Thursday update

Anyone know what this building is/was/will be? Southwest corner off Jefferson and BB King:

The paint scheme and circular driveway out front kinda suggest “future boutique hotel.”

Great news – Three days before it was set to expire, I renewed my blog’s hosting on GoDaddy for another year. Thanks to those of you who Venmo’d me money,, sent me Apple Cash, or handed me cash when you saw me around town.

Whew! That’s the last website-related bill until December. By the way, navigating GoDaddy’s product renewal process on a smartphone web browser is about as much fun as attempting to float across the Pacific on a homemade wooden raft.

Happy Leap Day! Today is also National Frog Legs Day. You can get them at the Flying Fish.

Get your Leap Day discounts and freebies here

Matthew Wilson plays Ladies Night at Momma’s tonight 7-10.

There’s Taylor Swift Bingo tonight at Slider Inn Downtown. 7 pm.

Penny’s Tigers hit the road for a game at ECU tonight at 6. Catch it on ESPN2..

South Point Grocery celebrates its second anniversary from noon to 4 pm Saturday, March 9. Free burgers, dogs, and in-store vendor samples. Live music. In-store specials.

The Grizzlies lost 110-101 to Minnesota yesterday. Jaren dropped in 33.

Bartlett: You’re getting your own version of Loflin Yard

The Cossitt Library’s Painting on the River series in observance of Women’s History Month kicks off this Saturday. Sara Payne will be this week’s artist. Noon-2 pm.

A few people have asked when I’m gonna publish that guest-centric Memphis Union Mission FAQ I mentioned last week. I still intend to, but I feel like my knowledge about the place is as of yet incomplete. I feel like I’m still learning.

For example, I learned you can stay by the month rather than by the night if you so choose. The fee is $186/month, which works out to the $6 nightly fee times 31 days. Monthly people get the same bed every night, their own private locker, and a few other perks.

I personally am not inclined to pony up the 186, given that I get to the Mission before 2 pm most days and get in free. Now, if they threw in complimentary Wi-Fi as one of the perks of paying monthly… well, then I would have to seriously consider it.

That’s it for now. Thanks for sticking with me. Back tomorrow.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Cash App: $Paulryburn1
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this from my phone.

Wednesday update

The Grizzlies are in Minnesota tonight for a 7 pm game at the Timberwolves. TV: Bally Sports

Thoroughly impressed that the Daily Memphian wrote an article about Ole Anderson’s death. Ole was a professional wrestler who was half of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with his “brother” Gene and part of the Four Horseman with Tully Blanchard and his “cousins” Arn Anderson and Ric Flair.

Ole turns heel (became a bad guy) on “The American Dream”Dusty Rhodes, 1980, possibly his finest work:

In other wrestling news, it looks like The Great One, The People’s Champion, the incomparable Rock will be on the March 15 broadcast of WWE Smackdown live from FedExForum. The Rock recently turned heel, joining his cousin Roman Reigns’ stable The Bloodline.

The history of soul food is Action News 5’s latest 5 Star Story.

Front Street Deli is soft open 11 am to 2 pm today through Friday.

Grind City Brewing will have its 3rd annual Fermented Reality limited release party Saturday.

There’s a hoodoo workshop at Stax this evening. Novelist Arthur R. Flowers will host.

That’s it. Sorry the posts have been short lately.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Cash App: $Paulryburn1
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this from my phone.

Tuesday update

Walking around this morning, I noticed there’s a new dog park, “Fourth Ruff,” on Front by the Mud Island parking garage. The name is a play on nearby human park Fourth Bluff.

The Orpheum has announced its 2024-25 Broadway season. Shows include

  • MJ
  • Girl from the North Country
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Peter Pan
  • Hamilton
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Kimberly Akimbo
  • The Wiz

A tequila fest is coming to Court Square Sunday, March 24.

Today is National Kahlua Day.

That’s all I have time for today. For some reason this new MacBook is slow as molasses. Back tomorrow.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Cash App: $Paulryburn1
Apple Pay:

Monday update

Has anyone got an extra MacBook power block and cord? Contact me at if you have one to spare.

On to the news….

Island 45 plays the Blind Bear this Saturday from 9 pm to 1 am. That’s my friend Jenn’s band that mostly plays shows out east. Go see them!

The Midsouth Farm and Gin Show will be at the Renasant Convention Center this coming weekend. Please make them feel welcome. They are super nice people and they spend a lot of money here.

The Grizzlies host the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 7. TV is Bally Sports.

Penny’s Tigers improved to 20-8 and 9-6 in conference with a win over FAU yesterday, 78-74. The Tigers could potentially have a 25-win season and still miss the NCAA tournament

Keep an eye on the weather. Strong storms are possible Tuesday and Wednesday. MWN blog

The Trumpster won the South Carolina primary last night.

AT&T will issue a $5 credit to customers affected by its outage last week.

Interesting book I found at the Cossitt Library;

It’s got a 398 call number if anybody wants to come check it out.

I booted up my new (to me) MacBook Pro for the first time yesterday.

It was SO NICE to be back on a Mac after a 3-week hiatus. I was thrilled to get into Gmail, figuring two-factor authentication might be an issue (I no longer have my 901-581- number). And I even got a short blog post done before the battery got low. I won’t be able to use the Mac again, though, until I solve the power situation.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this from my phone.

Sunday update

This is gonna be fairly short. I stayed in Eads last night. Back to the Union Mission tonight.

Penny’s Memphis Tigers host Florida Atlantic at FedExForum at 1. TV: ESPN. It’s a stripe-out with the blue and white. The Tigers have no chance of an at-large seed in the Big Dance but this could improve their seed in the AAC tournament.

The Tigers will be playing this game without Malcolm Dandridge, who is out indefinitely. Twitter sources indicate this may be related to academic misconduct.

The Grizzlies have waived Jacob Gilyard to open a roster spot for Jordan Goodwin.

Memphis is looking to Omaha, home of the College World Series and billionaire Warren Buffett, for a crime plan.

The Railriders play Blind Bear Friday night.

The Orpheum’s 2024-2025 season reveal happens at the theater Monday night.

That’s it. Back tomorrow or Tuesday.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Finally, I visited Calvary Waffle Shop. + Friday news

Yesterday I decided to eat lunch at Calvary Episcopal Church’s Lenten Waffle Shop. I’d always heard good things about it,, and I mentioned it on this blog in the past, but prior to yesterday I had not been in for lunch myself.

The Waffle Shop’s hours are 11:00 am to 1:30 pm Wednesday through Friday. I exited the Cossitt Library, where I’d been using the Wi-Fi, about 10:55 to walk to Calvary’s back entrance at BB King and Adams. “I’ll be among the first ones there,” I thought.

As I walked over, I tried to make up my mind what to order. One option was everyday favorite spaghetti & meat sauce; another was Thursday special corned beef and cabbage.

I got to the door and the security guard pointed out the direction to the Waffle Shop seating. WOW I was wrong about being one of the first there! The large dining room, set up with communal tables, was already about two-thirds full, less than 10 minutes after opening. It was mostly an older crowd. Plenty of silver and white hair.

I was seated next to 2 very nice ladies. They were from the eastern ‘burbs and were first-timers like me. They told me they were not Episcopalians but rather Baptists who’d heard good things about the lunch. “If you’ve heard anything about us Baptists, you know we love to eat,” they said.

You fill out a paper menu to order.

They bring your food in just a few minutes. You eat and then when you’re done, you take your filled-out menu to the cash register on your way out.

The spaghetti was as good as it looked and the side of rye bread was delicious as well. There is butter on the tables for the bread.

The seats at the dining tables are really close together! You’re going to make new friends.

More and more people poured in after I did, but the volunteers kept the place humming along. Lines moved fast.

The cost for my meal including sweet tea was $12, sales tax included. Try finding a comparable lunch Downtown at that price.

I will be back… maybe today for fish pudding Friday? For those not in the know, fish pudding is a casserole. It does not have the texture of pudding as Americans think of the dish.

On to the news…

Thr DMC has put Food Truck Thursdays in Court Square on hiatus until April 5. Remember, Smurfey’s Smokehouse, an alumnus of the food truck gatherings, now has a permanent location nearby at 149 Madison.

Catch Harriet Tubman: One Woman’s Journey, a one-woman performance, tonight at the Withers Gallery on Beaje at 6:30.

Shorty and the Grooves with the Grandpa Sorority Club play South Main Sounds tonight at 7:30.

Tonight is Gospel Night at the Grizzlies. They host the Los Angeles Clippers at 7. TV: Bally Sports

Front Street Deli will have its soft reopening on Wednesday.

Golf simulation bar Birdie’s has added two New York City courses, Central Park South and Central Park North. The courses were designed by Birdie’s partner GS Pro.

The Phil Wickham I Believe Tour comes to the Orpheum tonight at 7.

Shout-out to the folks at.Fellowship Memphis who came out to the Union Mission and fed us dinner last night. Those mini Oreos hit the spot!

New business alert: Jasper Float Spa & Wellness at 60 S. Main in the Washburn.

The DM reports that cruise line American Queen, which docks at Beale Street Landing, has shut down

The U of M could lose athletic director/John Cena lookalike Laird Veatch to Missouri.

WREG reports that Alcenia’s is losing a lot of business due to roadblocks

Want a stronger Wi-Fi signal? Buy potatoes

That’s all. I may or may not post an update tomorrow depending on Wi-Fi availability.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this from my phone.

Thursday update

Apologies for no post yesterday. I had some errands to get done Tuesday evening and didn’t spend the night at the Mission. I walked the streets of Downtown all night and was therefore dead tired Wednesday.

The DM broke some big news yesterday. Little Rock’s Flyway Brewing Co. will take over the High Cotton/Edge Alley space at 598 and 600 Monroe. Flyway will continue to brew a few of High Cotton’s most popular beers, including Mexican Lager and Scottish Ale, alongside its own beers.

Now,, we all knew Edge Alley was no more, and the reason why. Post-pandemic rising costs made it impossible for chef/owner Tim Barker to put out the food he wanted to offer at price points he could live with.

But, the end of High Cotton as a stand-alone local beer brand? That’s news to me. Anyone got the details? This is something I’d like to know both for the blog and for personal reasons. if you have the scoop but don’t want it to appear in a public blog, just tell me that.

Primus comes to Grind City Brewing Company Tuesday, August 20 at 7 pm. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday at 10.

Orchestra Unplugged: The Crazt Journey of Mozart’s Magic Flute comes to the Halloran Centre tonight.

Penny’s NIT-bound tigers got a 76-52 win over Charlotte last night.

There will soon be a Tom Lee Museum in the Klondike neighborhood. In the same article: A memorial to 3800 Black slaves sold in Memphis is planned.

If you have AT&T, you’re probably not reading this on your phone right now. There’s a widespread outrage affecting many networks this morning, and in Memphis it’s hitting AT&T the hardest.

Ironically there’s a communications tower conference in Memphis right now

The conference is called NATE Unite. Someone shotgun a White Claw in their honor.

It’s National Margarita Day.

Rant of the day:

About 10 years ago, the DMC put free Wi-Fi in Court Square. They made a big deal publicizing it. Today, the “Court Square Wi-Fi” network still appears on the list of nearby networks when you’re in the area. It even tries to connect, but – it sits there and spins its wheels and never does.

I wish DMC (or whoever is responsible) would fix this. It would be a nice resource for those passing through without cellular service to check their email and social networks. It would be especially valuable on early mornings and Sundays when the nearby public library is not open.

Once again,, I continue to be impressed with the Memphis Union Mission. All my life I had heard that chapel services in free shelters tend to tear audience members down, making them feel worthless. This perception was one of the reasons I avoided the Mission for several weeks longer than I should have, choosing to wander Downtown’s streets instead.

Last night’s sermon, delivered by a guest preacher (I wish I’d caught his name), had the message “God has conveyed the exact same blessings on every person in this room that he conveyed upon Jesus.” Ephesians 3-14 was the reference in the Bible. It was totally uplifting. That’s how chapel at the Mission tends to go. There’s no reason to be afraid of being verbally torn down in church. To the contrary, if anything you’ll leave feeling built up.m

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow probably.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this from my phone.

Tuesday update

Yesterday I walked over to the Cossitt Library to get a few hours of Wi-Fi in before returning to the Internet desert that is the Union Mission. But I was in for a surprise: The library was closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday.

So I turned to an old friend…

The Flying Saucer!!!! Not only was it Pint Nite, with any beer on the wall – even high-gravity – only $5. They were also having some giveaways.

The prizes pictured above will be given away the first Wednesday in March. Ask your server how to enter the drawing.

Gary “G-Rock” Smith still leads the way with 59 plates on the wall. I am 34 beers away from being 50 plates behind him. Think I can catch up?

My left-hand sear neighbor ordered a burger which came out with a red bun. I asked what it was, and he told e it was one of the weekly specials.

A Flaming Hot Cheetos bun! Thanks to Brandey for the pic below:

The Union Mission continues to impress me and I’m still working on the FAQ about what it’s like to be a nightly guest there. Yesterday in chapel, Pastor Jeff described the Mission’s alcohol/drug recovery program that men can choose to enroll in. The program is not AA-based and does not subscribe to the belief “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” Rather, it focuses on building each man a spiritual toolkit so he can make better decisions in the future. Now that’s a program I can respect.

211-186? The NBA All-Star Game is a joke.

Drake has canceled his already-rescheduled FedExForum concert date.

Martial artists will gather in Memphis this weekend for the Memphis Open at the Renasant Convention Center.

The Grizzlies seek a motion graphics designer and a ticket sales rep.

The Church of the River seeks an early elementary lead teacher and a Youth coordinator.

That’s it for now. That FAQ may go up tomorrow. Should be interesting to all my readers, a glimpse into how a well-run homeless shelter operates.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this from my phone.

Monday update

February, the month that overstays its welcome like the creepy druncle in the guest room – despite being the shortest month of the year. Once Groundhog Day and Valentine’s have passed, most of us are ready to move on – to March, to the return of temps in the 60s, to the return of 7:00 sunsets.

Yet February lingers on.

So why not make the best of it?

The day after New Year’s through the week before St. Pat’s are the slowest days of the year for Downtown restaurants – especially mom-and-pop restaurants that are part of the fabric of this community.

Why not eat out Downtown an extra time or two or three these last days of February?

You may help a restaurant owner stay current on their bills.

You may help a server to pay their March 1 rent on time.

May I recommend a few of my personal favorite Downtown restaurants?


Local on Main

Blind Bear



Speaking of Momma’s, I finally got to try the cheese curds there.

They were yummy and a lot of food. That’s marinara (and Perjorie T. Roll) on the side

Walking around yesterday, I got a look at the soon-to-open pedestrian bridge between the Downtown Mobility Center and AutoZone’s parking garage.

Grind City Brewing Co. is having a spring cleaning sale Saturday, February 24. They will have archival glassware for sale at deep discounts.

A boy died after falling off a railing in the 200 block of S. Danny Thomas this weekend.

I truly love typing this blog for all of you. It’s one of the few times during the day I’m not bored and depressed. I have a $100+ annual hosting bill coming up March 2. Circumstances took my apartment and my lifestyle but NOTHING is gonna take my blog. I’ll figure it out.

The DM has a Soup Sunday photo gallery ,

Yummmm! Today is National Chocolate Miint Day

SMU 108, Members 79. That’ll probably drop Memphis to a 3 seed in the NIT.

I’m working on a FAQ about being a client/guest at the Union Mission. I waited at least a month longer than I should’ve to avail myself of their services. Maybe such a document will help other men get there quicker.

The Grizzlies are hiring a part-time youth basketball camp coach.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.

National Tartar Sauce Day update

Yep, today’s the day.

A new business called Davinchi XCIX is going into the old Pearl’s OysterHouse location

Anyone got more info on Davinchy?

MPD seeks a Crime Analyst to work in the Real Time Crime Center at 600 Jefferson. I’ve been in the Center and it’s a neat place. Plus you could walk over to Sunrise for breakfast.

Attending Soup Sunday, the annual Youth Villages fundraiser, this Sunday at The Kent from 11 am to 2 pm? THIS IS NOT A DAY TO BE FASHIONABLY LATE. The most popular restaurants will run out of soup, pack up, and leave before twelve. You want to be in line to get in no later than 10:55.

I wonder if Butt Slut #1 is going to Soup Sunday… the girl is crazy about soup.

Just learned that Jake from Westy’s had a great-uncle who was a master brewer of PBR.

Why South of Beale had to cancel all of its Valentine’s reservations

That’s it. Back tomorrow probably.

Readers’ generosity helps keep this blog afloat. Donations:
Venmo: @Paul-Ryburn
Apple Pay:

Apologies for typos, doing this on my phone.