Sat update: Mardi Gras @ Woodruff-Fontaine, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre @ Blind Bear, Juke Boogie Mixtape @ CSF, Slave Haven Museum exhibits, sushi news

We’ve got a couple of festive events happening Downtown tonight. First of all, tonight is Mardi Gras at the Woodruff-Fontaine House, one of the beautiful 19th-century mansions that line Adams Avenue. Gumbo, authentic Louisiana king cake, drinks, beads and doubloons. Masquerade/costumes are encouraged but not required. Your suggested $20 donation helps the historical preservation efforts of APTA Memphis. Party is from 7 to 11 PM.

Meanwhile, over at the Blind Bear, it’s the annual St. Valentine’s Day Massacre party. This year they’re doing it to support the Ronald McDonald House and FedEx Family House. $10 cover. Gangster and flapper attire encouraged but not required. Blackjack tournament, costume contest, dinner, dancing, silent auction. This party is also from 7 to 11 PM. If you don’t know what a “massacre” has to do with Valentine’s Day, read about it here. It was a Chicago gangland-style shooting involving “Scarface” Al Capone and his enemy Bugs Moran.

By the way… I’ve been reading about the mob on Wikipedia lately. The Chicago Outfit was more well-known, but the New York mobsters are actually much more interesting. There are characters like Lucky Luciano, the mastermind of the whole thing; the “Prime Minister of the Underworld,” Frank Costello; the ruthless and cunning Vito Genovese; the calm and collected Carlo Gambino. There have been characters in more recent times too, like “The Oddfather” Vincent “The Chin” Gigante and “The Dapper Don” John Gotti. Luciano was actually named one of the top 100 people of the 20th century by TIME Magazine, in the “business leaders” section. No kidding.

Juke Boogie Mixtape, a dance performance by SubCulture Dance Royalty, happens tonight at 7 PM on the Folklore Hall stage at the Center for Southern Folklore, 123 S. Main. Some of the most talented kids in the business will perform. Your $7 cover charge helps support the annual Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. The Center is practically next door to the Blind Bear so you could attend both this performance and the Massacre party easily.

There’s a new sushi menu at Bangkok Alley, according to one of the sushi chefs with whom I’m friends on Facebook. I need to get by there and try it soon. Bangkok Alley, being a Thai restaurant, isn’t as well known for its sushi as places like Bluefin or Sekisui, but it’s just as good.

If you’re looking to do something different for Black History Month, the Slave Haven Museum at 826 N. Second has two special exhibits starting today. The exhibits are “Tools of Slavery” and “Black Inventions.”

Thanks everyone for sticking with me this week. I was in a 5-day intensive training for some new software we’re using at work, and I was just too drained to try and do much on the blog at lunch or after work. As you can see in today’s post, I’m back.

Time for brunch with Panda Manda at Bardog at 11, then at 3 I’ll relocate to either Saucer or Bear to watch the Tigers-Southern Miss game.