Housing needed, Eric Hughes, Cirque, Itta Bena pics and more

Hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day. I spent the evening with the one I love… beer. Beer report to come later in this post.

Memphis in May is looking to house a grad student who will serve as their intern from March to May. The intern is a 24-year-old male from Izmir, Turkey, and they are looking for an empty apartment or condo, or an extra bedroom to rent out. Somewhere on the Downtown trolley line would be ideal. MIM can pay up to $600 per month rent, plus they will have extra money for him to spend on food in a shared situation. If you have space to offer call 525-4611 ext. 107. Since I only have a 1 BR apartment I won’t be able to help house this guy. However, if in the future MIM needs to house several female Romanian grad students, then I’ll be able to find plenty of room.

The Westin invites you to “Unwind Time” tonight from 5:30-7:30. It’s the second installment of their blues night, and this week Eric Hughes will play the guitar and harmonica in traditional blues fashion. The event will take place in their lobby bar.

Yesterday I received an e-mail about an additional apartment site for Downtown – rent38103.com. Looks like they specialize in high-end rentals. I’ll add it to the “Apartments” page today.

Cirque de Soleil comes to the FedExForum next Wednesday and Thursday for their “Saltimbanco” performance.  Here’s an article by CA writer Skippy Blank about the show.

Here are the pics I took at Itta Bena’s Downtown Night on Wednesday. First, a couple of shots of the complimentary appetizers they put out:



And here are a couple of pics of the gang at the bar at Itta Bena, including the shot of Yoko taking a photo of me taking a photo of her.



And now, we come to the part of the blog that everyone has been waiting for – the beer report.  Since I saved a heck of a lot of money last night by not having a girlfriend to take out for Valentine’s Day, I treated myself to some high-priced beers.

Previous total:  $149.50

Beers 31, 32, and 33 (but 28, 29, and 30 according to the Saucer):
Flying Dog Tire Bite, on Fire Sale $2.75
Duvel $7.00
Lindeman’s Peche $12.00
Tip $21.75 x ~30% = $7.00
Total:  $28.75

Grand total:  $178.25

All the Lindeman’s beers are really good, although at $12 they’re not something you’d want to drink all afternoon.

Going to make a special lunchtime trip to the Saucer today to knock out Abita Root Beer and maybe a couple of nonalcoholic beers.  Yeah, I have to drink those too.  By getting them done at lunch that’ll free me up to go elsewhere tonight if I so desire.  I’ll take the laptop with me, so a lunchtime post is a possibility.

Put Itta Bena on the calendar for Wed night – it’s GOOD!

Several of my friends and I ventured over to Itta Bena for their Wednesday Downtown Night, and I gotta give it an A+.  The people who work there went out of their way to make us feel at home, and the drinks were good.  And the complimentary appetizers they put out – WOW!  There was salmon and cream cheese and capers and crackers, and they also put out an antipasto dish and a cheese spread that looked like it had artichoke hearts in it.  I got pictures but I’m on a real short time frame this morning before I have to get to work.  Will post them later this week, or maybe I’ll wait ’til next Wed to post them as a reminder.  Got a couple of great crowd shots too, including a pic of Yoko taking a pic of me from the other side of the room.

Itta Bena is going to become a regular Wednesday night stop, I predict.

After that, went to the Saucer to watch the game.  It was a Mexican-themed beer night for me:

Previous total:  $134.50

Dos Equis Amber Fire Sale $2.75
Modelo Especial bottle $4.00
Corona Light bottle $4.25
Tip:  $11 x ~30% = $4.00
Total:  $15.00

Grand total:  $149.50

The high point of the evening occurred after I finished my 3 plate beers.  It wasn’t the Valentine’s Day glass (I didn’t buy one) or the Tiger victory.  No, the high point of the evening occurred when they ran out of Dos Equis Amber and had to switch the Fire Sale to DOS EQUIS SPECIAL LAGER!!!!!  Suddenly what I intended to be an early night became a late one.  The waitress who calls me her “BFF” had my tab and got off early, and politely requested me to close her tab by saying “PAY!!!”  I’d call that the rudest close-out request ever, but since The Romanian Sensation used to work at the Saucer it’s not even close.  My BFF was probably shocked that I didn’t come over to McGuinness to hang out after she got off.  Sorry, babe… Special Lager > you.

Finally going to get to try Circa for lunch today.  Looking forward to that.

Day-before-Valentine’s Day update

Got a couple of day-before-VDay notes to pass along.  The Memphis Flyer’s “Hotties” issue comes out today, where they name the hottest males and females in the city.  This year they’re throwing a big party to celebrate the issue, and inviting the hotties and their readers.  They’re handing out free appetizers (including oysters) and making a special Hotties cocktail to get everyone in the mood.  It will be at The Cove tonight from 7 to 9.


To get to The Cove, take Sam Cooper Blvd. to Hollywood.  Turn north on Hollywood (which would be a left turn if you’re coming from Downtown) then take an immediate turn to the east (right) on Broad.  Broad is only like a half block north of Sam Cooper; if you’re on Hollywood and you hit Summer you went too far.  The Cove is a couple blocks down from Hollywood on Broad.  If you’ve never been to The Cove you should go.  Really cool spot.  You can read about it in this post about my recent field trip there.

Attn Johnny Cash fans:  The buy-the-beer, keep-the-glass glass tonight at the Flying Saucer is a special Valentine’s Day glass featuring a young Johnny Cash and June Carter.  This looks like one of the cooler designs they’ve had in a while.  They go on sale at 7.  Also, if you’re a UFO Club member, the “Important Beer Goddess Video” they e-mailed contains a beer quiz for a $5 gift certificate.  Remember, if you’re taking the quiz you’re already on the Internet – so you can pop open a new window or tab and use Google or Wikipedia to cheat.

Tigers vs. Houston tonight at 8.  This is one of the few opponents in Conference USA that is not a complete joke of a team, so we better be prepared if we want to remain #1.  If we lose it’ll doubly suck because Duke would take our top spot.  Have I mentioned I hate Duke?

Last night’s beers 25, 26, and 27:

Previous total:  $121.25

Labatt Blue draft (I screwed up – meant to get the bottle) $4.25
Miller Lite bottle $3.25
Tip $10.25 x ~30% = $3.00
Total $13.25

Grand total:  $134.50

Now up to 3 beer tickets that have gotten lost… so I claim I’m at 27 and the Saucer claims I’m at 24.  Now, I’ve been meaning to take the list of beers I’ve had in and see if I can get those three credited back… and because they know me well, they’d probably give them to me.  But, you know, if I want this to be a true, accurate reflection of the cost of getting a plate, maybe I shouldn’t get those beers credited back.  Lost beers are part of the cost most people would encounter en route to finishing.

One of the trivia questions last night was “Two of the major companies that provide credit reports are Equifax and Experian.  What’s the third?”  Haha… sometimes it’s nice to work for a company that sells background checking services.  (The answer is Trans Union by the way – and that’s not my company)  I need to do a post about my company sometime.  I’ve avoided mentioning them by name because I don’t know if they want their good name associated with drunk posts, bums, Tube Top Month and all the other idiocy that goes on here.  But it’s a really cool startup company and some BIG names in the IT business are involved.

Speaking of which, it’s time to get to work.  But before I do, let me announce the winner of trivia last night.  That would be none other than THE RAPSCALLIONS!!!  We tied for first place and then won the tie-breaker question to get our first $50 toward Rapscallion Party VII.

Itta Bena starting new Downtowner Night

Just received word that Itta Bena, the chic new restaurant on the third floor of BB King’s (Beale at Second), is starting a Downtowner Night every Wednesday from 5 to 8.  Complimentary tapas and $5 wells and specialty drinks.  They are calling this “the place to be” for all who live, work, and/or play Downtown.

This sounds like something I may have to put on the schedule for tomorrow.  Always fun to meet my Downtown neighbors.

Tuesday update

ArtsMemphis is sponsoring a web-based contest for budding filmmakers.  Submit a video of no more than 5 minutes showcasing Memphis’ vibrant arts scene, and you could win prize money – $2,000 for first, $750 second, $500 third.  First place also gets automatic entry into the annual Indie Memphis Film Festival.  Submissions due by February 29 with $15 entry fee.  For more details go to artsmemphis.org.

The South Main Association has their monthly meeting tonight at The Center For Southern Folklore, on Main between Gayoso and Peabody Place.  The speakers will be Judy who runs the Center, as well as Elizabeth Alley, Director of Art with the Urban Art Commission.  Social at 6, program at 6:30, free to the public.

Of course, I won’t be able to make the meeting, because it’s trivia night.  Having spent all their trivia money, the legendary Rapscallions are looking for a first-place win to start their new gift certificate bank account off with a 50.  If you don’t feel like getting your ass kicked by us in trivia at the Saucer, keep in mind that Tug’s on Mud Island also does a Tuesday trivia night now.

Pint Nite beer report:

Previous total:  $110.75

Beers 22, 23, and 24 (or 20, 21, and 22 according to the Saucer’s computer):
Amstel Light $2.50
Boddington’s $2.50
Kronenbourg 1664 $2.50
Tip:  $1 x 3 beers = $3.00
Total:  $10.50

Grand total: $121.25

There were several additional Special Lagers which didn’t count toward the plate.  I ended up on the losing side of a dart game last night but have decided to remain unretired anyway.

Off to work.

A citizen speaks his mind on panhandling

The following was posted to the Handling-Panhandling online forum a few weeks ago:

“I had a sales meeting here in Memphis this week and I want to share my
embarrassment because of these issues. I had sales reps, vendors, and
industry leaders in town and I received several comments about the
panhandling, arguing, and public intoxication and urination that was
all around us. It is MIND BOGGLING”

I responded to the person who made the post, asking if I could quote him on my blog. His response is below:

“I have no problem with you sharing my views – I read your blog regularly. The most frustrating part is that as a citizen of this city I have done my job. I bought a condo downtown, spend my money downtown, and now have vendors stay, eat, and meet down there as well. I have done my part to grow this ‘new’ community but I am thinking about moving my meetings back east where I am not embarrassed to be a Memphian. My biggest issue is how can our leaders not be embarrassed? Are they so ‘Memphis’ that they are immune to this behavior and see it as okay?”

Glad to see the info pages are helping

Looks like the new “Downtown Memphis info” section (see right-hand column) is already being put to good use.  This afternoon I got an e-mail from someone moving to Memphis who is apartment hunting.  She said it helped, and e-mailed me some questions.  If you have questions about Downtown Memphis you’re certainly welcome to e-mail me too – address is paul@paulryburn.com.  I love being the unofficial Downtown orientation guide.

I added Easy Way, the Hostess thrift store, and Family Dollar to the grocery page, and Tug’s and Calhoun’s to the happy hour page.  Lots more still to come… I’d really like to turn this into a real information resource for Downtown, and make this site more than a guy blogging about what beers he drank at the Saucer.

Speaking of which… it’s time to head to the Saucer and drink some beer.  Should be there around 4:45 and will probably stay until… hmmm, what time does the place close on Monday?

It’s Monday again.

A late night Saturday and a very large, high-alcohol beer turned yesterday into a trainwreck of a day. Beer report:

Previous total: $87.75

Sam Adams Fire Sale $2.75
Miller Genuine Draft bottle $3.25
Stone IPA $11.00
Tip: $17 x ~30% = $6.00
Total: $23.00

Grand total: $110.75

Also, something happened that I had been expecting – two of the beers I bought sometime last week failed to show up in the computer. So my total should have been 18 at the start of the day yesterday, but was really 16. So it looks like it’ll be a plate in 68 days rather than 67. Really, probably more like 75 days because it’ll happen again. Anyway, I’ll continue to do 3 a day until the stupid thing gets done.

A couple of people e-mailed me and told me that I left Easy Way off the list of places to buy groceries Downtown – good point, I’ll add that sometime today. I also thought of another one – the Hostess thrift store at Monroe and Danny Thomas. When I lived at Echelon I used to walk down there all the time.

I also went by Swig and got their happy hour info and will add that to the happy hour page sometime today.

Woke up early for some reason this morning… good, that means I can get to work early, do my 8 hours and get out of there by 4:30 today. After that I’ll hit Pint Nite and drink beers 22, 23, and 24 (and probably another six unnumbered beers after that).

Hey, I just noticed that next Monday is Presidents’ Day, which is a holiday for my company. THREE DAY WEEKEND coming up!!! Woohoo! That’ll make Sunday Fun Day extra fun!

Sunday update

What a night.  I hung out at the Saucer until close, then moved to Hoop’s Bar, then ended up riding in King’s limo with three friends to Raiford’s.  I didn’t notice what time I got home but 4:30 is a reasonable guess.  Still drunk?  Think so.

Thanks Nick for catching that I had the wrong link for the Super Bowl pics in yesterday’s post.  For those of you who don’t feel like scrolling down here’s a new link.

Skye and Tatia:  Nice meeting you, hope I spelled your names right.  I love talking to new Downtowners, right when they’re starting to realize how much fun it’s going to be to live down here.  Reminds me of myself six years ago.

Beer report:

Previous total:  $77.75

Budweiser bottle (I made them give me a glass so no one would see me drinking it) $3.25
Corona bottle $4.00
Leinenkugel Red Fire Sale $2.75
Tip:  $10 x 30% = $3.00
Cover being charged which I didn’t have to pay due to UFO card:  $-3.00
Total:  $10.00

Grand total:  $87.75

If only I could have $10 nights all the way through my plate.   I started my tab at the bar, then after 2 beers the waitress who refers to me as her “BFF” came over and said, “WHAT DO YOU WANT.  I’LL TRANSFER YOUR TAB” despite the fact that I was about as close to her section as I was to Johannesburg, South Africa.  I looked up BFF in Urban Dictionary and there were six definitions.  “Best Friends Forever” was number 1 as I expected, but number 2 was “Best Fuck Fantasy.”

Off to McGuinness for brunch.  There’s a John D breakfast at McGuinness now (Majestic already had one):  Biscuits and gravy topped with crumbled sausage and bacon.  If it’s a slow day at the Saucer this afternoon maybe I’ll go get the laptop and add some more to the Downtown Memphis Info section.  I don’t think I’m even going to shower.  My friends smoke nasty stinky filthy disgusting cigarettes.  Who cares if I smell.