to 7 PM at Fox & Hound Sanderlin.

So, it’s Thursday party night.  What’s going on:

  • Garry Goin and G3 on the Peabody rooftop, 6-10 PM, $5 cover, ladies free til 8.
  • Don McMinn and Nightrain on the Madison rooftop, 5:30-10:30 PM
  • Who the hell knows who’s playing the patio party at EP Delta Kitchen, because the entertainment calendar on their website still has the March listings.
  • The Dempseys at the Flying Saucer!!!!!! 9:30 PM, $3 cover.  Needless to say, this is where I’ll be.
  • Super 5 at the Red Rooster.  It’s also “Rock Out With Your Cock Out” night with beer specials.
  • Buy me a drink and validate me night, aka Girls’ Night Out, at Atlas nightclub inside Jillian’s.

If the Peabody party doesn’t get moved indoors due to rain, I may stop by for a little while prior to hitting the Saucer for the Dempseys.  Gotta stop by Itta Bena for a drink too.

There was an article in the Commercial Appeal today about the Center City Development Corporation’s plan to revitalize retail in Downtown Memphis by opening the Main Street Mall back up to traffic.  I mentioned this about a week ago.  As someone who lives on Main Street, I’d be in favor of it if it would bring additional shopping and restaurants to the area, and because it would make the street better lit which would chase away bums.

Got an e-mail from Ben & Jerry’s about their ice cream giveaway – it’s Tuesday, April 29, not the 28th as I had reported.  They will open their doors at noon and give ice cream away until it runs out.  That being a trivia day, I guess that means the Nuh-Uh Sister will run down there and get an ice cream cone before trivia.  Hope she wears a tube top again.

For lunch today:  Greek chicken salad from McAlister’s Deli, with chicken breast, black olives, red peppers, croutons, feta cheese, salad peppers, and Greek dressing.  Third day in a row I’ve had a salad.  Had to run in the rain to get it.  On the way there, one of my blog readers said, “Hey, Paul!”  A bum standing nearby doing the “bum-brella” gimmick then said, “Hey, Paul!” like he knew me.  “You’re gonna get awful wet out there in the rain, ain’t ya?”  Damn bums.  Luckily it wasn’t raining real hard, but I’d allow myself to get soaked down to my socks and underwear before I’d give a bum a dolla for holding a flimsy umbrella over my head.

BBQ-related post later today.

Drunk post: bar rankings, Memphis Farmers Market dinner, bum patrol, free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, iPod, more

Set a record for my stay at Itta Bena tonight… got there at 5:15 and left at 9:00. Usually I’m out of there by 7 to head to the Saucer, but tonight I didn’t want to leave. That place is really coming together – they have a new slate of specialty nights coming out (details to come – Itta Bena staff e-mail me, I was too lazy to take notes), and they’re hiring people (Sam) who can draw and hold a regular crowd. The place has the potential to become my new Sleep Out’s, which is scary considering Itta Bena’s food has a much higher price point than Sleep Out’s. Was thinking about it tonight, if I had to rank my top 10 current favorite bars they’d be

  1. Flying Saucer
  2. Red Rooster
  3. Itta Bena
  4. Calhoun’s
  5. Big Foot Lodge
  6. Hoop’s Bar/EP’s
  7. McGuinness
  8. Earnestine & Hazel’s
  9. Circa by John Bragg
  10. Downtown Huey’s

I never thought Itta Bena would get anywhere near #3 on my list, but they have. It’s a really fun, relaxed place to hang out.

I kind of like doing that, ranking bars. I may do that once every few months or so, to see how the order changes. One note: Raiford’s is ranked as an honorary #1. It’s such a different animal from the other bars on the list that I didn’t know how to compare it.

When the Downtown Monkey opens, I see it entering the rankings somewhere between #4 and #6, with the potential to go higher if they do it well and I like the crowd.

Speaking of Itta Bena… attention former employee Lizzie… keep in touch… you can reach me at my e-mail (paul@paulryburn.com) or through MySpace or Facebook. I know her cousin reads this daily, please forward to her if she doesn’t see it. Miss you when I head up there.

The Majestic Grille is doing a wine dinner the last day of this month. Details:

Link to the Eyewitness News 24/30 story on the new Downtown safety patrol (“bum patrol”) that was on the news tonight: click here. Handling-Panhandling co-founder Mike King is interviewed about the success of the patrol.

Ben & Jerry’s is doing free scoop day (Edit: Had the date wrong, correct day is Tuesday, April 29). Just show up and ask for your free scoop. The Downtown Ben & Jerry’s is at Third and Peabody Place, on Third just south of the Hampton Inn entrance. I remember Scoop Day 2007 well. The reason I remember it so well is that the Nuh-Uh Sister had a tube top on.

Thanks to the people who e-mailed with suggestions about my iPod, which I thought had died an early death. It has since come back to life.

Off to sleep.

Flyer summary: Bum patrol, Southaven festival, pro wrestling, tofu, condo for sale, horoscopes

For lunch today: Shrimp salad salad from Court House Deli. With a fruit cup. AL would be SO proud of me.

It’s Wednesday, which means a new Memphis Flyer is out. Make sure to pick one up – it’s their 1000th issue. Here are a few selected highlights from the articles and ads:

There’s an article on page 9 about the new Downtown security force, or as I call them, the “Bum Patrol,” discussing their efforts to curtail panhandling.  That alone makes it worth a trip to the Flyer box.

Southaven is having its big festival, Springfest, the 24th-26th. They have several good bands (including Gabby Johnson and Aquanet Friday night), as well as the Mississippi State Championship BBQ contest, a carnival midway, and more. It’s at the Snowden Grove Ampitheater, wherever the hell that is. I think 2004 was the last time I was in Southaven. Friends from my BBQ team are going and tell me this festival is a pretty big deal.  I’d go but my weekend is already pretty much booked.

TNA Wrestling will hold their June pay-per-view, Slammiversary, at the Desoto Civic Center on June 8. TNA is the major competitor to the WWE, and features such stars as TNA champion Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Sting, Christian Cage, Kevin Nash, Abyss, Booker T, “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner, AJ Styles, Shark Boy, and more. Tickets on sale this Friday through ticketmaster.com.

Their featured food dish in the “Gourmand” section this week is Pineapple Tofu from Phoa Hoa Binh on Madison across from Piggly Wiggly. YUKKKKK!!!!!! AL is probably jumping in her car to go pick up an order.

In the classifieds there’s an ad selling a condo in one of the nicest buildings Downtown. “Getting Hitched, must sell,” the ad reads. “1 bdrm, 1 bath, historic building, newly renovated, in the heart of Downtown.  Hardwood floors, original beams and exposed brick.  Granite counters with new stainless steel appliances.  Custom-designed walk-in closet.  Gated parking and remote-access building entry.  Large rooftop deck with grills.  Amazing river & city views.  Includes storage unit in basement.  $189,000.  4Twenty South Front Condos.  Call 901.619.7053 & leave message.  Serious offers only.”  This is a friend of mine and I’ve personally been in this unit – VERY nice, would be perfect for someone ready to make the move Downtown or someone who wants a weekend getaway spot down here.  420 South Front has one of the most beautiful and unique interiors in the area.  Plus you’d have Otto as a neighbor, which has to add 20 grand or so to the property value.

The Free Will Astrology column is missing from this week’s Flyer!  BOO!  That’s the only horoscope I bother to read.  Here’s a link to the horoscopes online.

Coming soon:  An expert chef goes to the Memphis Farmers Market and prepares an elegant dinner.

One more thing about the returning Corkscrew…

When I talked to the people who will be running it last night, they said they are going to carry about 3 times the inventory they did before.  They want it to be a full-service liquor store, so that Downtowners don’t have to drive out to Joe’s Liquors or Kimbrough Liquors in Midtown to find everything they need.  They also told me that they are moving the door to the side of the building, which I guess will make room for additional inventory space.