Sat update: East Memphis in Mud, emergency landing due to dog pooping, Redbirds games on St. Louis radio, Gandhi movie, Memphis in Gay

I almost went to Italian Fest yesterday. I had an offer to split a cab, and at least one booth I was guaranteed to get into and several others I probably could as well. I met my friends at the Silly Goose after work. I kind of wanted to go. A lot of my friends talk about how much fun they have at that festival, and believe it or not I’m not opposed to the idea of going to East Memphis if there’s something that interests me out there. The rain situation looked iffy, though. Two rounds of rain had already moved through, and I had heard that Marquette Park gets even more muddy than Tom Lee Park. It was clearing out at the time but a look at radar showed a huge cell over Tupelo and Oxford. “That bad boy is probably going to hit Memphis in about two and a half hours,” I told my friends.

Two things were the deciding factors. My friends got texted a photo of the ground outside the booth we had been invited to. There were at least three inches of mud. Then there was another text. “If you cab down here, don’t get dropped off at the gate. Have the cab drop you off at Target to buy rain boots.” Well that did it. There would be no Italian Fest for me. I hated to miss wet tube tops but I just could not deal with the mud. I had a relaxing evening with a few BBQ teammates at the Blind Bear then called it a night.

In the news: A flight from Los Angeles to Boston had to make an emergency landing in Kansas City because of a large dog pooping in the aisle. The dog pooped as many as three times and the crew on the plane ran out of paper towels to clean it up. Passengers nearby were getting physically ill because of the smell.

If any of my readers live in the St. Louis area, 18 Redbirds games will be broadcast on KTRS 550 AM this season. Here’s a list of the games.

The Belz Museum of Judaic and Asian Art is showing the movie Gandhi today at 12:30. Admission to the museum is included in the price of the movie. The museum is inside Pembroke Square on the Main Street Mall.

There’s a “Memphis in Gay” burlesque and drag show hosted by Julie Wheeler tonight at 8 at Earnestine & Hazel’s.

One of my neighbors in my apartment building reported that a bachelorette party fought and puked outside Paula & Raiford’s last night. See, this is the kind of free entertainment you just don’t get if you live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood in Collierville or Southaven.

It looks like the joint BBQ team takeover of Brewery Untapped is set for tomorrow. I got a text last night that nearly all of Squeal Street will be there, and quite a few of the Moody Ques will be as well. If you’re on or are a friend of either team, come on down.

Off to Panda’s bar at Bardog to start the day. Rest of the day is unplanned after that, although I don’t see Italian Fest happening for me today.



Fri update: Brewery Untapped, South Main Trolley Night, new Handy Park concert series, MIFA job opening

We’re thinking about getting a large Downtowners/Moody Ques/Squeal Street group together to do a takeover of Tennessee Brewery Untapped on its last day, Sunday, June 1. I put it out there on Facebook a little while ago but wanted to mention it here too for those who aren’t on Facebook or don’t check it often. If you want to meet up shoot me a text. It looks like we will be starting fairly early, with some of the group getting there right at opening at 11. I doubt I will get there THAT early (after all it would be rude to not stop at Bardog for a beer) but I should be down there by 1.

It’s South Main Trolley Night, with excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment in the South Main District from 6 to 9 tonight. There will be entertainment by Yancy and Yancy @ D’Edge, Joe Sanders & Friends @ Art Jamn, Joe Guyton @ Charlotte, Mara Danielle @ Sache, Eric Crays & 30 Paces @ Chapman Furniture, Ashlee K. Thomas & Ashlee Wilson @ Memphis Thing, Swampkatz @ Bocce Ball Court, Pistol & the Queen @ Earnestine & Hazel’s (9 p.m.), Savannah Long @ Green Beetle, Chelsea Chandler @ Douglas & Associates, and Isis Dance Academy @ Ghost Lot. There will be a reception for Inspired by Marisol: A Sculptural Response at Cafe Pontotoc. Vendors will include Pink Pig Apparel, Kingfish Metal Works, Art by Meredith Wilson, Kari Fieskes Jewelry. The weather is looking beautiful for tonight and spring Trolley Nights always get packed, so why not throw on a tube top and come on out? Or, if you don’t have a tube top, you can buy one at the shops on South Main.

There’s going to be a new Friday night outdoor concert series called Memphis Jams on Beale, presenting free outdoor concerts at Handy Park (the pavilion at Third and Beale) Fridays at 6:30 PM. Here is the lineup so far:

June 6: Memphis Music Foundation presents Chinese Connection Dub Embassy
June 13: United States Navy Band Showcase
June 20: Goner Records presents Jack Oblivion & The Sheiks, The Nots, Tyler Keith & The Apostles
June 27: Shangri-La Records presents Marcella and Her Lovers
July 11: Memphis Music Foundation presents Dead Soldiers
July 25: Shangri-La Records presents The Grifters
August 1: Nancy Apple’s Rhythm & Roots Revival

There’s a Development Officer position open at MIFA. Details here.

That’s it for now. Unsure whether I am going to Italian Fest or Trolley Night tonight, so the idiot who follows me everywhere (except to my BBQ team booth) will have to deal with incomplete information. Happy weekend everyone.

Thur update: Start Co. Lounge/Brewery Untapped’s last call, Peabody rooftop party, Pack the Park, Crop Hop 5K to benefit MFM

Tonight is jam-packed with fun stuff to do Downtown. The event I will be attending, weather permitting, is the Start Co. Lounge at the Tennessee Brewery. This is a chance to connect with creative types, innovators, tech enthusiasts and others who appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit that is brewing in Memphis. This weekend is also last call for Brewery Untapped. The Start Co. Lounge happens from 5:30 to 7:30 and the brewery is open until 9. Start Co. was our BBQ team sponsor this year. If any of my fellow Moody Ques want to join me, bring it on!

Tonight is also the first Peabody rooftop party of Tube Top Month, and from what I have been hearing a lot of people are really excited. A lot of ladies plan to have their finest tube tops on tonight. The band Hollywood will provide the entertainment. Doors open at 6, $10 to get in, ladies free until 7. Admission includes a buffet of pasta salad, deviled eggs, and fried chicken legs.

It’s a big night at AutoZone Park too. The game tonight vs. the Iowa Cubs (7:05 first pitch) is the CBS Sports Network nationally televised minor league game of the week. The Redbirds organization want to pack the park and show how much Memphis loves baseball. They are enticing fans to come with $3 Bud and Bud Light drafts, $2 popcorn, and $1 hot dogs.

There will be a Crop Hop 5K on Friday, June 20 at 6:30 PM to benefit the Memphis Farmers Market. Race will begin and end at the market pavilion. Details here.

Outta here for now. I hope the weather holds up this afternoon so I can get to the brewery.

Wed update: First Copeland Coaching podcast, new cafe on Beale, Riverside Drive, Brass Door Bingo, Segway tour Groupon, zombie movies

Rest in peace, Maya Angelou.

My friend and career coach Angela Copeland has released her first podcast. She interviews Amy Ware from CBU Career services. You can listen here. If you want to get to a better place in your career, you need to be following Angela. She’s on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

A new cafe is opening on Beale. The Withers Collection, a photo gallery and gathering place of the works of photographer Ernest Withers, has added a cafe next door to its 333 Beale location. The cafe will be called Dorothy Mae’s. More info here.

Following Memphis in May, Riverside Drive will be closed for two more weeks as the city implements a pilot project that will reduce car traffic to two lanes while increasing bike and pedestrian space. Once the street reopens, it will remain in that configuration for 12-18 months. More info here. Glad to see this additional step to make Memphis more bike-friendly, but I have to admit I don’t like it that no public input was sought before making this change.

Brass Door Bingo will be Thursday this week instead of tonight. 7:30 start time.

There’s a Groupon for Memphis Segway Adventures. You can get a $75 value tour on a Segway for only $39. There are also two-person and four-person options. Great way to learn about Downtown’s landmarks and history and maybe do some tube top watching too.

The Orpheum kicks off its summer movie series with a double feature Friday at 7 PM. Night of the Living Dead and Zombieland will be shown in honor of the annual zombie walk, which departs from Army/Navy Park in South Main at 6:30 sharp.

All right, outta here. I’ll be out at the usual places after work, probably leading off at Silly Goose.

Tue update: Italian Fest, Downtown vs. Midtown sandlot baseball, Grizzlies update, Create Memphis, Morrissey @ Orpheum, Nacho’s

There’s one festival left in the Memphis spring festival season, and unfortunately it isn’t Downtown. It’s the Memphis Italian Festival at Marquette Park, at the corner of Park and Mt. Moriah, in (forgive me for the two blasphemous words I am about to type) East Memphis. It’s a lot like BBQ Fest in that it is a Thursday-Saturday festival, teams compete in cooking categories, and they build elaborate booths. You have to be a team member or invited guest to enter the booths and sample teams’ food. There is also food sold to the public, and live music.

I haven’t been to Italian Fest in a few years, but I could probably be talked into going if I can find a few Downtowners who want to split a cab Friday night or Saturday. If I do indeed make it out to East Memphis, someone better take pictures, because this does not happen often.

And I guaran damn tee you if I go I am sticking a disposable rain poncho in my back pocket. Not going to get soaked three times in one month.

It’s 38103 vs. 38104, Downtown vs. Midtown, in a friendly game of sandlot baseball Sunday, June 1, at the Farmers Market site at Front and G.E. Patterson. Memphis Made Brewing Co. and the Local Gastropub Airstream will be on hand selling beers and brats. Game time is 5 PM.

If you’re not sure what’s going on with the Grizzlies organization these days, Chris Herrington has a good article on Read it here.

A very cool initiative has been launched this week. Create Memphis is a sort of “idea map” where people can post ideas to better their neighborhoods. There is no commitment expected on the person who had the idea to make it happen. Others can vote on ideas, and the hope is that someone will pick up an idea and run with it. Read more about Create Memphis here.

Morrissey plays the Orpheum tonight. Tickets are still available and you can get them here.

The Hungry Memphis blog has a post about Nacho’s, the new place on Jefferson in the former China Restaurant space. Thanks to that post I learned the hours: 7 AM to 5 PM Monday-Friday.

I had a fun Memorial Day yesterday, spending much of it at Bardog where I was lucky enough to have drinks with some great local businesspeople: Cordell and Tawanda of Jack’s Pirtle’s Fried Chicken, and Jeff Stamm of Double J Smokehouse. About 5 I was alerted that I needed to come to the Saucer, where there was an excellent tube top dress seated at the bar. Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic.

Getting a haircut after work (the last time I got a haircut was a few days before Stumbling Santa) then will be out after that. Undecided whether I will take part in Blind Bear poker tonight.

Silly Goose brunch

Before I start today’s post, THANK YOU to all who have served this country. If it were not for you, I would not be here doing the things that I do. And then there would be no Tube Top Month. That would be a shame.

So, yesterday I went to Bardog and hung out at Bloom’s bar for a few hours. Then a few of us migrated to the Silly Goose. I have a bad habit of not eating when I go out for a day of PBR and Fireball. My BBQ teammate Dusty, who was bartending, brought this out.

2014-05-25 14.54.28

“Paul, this is yours if you’ll take a picture and blog about it,” he said. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. It was a huge breakfast sandwich with sausage, bacon, egg and cheese on a muffin. Those are au gratin potatoes covered with cheese on the side. Both were really, really good. The flavor of the bacon stood out in particular. The Goose is really stepping things up lately, with a lot of remodeling, a new Sunday brunch menu, and a new hand-crafted drink menu. If you haven’t been in the Goose lately, you need to give it a try.

Foursquare informed me that I’m only a few days from regaining the mayorship of the Goose. My buddy better not miss any more days…

And now, it’s time for the tube top dress picture of the day.

2014-05-25 18.22.11

All right. That’s it for now. Time to go walk in Bardog with wet hair for the third day in a row.

The Unknown Soldier

At Memphis in May Sunset Symphony you can bring in coolers full of food and alcohol. After a 6-year hiatus I went this year, meeting one of my BBQ teammates and her group of friends. Of course, I had to make a stop at Jack’s Food Store to pick up supplies.

2014-05-24 15.26.20


This is a sad story.

As you see, I took a 12-pack of PBR.

I consumed nine of the cans of PBR.

I gave one away.

One made it safely home in the cooler.

And then there was the twelfth one.

“The Unknown Soldier.”

I walked down to the south entrance of Tom Lee Park about 6 yesterday, running into my BBQ teammate who organized the group as I walked down Georgia Avenue. We turned onto Riverside and stopped at the south entrance to wait for the others. At the entrance my eyes welled up with tears. I tried to hide it from my teammate but couldn’t. “Paul, what’s wrong?” she asked.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m just thinking of two weeks ago this day, and all the wonderful memories of helping my teammates load in for BBQ Fest.”

“Paul,” she said, putting her hand on my arm, “everyone knows you were a stallion at load-in. But you have to move on. You have to live for today.” She was right. I wiped my eyes and we went in the park.

We spent the next 20 minutes meeting up with people. Meetups at Sunset Symphony are so funny. “I’m in front of the funnel cake stand.” “I’m 100 yards north of the obelisk.” Except, not north, but south. I took a photo of a green house and posted, “I’m directly west of this house, 3/4 block south of the Huling entrance, 10 feet west of the speaker in the very middle.”

Anyway, we finally all met up. My BBQ teammate hangs out with the international crowd, a large, super-cool group of people that I’ve always wanted to hang out with more but just haven’t because there isn’t that much overlap with my Downtown group. The Moody Ques were represented at Sunset Symphony:

2014-05-24 19.18.58

The air show was going on for a while and then the symphony started. “Did I just feel a sprinkle?” someone asked. I pulled up the radar on my iPhone. An isolated storm cell was moving into Downtown. We packed up our stuff in a hurry and ran to the “small house” near the stage and got under its overhang.

And here’s where the tragedy occurred.

Right as we were packing up, I finished the PBR I was drinking. Not being one to litter, I crushed the can and threw it back in the cooler to dispose of later. Then I reached in the cooler for another PBR, and right as I did, the downpour hit.

And I dropped the PBR I took out of the cooler.

I couldn’t stop running for cover. I didn’t want to get more soaked, I didn’t want to hold my friends up, and I wanted a spot under the overhang.

So I left a good man behind.

“The Unknown Soldier.”

I don’t know what happened to that unopened PBR can, but I hope someone found it and gave it the send-off it deserved.

Anyway, the group decided to re-convene at the Tennessee Brewery (damn these people make excellent decisions). After a couple of Abita Strawberries, my BBQ teammate dropped me off at my apartment then headed home to East Memphis. I put my stuff up, changed out of my wet clothes, and went back out, to the Blind Bear. “Katie Mac sent me” was the password to get in for free. Monday is her actual birthday but I went ahead and bought Katie Mac a shot.

2014-05-24 23.18.52

Couple of beers there, quick stop by the Saucer to say hello to folks and then I called it a night. Excellent day despite the rain. Would you believe I bought 3 disposable rain ponchos week before last, but have been caught in the rain twice without them? Memphis in May 2, Paul 0.

Before I wrap up this post, we can’t forget what month this is. As I walked out the door a few minutes before 11 yesterday, I heard, “Paul! Come take a picture of us!” from the patio of Cafe Keough.

2014-05-24 11.01.24

It’s hard to tell because of all the hair but Jill had a tube top on!!!!! First photo of Tube Top Month. Jill came by Bardog later with her hair pulled up. She didn’t know that my offer of a free Fireball or moonshine to the first tube-topster who asks was still out there. It was hers for the taking but she didn’t claim it. Offer is still on.

All right, I don’t want the last PBR that made it home with me to feel neglected. I’m going to pop it open and drink it and then head to Bloom’s bar at Bardog at 11. One recommendation for live music tonight: One of the true legends of Memphis music, Dr. Herman Green, turns 84 today and he will be performing with FreeWorld at Blues City Cafe’s Band Box at 9:30. This is the only place to be if you want to catch some live music tonight.

All right. Done. Time to take a shower and get this day going. I expect this to be a very late night. Pray for me that I don’t end up at Purple Haze.


To welcome Southwest Airlines to Memphis, I would like to use their stock ticker symbol in a sentence.

I just LUV those tube tops!!!!!

Work got out early yesterday, so I met my BBQ teammate Kao from Mexico for a few beers at the Saucer. After a while we migrated over to the Silly Goose. Daniel is getting a lot of new products in this week for the Goose’s new menu of hand-crafted cocktails. “Hey Paul, I want to show you something,” Daniel said.

He brought over a bottle of bitters. However, these were not just any bitters. They were “Memphis Barbeque Bitters.” Daniel opened the bottle. “Smell it,” he said. It smelled delicious. I would most certainly take a break from my customary PBR to have a drink made with those. Daniel also let me try his homemade Bloody Mary mix, and it is good. If you like BBQ I think you will like that mix.

I posted to Facebook about the bitters, and received a tip… At Muse at Main and Gayoso, you can get a Khakiman No. 901 candle that smells like BBQ.

The Metal Museum is doing a thing called Whet Tuesday on Tuesday, June 3. They say that it is part of a series of events to enjoy the museum’s grounds after hours. You can whet your appetite with a specialty drink from the cash bar or Caribbean food from Paul’s Cariflavor food truck while enjoying the sunset over the river. There will be live music by the string duet Scroll, foundry classes, and the museum’s new exhibition Protective Ornament. Hours were listed as 5-7 PM in the press release, but that can’t be right because the sun is nowhere near setting at 7 PM.

There will be an “Art Lounge on the Dock” at the future home of South Main ArtSpace Lofts (United Warehouse Building) from 6 to 9 PM next Friday, May 30, as part of South Main Trolley Night. There will be a live music, drama and comedy revue featuring Naomi Moody, Lost on Stage Comedy Troupe and others. Free and open to the public, free refreshments. Free food? Wonder if the… oh, wait, she’s in California now. The future loft building is at 138 St. Paul, one block south of G.E. Patterson.

Plans for today: As usual I will start off at Panda’s bar at Bardog at 11. I hope Panda got the memo that it’s Tube Top Month. After that I’ve got to stop by Jack’s Food Store to get PBR for tonight and then take a “halftime” break. I’m meeting up with some people for Sunset Symphony around 6ish. The meeting place is the south entrance of the park, so I have a mile and a half walk. I don’t mind though – it makes sense, because most of the people I’m meeting up with are coming from East Memphis and the parking situation is better down there than it is in the Downtown core. The group I’m meeting up with is not my usual Downtown group (although a few of them may come too), so I need to be on my best behavior and not turn into “BBQ Fest Paul.” (Although, I will bring a pen in case anyone from the group figures out I’m “Mr. Load-in” and wants an autograph.) Going to try to stay up late and watch the meteor shower if it isn’t too cloudy.

The free Fireball or moonshine shot for the first female 21 or over who comes up to me in a tube top and asks for it is still up for grabs. I’ve pretty much told you where I will be at 11 today, so someone come claim it. (Bartenders ARE eligible to claim the shot, by the way.)

Welcome to the 10th annual Tube Top Month!


May 23-July 6, 2014

“Where there are not straps, there is hope”

Welcome to the greatest time of the year in this blog, Tube Top Month. This is a celebration of the greatest women’s clothing item ever created, the tube top. All month long (and it’s more than a standard month, which I will get to in a minute) each post will either have one or more pictures of tube tops, or will have tube tops mentioned in some way, no matter how irrelevant tube tops are to the rest of the post’s content.

Originally, Tube Top Month was the month of June. However, it has been expanded to include Memorial Day weekend and Independence Day, or Independence Day weekend when it falls on a weekend. This year Tube Top Month will be 45 days long.

Due to the cold weather, I am off to a slow start for Tube Top Month this year. I usually come out of BBQ Fest with a ton of photos to post, but this year I have almost none. I plan to turn that around this weekend, though. I plan on going to Sunset Symphony tomorrow, which tends to be tube top heaven. I will have the Tube Top Cam with me, so if you want your pic in the blog come find me. I’ll be the guy who hasn’t had a haircut in almost six months (although I plan to take care of that Tuesday) and my royal blue Moody Ques shirt with Van Halen 1984 cover on the back.

Then again, why wait until tomorrow? Why not wear a tube top tonight? In celebration of this being the 10th annual Tube Top Month, I will buy a Fireball or moonshine shot for the first female in a tube top who comes up to me and asks for one. You know the usual places I hang out, so come find me. (Shot recipient must be 21 or over)

(With my luck, I’ll end up having to pay that off at the Flying Saucer, where Fireball is the “Kirk Special” for $7)

Together we can all make this the best Tube Top Month ever!!!

Fri update: Memphis’ Most is stupid, meteor shower, Cafe Pontotoc, BRIDGES hiring, rewards for veterans, Bluff City Bark, huge announcement at 5 today

Wait, so this “Memphis’ Most” poll the CA does lets you vote ONCE AN HOUR??? That is about the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my life. I mean, I could sit there and vote for myself for Best Blogger every hour, but would it mean anything if I won? What a waste of time and it shows you what happens when marketing departments have bad ideas. Apologies to my many friends Downtown who own restaurants, but I will NOT be voting for you in this farce of a survey. I’ll save my voting for the real deal, the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis poll, where you can vote once, period.

Those of you attending Sunset Symphony Saturday may want to stay up past the fireworks. There will be a meteor shower that night. Best viewing is said to be about 2 AM Eastern, which would be 1 AM Central.

The Hungry Memphis blog has a post about Cafe Pontotoc, a new restaurant that will open in the 314 S. Main space where Carrot failed last year. It will be a “neighborhood hangout,” according to the article, with small plates, a great wine list, and beer from local brewers.

BRIDGES is hiring for a full-time AmeriCorps member and for internships.

Blues City Cafe invites all veterans to receive a complimentary meal on Veterans Day. Details here. The restaurant does this annually and it is a fine gesture to the men and women who have served.

Also, veterans are invited to enjoy Memphis in May Sunset Symphony for free. Come to the north (Beale Street) gate and show valid military ID.

Since many of my readers are animal lovers, I’d like to pass on a link to Bluff City Bark, the Mid-South’s new digital pet magazine.

Some advice on getting into BBQ team booths as a guest during the third week of May: It helps if you don’t act like a complete douchebag from the fourth week of May until the second week of May the next year. I swear. Some people. You just can’t fix stupid.

Huge announcement coming at 5 today, so check back.