Mayorships are back + Tuesday news

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Jun 232015
 

Swarm by Foursquare, the app where you check in at your favorite places, has brought back mayorships. They were removed about a year ago and there was a huge protest. The person who checks into a venue the most in the past 2 months (only one checkin a day counts) becomes the “mayor” of that venue. Swarm has been accumulating checkins for the past month and has awarded mayorships based on that period of time.

Once I found that out, I updated the app, viewed my history, and discovered that I have done something I never managed to do when we had mayorships the first time. I had become mayor of 4 of the 5 bars I refer to as my “Big Five,” the five places I go the most. I am the new mayor of Bardog Tavern, Blind Bear (where they never stopped referring to me as mayor), Flying Saucer (a little surprised I got that one back), and Silly Goose. The only bar that eludes me is Max’s Sports Bar. I’ve been spending time in South Main more but I will never catch Otto and steal that one.

I’m not going to work to try to defend mayorships this time around, though (except for Blind Bear). I’m going to go where I want, and if I lose mayorships, so be it.

John Mellencamp plays The Orpheum tonight at 7:30.

Meanwhile, over at Beale Street Landing, Monsters Inc. will be shown on the big screen tonight at 8:30.

The Redbirds begin a homestand vs. Nashville tonight at 7:05. There are $1 King Cotton hot dogs at Tuesday games.

Live music alert: There will be another Charvey Mac appearance Downtown this week. The talented singer will play Beale Street Landing once again Friday from 6 to 8.

Congratulations to the Memphis Zoo, ranked as one of the top 10 zoos by Fodor Travel.

MemphisWeather.net is looking to hire a contract web programmer. They’re looking for HTML, mobile, Perl/PHP, and RSS/XML experience.

While we’re on the subject of MemphisWeather.net, they explained a partial cause of the haze we experienced yesterday: Dirt from the Sahara desert in Africa was in the atmosphere! Also, MWN reported that the aurora borealis was seen as far south as Iowa last night.

Bars can program their point-of-sale system touch screens so that they have their own button. That way, when someone orders, say, a margarita, the bartender doesn’t have to waste time typing M-A-R-G-A-R-I-T-A into the system; they just hit the button and get on with making the drink. Last night I was in Blind Bear for happy hour, and Mary showed me the newest button on their screen: “Duck Fart.” It’s official: My blog has brought the duck fart back. Now I need to spread it to other bars.

The inventor of the pink plastic yard flamingo has died at 79.

Well damn. Chevrolet is bringing back the Chevelle for the 2016 model year. Everything old is new again.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a rather odd 10-day period for me. Many of the crew I run around with are heading out of town. We have several people flying to Mexico for a wedding, and one person in Spokane for a training. I will get through it fine though; I enjoy hanging out by myself at times. Plus, I have a birthday party to attend at a venue I love, and a new friend to hang out with one day this weekend.

As for tonight, I have no idea what my plans are. One option is head south and lead off at Max’s Sports Bar; that would be a sure winner if it wasn’t so damn hot outside and so far away from home. Another possibility is to stop by Silly Goose and see if any of my friends are there for one last happy hour in Memphis before they leave town. Then there’s always a little bonus Panda Time at Bardog. It’ll be a game-time decision. Time to hit Target to see if they still carry bacon jerky, then back for a few more hours of work before I get out.

“Are you entertained?”

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Jun 222015
 

…asked the cute blonde I was using for target practice with wadded-up napkins at Blind Bear yesterday. Yes, I was entertained. And it was good to see you back at Brad’s bar. Maybe the next time you come up we will talk. It’s totally your decision, though. But know this: Your body language betrays you. You don’t hate me as much as you act like you do.

From Thrillist: Memphis’ best outdoor patio bars. Of the 14 bars listed, Downtown venues include Terrace at the River Inn, Felicia Suzanne’s, Majestic Grille, Silky O’ Sullivan, Aldo’s, and Central BBQ.

You can donate blood Saturday at Memphis Farmers Market. Sign up here.

The Hungry Memphis blog has a visit to Makeda’s Cookies on South Second.

Wish you could turn out Brazilian-style grilled meats at home? You need The Carson Kit.

From Forbes: America’s hottest startups are craft breweries

Pizza Hut’s hot dog pizza makes its debut today.

Sunday is Canada Day at Kooky Canuck with drink specials and a special Canadian-themed menu. Be sure to wear your Canadian colors or your favorite Canadian team’s jersey.

I’m going to lead off at the Blind Bear for happy hour this evening about 5:30, and stay there to watch the Women’s World Cup match with Colombia. After that, probably over to Flying Saucer to knock a few beers of my plate at Pint Nite. Go USA and yay beer!

Bacon cheeseburger pizza @ Double J

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Jun 212015
 

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2015 is the year I rediscovered South Main. About 5 yesterday I was at Blind Bear, my favorite pair of librarian glasses behind the bar, when I thought, “Hey, Max’s Sports Bar is open. I think I’ll head down there.” So I tabbed out and began the walk south.

I had been going for 6 hours already at that point, and I realized I needed to get something to eat. Max’s has great steamed sandwiches, but I just wasn’t in a sandwich kind of mood yesterday. “Double J is across the street,” I thought. “They have great food. I’ll eat there.” I pulled up their menu on my phone. Back when they rolled out the Loft Bar, they had three pizzas exclusively upstairs. I guess the pizza business went well, because Double J expanded to a full lineup of pizzas available both up and down.

There was a bacon cheeseburger pizza. That brought back fond memories. Anyone remember the Italian buffet at Poplar Plaza, in the location that is now a Chinese buffet? I was a grad student at the University of Memphis at the time and would go there between classes. They had several pizzas on the buffet and one of them was a bacon cheeseburger pizza. So good. I decided to see if Double J’s take on the pie would measure up.

Indeed it did. Cheesy yumminess with hamburger, bacon, cherry tomatoes, onions, and just a hint of mustard. It was a 9-inch pizza, slightly more than I could finish but I put a good dent in it. I want to try more of Double J’s pizzas. Of particular interest is “The Undertaker,” which has several meats, pineapple, and jalapeno. Normally I don’t like pineapple on pizza but I think the jalapeno would balance it out and make for an interesting taste. I will get back there soon to try The Undertaker, maybe as soon as today.

PRO TIP: Let your pizza sit and cool off for about 3 minutes after it comes out. Much easier to eat if you do this.

I didn’t know the bartender at the Loft Bar, and when I came in I’m pretty sure she wondered if I was a bum. I was sweating from the 3/4-mile walk down there and my hair, 4 months since cut, was going this way and that. I looked like a beach bum who had just stepped off the Greyhound from San Diego. Not sure I convinced the bartender I was not a bum by the time I left, but at least she now knows I’m a bum who leaves 30% tips.

Across the street to Max’s I went, where I got to hang out with four of my favorite people – Gary and Boo, Bad Shane and Leigh. A few weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that I felt like I was in a rut in my life, and Gary suggested I spend more time in South Main. I have done just that. It was an excellent suggestion. This is the first month ever that I have spent more time at Max’s than I have Flying Saucer. Walking down there is good exercise and I enjoy getting to see my South Main friends as much as I do my Downtown core friends.

Thanks to Bad Shane and Leigh for the ride home. If I had walked it, that could have been a bit scary, especially with all the sidewalk construction in South Main. I need to re-do my list of top five Fireball pushers. Michele at Max’s has made the list for sure and might even me number 1 now.

You know, I have a holiday suggestion. We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day. There needs to be a holiday where you honor those who helped you find where you fit in. I remember back in March 2003, when I was invited to Sunday brunch at Sleep Out Louie’s. Bad Shane and Leigh were there. I was introduced to them, and they immediately made me feel welcome, as though I had been part of the gang for years and years. I couldn’t wait until the next Sunday to hang out with them again. I will always be grateful to them for making me feel like I belonged – and I do belong.

(And yeah, I have selfish reasons for suggesting this holiday, because I know a lot of people found where they fit in because of my blog. I like presents!)

On to the news… Yo Gotti and Friends 3rd Birthday Bash happens tonight at the Mud Island Amphitheater. 7:30 PM is the start time.

Historian Jimmy Ogle leads one of his free walks today at 2 PM. Meet at Crump Park (take exit 12C, Metal Museum Drive, off I-55). Learn about the Mississippi River, the bluffs, the bridges, Chickasaw Heritage Park, Metal Museum, railroads, and river barge traffic.

Daytime music recommendation if you have tomorrow off work: STAX Music Academy graduates, now in college and home on summer break, will perform at B.B. King’s at 12:3o tomorrow afternoon.

BRIDGES unveils its new outdoor rock climbing wall and challenge course tomorrow at 2.

All right. After all the pizza ‘n beer yesterday, it’s time for a juice cleanse to repent for my sins. The good thing about living Downtown is that there’s a health clinic called the Blind Bear right down the street. My cleanse will be supervised by nutritionist B-RAD and the juice will be PBR flavored. B-RAD also has a health drink called the duck fart which combines three all-natural ingredients and which is said to be excellent for colon health. I will probably poop more than all the dogs in my apartment building combined, but that’s OK. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this blog, and here’s to a day of healthy living!

The Moody Ques cook for Crop Hop 5K @ Memphis Farmers Market + Saturday news

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Jun 202015
 

Crop Hop 5K, a race and fundraiser for the Memphis Farmers Market, was last night, starting and ending at the pavilion next to Central Station. The Market wanted to show its runners and participants how much they were appreciated for coming out and supporting, so the Market’s organizers turned to one of Memphis’ most well-known BBQ teams to feed everyone: The Moody Ques. We were looking to do a practice cook anyway, and we wanted to try out our new smoker, so we embraced the opportunity. We practiced our championship shoulder and cooked beef brisket as well.

“So you need me at the pavilion at 5 AM to help unload, I assume,” I texted head cook Frank a few days before.

“No,” Frank replied. “We need you in a different role this time. Think of the role James Harden played when he was with the OKC Thunder. When the opponents were worn out, Harden came in and unleashed a flurry of offense that they couldn’t handle. That’s what we need you to do today.”

“But Frank, this isn’t BBQ Fest, we don’t have opponents,” I protested.

“Just go with it,” Frank said, and so I did. I got there about 5:45 in the afternoon, 45 minutes prior to the start of the race.

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Frank taking the last of the shoulders off the smoker

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We shopped local when we purchased our new smoker. Check ’em out: Tucker Cooker Company at 122 W. Carolina in the south end of Downtown. Look at the thermometer! It’s holding temperature right at 250! Bevo couldn’t always do that!

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We ran out of propane, so we couldn’t use the BBQ device I’m no longer allowed to mention to clean the smoker.

(I mentioned the BBQ device I’m no longer allowed to mention :mrgreen: )

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First fruits of the smoker

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The bone came right out of our first shoulder.

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Recently engaged team members Justin and Roglly in the buffet line

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The Rowdy Friends Band. Any band that plays the theme song to “The Jeffersons” is all right in my book. I mighta busted out the George Jefferson strut, if you weren’t there, you don’t know.

All the volunteers at the Farmers Market were SO NICE. One of the volunteers at the beer stand walked over with a Memphis Made Ananda IPA for me. “Paul, I know you’re working hard, so I figured you’d like a beer to cool off,” she said. I really enjoy the Farmers Market, not only because of the diverse array of items you can purchase there, but because of the people too.

Congratulations to all the runners. Great job supporting a great organization.

About 7:20 I checked the radar, and saw that I had about 15 minutes until the next band of rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill moved through. Not having time to make it back to the Downtown core where I live, I darted into my home away from home on the south side, Max’s Sports Bar.

About 30 minutes later, after the rain had passed, a runner came in. We recognized each other because we had been at the registration table at the same time. She told me that the last of the runners got caught in the rain. Ugh, that must have sucked. I told her I am on the BBQ team that cooked for the after-party. “Oh, really?” she said. “A lot of people were talking about how good the BBQ was. They were saying, you HAVE to try the brisket.” Sounds like we impressed some people. Frank told me he learned a few things cooking on the new smoker. There will be more practices before BBQ Fest ’16.

The runner was a relatively new Memphian and didn’t know what I meant when I said I live in the Downtown core. Maybe I need to do a post about Downtown neighborhoods for new Memphians.

As I walked home, I passed by two new businesses on South Main. The first was Snaps, a new comedy club at 414 S. Main, in the building next to Onix that has housed several restaurants over the years, including Wendell’s World Beat Grill. Nice to have something different in there. South Main is truly blossoming as a destination in 2015.

Farther north, at 344 S. Main, I saw another addition to South Main:

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Guiltfree Pastries, a place that serves desserts that are all natural, grain free, gluten free, and vegan. Probably not a place where you will find me often, but a surprisingly high number of vegetarians and vegans read this blog, so it’s worth a mention.

On to the news…The City of Memphis has officially applied to rename Third Street after B.B. King. That is a move I have absolutely no problem supporting. He deserves to be honored.

The Juneteenth urban music festival is currently happening at Church Park, on Beale east of Fourth. The festival started yesterday and runs through tomorrow.

BBQ restaurant Cozy Corner is the latest Downtown business to apply for a Mission Main Street grant. Vote for Cozy Corner here.

Stats site FiveThirtyEight has an article about the winners and losers of the Women’s World Cup group stage. Team USA are most definitely winners: They are projected at 33% to win the Cup. Germany is technically a slightly stronger team, but they face Sweden and France en route to the final match, while USA won’t see anyone in the top 10 in strength until at least the semis.

If you’re a fan of Fire Eater, the cinnamon competitor to Fireball, I have a tip for you. Fire Eater left the market recently (which does not surprise me, it tastes horrible) but Max’s Sports Bar still has some. If you’re a fan of one of the most godawful liquors ever poured in this city, you can go there to get it. I watched people order it the three times I have been there this week and watching them drink it makes my stomach turn inside out.

Question from one of my neighbors who reads this blog: Is any Downtown business showing the Grateful Dead 50th reunion? It’s going to be on July 4 on pay-per-view. If anyone knows shoot me an email at paul@paulryburn.com and I will pass the info along.

Red Velvet, the vintage shop at 509 S. Main, celebrates its one-year anniversary today. 15% off purchases, Batlash Pop-up Shop, Red Velvet Cake Pops, rum punch.

Qahwa is having a Hookah Night tonight at 9 with hookahs, coffee, food, and belly dancers.

Time to hit Publish and get this day rolling. The laundry is not going to get dry in time for a morning trip to the Farmers Market, so Panda Time at Bardog at 11 will be the first stop. I’ll figure out the rest of the day – and really, the rest of the weekend – from there.

New smoker for the Moody Ques, new kiosks for the Flying Saucer, and Friday news

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Jun 192015
 

(eating Zaxby’s as I type this, apologies if typos)

I was very excited to receive an MMS from my BBQ team’s head cook, Frank, last night. It was a photo of our team’s new smoker being hauled Downtown to the Farmers Market pavilion.

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Our old smoker, Bevo, has had trouble holding temperature the past two years, and with our new goal of being a serious competition team as well as a party team, Bevo had to go.

If you’re attending the Crop Hop 5K after-party, here’s a photo of your dinner being brined shortly before its date with the new smoker:

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This morning I received a text from Frank. “Having problem with the temperature.” Oh no, I thought, not again. Then I got a second text. “It’s too hot!” I smiled. Too hot is a problem that can be fixed.

Here’s head cook Frank lighting it up:

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:mrgreen:

And here’s dinner on the new smoker:

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We have yet to name the new smoker. “As long as it’s not Bevo II I’m happy with it,” I commented.

So, so, so happy with this new direction the Moody Ques are taking. Most years in June, the team leaders aren’t even speaking to each other, and if they are they’re sure as hell not talking BBQ. This year we’re cooking for a great charity event. Things are going in a good direction!

I led off at the Silly Goose last night. There I ran into my friend Ashley, who I haven’t seen in three years.

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Ashley is a former Memphian who now lives in Birmingham, and whose sales job occasionally sees her travel to Memphis. I’m lucky she still speaks to me, after a 2012 invite to the Moody Ques booth ran off the rails. She had a one-shoulder dress on, and teammate “Mr. Inappropriate,” who had been hitting the team liquor stash pretty hard all day, decided to start a conversation with her.

“You’re wearing a tube top.”

“No, see, it has a strap.”

“Ahhh……. Take your shirt off.” At that point I ushered “Mr. Inappropriate” away, and he went back to his business of consuming every drop of booze he could find behind the bar. You know things are bad when I’m the voice of reason at BBQ Fest.

Ashley wanted to play the Giant Jenga game that sits on the Goose’s coffee table, and for the first time in my life I played. It was the shortest Giant Jenga game in the history of the Goose, lasting less than two rounds before the tower toppled. I was very pleased that I was not the one who lost. I’m 1-0 in Giant Jenga!

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About 8 I went next door to the Flying Saucer. I don’t go there every day anymore and getting my ninth plate on the wall is taking forever. I decided to knock a few beers off the list. I got a pleasant surprise: They’ve replaced the old UFO member kiosk with two new kiosks!

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This is great. Now people can stand there for 5 minutes scrolling through the beers thinking “what do I want” without holding up the line.

The deal with the kiosks, in case you haven’t heard of them before, is that UFO Club members can print out receipts, with bar codes, for the beers they purchase. At the end of the night those receipts are scanned and members get credit for the beers they drank (max 3 beers a day). When you hit 200 different beers, you get a free party and your plate on the wall.

I can’t remember the name of the beer I purchased, but it was on the Just Landed board above the bar under Drafts. It was a high-gravity beer, at 13% alcohol, in an 11-ounce glass for $8. That’s a Value Drinking Index of 17.875 (13 * 11 / 8), very good (anything over 15 is good), so I ordered it. Unfortunately I overlooked one fact: 13% beers knock me on my ass! By the time I finished the beer the room was spinning. I had to cancel my planned third stop, Blind Bear, stop by the grab & go at City Market and call it a rather early night.

The Saucer, by the way, turns 18 today and will celebrate with a menu of rare beers beginning at 5 this afternoon.

I noticed that City Market now carries Spicy Thai chips. Going to have to try those sometime. I love spicy.

Bluff City Coffee has added salads to go along with their breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Mamma Mia! returns to the Orpheum tonight through Sunday. Tonight’s performance is at 8 PM.

The race voted “Best Race in America” by Paddler Magazine, the Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race, happens tomorrow at Mississippi River Park. Over 500 canoes and kayak paddlers will participate. The event benefits the Church Health Center.

Dads who dine Sunday at Texas de Brazil get a gift certificate for a free meal for their next visit.

The MBJ was on the scene last night at the Cookies on Tap fundraiser at High Cotton Brewing. Here’s a recap and photos.

Interesting fact I learned from @MBJArnold this morning: City Gear has more in annual revenue than the Grizzlies.

Random thing I learned this morning: There’s a dog meat eating festival in China. 10,000 dogs will be tortured and killed over a weekend. Just terrible. The link I have here is a petition to end the festival.

See you at Crop Hop 5K, I hope! I should be down there by 6.

Tiger alumni game, let your daughter meet princesses, and more (Thur update #2)

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Jun 182015
 

Tickets are now on sale for the Memphis Tigers Alumni game on June 27. Antonio Anderson tweet a photo of the lineup of blue and gray teams and it appears to be players who played mainly under John Calipari vs. players who played mainly under Josh Pastner. Should be a good game.

Dads: If you’re looking for something to do for a father-daughter night with your little girl, I have a recommendation for you. Monday, June 29 will be Princess Night at AutoZone Park, a special night when storybook princesses will come to life. Purchase a special ticket and not only will you be able to meet the princesses, but you will get a tiara and a special 5:30-7 PM pre-game buffet. First pitch is at 7:05 and the opponent is Colorado Springs.

Another place to take the kids is Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend at the FedExForum this weekend.

“Reel in the Big One” is the theme at Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. You won’t need a fishing pole, though, to get a fresh catch at the Market, with farm-raised catfish and seafood from the Gulf available for purchase from vendors. You can get seasonings and sides to complete your meal there too. Cooking demo with Felicia from Felicia Suzanne’s at 10, and she’ll cook with her Flo’s sauce to create a delicious Father’s Day meal. Kids can make Father’s Day cards 9 to noon, and Master Gardeners will be at the Market at 9 to answer your questions. Live music by Bruce Barham 8:30 to 10. Corner of Front and G.E. Patterson under the pavilion, 7 AM to 1 PM Saturday.

2 GB ducky flash drives will soon be on sale at the Peabody gift shop. My friend Katie Mac needs one of these.

By the end of this decade, the Wolf River Greenway will be extended all the way to Downtown. The greenway will run 18.4 miles total within the city limits.

@CopelandCoach reported that the Memphis Zoo has a job opening for Director of Conservation and Research.

Sun Studio was on the Today Show this morning. View the video.

In the news: A woman will be on the $10 bill by 2020, the U.S. Treasury announced. It’s about time.

Home from work, PBR time. Goose then Saucer then Bear is my likely running order.

Thursday update #1 of at least 2

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Jun 182015
 

I want to remind everyone that tomorrow is the Crop Hop 5K, starting and ending at the pavilion next to Central Station at Front and G.E. Patterson. This 5K is a fundraiser for Memphis Farmers Market, which has been said to be one of the top farmers markets in the nation. $25 to run (includes T-shirt). If you just want to hang out at the after-party and not run, you can register for that too – $25 if you want the T-shirt, $15 if not. Register here.

Now, about that after-party… it’s going to be awesome. There will be live music by the Rowdy Friends, and great local beer by Memphis Made. However, the biggest reason you want to be at the after-party is the food, cooked by none other than The Moody Ques BBQ team. Yep, we’re going to feed you. Come on down and meet the people you have read about on this blog, including head cook Frank, vice-president Clay, and team workhorse “Mr. Load-in.” Registration at 5:30, race at 6:30, after-party afterward.

The DMP Band headlines the Peabody rooftop party tonight. $10 to get in, doors open at 6, ladies free until 7. Your admission includes a Father’s Day themed buffet of beer cheese dip with warm pretzels and beer battered catfish with tartar dipping sauce (7-8 PM). If you’re in VIP, from 7 to 9:30 there will be a second buffet of Jack Daniel’s glazed tenderloin, garlic bread, corn on the cob, and watermelon wedges. Cranberry margarita specials. There will be a raffle to win a Master of Mixes “Beach Party in a Bag.” The price of VIP passes that get you in all the weekly parties plus other perks has been slashed to $100 for the second half of the season.

There will be a meeting at 6 PM tonight at the National Civil Rights Museum to explore how bike sharing in Memphis might work. If you like to ride, check out this Memphis and Shelby County bike map showing all bike paths in the area.

Tacos & Tunes will be back on Felicia Suzanne’s patio tonight from 7 to 10, with $2 tacos, $5 margaritas, and live music. Also don’t forget that Felicia’s is open for lunch on Fridays, and if you have lunch at the restaurant you can order up to three martinis for 25 cents each.

From Lifehacker: Spice up your cocktails by adding grilled fruit. Hmmm… I remember the early years at the Silly Goose when Daniel would get the grill out on the patio and cook burgers. Maybe he needs to get it back out and grill some fruit for his craft cocktails.

There’s an International Paper Money Show this weekend at the Cook Convention Center. $20 family pass, $7 one-day one-person ticket.

The County Commission approved a new 300-space parking garage for the South Main area. With lots happening soon at Central Station and the Tennessee Brewery, it will be needed.

For the second day in a row, I have way too much news. Going to cut it off here so I have time to grab lunch. Expect a second post with lots of good stuff after work.

High Cotton to begin weekly yoga/beer event, plus more Wednesday news (update #2)

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Jun 172015
 

Starting next Thursday, June 25, High Cotton Brewing at 598 Monroe will host Bendy Brewski Yoga every Thursday from 6 to 8. It will be a yoga and beer pairing. It’s beginner yoga, no experience required, followed by a pint. The cost for the class is $15 (I assume that includes the pint). They posted “No Watchasana” (sorry Mike and Gary).

What is the deal with yoga lately? Just since the last week of May I have heard about:

  • New studio Downtown Yoga opening on South Main
  • A free class at Tennessee Brewery Revival
  • A free class at Memphis Farmers Market
  • A yoga fundraiser for St. Jude last Saturday
  • YMCA renovations possibly including a space for Bikram yoga
  • And now this recurring High Cotton event

Is yoga making a national comeback, or is this solely a Memphis thang? Anyone know? Yoga and duck farts: The twin crazes of the late spring/early summer. Hey Blind Bear: Maybe you should do what High Cotton is doing, but end it with a duck fart rather than a pint. Let’s get rid of the “No Watchasana” rule too. And invite employees to participate.

Breaking news: Lyft allowed to operate at Memphis International Airport, effective immediately. Good news for travelers who are sick of getting gouged by local cab companies.

More information on the smoker inside the new BBQ Shack in the right field of AutoZone Park: It is a Southern Pride smoker, made not far from Memphis. GM Craig Unger believes that several local restaurants use the same smoker.

A bike and pedestrian bridge was installed this morning over Riverside Drive, connecting points east of Riverside to the Harahan Bridge. It’s part of the Main-to-Main project. You will soon be able to bike or walk across the Mississippi on that bridge.

AT&T had been slowing down Internet access for customers with unlimited data plans – and not telling them. The FCC found out and fined AT&T $100 million. As someone who has an unlimited data plan and didn’t realize my Internet speed was being throttled, I must say I find the fine to be very well-deserved. Every time I get a new phone, they try every trick in the book to get me to give up my unlimited data. It’s not happening.

Time for PBR. Happy hour at Silly Goose then over to Blind Bear then maybe Saucer. Probably won’t be a late night, but when I say that I mean “home by 11:30″ when most 8-to-5ers mean “home be 9.”

Wednesday update #1 of at least 2

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Jun 172015
 

Yesterday after work I decided to lead off at Max’s Sports Bar. I had good green trolley bus karma as I walked out my building’s front door; a bus was approaching. Good, because I really didn’t feel like walking the mile to Max’s in a heat index of nearly 100. That was a dollar well spent.

Thanks to the bus, I got to Max’s earlier than usual, about 5:45. They had the Gary Parrish Show, the drive-time sports talk show on FM 92.9, on the speakers. I’ve never heard a bar play a radio show before, but it makes a lot of sense, given that GP is a sports show, Max’s is a sports bar, and at 5:45 there aren’t likely to be any events on TV worth putting on sound. I liked it. Plus all the regulars were there discussing the show, adding another element.

I took a seat next to my friend Billy, who had just returned from AmeriVespa, the largest gathering of vintage and modern scooters in the country, in Indianapolis. He said about 550 attended. Next year the event comes to Memphis and he expects an even better turnout, in the 600-800 range.

Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable Tour comes to FedExForum Tuesday, September 29. The tour is in support of her upcoming album.

Quench, the new upscale liquor and wine store on Second across from the Peabody, has announced its grand opening: Saturday, June 27, at 2 PM. So excited that I will no longer have to leave the Downtown core to purchase quality spirits and wines.

Holly’s blog has news of a cool event coming to the High Cotton Brewery taproom tomorrow night from 4 to 7. The Memphis chapter of the Girl Scouts is launching a new young professionals’ group called Troop 901 whose goal will be to raise money for scholarships for young women. To kick things off, they are holding Cookies on Tap at the taproom tomorrow afternoon, pairing High Cotton beers with Girl Scout cookies.

Holly also has a preview of Agave Maria with many more photos of the food than the MBJ preview I posted yesterday.

The third floor of the Downtown YMCA building will be renovated to create additional amenities to appeal to Downtown residents. Possible things to be added include a hot yoga studio, kitchen classroom space to teach healthy cooking, and additional space for exercise and meetings.

eighty3 chef Max Hussey is among those interviewed in the Daily News’ Memphis restaurants love their patios. It is the first full year for eighty3’s patio on the Main Street Mall. Hussey has $8 food and drink pairings specifically for patio diners.

WWE Monday Night RAW was in Cleveland this week. World Champion Seth Rollins held up his title belt and told the audience that this is the only chance Cleveland would have to see what a world championship would look like. His words proved prophetic last night.

Congrats to the USA soccer team on winning Group D last night. They advance to the Round of 16 in the Knockout Stage. According to the Women’s World Cup Wikipedia page, the team will play on June 22 in Edmonton, and will face either Thailand, Spain, or France.

I have way more news, but I need to use the remainder of my lunch break to run errands, so there will be a second post after I get home from work. Watch for it between 5:30 and 6.

Tuesday update #2

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Jun 162015
 

Got enough news for a second post before I get out today. Let’s get going:

Redbirds fans who order BBQ nachos at games at AutoZone Park: The chicken or pork shoulder atop your nachos will now be cooked on-site. Construction was recently completed on a BBQ shack in right field, which has a smoker that can handle all the park’s BBQ cooking needs.

That operation is going to require a lot of heavy lifting, so I would like to offer the team my services. “Mr. Load-in” would be happy to sit in a right field seat and drink a beer while other people do the lifting. Provided the Redbirds pay for my ticket and beer, of course. I’m so good at coming up with agreements that are a win-win for both parties.

The MBJ has a sneak peek of Agave Maria, the new Mexican restaurant that will open on Union within days.

Lansky Bros. Clothier to the King at 126 Beale Street is hiring Sales Associates for full and part time positions. Interested candidates can e-mail sales@lanskybros.com for more information.

A 28-year-old man from Illinois is charged with severely beating a guard at the Doubletree early this morning.

The Flying Saucer has announced that several Dogfish Head beers have arrived: Tweason Ale, Festina Peche, and Namaste. I need to get in there and resume work on my 9th plate.

MemphisWeather.net’s blog has a post on how the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill will affect the Mid-South. Friday morning looks like the most likely time.

That’ll do it. PBR and Women’s World Cup time.