Tuesday update

Yesterday I left the Blind Bear about 11, walking north on Main then turning right onto Union to get to-go food from Huey’s. MPD drove by and slowed down and looked me over good. I guess because of the long hair they think I’m a drug dealer? Pretty sure most drug dealers don’t wear shorts when it’s 55 degrees out.

There’s a new Memphis Music app available for iPhones and Android phones. It’s a product of the Rock N’ Soul Museum and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. It has plenty of information about Memphis music attractions, new Memphis music, the city’s many live music venues, Memphis music events, and much more. Kris from The Warehouse recommended it, and given his ties to the local music scene that’s a pretty strong endorsement.

Moody Ques members: We need your T-shirt sizes. 1 shirt is included with individual membership, 2 if you joined as a couple.

Million Dollar Quartet, the TV show set in the 1950s currently being filmed here, has put out a call for paid extras.

The 2016 Peabody Rooftop Party opener is this Thursday, April 14, headlined by The Molly Ringwalds and American Idol winner David Cook. These parties are hosted by The Q 107.5/96.1 with DJ Mark Anderson spinning. $15 admission, first 200 ladies free with doors opening at 6 and entertainment beginning at 7. Admission includes a buffet of chicken drummies, chips and veggies (available 7-8 PM). There is a VIP season pass you can purchase for $150. It gets you into a private VIP area where there is a second buffet of carved prime rib, lobster mach & cheese, and cupcakes (7-9:30 PM).

The My HQ Alley Party is coming the evening of Wednesday, April 20 in Barboro Alley next to Downtown Local. There will be Local’s craft beer, music by DJ Witnesse, art by Tom Domek, and ping-pong tables. Come check out the new lighting and compete in an office stock photo contest.

Need to get a workout in fast on your lunch break? The Church Health Center at 1115 Union is hosting a Pilates Express class from noon to 12:30 on Wednesday, April 27.

Keep an eye on North Korea. There have been some serious defections there, including a colonel and a diplomat. Also, 13 restaurant workers defected and North Korea’s only ally China could have stopped them and chose not to. North Korean leaders are planning a congress of the Korean Workers’ Party next month, the first since 1980, to demonstrate Kim Jong Un’s strength, but in preparation they are working their people nonstop.

It’s Equal Pay Day. If you are a woman who has been working since January 1, 2015, as of today on average you have earned as much as a man working the same job earned in calendar 2015.

The Fly on the Wall blog has a vintage commercial for the Green Beetle. By-the-drink liquor sales weren’t legal at the time, so the commercial advised to go to Frank’s next door and get a fifth of Old Crow and take it over to the Beetle.

Africa in April is at Robert Church Park at Fourth and Beale this coming weekend, Friday through Sunday. The honored country this year is Tanzania. Holly has details here. NOTE: I have not confirmed for 2016 but Uncle Lou’s has been known to be a vendor at this festival in the past. You may be able to get some Sweet Spicy Love without leaving Downtown.

Note about this weekend: If you see me at Downtown Olympics Saturday (I will be there all day), I would love to hang out and talk, but I’m asking that people not offer to buy me beer and shots. The reason why is that I have a VERY long day Saturday, extending well past the end time for DTO, and if I do shots all afternoon I will not make it to the second half of my plans. Thanks to all for understanding. I hope to take a lot of photos and tell the story on my blog of DTO and of the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. If you volunteer for UBFM (or if you get fed by UBFM) I would love to get a quote from you on what the organization means to you.

That’s all for now. Maybe a second post after work, so check back.

Cooks’ meeting @ Bass Pro plus Monday news

I made my first trip to Bass Pro yesterday! It was the annual cooks’ meeting that Memphis in May holds every year. It’s not really a cooks’ meeting at all, explained my BBQ team president and treasurer. “You stand in line in a number of different booths and pay for everything. You get your 24-hour and park hours wristbands, and also Wednesday Friends and Family Night tickets. You also pay for electrical and porta-potties and all the other things you need for your booth.”

“It’s at Bass Pro this year,” they told me. “It’s a much bigger space than previous cooks’ meetings, and for the first time ever they’re going to have a cash bar. You want to go?” Given that it’s my first year on the team’s board of directors, I decided it was an experience I should have, and rode over with them.

The cooks’ meeting was on the upper level overlooking the main store. This level also is where the hotel, Big Cypress Lodge, is located.

Photo Apr 10, 3 37 22 PMTeam vice-president Erik, pitmaster Frank, and president Clay made sure that all of the team’s paperwork was in order.

Photo Apr 10, 3 43 06 PMThe view from Big Cypress Lodge’s hotel bar, overlooking the store. This was a really neat place and I will have to visit again soon.

Although I thought I would be completely useless at a “cooks’ meeting,” I actually served a purpose there. The team ordered 10 Friends & Family Night tickets, which along with the 17 24-hour wristbands would give us 27 admissions on Wednesday. I pulled up the Moody Ques website on my phone, and did a quick count of the member list on the sidebar. “That’s not enough,” I told the team treasurer. “We have 33 members at this point.”

“Should I get 10 more, so we have 37?” she asked.

“Still not enough,” I replied. “The member list doesn’t include sponsors, who will want to come, and we have a few people we know are joining but who haven’t paid yet. And we still want to add a few more team members.” (By the way, if you’re interested in joining the team or sponsoring us, email moodyques@gmail.com.) So we ordered 20 additional tickets, giving us 47 admissions. The thing about Friends & Family Night tickets is that they are a scarce commodity. If we have more tickets than we can use, there will certainly be other BBQ teams willing to buy them.

We did a little shopping after the meeting. To my younger, male readers interested in meeting older, mature, experienced women, Bass Pro has the attire you desire:

Photo Apr 10, 4 23 12 PMWe saw our friends on Porkosaurus and Squeal Street BBQ getting their registration done too. Congratulations to Squeal Street, by the way, on what I hear was a very successful event Saturday. Good to see them getting some practice in, as they prepare to compete in the Shoulder division for the first time. With them right down the sidewalk from the Moody Ques, I look forward to spending a considerable amount of time hanging out in their booth in 2016.

There was no actual “meeting” part of the cooks’ meeting. The people at Memphis in May know we are veterans of BBQ Fest (hard to believe this will be my 10th year on a team) and know the ropes.

On to the news… if you have heard of career coaches and have wondered, “Why would people hire a career coach? What do they do that can help you?”, my friend Angela who coaches has an excellent answer here.

Riverside Drive is down to one lane each direction. Not sure if this is early prep for Memphis in May, or cleanup for the mudslide that happened back in March.

Following my visit to Loflin Yard last week, I had a few friends ask if the outdoors area is pet-friendly. Indeed it is. They have a section covered with mulch, specifically to accommodate customers who want to bring their dogs. There are ordering windows for food and for beer, so you can do everything without ever actually going inside.

From The Student Section: Why the Memphis Tigers job is a great one that head coaches should covet

We have several Yankee members of the BBQ team who travel to Memphis every year, and they are considered the hardest workers on the team (now that I am no longer in my “Mr. Load-in” role). They are a big fan of a BBQ sauce that they bring with them called Southern Yankee Sauce. Check it out here.

The Salty Dogs running club’s 6th anniversary run is tonight at Bardog. The rain will hopefully be gone by then, leaving a nice evening for the runners. Free to participate.

Historian Jimmy Ogle will lead a free tour of Memphis’ historic Cotton Row tomorrow at 11:45 AM. Meet at the Cotton Museum at Front and Union.

Here’s an example of what the front page might look like reporting on the activities of President Trump. While the front page example was made up, you just can’t make stuff like this up: Trump’s daughter Ivanka, leading the get-out-the-vote effort for her dad in New York, forgot to register to vote.

Memphis Animal Services is hosting a advisory board meeting Wednesday at the main library that is open for the public to attend. Come to the meeting if you thought the way Animal Services operated under former mayor Wharton was unacceptable. Make your voice heard and demand transparency.

Probable, but not definite plans for the evening will be to lead off at Bardog for Melissa Monday. I won’t be running with the Salty Dogs but will congratulate them on six great years. Second stop after that TBD. Everyone be safe driving home. It looks like it’s going to be a wet one.

Time to start planning for next weekend

This is the last “normal” weekend Downtown before we go festival crazy. There wasn’t much happening Downtown this weekend, and a lot of folks Lyfted/Ubered out to the Overton Square crawfish fest. Next weekend, however, there will be plenty to choose from. Here’s a look:

Downtown Olympics: This is a fundraiser for the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, a wonderful organization that helps feed the hungry. They make delicious burritos and other nutritious foods, then ride around Downtown and Midtown handing them out. They don’t judge the people they come in contact with, they don’t ask “how did you end up on the street?”… their only question is “Are you hungry?”

This is not your typical fundraiser, though. If you are thinking a black-tie event at the Cadre building with coverage in the society pages, you don’t understand Downtowners. Downtown Olympics (often abbreviated DTO), happening Saturday, April 16 from 10 AM to 5 PM in Double J’s parking lot, has teams of four, dressed in self-designed uniforms, competing in five events. The day kicks off with a beer relay, followed by cornhole, beer pong, tricycle races (wheels can be no bigger than 16″), and the penultimate event, synchronized drinking. There is beer, beer, beer, Fireball, beer, more beer, and more Fireball consumed throughout the day. The later events in the day are the most fun to watch because team members can barely stand up straight by that point, much less ride a tricycle or drink in unison with teammates. This is a must-watch and I will be there all day taking photos. Only Wine Race and BBQ Fest later in the spring calendar bring the shitshow more than DTO does.

Memphis Brewfest: This is a beer festival at AutoZone Park from 4:00 to 7:30 on Saturday, April 16. Buy tickets here ($47 general admission or $100 VIP). This is a fundraiser for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. It will be in the courtyard of AutoZone Park, or moved to the concourse underneath the seats in the case of rain. You get a souvenir sampling glass and can take it to numerous tasting stations to sample different beers. Although some of the beers are commonly sold in Memphis, many are not. This is a great opportunity to get educated about different types of beer. It’s also a great opportunity to get hammered! Food will be available for purchase if you get hungry, and there will be live entertainment by Red Letter Day.

Memphis Flyer Bacon & Bourbon Festival: If you haven’t bought tickets to this yet, you’re out of luck: They sold out last week. This will be held in The Memphis Farmers Market pavilion from 6 to 9 PM Saturday, April 16. There will be bacon-inspired dishes by Memphis chefs, as well as plenty of spirits to sample. There will be music from Papa Top’s West Coast Turnaround, as well as cigar rolling from BeLeaf Cigar Company.

I’ve been looking at the Facebook event listing for Downtown Olympics and this festival, and there are plenty of people listed as attending both. Even for experienced Downtowners who know how to hold their alcohol, these two events back-to-back are going to be quite a challenge. I’m guessing Uber will be jacking their prices to premium rates Saturday night, because all these events will keep them busy for sure. If you attend both DTO and the bacon/bourbon fest, better take Monday as a vacation day because the two-day hangover will probably happen.

Harbor Town Crawfish Fest: Yes, ANOTHER festival happening Saturday. This one is on Mud Island, on the parking lot of Movie and Pizza Company. This is by far the tamest of the Saturday festivals. If Overton Square Crawfish Fest and Rajun Cajun get too crowded for your taste, this might be more your speed. It happens from noon to 7 Saturday, and benefits the Mid-South Food Bank. $5 or two canned goods to get in. Live music by Gerry Finney.

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest: This event happens Sunday, April 17, noon to 6, on the river between Union and Beale. Of all of Memphis’ spring crawfish festivals, this is the largest and the best one. They sell buckets of crawfish – price uncertain but last year they were $20. There are plenty of other dining options too, including boiled shrimp, classic carnival fare (“It looks like fries! But it’s CHICKEN!”), as well as some of Memphis’ best food trucks. There will be live zydeco music, crawfish races for the children, and the always entertaining crawfish bobbing. No kidding, contestants put their hands behind their back, stick their face in a tub full of live crawfish, and pull out as many as they can with their teeth before time expires. Although the bobbing is a much-loved event to most, there is one group who don’t care for it: the crawfish. They fight back with their pincers and you could end up seeing more blood at this event than at Wrestlemania. Well, it’s not that bad, but the mudbugs do get their shots in. This is one of my favorite festivals and the tube top watching is excellent when the weather is warm. I definitely plan on being there, after an hour of pre-gaming at D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear at 11.

My 2016 perfect attendance streak at the Memphis Farmers Market has been broken in only the second week. We installed a new server at work Friday night and we had to test all our code Saturday morning. Unfortunately applying the security settings took longer than expected and I wasn’t able to get out until about 2:30. I will be back at MFM next Saturday for a very brief visit, picking up some food from Rock’n Dough or the tandoori truck to eat as I walk over to DTO.

It’s kinda funny… when I posted that I was late getting out because I was testing a new server, I failed to take into account that I have far more friends in the service industry than in IT. “What is he doing?” the folks at the Blind Bear speculated in my absence. “Did they hire Paul to train new Saucer girls?”

The Redbirds play an early game today at 2:05 (gates 1:00) vs. the Colorado Sky Sox. It’s a good day to bring the kids – the first 2500 fans 12 and under get a free ice cream treat, and kids can run the bases after the game. PRO TIP: If your kid is 13 or 14 and has not had his or her growth spurt yet, they can probably lie about their age and still get the ice cream. Who cards kids, after all?

Geez… I’m encouraging lying… fostering the next generation of Trumps/Hillarys on my blog today.

Historian Jimmy Ogle leads a free walking tour of the riverside today at 2. Meet at Chickasaw Heritage Park next to the Metal Museum (take exit 12C off I-55… or miss the exit and get a self-conducted tour of Arkansas, whatever you choose). On the tour, Jimmy will lead guests to Crump Park, with lots of river history along the way.

The 901 Heavy Hitters play Alfred’s tonight at 8.

Sunday Fun Day time. I’m leading off at D-RANKS with B-RAD as usual at 11, but you never ever know where else I might pop up. Back tomorrow with more news.

Loflin Yard 4/8/2016 plus Saturday news

I took a trip south to the newly opened Loflin Yard with the BBQ team president last night.

Loflin Yard is a new Downtown destination I don’t even know how to describe. It’s a 1500 foot interior where you can order a bottle of wine, a soft drink, or craft beer. You take it out on a 10,000sf space to sip wherever you like and they will bring you your food order.

We had the beef brisket and sweet corn. Worth coming back for. PRO TIP: Get food entrees to share. Also the beer is considerably a better value per pitcher than by the pint. Sharing is caring. And it saves money.

The restroom situation needs work. They had a one-holer for a crowd of about 175 (men’s room; I have no idea what the women’s was). They need to fix that. Otherwise, perfect execution of a concept not seen before in Memphis.

On to the news. The first fireworks night of the year happens following the Redbirds-Colorado Springs game at AutoZone Park tonight. Get there early, because the first 1500 fans in the turnstile get a free Redbirds seat cushion. The dueling pianos will be back in the right-field seating area. Prior to the 6:05 first pitch, Tara Oaks Elementary School will sing the national anthem.

If you eat Cracker Jack at ball games, or if you grew up loving the popcorn and peanut treat as a kid, you might want to check out the Cracker Jack Collectors Association convention happening Saturday, May 14 out east at the Embassy Suites. Prizes and memorabilia from the 1890s to the present will be on display.

There’s a Memphis Walkabilty Toolkit you can download (PDF format) if you are part of a neighborhood association or CDC or if you are a community volunteer who wants to improve the sidewalks in your neighborhood.

Black Violin plays tonight at the Orpheum. Wil B and Kev Marcus are two classically-trained violinists who spent some time in hip-hop before returning to their roots. They have performed all over the world, including the president’s Inaugural Ball and for the troops in Iraq. Tickets are $20 to $28.

The Grizzlies host Golden State tonight at 7 at FedExForum. This could be seen as a game that doesn’t matter now that the Grizzlies are safely in the playoffs, but that is not the case at all. The Grizzlies are playing for the chance to keep their #5 playoff seed, as well as to spoil Golden State’s quest to finish the year 73-9.

Plans for today: Lead off at Farmers Market as usual, home to test a new server for work, then Bardog after that. Nighttime plans to be determined.


Thank you Josh + Friday news

Josh Pastner is to be named the new head coach at Georgia Tech today, taking the University of Memphis off the hook for $10 million remaining on his contract. It’s a win for Josh because he will get to continue as a head coach and keep living his childhood dream, and because Georgia Tech is a better fit for him. It’s a win for the University not only financially, but because the basketball program can move on.

That said, I am not going to celebrate by bashing our outgoing head coach, as many have done online today. Thank you Josh. Our players were never involved in embarrassing off-court incidents under your watch, and we had a stellar record of players graduating on time. Yes you have some things to learn about coaching, but I still believe you have the potential to get there. Best of luck.

The Brass Door will have a special guest chef this evening from 6 to 8 PM. Demitrie Phillips, who you may remember in the past from Cafe Keough and Bardog, will be in the kitchen of the Brass Door for one night only. He will be cooking some classics: Mussels Provençal, Piri Piri Shrimp Polenta with mushrooms, Grilled Tasmanian Salmon citrus buerre blanc, and more. If you don’t have dinner plans, let Demitrie cook you dinner.

Joyce Cobb will perform at the Center for Southern Folklore along with Hank Sable tomorrow night, Saturday, April 9, from 8 to 10 PM.

Want to sell or buy on Craigslist, but are afraid to because of horror stories about buyers being robbed, kidnapped, etc. The Memphis police department welcomes use of their precinct parking lots for Craigslist exchanges.

The Redbirds host the Colorado Springs Sky Sox tonight at 7:05 (gates open at 6). Prior to the game, dueling pianos will perform in the right field stands.

I didn’t make it to Loflin Yard last night, but I have seen pictures from people who did go. I’m not the first person to say this but “rustic” is the first word that comes to mind (in a good way). It feels… I don’t know… Appalachian. Like, if someone showed me photos of the place and told me it was somewhere in the U.S., then asked me to guess where, I would say, “I can’t name the city but I bet it’s within 50 miles of where the Hatfields and McCoys lived.” Most likely a friend and I are going to check the place out tonight after work.

Loflin Yard is making the surrounding area prime real estate. A plan has been submitted for a 10-lot subdivision at 27 W. Carolina next door to Loflin Yard.

Memphis Fashion Week is having a Featured Designers Show tonight at the Cadre Building at Second and Monroe (tickets $50). J Brand presented by Indigo, Hayley Page presented by Maggie Louise Bridal, Abbey Glass presented by Joseph, Faherty Brand presented by Oak Hall, Sachi Memphis, Eclectic Eye, and Spruce presenting Brave Design will be there. 8 PM showtime.

Star-Lite Revue presented by Beale Street Caravan happens tonight at the Halloran Centre. It’s a one-night only gospel, blues and soul extravaganza emceed by WDIA’s James Chambers and Ford Nelson. Rev. John Wilkins will headline, along with gospel acts The Southern Sons, The Masonic Travelers, and The Bell Singers. Jimbo Mathus, Sons of Mudboy, and The Holy Ghost Town Band will bring contemporary Memphis roots and blues. Tickets $23.

From the Daily Beast: Things you can do with your beer other than drink it. You can eat it, you can wash with it.

That’s it for now. Possibly back with some Loflin photos tomorrow.

Thursday update

It’s Opening Night for the Redbirds tonight. They play the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, and before the game there will be team introductions. First pitch will be thrown by new owner Peter B. Freund and Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey. First 4000 fans get a game schedule magnet. College students with valid ID get $5 admission and $2 beer.

It was announced yesterday that the St. Louis Cardinals have extended their affiliation with the Redbirds through 2020.

If you want to get better at cooking healthy dishes, you should check out Stalking Celery, the Church Health Center’s cooking blog. This week they posted a recipe for a springtime classic, pasta primavera.

Now, where to get those vegetables for the pasta recipe? The Memphis Farmers Market, of course! Kale, Yes! is the theme at the Market this week. It’s a celebration of kale! To participate in the celebration, I would like to share my own personal recipe for kale:

1) Go to the Farmers Market and buy kale from a vendor.

2) Walk across G.E. Patterson.

3) Locate garbage can outside of Earnestine & Hazel’s. Throw kale in can.

4) Go inside E&H and order a Soul Burger.

NOTE: If short on time or money, steps 1-3 can be skipped.

NOTE 2: Walking to Beale and get a Double-Double from Dyer’s is an acceptable substitute for step 4. It’s an option that encourages healthy living since Beale is a much farther walk than E&H.

The Farmers Market is located under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, and runs every Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM. There will be live music by Shawn Hickman 8:30 to 10 and The Po’ Boys 11 to 12:30. Check out this vendor chitchat with Covington, TN-based premium meat vendor Claybrook Farms.

There will be a Downtown public safety meeting Thursday, April 14 at 6 PM in the boardroom of Central Station. Representatives from MPD, the Downtown Memphis Commission, the City Council, and Neighborhood Watch will be there.

If you’re signed up for the Pyramid Vodka 1K, they have changed the starting location. They will now start off at the Silly Goose at 4:30, crawling to Alfred’s and then the Tin Roof to watch the Grizzlies.

Miss Cordelia’s is hiring a wine and beer manager. Applicants should have retail experience as well as a strong knowledge of both wine and beer. Email jobs@misscordelias.com to apply.

For those of you who remember the Moody Ques’ 2014 Panama “Red Devil” bus first-place booth design, the head artist of the design team is now selling a line of capris for women. Visit Sarah’s page to see what she has to offer.

A new study has found that alligators are still dangerous no matter how drunk you are. They don’t take into consideration “oh, he’s just kidding around” before making their decision to attack.

I hear that DraftKings users living in Tennessee are being mailed letters asking them to contact their state legislator, to express support of a bill that would keep fantasy sports of all types legal in the state. This comes a few days after the attorney general issued an opinion that fantasy sports sites for real money were illegal.

Let’s all cheer for the Phoenix Suns tonight. If they beat the Houston Rockets, the Grizzlies will clinch a playoff berth in the West. If Houston wins, then the Grizzlies’ game at Dallas tomorrow takes on extreme importance.

Plans for tonight: I am probably going to lead off at the Blind Bear. If I can find anyone interested in a trip to the South End for Loflin Yard’s opening night, I might be up for that.

Maciel’s serving beer now and more Wednesday news

Last night as I was walking down the Main Street Mall, I noticed that Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos is now serving beer, mostly Mexican beers like Tecate and Corona. If you have not been to Maciel’s yet, I cannot stress enough how much you are missing out. It is the most authentic Mexican I have ever had in my life, and I spent six months living in San Diego. In addition, my BBQ teammate Mardoqueo from Monclova, Mexico tried the food and gave his opinion that Maciel’s is the real deal. The fried tacos, huaraches, seafood soft tacos, and the bean nachos are among my favorites. It’s next door to Family Dollar, on the Main Street Mall between Monroe and Union.

Sad to hear of the passing of country legend Merle Haggard. No one could set him straight, but Mama tried, Mama tried.

Parking in South Main may be a bit hard to find today. Million Dollar Quartet is filming in the area today. They were in Cooper-Young yesterday.

Congratulations to my friends at RedRover Sales & Marketing. The dog-friendly agency celebrates its 10th birthday today.

The Pyramid Vodka 1K/pub crawl I blogged about yesterday is sold out. Dammit, I was considering going, too!

Teach for America is looking to hire a Chief of Staff here in Memphis.

Want to celebrate Earth Day? There will be a Green Up and Glow party Friday, April 22. Meet at Loflin Yards at 4 PM for a South End clean-up, then at 6 there will be an Underpass Lighting Party with music by John Paul Keith and the 145s.

Speaking of Loflin Yard, the MBJ has photos of last night’s soft opening.

Bad news for those who are on DraftKings or FanDuel: The Tennessee Attorney General issued an opinion that those sites are illegal gambling. That doesn’t mean they will be banned, but the opinion could be used to change existing law.

Might want to avoid Getwell Road today.

Plans for tonight: No Brass Door Bingo for me this evening because I have to meet with the BBQ team’s board of directors. We have to write a bunch of checks tonight, and we will also talk team business if there is any. If there is any news that comes out of the meeting, I will post an update on the team website.

Tue update #2

The honored country this year at Memphis in May is Canada. BBQ Fest teams (at least the ones competing in Best Booth) decorate their booths in the style of the honored country. I wonder if any teams are doing a “place to move after Trump wins the election” theme for their booth?

This morning I blogged that the Grizzlies play the Bulls tonight at 7 at FedExForum. What I forgot to mention was that the first 4000 fans get the fourth and final piece of Mt. Grizzmore, Marc Gasol.

There will be a Pyramid Vodka 1K pub crawl and Grizzlies watch party this Saturday beginning at 4:30. For $15 you will receive one Pyramid Vodka cocktail at three Downtown bars, and the chance to win tickets to the Pyramid Vodka suite that night. The pub crawl will lead off at Bardog with check-in at 4:30 and the crawl itself beginning at 5. Crawlers will next visit the Silly Goose, then over to Tin Roof for a watch party as the Grizzlies host the Golden State Warriors next door at FedExForum. Check the Facebook event page for updates on the crawl.

Pretty cool: Overton Park is to be featured on PBS’s 10 That Changed America.

Choose901 will have its spring pop-up shop at Visible Music College, 200 Madison, Friday-Saturday April 22-23.

The Church Health Wellness Center is offering a mental health first aid training Friday, May 6. Many people are trained on CPR, but you’re more likely to run into someone having a mental or emotional crisis than a heart attack. This course will teach you a 5-step action plan to provide initial help to someone with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or crisis. Space is limited to 30 people. It is an all-day class, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Useful: This hammock lets you take naps underneath your desk

The second annual Barrel Aged Ball is coming to Wiseacre Brewing Co. out on Broad Avenue Sunday, April 10 as part of Memphis Craft Beer Week. Wiseacre will have a few barrels of its own beers to sample, and brewers from around the region will be shipping in their barrel-aged beers.

The Salty Dogs will have their 6th anniversary run next Monday, April 11. The runners depart from Bardog at 7 each week and run a course of approximately 3 miles. Following the run there are specials in the Underdog Room at Bardog. Free to participate.

That’s it for now. I will probably lead off at Brass Door after work this evening.

New bakery Two Girls and a Whip to open in June + Tuesday news

Two very talented bakers are starting their own business. You may remember photos on this blog of a cake baked by Downtown bartender MK (Mary Katherine). She makes very elaborate cakes that appear to be real-life objects, but are in fact completely edible. She and her partner Courtney are teaming up to open Two Girls and a Whip, a new bakery at the corner of Front and Talbot, in June.

Loflin Yard has a Facebook page you can “Like” to make sure you keep up with the latest news. The Carolina Avenue bar, restaurant, and courtyard opens Thursday.

The Flying Saucer has released its schedule for Memphis Craft Beer Week next week. They will have beer trivia Tuesday, a beer dinner with Bells Wednesday, and a vertical tasting on Thursday. That tasting will feature Wiseacre’s Ananda IPA as you know it, and also infused on the spot, side by side. Friday there’s a bottle share – $25 for bottle tasting, and the Saucer will provide hors d’oeuvres, or “hoderves” as they said on the event listing. Oh, Saucer.

The monthly South Main Association meeting will happen Tuesday, April 11 at the Rumba Room, 303 S. Main. Paul Young, director of housing and community development, will speak on South City, the $30 million development that will transform the neighborhood that is currently the Foote Homes housing project. Free for members, $10 for non-members; 6 PM social, 6:30 program.

That’s the Spirit!, a wine tasting that raises funds for the Hospitality HUB, will happen at the Robinson Gallery, 44 Huling at Front, on Thursday, April 28 5:30-7:30 PM.

The Sleeping Policemen, on tour through Memphis, will headline the Brass Door Thursday night. Laramie and Zoë Delaney play too.. Show starts at 8.

In probably the most winnable of the remaining games, the Grizzlies host the Chicago Bulls tonight at FedExForum, 7 PM.

New nonprofit page to “Like” on Facebook: Sunday’s Best, an organization whose mission is to clothe the homeless.

Lots of news left but no time to post it. Check back at lunch or after work for more.

Monday update

I want to start off this post with a “thank you” to the Memphis Police Department. The past few days, I have seen a uniformed officer patrolling on foot in the area around Main, Second, Madison, and Monroe. That area has long been a problem because of the liquor store on Madison that sells the low-priced stuff. There are a group of 6 to 10 “regulars” who hang out in the area, panhandling to get a few dollars, going to the liquor store, drinking, then repeating. These people get quite drunk and have a history of harassing the public at the Madison trolley stop on Main, in front of the convenience store at Second and Madison, and along that block of Madison. They tried putting a police camera on the block, but it didn’t deter the panhandlers. A uniformed officer is a welcome sight and I have not seen the usual suspects for several days now.

Here’s something to consider: Look how much South Main has improved since Frank’s Liquors, another store that sold the cheapest of the cheap booze, closed several years ago. The area is by no means free of panhandlers, but they don’t have a central point of orbit down there anymore. I see the block of Madison between Second and Third having as much potential as the block of Main between Talbot and Huling – but on Madison, it’s largely unrealized potential because the bums discourage people from wanting to come to that area. I wonder how much business Havana’s Pilon, Qahwa, and the Brass Door have lost because of them.

Loflin Yard, “Downtown’s backyard” the new restaurant/bar at 7 West Carolina, opens Thursday. This seems like it is going to be a really neat space. Anyone want to walk/Lyft down there Thursday and check this place out? The MBJ has a slideshow with 35 photos.

If you’re a fan of late ’80s and early ’90s music, you might want to organize a road trip to Little Rock on July 29. There will be an I Love the ’90s concert featuring Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Kid & Play and others.

Closer to home, there will be a punk rock fest June 3-6 in Memphis. There will be multiple venues, with punk bands from around the region performing.

Another brewery has decided to expand its taproom hours. Starting April 19, the High Cotton taproom at 598 Monroe will be open six days a week. Tuesday-Friday the taproom will be open 4 to 9, then on Saturday 2 to 10 and Sunday 1 to 6.

As if the event list for Saturday, April 16 were not crowded enough already with Downtown Olympics, Memphis Brewfest, and the Memphis Flyer Bacon and Bourbon Fest, here’s one more… The Harbor Town Crawfish Fest will happen that Saturday from noon to 7. The festival will happen outside Move & Pizza Company at 110 Harbor Town Square on Mud Island. It benefits the Mid-South Food Bank and the cost to get in is $5 or 2 canned goods. Gerry Finney will provide the live music.

Holly has an excellent post on what you need to know about the 2016 Memphis Redbirds baseball season. She has ticket prices, promotions, and things that are new at AutoZone Park this year.

Max’s Sports Bar will open at 1 PM today for those who want to watch some baseball.

The Grizzlies have lost six in a row but remain 5th in the Western Conference for now, with 5 games remaining. Ninth-place Houston, who would be first out of the playoffs if the season ended today, trails Memphis by 3 games. Two of the Grizzlies’ five remaining games are against 69-8 Golden State, which is about as far from an ideal schedule as it gets.

That’ll do it for now. I’ll be out at Melissa Monday at Bardog after work, then wander over to the Blind Bear a little after 7. Another post is a possibility this evening.