Jul 222014
 

(Edit: Forgot to hit Publish before I went out)

No Melissa Monday for me after all. My company is having one of its three big yearly national tournaments out in Las Vegas this week. I have to upload the results of the afternoon games before I can go out, and of course Las Vegas is two hours behind Memphis. Since I’ll be here a while and there’s news, I might as well do an evening post.

Next Tuesday, July 29, the city will host its first Riverside Drive community meeting. This is the first meeting of a 12- to 18-month test period in which Riverside has been reduced to two lanes for vehicular traffic, with the other two lanes re-striped for pedestrian and bike use. Feedback from this and future meetings will be used by the city to figure out how to best permanently reconfigure Riverside from Carolina Avenue to Bass Pro Drive. The meeting will be at Beale Street Landing from 6 to 7:30 PM that day.

A master plan for the French Fort area was unveiled Saturday. The plan for the neighborhood across Crump from Downtown calls for not only 67 new apartments in the old Marine Hospital, but phases beyond that to firmly establish the French Fort community.

Development is happening on other outskirts of Downtown as well. The MBJ reports that the building across the street from Cozy Corner on North Parkway will be renovated to include a production studio, school, and a coffee shop-like cafe that will serve healthy food.

Tamp & Tap is celebrating its first birthday this Friday. There will be a Kill the Keg party beginning at 4 with $2.50 drafts. There will also be live music beginning at 6, and birthday cake at 7.

This next item is not a Downtown item, but I want to mention it anyway because it is a great idea by someone for whom I have a lot of respect. There is a crowdfunding campaign going on to fund FORGE, a Broad Avenue art space and fabrication shop. According to the crowdfunding page, FORGE will be a place “where visionaries produce prototypes, artists explore new media, hobbyists complete personal projects and entrepreneurs build solid models around their products. FORGE your vision into reality.” FORGE is the brainchild of Elizabeth Lemmonds. The other day I commented that I have a network of really awesome people because of a young professionals’ organization I was in about ten years ago. Elizabeth is one of those people. If her project sounds to you like something that would be good for Memphis, please consider helping her forge her vision with a donation. Her goal is $6000 and she’s currently about halfway there.

(Edit: insert paragraph about where I’m about to go out. Been out. Huey burger with Swiss for dinner. Shoulda added bacon.)

Jul 212014
 

Sad news to start off today’s Monday post: Beale Street singer James Govan has died at age 64. He performed at Rum Boogie Cafe for many years.

If you need an excuse to check out the taproom at High Cotton Brewery, Congressman Steve Cohen is having a fundraiser there from 6 to 8 tonight. There will be music by John Kilzer, High Cotton beer on draft, and Steve. It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy the taproom on a Monday, when it’s normally closed. $50 to $150 suggested donation, and those who have already contributed $100 or more to the campaign are welcome to come too.

The Salty Dogs running club, which meets every Monday at Bardog to go for a run, will preview the August 17 Breakaway-Bardog 5K course tonight. The run tonight is free for all who want to join, and you can register for the Breakway-Bardog 5K here. The race precedes one of the best alley parties of the year, in Scratchy’s Alley from noon to 6 PM on the 17th. PRO TIP: Make Monday the 18th a vacation day. I’ll have more to say about the alley party as time draws closer.

The Center for Southern Folklore is hosting the monthly Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting tomorrow evening. Award-winning banjo performer Randall Morton will perform from 6 to 6:30. During the meeting there will be information about the Center and its upcoming Memphis Music & Heritage Festival, one of the best festivals of the year, which happens Labor Day weekend.

For those who are planning a vacation and like beer, here’s a list of America’s top ten beer towns. Memphis isn’t on the list, but maybe someday it will be. Anchorage is number two? Never would have guessed that.

Plans for tonight: I’ll be at Melissa Monday at Bardog for happy hour. Most likely my friends Bob and Mike will show up to seek my advice on how to run a BBQ team. Their team brought home one less trophy than mine did at BBQ Fest this year, and I want to help. I read about their grilled ribs with mustard sauce on a local food blog, and with the help of “Mr. Load-in” I think we can get their competition entry up to championship quality next year. I can also offer tips on booth design and drunk texting teammates. Unless work needs me, I should be there 5:30ish.

Jul 202014
 

When I was a kid, I got taken to the Little Rock Farmers Market in Downtown Little Rock now and then. I didn’t mind going; it was something interesting to do on the weekend. However, it was nothing but produce being sold on a parking lot, and like most kids I wasn’t very much into vegetables. Fresh green beans didn’t interest me nearly as much as a trip to Pizza Hut.

Yesterday I got up a bit earlier than usual and walked down to the Memphis Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday from April to October at Front and G.E. Patterson. I’m not a morning person, and I don’t cook, so I don’t go there that often. However, every time I do go, I’m reminded what a tremendous asset it is for Downtown Memphis. Unlike the Little Rock Farmers Market of the late ’70s/early ’80s, the Memphis Farmers Market is so much more than just produce. I walked around and made a list of what you can buy at MFM other than fruits and vegetables.

Meat
Fresh flowers
Jellies/jams/preserves
Cookies
Muffin mix
Dog treats
Pottery
Glass work
Nuts
Bread
Lotion
Soaps
Seafood
Hot sauce
Pies
Metal work
Salsa
Coffee
Juice
Cheese
Cakes
Pastries
Soups
Salads
Bird houses
Popsicles
Plants including fruit and tomato plants
There were also four food trucks: Fuel, Rock ‘n Dough, Stickem, and the juice truck (can’t remember its name). I wish I’d walked down there 30 minutes earlier so I’d have had time to eat. I probably would have chosen the bison tacos from Fuel, which are delicious.
Felicia from Felicia Suzanne’s was giving a cooking demo and attracted a huge crowd. I let people who might actually try to follow her recipe have room, because let’s face it, “microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds” is the extent of my cooking skills.
I didn’t have enough time to eat, but I had a few extra minutes to spend, so I wandered to the northwestern end of the market grounds, where Streetdog Foundation was set up. Not being a pet owner myself, I probably haven’t given this awesome organization the attention it deserves in my blog. As the name suggests, the organization rescues dogs who would most likely otherwise die on the street and gets them adopted. You can view dogs to adopt here.
What I did not know, however, is that Streetdog offers opportunities to foster dogs for an afternoon, overnight, or for a weekend. This gets the dogs some human companionship and time not spent in a cage. It’s perfect for people who want some canine companionship in their lives but can’t commit to permanent ownership for whatever reason. It would also be good if you’re considering becoming a dog owner but are not sure, and want to take a test drive. Your feedback helps Streetdog Foundation too: Is the dog sociable with humans? Is the dog good with other dogs? With cats? Your feedback from fostering helps the foundation find the right permanent home for the dog. You can fill out the application for fostering here, with no obligation. “Other organizations, when you foster dogs, they’re pretty much hands-off. We’re with you every step of the way,” I was told.
(Reminds me – I have a story about the Memphis Animal Shelter. I want to keep this post positive so I’m not going to go into it here. Remind me to post it early next week though. Let’s just say it is not a story that will give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside.)
If you’ve never paid a visit to the Memphis Farmers Market, it is well worth the trip, even if you have to drive from Midtown or East Memphis or the burbs. So much more than just fruits and veggies. I hope to go back soon and make a longer stay of it.
Jul 182014
 

Great news. The old Burger King location on Madison, between Second and Third next to the First Tennessee Bank building, has been purchased by a group of partners. The building will be torn down to make room for a privately-owned park. Getting rid of that building will remove a huge piece of blight on a street that is starting to boom with a Cuban restaurant, a cake shop, an Irish pub, and a sports bar. The park may be used for movies, art presentations, or concerts, according to Scott Crosby, one of the partners who purchased the space. It has a lot of potential.

The theme for tomorrow’s Memphis Farmers Market is Pick the Cream of the Crop. The freshest and most delicious produce of the season will be at the market tomorrow. Felicia of Felicia Suzanne’s will do a chef demo at 10:15 AM. Music by Tiffany Harmon at 7, Kim Harmon Gummel at 8:30, and Beka de Santis at 11. A bike tour of Downtown will depart from the market at 9 (must wear a helmet). There will be adoptions by Streetdog Foundation as well, and a book brigade for kids 10-11. The market is at Front and G.E. Patterson, Saturday 7 AM-1 PM.

1986 movie Labyrinth starring David Bowie plays tonight at 7 at the Orpheum. Doors open at 6. Come early for drink specials and to win prizes at trivia about the movie. Labyrinth was directed by Jim Henson and patrons are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Jim Henson character.

Tomorrow evening is Blues on the Bluff, benefiting WEVL, on the grounds of the Metal Museum overlooking the Mississippi River. There will be live music by the Garry Burnside Band, the Bo-Keys, and the Blind Mississippi Morris Band. There will be food by Central BBQ, with all food sales profits donated to WEVL, and Schlafly beer. Wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be sold too. Silent auction, free guarded parking. First band starts at 6:30. Buy advance tickets here. MemphisWeather.net says the high will be only 82 with a north wind. Blues on the Bluff is normally scorching hot, but not this year!

LUNCHBOXeats will be closed Saturday and Monday and will re-open Tuesday.

Amazon has officially unveiled its Kindle unlimited subscription service.

The Daily News reports that opportunities are growing for young professionals. Y’all who read this who are in your 20s and early 30s, take advantage of these. I was very active in a young professionals’ organization in the 2002-05 period and made many contacts who are still valuable to me to this day.

Election day is August 7 and early voting has already begun. See a sample ballot here.

The Flying Saucer’s PR firm emailed me the running order for the Stumbling Elvis pub crawl on Saturday, August 9. The crawl will start at the Saucer and crawl to Blind Bear, Cafe Keough, Alfred’s, Purple Haze and end back at the Saucer. You can view the event on Facebook here although they haven’t added the list of bars there yet. Um, guys, this is the SIXTH annual Elvis crawl not the second. I know this well because the first crawl (2009) was the night I finally got fed up with one of Memphis’ biggest idiots and told him off. It’s liberating to lose the “yeah he’s annoying as shit but I feel sorry for him” mindset that a lot of other people have. Nice to see Cafe Keough added to the list of stops. Great place. Plenty of Elvis costumes on Amazon if you’re looking for something to wear. If you dress up as Elvis, prepare for a 20 minute walk down 1 block of Beale Street as everyone stops you to take pictures.

Time to grab some food from Popeye’s then back to the grind. I’ll be out at the usual places after work.

Jul 172014
 

BREAKING NEWS from the Memphis Redbirds: “Due to travel complications with tonight’s opponent, Colorado Springs, tonight’s game has been postponed. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader this Saturday, with the first game beginning at 5:05pm. Tickets for tonight’s game can be exchanged at the AutoZone Park Box Office for any remaining 2014 home game, excluding all fireworks games.”

Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins put his foot in his mouth in yet another interview. Hollins, the new coach of the Brooklyn Nets, compared living in New York to living in Memphis, saying, “Memphis is like, compared to New York, it’s back in the stone age when you didn’t have electricity or something.” Lionel. Just stop giving interviews. I like ya, I hope you do well in Brooklyn (except when playing the Grizzlies), but just shut up.

Bluff City Coffee tweeted that they’re looking for experienced baristas for afternoon and evening shifts. If interested, email your resume to info@BluffCityCoffee.com.

There’s a Wizard of Oz sing-along tonight at the Orpheum. Sing classic songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with the characters on the big screen in this classic 1939 movie. Doors open at 6, movie at 7. Come early dressed as your favorite character for drink specials and an audience-participation costume parade.

Meanwhile, over at the Peabody, it’s the weekly rooftop party. Live music by Al Paris & the Heartbreakers with special guest Chromeo. Admission is $15 this week, with ladies and hotel guests free before 7. Admission includes a buffet of fried catfish, mac & cheese, and hushpuppies. If you’re in VIP you get a second buffet of fried chicken, fried okra, and country ham biscuits.

*Sigh* Tourist says she was scammed at Downtown parking garage. I hate hearing stuff like this. The thing is, a lot of these guys who run scams are pretty smart. They know where to stand so you don’t see the “do not pay any person, pay the box” signs and know exactly the right angle to use to get your money. If it wasn’t for the fact that they’re unreliable and smoke crack, many of them would make good salespeople.

The Hungry Memphis blog paid a visit to Riverfront Bar & Grill, the new restaurant in Beale Street Landing.

Work duties permitting, I hope to be back out at the usual places this evening at the usual time. Not getting out until 9 last night gave me cabin fever!

Jul 162014
 

Downtown agency RedRover, once a graduate of a startup accelerator program, is giving back. The agency is celebrating its #RoverRefresh campaign and its own new logo by offering to give away a logo refresh to one Memphis-area startup business. The logo refresh will be pro bono, or “on the doghouse” as they like to say. Nominate your favorite startup here. You have until noon on Tuesday, July 22 to nominate.

This fall you may be able to watch NFL Sunday Ticket, carrying all out-of-market games on Sunday, without a satellite. The NFL is considering offering streaming to computers, mobile devices, and gaming devices. Very cool. Probably not good news for Max’s Sports Bar though!

Construction will reduce the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River to two lanes in each direction beginning today. The bridge is being reinforced to withstand up to a 7.7 earthquake.

The Silly Goose has added a local beer to their draft selection. Memphis Made Soulful Ginger is now on tap. They had to take PBR off tap to make room, although they still have it in cans. I’m perfectly fine with losing PBR draft. It’s great to see the Goose support a fine local business.

Here’s the Facebook event listing for the Best Memphis Burger Festival on Sunday, September 21 if you want to post that you’re going or see who is. Your $7 entry fee will benefit three local dog charity groups. I just learned this afternoon that my friend and fellow blogger Air Traffic Mike will be a judge at the event. I wonder if he will bring noted food blogger Pepe’ El Desatascador to be a judge too?

All right. Time to be on call for work and wish I were at a bar. I may be out later.

Jul 162014
 

Got a request for my readers. I didn’t go to the trolley meeting Monday night, but a friend of mine who was with me at Bardog got a text that “the trolley meeting is getting a bit heated.” Can anyone provide details? Email paul@paulryburn.com if you can.

In related news, MATA chose a new general manager at a board meeting last night. Keep in mind he was hired the day after the trolley meeting and can’t be blamed for anything that happened there.

Tiger basketball news: Josh Pastner is expected to hire Keelon Lawson as an assistant by the end of the week. Lawson has three sons who are top prospects for college ball within the next five years, and a fourth son who is a sixth-grader.

Downtown agency RedRover has a new logo. It’s part of the #RoverRefresh campaign in what is expected to be a big year for the agency.

The Grizzlies have posted a photo of the 2014-15 Grizz Girls and video of their final audition last night at the Orpheum.

@ObsidianPR tweeted a good Henry Kissinger quote this morning. “If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.” Very true.

Pink Pig polos, formerly sold Downtown at Shelton Clothiers, are back in stock at the Poplar, Union, and Cordova Outdoors Inc. locations. They also have a new item: Pink Pig performance T’s.

Like to read? Amazon is prepping an unlimited Kindle book rental service that will likely cost around $10 a month.

High Ground news about national developer Artspace’s plan to renovate United Warehouse at 138 St. Paul into artist studios and living space.

Plans for tonight: Nothing. This is going to be a rare day when I don’t do happy hour. My company is kicking off a 12-day tournament in Las Vegas this afternoon, and I need to be available in case there are issues posting results. So, I’ll spend a rare evening at home, probably giving the apartment a much needed cleaning. If I get the all-clear on the results I will be out about 8, but I really don’t care too much if this is completely a night at home.

Jul 152014
 

My friend Angela Copeland of Copeland Coaching released a new podcast today, and it is a must-listen if you are looking for a job or think you might be looking soon. Angela got an interview with Glassdoor.com, the Webby Awards #1 “Best Employment Site,” and specifically with Scott Dobroski, Career Trends Analyst. Scott shares great insights on how to perform salary negotiation, how to determine if a company is the right place for you, and how to level the playing field in your job search. He talks a lot about how Glassdoor.com offers salary data that allows people to really know how much they’re worth. You can listen here, or download it for free on iTunes by searching “Copeland Coaching Podcast.”

Angela is a Downtowner who performs one-on-one career coaching and who writes the “Career Corner” weekly article for the Memphis Daily News. She releases a new podcast every Tuesday morning, so if you listen and like what you hear, be sure to check iTunes or her website, CopelandCoaching.com, for new episodes.

I saw on Holly’s blog that there is a petition to bring Google Fiber to Memphis. You can sign it here.

This next item is not Downtown news, but still might be of interest to my readers. There is a free concert at Minglewood Hall this evening, with Moon Taxi and Wild Club. The event is presented by Budweiser, and here’s the information you really want to know… there’s free beer. That’s right, free beer. Apologies for the last-minute notice, but I didn’t find out about this until mid-afternoon, too late to get into the lunchtime post.

Change of plans. Leading off at the Goose tonight. Time for a PBR.

Jul 152014
 

What a crazy afternoon I had yesterday. Heavy storms were heading straight for I-55 as I was wrapping up the day at work, so I stayed put for about 15 extra minutes. I missed the rain, but there was a wreck on 55 North right before Malfunction Junction, and I could see that there must be another wreck on 240 North around Norris because traffic was all backed up. “No problem, I’ll stay on 55 and take Riverside home,” I thought.

After dodging another wreck on 55, I got on Riverside to discover that there was a train stopped on the tracks and I couldn’t turn onto any of my usual routes home – Union, Monroe, Court, Jefferson, Adams. I had to get on 40 east and get off on Danny Thomas, then weave through a bunch of side streets. What a pain. WTF was that train doing there? This is not Highland and I am not on my way to class!

I guess I can’t complain too much, though. I heard that power was out from Cooper-Young to points east. Downtown is on a double circuit so we don’t have to worry about that. Also, there was Courtney in a tube top dress to brighten my evening:

Photo Jul 14, 10 39 19 PM

Quote from last night (not mine): “There are three levels of hot. Level 1 is, I’d listen to her fart over a cell phone. Level two is, I’d drink her bath water. Level three is, I’d eat the corn out of her shit.” In case you’re wondering what kind of stuff we talk about at Monday happy hour at Bardog, now you know!

Okay, let’s get on to the news. TJ Mulligan’s in the Pinch is closing at the end of the month. They hope to remodel and open later, but for the time being they will be closed. It’s a shame Bass Pro didn’t finish on their original schedule. if they had, the Pinch would be booming and Mulligan’s would possibly not have had to close.

Want to get a first-hand look at what first responders do in an active-shooter drill? You can volunteer to be a victim for drills at Wolfchase on September 14 and Oak Court Mall September 28.

The MBJ has a photo of the new college playoff championship trophy.

Former Memphis Tiger Joey Dorsey has signed a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets. He’s been playing overseas the past several years. With the Rockets, Dorsey will play a backup role to Dwight Howard.

I’ll be out at the usual places after work. Flying Saucer is my likely first stop, although I may not stay depending on who’s working. Undecided on whether I’ll play Blind Bear poker at 8.

Jul 142014
 

Damn. They’re killing Archie.

The Grizzlies posted photos of the Grizz Girls auditions.

The city’s cease-and-desist letter to Lyft and Uber is not keeping their drivers off the streets. The companies are telling drivers to keep driving, that “we’ve got your back.”

Thanks to one of my readers who sent me this article about tube tops. I’ve posted stuff like this before, but there’s some interesting new information: Tube tops are a very popular clothing item in the virtual world Second Life. A tube top in Second Life costs about 100 Lindens, or 38 cents U.S. dollars, or it did as of the time of the article. I wonder if there’s a Tube Top Month in Second Life.

There are only 10 tickets left to the Memphis Made beer dinner at Bardog Thursday night. See last Thursday’s blog post (the first one, there were two) for the menu. Call 901-275-8752 to reserve your ticket.

The Majestic Grille is donating $50 gift certificate to people who purchase season tickets to the Orpheum 2014-15 Broadway season through August 4. Season includes Phantom of the Opera, Once, A Christmas Story, The Lion King, Kinky Boots, and Motown the Musical. Call 901-525-3000 or visit the Orpheum counter at Booksellers at Laurelwood and use the code “MAJESTIC GRILLE” to redeem the offer. The Majestic offers a special “pre-theatre menu” prior to each Broadway show.

The Brass Door is closed for a week and will reopen with a new menu and new events next week.

Plans for tonight: Melissa Monday at Bardog then will figure out the rest from there.