Wednesday update

Stock & Belle at 387 S. Main will host a special event Sunday evening, June 25, from 5 to 9 PM. Bre Lasley was a victim of a horrible home break-in with an attempt on her life. She fought back and survived the attack. She founded the organization Fight Like Girls to tell her story and to encourage other women to fight back too. Bre will come to Stock & Belle to spread her inspiring message and celebrate unlimited strength in all women.

Check out the new Orpheum website! Looks good!

The annual Juneteenth celebration is going on all week, leading up to an outdoor urban music festival in Robert Church Park, on Beale just east of Fourth, Friday-Sunday June 16-18.

The free Envision Memphis boot camp is back at RiverPlay tonight, on Riverside between Court and Jefferson. The class is for age 18 and up. There is no need to RSVP, just meet at 6 PM at the Gear Shack at RiverPlay.

Job news: Memphis College of Art is hiring a Chief Financial Officer.

This is interesting:

Time for thoughts on U.S. events this week. Feel free to stop reading if you don’t care about politics. You won’t be missing any Downtown news.

  • That Cabinet meeting where they went around the room and praised Trump and the progress his administration has made: You realize that’s what happens in Kim Jong Un’s meetings right?
  • Anyone else have the feeling that Defense Secretary Mattis looks at all this and thinks “WTF have I gotten myself into?”
  • As much as we heard “I can’t recall…” or similar from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, perhaps he should be examined for early onset dementia.
  • On the other hand, Sessions could totally be the poster boy for a campaign to get Americans to drink more water.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris could well be a rising star in the Democratic party by the time all these hearings are done.
  • As for this morning’s shooting at the Congressional baseball practice, it proves there are kooks on both the left and right.

That’s the news for now. I plan to be out at my usual Wednesday Silly Goose happy hour. Back tomorrow with more.

Tuesday update

The Downtown Neighborhood Association has scheduled its June monthly meeting, and the guest will be a good one: none other than the mayor of Memphis, Jim Strickland. The mayor will share his administration’s strategy of looking at new ways to solve old problems. The meeting will be held at The Vault, in the former Double J space on G.E. Patterson, on Tuesday, June 27 with a 6 PM social and 6:30 meeting. The Vault has two levels, 26 TVs, Memphis’ only frost bar, and a menu that is a mix of Creole, Italian oysters, jambalaya, and pizza.

Speaking of the City of Memphis: I put in my first ever 311 request this morning. The light at Front and Peabody Place is malfunctioning and never turns green for those trying to turn southbound onto Front from Peabody Place. The pedestrian signal for Front counts down to 0, but then instead of the light turning red, the little walking man reappears and Front gets a new cycle. For the time being I would recommend avoiding that intersection.

Lansky Bros. is now selling a children’s book entitled Come on in, Young Man! by Hal and Julie Lansky. It starts off with that day in 1952 when a teenage Elvis Presley was standing outside the clothing shop, peering through the window. “Come on in, young man!” said Bernard Lansky to Elvis, beginning a life-long friendship that allowed Elvis to dress and perform in his own unique style when he hit it big on the music scene a few years later. The book shows children that hard work and confidence can make dreams come true, and encourages them to “follow that dream.”

Crop Hop 5K, the annual 5K benefiting the Memphis Farmers Market, is this Friday, June 16. $25 registration gets you a run, a T-shirt, and admission to the race after-party under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson where there will be live music, food and beer. Runners have told me they consider this one of the better after-parties on the circuit. If you just want the T-shirt and the after-party without the run, sign up as a Spirit Runner for $25. Just want the after-party? $15 for that. Sign-up goes up to $30 the day of the event. First 200 to sign up are guaranteed a T-shirt.

South Main residents have discovered they have video of the South Main creeper on their security system. This pervert cruises South Main in a white pickup in the mornings before sunrise, Saturdays in particular. When he sees a woman out running or walking her dogs, he parks the truck, gets out, and follows her, touching himself and mumbling obscenities.

You know, I hate reporting negative news about Downtown, but I also think to myself, oh boy, did this creep pick the WRONG neighborhood to target. They are a tight-knit community down in South Main and they are going to get this guy. I betcha there are lots of residents up early this Saturday keeping their eyes open for that white pickup truck. Everyone looks out for their neighbors down there. He’d be better off targeting an area like Cordova, where people know what times the potato skins are half off at Applebee’s but they don’t know their neighbors.

Wiseacre hosts A Midsummer Night’s Beer Dinner on Sunday, June 25 from 6 to 9 PM. The dinner will be in the brewery’s newly tinted Chautauqua Pavilion, pairing four courses from Bounty on Broad with Wiseacre’s summeriest beers. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

Congratulations to three Memphis agencies, DCA, Red Deluxe, and archer > malmo, that were recently honored on a national stage, bringing home Silver ADDY awards. DCA’s award was for a marketing campaign for Loflin Yard, and Red Deluxe’s was for a photo illustration of one of Downtown’s most famous alleys (Rendezvous alley).

It’s dollar hot dog night at the Redbirds, courtesy of King Cotton. First pitch 7:05. Colorado Springs is the opponent.

Space Jam is tonight’s free movie on the big screen at Beale Street Landing. 8:30 start time.

Wine and liquor are back at the Green Beetle effective today.

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative will hand out grants to fund public art, with preference being given to those who live or work within the district.

Your library card will get you free or discounted admission at many Memphis museums and attractions June 1-July 31.

Bloomberg reports that the Russian breach of the 2016 U.S. presidential election was wider than previously thought, hitting 39 of the 50 states.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out somewhere after work. Tuesday is kind of my wild card day, so I kind of play it by ear as to where I go. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update

Work on the bike and pedestrian corridor that will connect Downtown to Midtown has begun. Front and Peabody Place were re-paved and re-striped this past weekend. Peabody Place will have a pedestrian promenade with tables where pedestrians can lounge, much like the promenade at Monroe and Marshall over in The Edge.

There are a couple of events coming up at Old Dominick Distillery on Front. On Saturday, June 24, the distillery hosts an event called The Memphis Spirit Returns. $30 admission includes Old Dominick handcrafted cocktails. There will be a full bar with cocktail samples. Famed Memphis chefs will supply the food, including Kelly English of Iris, Jose Gutierrez of Entourage, Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne’s, and Patrick Reilly of the Majestic Grille. Live music by the South Side Supper Club, Bluff City Backsliders and the Memphis Second Line Jazz Band. Cocktail crafting by talented Memphis bartenders and mixologists. A portion of the proceeds will benefit New Memphis Institute.

The Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau will host Double Vision, a Memphis travel cocktail mixer, this Thursday, June 15, at 5:30 at Old Dominick. This is an event for Memphis businesses that are interested in capitalizing on an annual audience of 11 million visitors.

The Memphis Grizzlies will be holding auditions next month for my very favorite thing about attending Grizzlies games: The Grizzlies Grannies and Grandpas, a 50-and-over dance squad that performs during breaks in the game.

A new art gallery is coming to the South Main district: Calliope Gallery at 456 Tennessee Street. The gallery will host a reception for its inaugural exhibit, “Transmissions: New Works by Amy Hutcheson” on Saturday, June 24 from 5 to 8 PM. Amy is the owner of Downtown Yoga on South Main Street and is strengthening her connection to the neighborhood through her art,

The Salty Dogs running club will run a 3-miler through Health Sciences Park this evening. It is free to participate and the run starts and ends at Bardog Tavern. 7 PM start time. Following the run there will be specials in Bardog’s Underdog Room.

Legal problems continue to pile up for the Trumpster: The District of Columbia and the state of Maryland are suing him in his official capacity as president. They claim that Trump is using the presidency to enrich himself, violating the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the Constitution.

Even Smirnoff Vodka is trolling Trump now. Their new ad campaign touts that the vodka is made in America, “But we’d be happy to talk about our ties to Russia under oath.”

In other news, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open session at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon.

That’s it for now. Probably going to hit Bardog after work. Back tomorrow.

Sunday update

I never expect Sundays to be big days for reporting the news. My Sunday updates tend to be recaps of what I did Saturday. A typical Sunday post might contain photos of what I had to eat the day before, maybe one or two photos of the troll (I got asked “where’s your gremlin?” yesterday), commentary on President Trump’s latest tweets, and maybe one or two news items that I stumbled upon or forgot to put in Saturday’s post. That is not the case this week! Nearly every conversation I had, nearly every time I opened a social media app, produced a nugget of news that I threw into Evernote for reporting this morning.

The biggest news of the weekend is that The Front Porch is open! A couple of years ago, the people who ran Beale Street Landing went through the motions of opening a restaurant. It was not bad but it was nothing spectacular, and I was only convinced to walk a quarter mile out of my way to go there one time when Charvey Mac was playing. Due to lack of interest, the restaurant shut down in the fall of 2016. The re-opening this weekend, however, is something special. This time they brought in the experts; they brought in people who know a thing or two about running a very successful restaurant. Specifically, they brought in Patrick and Deni Reilly, whose restaurant The Majestic Grille has been wildly successful since day one. Patrick and Deni will be consulting on the operation of The The Front Porch through the fall. Can’t wait to see what they have done with the place!

By the way, Deni, happy birthday yesterday!

The Dirty Crow Inn on E.H. Crump Boulevard is hiring kitchen staff. Apply in person and ask to see Paul (not me, different Paul).

On a macro diet but tired of eating the same 5 meals over and over because you don’t know what else to cook? Bedrock Eats & Sweets has a class for you on Thursday, June 29 from 5 to 7 PM. You’ll get several tricks for balanced macro meals that are quick to make, and you’ll get recipes that will add variety to your diet. Class is limited to 15 and the cost is $50 per person. Email to reserve your place.

Good editorial from the Daily News on the Tom Lee memorial in Tom Lee Park. I did not realize it but the memorial uses some language which is highly inappropriate in this day and age.

Ghost River will begin hosting tours of the brewery every Saturday at 11 AM beginning next Saturday, June 17. The first tour will be led by the always hilarious Tyler Nelson. Tours are $20 and include three beer samples as you tour, a Ghost River pint glass to take home, and a pint of Ghost River beer at the end of the tour. Email to reserve your place.

Puerto Rico is holding a referendum on becoming the 51st state this week. Other options include remaining a U.S. Commonwealth, entering “free association,” or becoming an independent nation.

The Great American Beer Festival did the right thing in a recent announcement that Big Beer will no longer be able to be a sponsor of the festival. From now on, only breweries that meet the craft brewer standards are eligible to be Featured Brewery sponsors. Large breweries can still compete at the festival, however. In fact, last year the greatest beer ever brewed, Pabst Blue Ribbon, took home a gold medal.

The Redbirds play today at 2:05 with the usual Sunday promotions: Kids under 12 get an ice cream treat and get to run the bases after the game. Prior to the game, select Redbirds players will sign autographs in the concourse.

That’s it for now. Time for Sunday brunch at the Blind Bear. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Yesterday I mentioned that there is a new dessert place, Rolling Sweets, at 26 S. Second. Michael of the One901 blog went by there and took a video: What is rolled ice cream? and he has a review of the place. I’ve got to get by there and check them out soon. Maybe today!

I finally paid a visit to the new and improved Flying Saucer last night. They expanded the kitchen without taking away any seating room, and actually expanded the number of seats in the place. They have more flat-screen TVs above the bar (3 at each end), giving customers more options when they want to see “their” game. They have live music during happy hour on Fridays. I like the improvements, but I also like it that it is still the Saucer I recognize.

… Unfortunately, it was the wrong place to try and have a BBQ meeting. This was an official board meeting wrapping up the 2017 BBQ season, which we are required by law to have as an LLC. We were spread out over two tables and a booth, and due to all the ambient noise it was hard for people sitting on the ends to hear each other. I will have more on the content of the meeting at a later date.

The Sandlot plays on the big screen at the Orpheum this afternoon at 2 as part of its summer movie series. Doors open at 1 and there will be trivia and a Wurlitzer organ concert prior to this 1993 movie about kids coming of age. It’s rated PG due to some language and kids chewing tobacco.

Your Inner Yogi starts a 5-week series of Hip-Hop Yoga classes today at their studio at 10 North Second Street from 3 to 4:30. Certified yoga teacher Kandace Stewart will guide students through a vinyasa flow to the energetic music of your favorite hip-hop and R&B tunes.

Arepa901 and the Fuel food truck will be at RiverPlay pop-up park on Riverside from 3 to 10 today. The TapBox will also be there serving 10 craft beers.

Steal a Game, Steal a Taco: Taco Bell had a deal where everyone gets a free taco if a visiting team beat a home team in the NBA Finals. Golden State sealed the deal with a 118-113 victory in Cleveland. Tuesday, June 13 is free taco day. One free taco per customer.

The Gibson 5K is tonight. This is a fundraising race for St. Patrick Community Outreach, which helps the Vance Avenue community by feeding the hungry, providing education, and encouraging individual development.

That’s it for now. Time to go to the places and do the things. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

Jack O and The Sheiks, headlined by Jack “Oblivian” Yarber, play tonight’s Fourth Bluff Friday from 5 to 10 this evening. The TapBox will have 10 beers on tap, and Yippie Trippie & the PorkStars will be selling food out of their truck. Textstyle Bags will have park games for all ages including Giant Jenga and cornhole.

The Memphis Redbirds return to town tonight to host the Nashville Sounds at AutoZone Park at 7:05. Gates open at 6:00 and you might want to get there early, because the first 1500 fans get a grab bag prize. Your grab bag will contain a classic logo novelty item, either a helmet, mini-bat, or baseball. Block party on the plaza prior to the game with live music by Side Street Steppers and select draft beers $2.

Tomorrow’s game offers one of the best giveaways of the year. The Redbirds will play Nashville again, first pitch at 6:35, gates open at 5:00, for Beach Night. The first 1500 fans get a Rockey Redbird beach towel. There will be a Bahama Mama drink special at The Brewhouse with coconut-flavored rum, grenadine, orange juice, and pineapple juice. Post-game, there will be fireworks.

I need to go grab a Rockey towel tomorrow… then I need to find someone with a pool to invite me over.

There was a raid on Mud Island early Thursday morning. The DEA confirmed it has an ongoing investigation in Memphis under the Department of Justice, and other agencies are assisting. There were a swarm of unmarked cars on the Island early Thursday morning and a helicopter was flying low. The car of interest, which they pulled over in a driveway, is said to be a car that is not normally seen in the area.

Memphis Bike Share has announced a Spring 2018 launch bringing 600 BCycle smart bikes to the streets of Memphis. The bikes will have color touchscreen displays, on-board GPS, 8 speeds, and automatic lights.

The Flying Saucer will celebrate its 20th birthday all day long Saturday, June 24. There will be bar olympics with beer pong, human foosball, a big wheel race and more events. A trophy goes to the winner. They’ll be tapping Sweetwater 20th Anniversary, Yazoo Embrace the Funk and more beers.

Somi Decor & Daiquiris will celebrate its grand opening tonight from 6:30 to 9. Free daiquiris! The pop-up shop has African inspired home decor, specialty candles, home fragrance, works of art from local artists, vintage accessories, and more. Drinks are sponsored by Zone Vodka and served by 2 Chics & a Bottle. For more info visit

The Memphis Daily News has a good article on Coach Cyprien of the Memphis Hustle. When you coach a D-League team, you’re not only teaching basketball skills, but life skills as well.

Streets near the National Civil Rights Museum will close tomorrow, Saturday, June 10, for a special event, Night at the Lorraine. Butler will be closed between Main and Mulberry, Huling will be closed between Main and St. Martin, and St. Martin will be closed between Second and Butler. Closures will begin at 3 PM.

That’s it for now. Got a meeting after work, but it’s a meeting where there’s PBR so it’s all good. After the meeting, will decide whether to head to South Main for the evening. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

We have a new place to get ice cream treats Downtown. Rollin’ Sweets has opened at 26 S. Second Street. They offer Thai rolled frozen desserts. The business is the idea of a former MPD officer.

Be EGGcellent! is the theme at this Saturday’s Memphis Farmers Market. Buy farm-fresh, locally produced eggs from the vendors there. Kids have a special bee scratch-off activity waiting for them at the kids’ table, where they will learn how bees help our flowers, vegetables, and fruits grow. Live music by Wyly Bigger 8:30-10, Toni Norton 10-11, and Rose Ragsdale 11-12:30. The Market happens every Saturday 7 AM-1 PM under the pavilion at Central Station, Front at G.E. Patterson.

Very very cool: The City of Memphis is going to start paying employees’ student loan debt. The city will contribute $50 a month to the principal of participants’ debt. Great benefit and way to stay competitive for quality employees.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s plays on the big screen in the classic movie series tonight at the Orpheum. Doors at 6, movie at 7. Come early to play movie-themed trivia and to hear a concert by the mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Your Inner Yogi will offer Full Moon Yoga tomorrow night in Court Square. This is a donation-based community class with a suggested donation of $7. Bring your yoga mat and enjoy an after-work flow followed by complimentary wine.

Aaron James will supply the live music tonight at Tacos & Tunes on Felicia Suzanne Restaurant’s patio, 7 to 10 PM. $2 tacos, $5 margaritas.

That’s it for now. I’ll refrain from commenting on the Comey hearing until I digest everything that was said. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update: Touch-a-Truck and more

There’s a big event for the kids coming to the Civic Center Plaza, 125 N. Main, this Saturday, June 10 from 10 AM to 2 PM: Touch-a-Truck. The model cars kids have at home will come to life. MPD will have police cars and other vehicles there, and MFD will be there with engines. There will also be farming implements, construction trucks, a school bus, and a storm tracker. There will also be music from a DJ, the Grizzlies’ Claw Crew, Amurica photo booth, the I Love Memphis photo mural, face painting, Makeda’s Cookies and outdoor games.

Want to get in shape this evening for free? Come to Envision Memphis’ bootcamp tonight at 6 PM at RiverPlay. Meet at the RiverPlay Gear Shack. No RSVP is required, just show up.

Seeing Red is the featured entertainment tomorrow night at the Thursday Peabody rooftop party. Admission is $10 with ladies and hotel guests free until 7 PM. Your admission fee includes a buffet of popcorn shrimp with cocktail sauce and bacon wrapped scallops. Those in VIP get a second buffet of tempura shrimp with sweet Thai chili sauce, mahi mahi bites with homemade tartar sauce, and crab dip with pita bread. Drink specials will be mango margaritas and Firefly cherry cola moonshine.

Around the corner, The View, the rooftop patio atop the Residence Inn by Marriott at Main and Monroe, will have life music by Shufflegrit every Thursday in June 6-9 PM.

Grrls Night, a benefit for Alive Rescue Memphis, will happen at Stock & Belle tomorrow evening from 6 to 9. Women who attend this event will enjoy cruelty-free pampering and fashion. First 50 will get a cruelty-free goody bag with everything from socks to lip balm. In keeping with the theme, the food served will be vegan. There will be raffle items and a silent auction too.

There will be a Timeout for Fitness Saturday in the FedExForum lobby and the Grizzlies Built Ford Tough training facility. $15 gets you in to participate in as many as you want of the following:

  • 9:00-9:45 AM: YOGA! Improve health and happiness with breathing techniques, exercise and mediation
  • 10:00-10:45 AM: Beach Flexing with Total Body Treatment
  • 11:00-11:45 AM: Zumba. Aerobics routines themed to Latin and International music

Your $15 admission also includes a Grizzlies themed yoga mat and two tickets to a 2017 Grizzlies pre-season game. $5 of the cost will be donated to the Methodist Healthcare Foundation.

There’s a lot of concern about the gutted out former Benchmark hotel at Third and Union from neighbors and from those who run businesses nearby. It looks like a bombed-out building, something you might have seen in Cologne or Dresden in 1945. The GM of the Redbirds says he has people asking about it, and the people who run the Rendezvous feel it is a detriment to the neighborhood. I agree! Union is the main entry point into Downtown and it is terrible that the building has remained in that condition for so long. If you don’t have the money to develop it, sell it and give someone else the chance!

Longtime basketball rivals the Memphis Tigers and the Louisville Cardinals will meet at the Gotham Classic in Madison Square Garden on December 16.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Tuesday update

Another bridge over the Mississippi may soon see the light. Last year, an anonymous donor gave $12 million to light up the Harahan Bridge, site of the Big River Crossing providing a pedestrian and bike path over the Mississippi to Arkansas. However, the donation was also to light up the “M” bridge over I-40. That is the next stage in the plan.

Skillet: The Unleashed Tour comes to the New Daisy tonight, with opening act Devour the Day. Tickets are $32.50-38. Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7:30.

Downtown Yoga is offering a free weekly yoga class in Memphis Park on N. Front Street tonight and every Tuesday during the summer. The first Tuesday of every month (which means tonight!) there will be a free wine tasting following the class. You’re encouraged to bring your own mat but they do have extras. 6-7 PM. The class is free but they ask that you RSVP. Get tickets here.

The Amazing Spider-Man is the free movie shown at Beale Street Landing this evening at 8:30. Free movies on the big screen all summer long.

The Commercial Appeal Sports Awards ceremony happens at the Orpheum this Friday, June 9 at 7 PM. Former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning will be the featured speaker.

A body was found in a drainage ditch at Third and A.W. Willis this week.

Looks like a lot of people who drive in Memphis need Apple CarPlay.

For my readers who are cat lovers:

Nice to see a company doing the right thing: Amazon is rolling out a lower-cost version of Prime for low-income customers. Those who have EBT cards will qualify for Prime for $5.99 a month rather than the usual $10.99 a month. However, customers will not be able to use their cards to pay for Prime membership.

Alert for South Main residents: There is a creeper who has been spotted in the area following women around. He is said to be in his 50s with dark shaggy hair and has been observed touching himself and saying vulgar things. He is said to drive a white pickup truck and the two women who reported him both said the encounters happened early in the morning as they were walking their dogs.

In other Downtown crime news, several cars were broken into Monday morning inside at a gated lot in the 400 block of Monroe.

High Ground News is seeking a Project Editor for an embedded journalism program in city neighborhoods called On The Ground Memphis.

Oh my… Trump is raging at his own attorney general now.

That’s the news for now. Stopping by Rachel’s Salon on N. Main after work to get a few inches of hair chopped off. Not too much, though, because my costume designer has told me my hair needs to be fairly long for Halloween. Yes I am already planning for Halloween and it is going to be epic. Anyway, after the haircut I will be out at one of the usual places for what remains of happy hour.