Tuesday update #2

The 15 Film Series at Clayborn Temple continues Thursday evening, with a film documenting an often-overlooked piece of Memphis history: The Invaders. A new, radicalized group of civil rights activists, The Invaders were inspired by militant leaders like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. The group, emerging in 1967 in Memphis, consisted of college students, Vietnam vets, musicians and intellectuals, and would step away from the doctrine of non-violence when the situation required it. This film looks at the significance and history of this group, and its influence on MLK in his final days. There will be a reception at 6 and the film will be shown at 7. A panel of Dr. Colby Smith, Calvin Taylor, John Gary Williams, Chikita Smith, Juanita Thornton, Roy Turks and John Bowen will participate in a discussion following the film, curated by Bertram Williams. Here’s a trailer of the movie.

It’s dollar King Cotton night at the Redbirds. First pitch 7:05 vs. Oklahoma City.

Hot Rods on Beale happens the 4th Tuesday of the warm-weather months… and for June, that would be tonight. The American Muscle Car Club and the Perfect Nemesis Car Club will have their rides parked on Beale for the public to see tonight, 6-10 PM.

La La Land, rated PG-13, will be the free movie shown tonight on the big screen at Beale Street Landing. A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. Showtime is 8:30 and the movie is 128 minutes long.

I stopped by the Blind Bear last night, and discovered that Moonshine Monday is now Moonshine & Margarita Monday. $3 moonshine shots, $6 moonshine cocktails, $4 silver & grapefruit tequila shots, and $6 silver & grapefruit margaritas.

South Main Sounds will host Songwriter Night #59 at 550 S. Main Friday night, June 30 from 7 to 9 PM. Performers will include Sturges Nikides & Mandy Lemons, Danny Green, Claire Radel, and Levi Smith.

That’s it for now. I will be out at the Great Streets block party, around Peabody Place and Main, after work. If you don’t see me on the street, come in the Silly Goose and find me.

… Oh, that reminds me, one more thing. I posted photos this morning of the new public seating along Peabody Place, and I also posted the photos to Facebook. One person commented that the Silly Goose section of the public seating looks good but needs shade. The manager there has confirmed that large umbrellas have been ordered and should be here around the end of the week.

Back tomorrow with more news, and I hope to see you at the block party this evening.

Great Streets Kick-off party preview

In anticipation of tonight’s Great Streets party on Peabody Place, I went down there yesterday afternoon to get some photos of the new seating and other pedestrian amenities on the street.

Looking west from Main toward Front Street, tables and chairs have been set up next to the Gayoso House.

Benches at the intersection of Main and Peabody Place. There are also many bike racks for those who choose to ride their bikes to the area.

Seating in front of the Silly Goose. The Goose can legally serve drinks on this section of the pedestrian promenade. They are bringing in a server to work the party tonight to ensure speedy service if you sit out there.

A view from one of the tables in front of the Silly Goose

More tables in front of the Flying Saucer at Peabody Place and Second

One thing you may have noticed about all these tables – there’s nobody sitting at them! That’s to be expected. Yesterday, when I took the photos, was the first weekday with the pedestrian promenade fully open. People are still getting used to the new street. Also, I took the photos at the height of the summer afternoon, and it was pretty hot. Once the sun dipped behind the Waterford to the west of the street, the seating became much more inviting. Good news for the party tonight – MemphisWeather.net is predicting a high of only 86 – 5 degrees below normal for this time of year – with a northeast wind of 7 miles an hour and a 0% chance of rain. Comfortable humidity levels are expected too.

For those who haven’t heard of the Great Streets Kick-off Party, it happens tonight on the section of Peabody Place shown above, 5 to 9 PM. There will be sidewalk sales by retail shops, restaurants and bars in the area. Free photos in the Amurica photo booth, and MEMPopS will be selling their frozen pops. Chinese Connection Dub Embassy will perform. Sprock ‘n Roll party bikes will be giving rides. The project is organized by the Downtown Memphis Commission and is made possible by the city’s division of engineering and the Urban Art Commission.

I’m excited about the party tonight! Come down and say hello!

Monday update

The finishing touches have been put on the Peabody Place part of the Great Streets project. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 27, there will be a party on Peabody Place at Main Street from 5 to 9 PM to celebrate. Chinese Connection Dub Embassy will perform live. You can get your photo made in the Amurica photo booth. MEMPopS will be there selling sweet frozen treats. Adjacent restaurants and bars will have specials, and there will be remarks from project sponsors. This is a free event, open to the public.

The Redbirds return to town tonight, facing Oklahoma City at AutoZone Park. 7:05 first pitch.

The Children’s Museum of Memphis will host Stroll with the Trolls Saturday, August 19 from 10 AM to 3 PM. Last year’s Trolls movie will come to life. You’ll be able to meet some of your favorite Trolls and get photos with them. There will be a Doodle Bugs Arts and Crafts Studio, and you can design hair extensions to match the color of your favorite Troll’s hair. Themed face painting and balloons as well. Tickets $3 members/$18 non-members in advance, or $5 members/$20 non-members at the door.

Celebrate Canada Day at Kooky Canuck this Saturday, July 1. There will be $1.50 Molson Canadian draft, and specials on Canadian food all day. Customers are encouraged to wear their Canadian colors. There are 32 Canadian whiskies at the bar. This is an especially big celebration for Canada Day this year, because it will be Canada’s 150th birthday.

The Center for Southern Folklore has CDs – four of them in all – of Beatles songs covered by great Memphis artists including John Kilzer, The Memphis All-Stars, and Kevin Paige. Get them here.

Miss Cordelia’s will have live music by Jamie Baker tonight from 5 to 8 with Stanley’s Sweet Street Treat and MEMPopS parked outside. $1 off all draft pints.

Marc Gasol makes enough money to send people to the grocery store to do his shopping for him. But instead, he chooses to grow his own food. Very cool.

Captain Underpants (see yesterday’s first post if you don’t get the reference) will become the first president in almost 20 years to not host a Ramadan dinner.

I didn’t get a chance to hang out on the new Peabody Place promenade this past weekend, so I think I will head down there after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Things you can’t un-see + Sunday news

The Memphis Farmers Market is seeking volunteers for MFM Squared, its new, second market which will run on Wednesdays 4-7 PM in Court Square. Sign up here.

Crooner Johnny Mathis plays the Orpheum tonight, with special guest Gary Mule Deer. Tickets $52-128.

Memphis Magazine has a good article on Jimmy Sinh, the man behind the Sushi Jimmi food truck and restaurant.

Memphis Magazine also shared a memory of a cafe called Bergville which operated at 459 Union, in the area then known as Auto Row and now known as The Edge, in the 1930s.

Stock & Belle at 387 S. Main will host Buti & Bubbles on Sunday, July 16 from 2 to 4 PM. Buti Yoga combines power yoga with cardio-intensive tribal dance and body-sculpting movement. If you take the class, you need to bring your own mat, and water and a towel are a good idea too. There will be champagne and shopping following the class.

I missed my high school reunion in Little Rock this weekend. It was just too soon to go back to the city where I said goodbye to my mom. If any Hall High Warriors are reading this, feel free to send me a friend request on Facebook if you want to stay in touch.

Time to head to the Blind Bear for my regular Sunday stop at D-RANKS with B-RAD. Probably going to be there most of the afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update #2

The Flying Saucer celebrates its 20th anniversary of the Memphis location all day today. From 11 AM to 2 AM, there will be Bar Olympics. You can compete in beer pong, human foosball, a Big Wheel Race and more. Of course there will be special beers for the occasion, in addition to the 200 beers in bottles, cans, and on draft that they always carry. They’ll tap Sweetwater 20th Anniversary IPA, and Yazoo Embrace the Funk Sour and Wild Ales.

Broadway play Love Letters is at the Halloran Centre tonight at 8 PM. The play chronicles the relationship between rebellious Melissa Gardner and straight-as-an-arrow Andrew Makepeace Ladd III over the course of 50 years. There’s a special reason to go see this… the part of Ladd will be played by Memphis’ own Pat Halloran, namesake of the theater and president of the Orpheum for many, many years. Tickets are $50-250. Proceeds from the production will go to the Creative Movement Studio at the Church Health Center in Crosstown.

Over at the Orpheum tonight will be Comedy’s Most Wanted Tour featuring five of the funniest “damn” comedians on the planet: Lavell Crawford, Corey Holcomb, J.J. Williamson, Dominique, and DC Young Fly. DJ Traci Steele will entertain the crowd between sets.

There will be a house & disco music fitness festival today at Handy Park at Third and Beale, with music by Tj Carter and DJ Brandon McCarty of House in the Mid-South. Buy tickets to get up on stage and work out. There will also be vendors in the park promoting fitness and wellness.

The Union Mission posted that the ladies staying at Moriah House have some very specific needs right now. These include size 4, 5, and 6 diapers, bottles for 4-6 month olds, and canned goods. These can be dropped off at the administrative office at 170 Tillman 8 AM-5 PM Monday Friday, or anytime at 383 Poplar.

This is my second post today. Make sure to read about the sunset at The Front Porch at Beale Street Landing that I got to see last night too. With the storms long gone, it’s time to get out and enjoy a beautiful weekend in Memphis!

Mississippi River sunset at The Front Porch @ Beale Street Landing

Last night our BBQ team treasurer Misty celebrated her birthday at The Front Porch, the recently reopened restaurant in Beale Street Landing. The closest restaurant to the river, there is a large outdoor patio with a seating area and lots of red rocking chairs for an ideal Mississippi River view.

Unfortunately, due to storms moving through and another birthday celebration a few blocks away, I didn’t make it down to The Front Porch until almost 8 PM. Therefore, I didn’t get to try any of their food, which is a shame because I have heard good things. However, Jennifer Biggs from the Commercial Appeal gave the restaurant a first look and wrote about the food. (Edit: I linked to a menu but it was the wrong Front Porch.) For the reopening, the restaurant is being temporary operated by Patrick & Deni Reilly of the Majestic Grille, so you know their standards for the quality of menu items and service is high.

A wonderful early summer evening. I hope to be back soon. I have Saturday news but I will save it for a separate post, in order to encourage people to share and tweet this one and get the word out about this excellent restaurant and gathering space.

Big Friday update: Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Fest, Ticer and Hudman to open restaurant in Old Dominick, and more

One of the best outdoor events of the late summer party season has been announced for Sunday, August 20 – the Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue party. This is a massive event thrown by Bardog Tavern, its sibling restaurants, and its neighbors on Monroe Avenue to raise many tens of thousands of dollars for St. Jude. It starts off with a 5K race, and later in the day there is a dunk tank, raffle, a craft beer garden, a meatball eating contest, and a head shaving, all to raise money for the children’s hospital. Best of all – the party is not the same day as Best Memphis Burger Fest this year, so no one will have to choose between the two events!

Speaking of Best Memphis Burger Fest, here’s a link to the cooking application. Whether you’re a chain of restaurants or a guy with a grill in the back yard, you are welcome to compete.

Captain Keith of the Flying Saucer has an excellent blog post on how the craft beer scene has changed over the past 20 years. In the 1990s the Saucer played a vital role in introducing craft beer to markets like Little Rock and Memphis. That awareness has allowed craft breweries to flourish, and many have become pubs as well, opening their own taprooms. That makes the Saucer both the customer and the competition of local craft breweries. The Saucer is happy to carry local craft beers as long as the quality is consistently high.

Chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, the chefs behind Catherine & Mary’s, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, and Hog & Hominy, plan to open a restaurant in Old Dominick Distillery. It will be in the north side of the building with windows overlooking the Mississippi River.

No Beans About It is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. Actually, though, there will be plenty of beans for sale! The Master Gardeners will be back to answer your questions. Live music by Josh Cosby 8:30-10 and Juliana Hale 11-12:30. The Market happens every Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson.

Can’t make it Saturday? The second location of the Farmers Market, MFM Squared, starts up on Wednesdays 4-7 PM in Court Square this coming Wednesday, June 28.

Want to support St. Jude and drink beer? Stop by Memphis Made Brewing Co. 1-10 PM this Saturday and put a $20 in the donation box, and you will receive a free pint. Specifically the money will be going to the Memphis to Peoria Fundraiser. The Outta the Box food truck will be on site, and if you’re around at 4 PM you can go on a free brewery tour.

Great article on the Memphis Magazine website: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of Clayborn Temple

South Main Sounds Songwriter Night #58 happens tonight 7-9 PM at 550 S. Main. Music by Rodney Shawn Phillips and Ethan Phillips, Roger Wild, Brandon Taylor, Lauren Barth, and Kayln Fay.

I hope everyone survived the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy this morning. I worked from home from 7:30-9:30 to avoid the worst of it. Funny how the two most productive hours I worked this month were the two I spent not sitting in a cubicle. I saw on Twitter that flooding got so bad on 240 near the Union exit that cars had to turn around at one point. Seems like Cindy snarled traffic every bit as bad here as Katrina did in 2005 – and Katrina was still a tropical storm when it visited Memphis.

More rain is forecast for tonight, and as a result The Fourth Bluff has tweeted that tonight’s event will be canceled.

This is going to be a fun thread on Twitter:

I still think “Cheeto Voldemort” that protesters screamed outside Trump Tower can’t be topped.

This is good too:

Fun night for me ahead, rain or no – a friend’s birthday party at The Front Porch, the restaurant in Beale Street Landing being temporarily operated by Patrick and Deni Reilly of the Majestic Grille. It will be my first time to see the place since it re-opened and I am excited about the view of the Mississippi, as well as the menu. I will try to take some pictures, so check back tomorrow.

Update on the Peabody Place public promenade and more Thursday news

 

The pedestrian promenade on Peabody Place is days away from completion. Peabody Place between Main and Second has been re-striped. On the north side of the street is the future pedestrian promenade, then bike lanes, one lane each way for vehicle traffic, and metered parking on the south side of the street. Bikers are protected by collisions with cars by a row of planters. People on the promenade are protected from cars by two rows of planters.

Furthermore, the Silly Goose has signed on as a corporate sponsor of the project, and will be able to serve people sitting on the promenade in the area enclosed by the planters. (The photos above were taken from the Silly Goose patio). Daniel, owner of the Goose, commented that he would like to have cornhole out there too.

I’ve seen a mixed bag of comments about the project on Facebook, but I’ll put my two cents in: I love it. If I were visiting Memphis from out of town, this kind of thing would make me want to move here. It encourages interaction with others, and shows that Memphis is a city capable of thinking outside the box. If I were a bike rider, I would appreciate the city giving me my own lane protected from cars by the planters.

Let’s address a few criticisms I have seen:

“But Paul, you’re a liberal who will get behind any bike/pedestrian project that makes it harder for people to drive their cars.” No. Not true. Remember when they reduced Riverside to two lanes a couple of years ago, giving the other two lanes to bikes and pedestrians? I thought that was a horrendously stupid idea, and spoke against it multiple times here. This project on Peabody Place makes sense. Peabody Place was never a major thoroughfare, a connector between two interstate highways.

“It will slow traffic on Peabody Place.” Peabody Place was one lane each direction before the change. It still is. The turning lane has been eliminated, and it’s true that could slow traffic as people turn left into the garage on the northwest corner of Second and Peabody, so to some extent this is a valid concern. Those who planned the project need to monitor traffic flow. People need to be educated to use Beale and MLK as alternates if they don’t plan on parking in the Peabody Place garages.

“Memphis drivers are idiots. They will never understand what to do on the street. They’ll crash into the pedestrians on the promenade.” The promenade will be protected by two lanes of planters. Again, though, the planners of the project need to monitor driver behavior, and if it becomes clear that many drivers do not understand the street, make adjustments. I know for a fact that MPD already pays close attention for people driving drunk on that particular street. As for the statement that Memphis drivers are idiots, no argument there. I hope there’s a budget for planter repair in this project.

“It takes away parking spaces.” True, on the north side of the street by the Silly Goose, it does. However, there is a 5-story garage next door. Oftentimes the spaces by the Goose were used by service industry people wanting to avoid paying for parking while they worked. But with metered hours expanded to 8 AM-10 PM Monday-Saturday, they wouldn’t have avoided paying anyway.

Overall I think there is a net positive gain for the city in this project. I encourage my readers to give it a chance. And now, let’s get on to the news…

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a tropical storm named Cindy (now downgraded to a tropical depression) that has us dead in its sights. Rain tonight and they’re expecting 2 to 4 inches by around noon tomorrow. Plan your morning drive carefully and allow extra time. Remember there are spots on the interstate where water pools.

Reacting to federal cuts to Meals on Wheels, a generous MIFA donor has offered to match, 2 for 1, any donation made through June 30, up to a total of $10,000. Triple the bang for your buck represents a tremendous opportunity to help a senior suffering from isolation and food insecurity. For example, your donation of $76 would become $228 with the match, providing more than a month of meals for someone in need. Make your donation here.

Makeda’s Cookies on South Second has added milkshakes for the summer.

Verge Memphis, a documentary made in Memphis, will be shown at Clayborn Temple tonight as part of its 15 Film Series. Tonight’s film looks at the journey of seven indie Memphis artists against the backdrop of the city of rock and soul. It kicks off at 6 PM with a block party. Every film in this series is free to the public and includes discussion by an expert curator.

1960 movie Psycho plays on the big screen at the Orpheum tonight. Doors open at 6, movie at 7.

If you have an Amazon account but haven’t used it in a while, may want to log in and check it. You may have credits from a class-action lawsuit, credits that expire Saturday.

Jamie Wyatt plays the Blind Bear Saturday 7 to 10. That is an unusual slot for them to book live music (it usually starts at 10) so I suspect this is a special performance in some way. When I see Jeannette tonight I will see if she has more details.

Tonight is NBA Draft Day. It kicks off on ESPN at 6. The Grizzlies don’t have a pick in this year’s draft due to previous trades. It’ll still be interesting to see where the top names in this year’s draft end up, and if Lavar Ball does anything outrageous when his son Lonzo gets drafted.

That’s it for now. Keep reading if you haven’t seen the news update I did this morning.

Thur update #1

Caller ID spoofing is being widely used by scammers this year. Let’s say my phone number is 901-685-2446. I might get calls from 901-685-4462, or 901-685-1445, or 901-685-2876 – numbers which look enough like mine that I might be tricked into assuming it’s a local call. I’ve also had my own number spoofed as calling me. Andy Wise from WMC-TV 5 reports that a new law is in place allowing for a fine of up to $10,000 per spoofed call placed.

Wise also confirmed that the strategy I use to fight these calls is the best one: Just don’t answer. If the number is not in my contacts, I let it go to voice mail. If the person on the other end has a legit reason to contact me, they will tell me why on voice mail and I can call them back. The problem with answering is, it tells the person on the other end that this is a working phone number that gets answered. Your number will then be put on a marketing list sold to other scammers, and then number of calls you get will increase.

Belle Bistro is adding a charcuterie bar to the restaurant. The owner noted that many restaurants down here have a charcuterie appetizer or dinner plate, but no one has grabbed on to the charcuterie bar concept here in Memphis yet.

The Flying Saucer has an event coming up that is only for members of its UFO Club: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Pairings, four pours of Sierra Nevada collaborations, each paired with a small plate of California favorites prepared by the Saucer’s Chef Louis. It happens Thursday, June 29 at 8 PM. Cost is $25, and again, you must be a UFO Club member to reserve your place for this event. Not a UFO Club member but want to become one? Ask your server or bartender how you can make that happen.

The South Main Association has promised that this month’s South Main Trolley Night, to happen Friday, June 30 from 6 to 9 PM, will take things to a whole new level. The Second Line Jazz Band will lead a Second Line Parade from LYFE Kitchen down Main to Webster Ave. at 6:30, and the GrizzLine drummers will march at 7:00. Special surprises are promised throughout the evening. For those not familiar, the shops and galleries of South Main stay open late the last Friday of each month so people can shop and mingle. Many offer appetizers, booze, and/or discounts.

Also stepping it up is AutoZone Park, promising the largest fireworks display in park history following the 6:35 PM game on Monday, January 3. There will be a special ticket ($20 field box, $23 dugout) that includes an all-American buffet of burgers, dogs, sides, and drinks. The buffet will run from 5:00 to 7:30. Prior to the game, there will be a party on the plaza with live music by the Memphis Yahoos and $2 select draft beers.

The VW Microbus is coming back. The new Bus, however, will be an electric vehicle.

This Bloomberg article is the best I’ve seen yet explaining President Trump’s ties to two names you will hear a lot in the months to come – The Bayrock Group and Felix Sater.

I titled this post “Thursday update #1” because I already know there will be a second post at lunchtime. Check back, because I will have an update at the pedestrian promenade soon to open on Peabody Place, plus at least a couple of other news items.

Wednesday update

If you plan on grilling out for the July 4 weekend, here’s a way you can support locally sourced food. Bring It Food Hub is a nonprofit distributor of fresh local foods and farm products in Memphis. They are offering a BBQ Box for $35. The box feeds 6 to 8 and includes 1 pound of ground beef, 1 pound of bratwursts, 1 pound of jalapeno peppers, 1 head of lettuce, 1 1/2 pounds of squash, 1 pound of onions, 6 ears of sweet corn, and 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes. Order today and pick up your box on Friday, June 30 at Memphis Tilth, 575 Suzette.

The M-80s are the featured entertainment for tomorrow night’s Thursday rooftop party atop the Peabody. $10 to get in, free for hotel guests and ladies before 7. Admission price includes a buffet of mini spring rolls and pot stickers with soy sauce and honey mustard. If you’re in VIP you get a second buffet of lobster spring rolls, chicken satay with peanut sauce, sushi, and fortune cookies. Drink specials will be a honey margarita and backwoods blackberry moonshine.

It’s Drink a Beer, Save a River night at the Ghost River taproom tonight from 5-8 PM. One dollar from every Ghost River pint sold will be given to the Wolf River Conservancy. Yippie Trippie & the PorkStars food truck will be on site, and they will have their weekly Geeks Who Think trivia starting at 7.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. will be hosting movie night next Tuesday, June 27 from 7 to 9 PM, with classic paranormal blockbuster Ghostbusters on the big screen. Lady Bugg Bakery will provide snacks, Stay Puft Marshmallow Men. I imagine you will probably be able to find some beer there too.

Next Thursday evening, June 29, comedy night returns to the Memphis Made taproom. Twelve Memphis comedians will showcase their best material in 5-minute sessions apiece. The show will be free to attend, with doors opening at 8 and the comedy starting at 8:30.

Job news: The Greater Memphis Chamber is hiring an export program manager.

Also, the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) is hiring a Communications & Program Manager and a Landscape Manager.

If you take ride-sharing services around town, you might want to note that Uber is making a change and introducing tipping.

High Ground News has a good article on turning alleys into destinations in the Downtown core, The Edge, and Crosstown.

I had a great time listening to South Side Supper Club last night at Belle Tavern. They have built up a good sized crowd when they play the first and third Tuesdays of the month. I had the pleasure of running into one of my former students who I taught Concepts of Numbers at the University of Memphis years ago. “I read your blog and we’re friends on Facebook,” she told me. Then she asked, “Where’s your troll?”

Anyway, I just want to say this – if any of my other former students have sent me a friend request on Facebook and I haven’t accepted, send me a message on there and tell me you’re a former student. I hesitate to accept requests from people with whom I have 0 or 1 friend in common because there are so many Facebook scams. Let me know that, hey, I actually do know you, and I’ll be happy to add you.

That’s it for now… I’ll be out at Silly Goose happy hour after work, back tomorrow.