Wed update #2: Food Truck Fridays, Frank’s Deli, AutoZone Park recognized by PETA, Teach for America/Start Co., web designer job

Still at work, waiting for very heavy rain to move out of Horn Lake and points north on I-55 before I drive home. I have an absolute phobia of driving in the rain. Since it’s past official quitting time, I might as well type up a post while I wait.

The first of several Food Truck Fridays will happen on the FedExForum Plaza this Friday, June 25 from 11 AM to 1 PM. Several food trucks will be on hand. There will be Grizzlies and FedExForum promotions each week. This Friday, you’ll have the chance to win Michael Buble tickets for the 30th. Arena escorts will be there to assist those who would like to test-drive season tickets.

I haven’t officially confirmed this, but I have seen from a lot of folks on Twitter that Frank’s Deli at Main and Vance is closing. That’s a shame for South Main because it’s the only place within walking distance to get basic grocery needs. I haven’t yet heard about anything going into that space after Frank’s leaves, but it’s on a prime corner and next to the Green Beetle so I doubt it will stay empty long.

AutoZone Park has been recognized by PETA for its vegan offerings. Choices include dogs, wraps, spicy black bean burgers, fruit cups, and pasta primavera salad.

The Daily News has an article by Andre Fowlkes of Start Co. on how Teach for America is leveraging Start Co.’s services.

Want to work at Main and Union? RocketFuel is looking for a web designer.

All right. Rain is finally letting up. I’ll be out at the usual spots in a little while, with trips home to post results as they come in from work.

Wed update: Downtown comes in third, walk for life for cheap, South Main/South Main Book Juggler, new live music lounge, St. Jude college convention, tater tot news, nonprofit jobs

“This is my place, and these, these are my people.” – Barbarino, as he met Mr. Kotter for the first time on Welcome Back, Kotter

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m on call for work this week. Yesterday evening, I was catching up with some friends at the Silly Goose and refreshing my work email every 10 minutes or so to see if I needed to go home and post some result files. About 7:50 I got the notification that a file was ready. So I started my walk north up the Main Street Mall toward home.

I got about a block north when someone came running out of a bar wanting to do a shot with me. I had to explain I was on call for work, but it was a nice offer. Half a block later, I ran into someone I frequently see at Blind Bear poker. She gave me a hug and said, “Aren’t you going to play?” (There was a game starting in 10 minutes.) Half a block further up the street, another poker buddy called out to me, “Paul! You’re going the wrong direction!”

It’s really nice to take an evening walk and see a familiar face every half block. That’s how life Downtown is. This is my place, and these, these are my people.

On to the news.

From the Flyer:, the hook-up site for married people who are looking to have affairs, released a study revealing which Shelby County neighborhoods have the most adulterers. Downtown came in third at 8.6%. Collierville led the way at 9.1%.

This is a cool deal: A one-time $5 payment gets you lifetime access to the walking track at Church Health Center. They want to make it affordable for everyone, even those out of work, to stay fit.

The Daily News has a great article on South Main, with lots of information about Cafe Pontotoc. The article also mentions South Main Book Juggler, a bookstore that opened on South Main (just south of G.E. Patterson) a few months ago. Friends of mine own it, and I forgot to mention that I was in there Saturday after I visited the Farmers Market. They mainly sell used books, but they also have a NICE collection of new books about Memphis as well. They also have an assortment of gifts. It was my first time there and I will definitely send tourists/people who want to learn more about Memphis down there.

From the CA: An intimate live music lounge that will seat 40 called The Dizzy Bird will open in the former Hattiloo Theater in The Edge. It will have live concerts Wednesday through Saturday, with wine and a tapas menu, and a gospel brunch on Sunday. Visit The Dizzy Bird’s website to learn more about the lounge.

The ALSAC-St.Jude Collegiate Convention is this weekend at the Cook Convention Center. Student leaders from college campuses across the nation, who raise awareness and fundraise for St. Jude at their colleges, will come together. They will tour the hospital, meet patients, and get ideas for how to strengthen awareness of St. Jude. Last year these student leaders raised $39 million.

Tetris tater tots. Awesome.

I found a pretty large list of nonprofit jobs in Memphis this morning. Check it out if you’re looking for work in that sector.

Tonight I’ll do the same deal as last night after work: Hang out at the Silly Goose, then run home when there’s something for me to post. Should be out around 5:30.

Tue update: South Main Trolley Night, Beale Street Landing events, trolleys, Grawemeyer’s Groupon, Memphis (but not Memphis) news, more French Fort news

Friday, July 25 will be the last Friday of the month. That means it will be time for South Main Trolley Night. There will be live music on South Main by Jason Middlekauff, Steve Reid, Jimmy Vachon, Vanessa Winter, Chelsea Chandler and the Crystal Crown Band, RB Stone, Bobby O’Neal, Nick Parr, Steve Meteor Smith, Shufflegrit, Tim Plunk, and The Pistol & the Queen. Sue Layman will have a wine reception in her gallery at 125 G.E. Patterson. Other vendors will include Earthly Riches Jewelry, ArtHouse Memphis, and Kari Fleskes Jewelry. Come on out and shop and eat and meet your neighbors.

The Daily News reports that now that the initial curiosity about Beale Street Landing is over, the RDC is planning a calendar of events that will appeal to Memphians and bring them to the landing. They would like to do dancing on the docks, in partnership with the Rumba Room, in the fall. Other fall events could include movie night or Thursday night football on the big screen.

From Choose901’s Instagram: Five of the trolleys are done with inspection and are just waiting on parts before they return to their routes. Very good news indeed!

There’s a Groupon for German restaurant Grawemeyer’s on South Main. You can get $20 of food and nonalcoholic drinks for parties of at least two for $11, or $40 worth of food and nonalcoholic drinks for parties of at least four for $21.

Something I saw on Twitter a couple of times: Memphis police chief removed after city council vote, as reported by a Detroit TV station. I thought, wait, Toney Armstrong got fired? And why are no local TV stations reporting this but Detroit is? I looked at the story and saw why. The police chief of Memphis, MICHIGAN had been removed. That’s the trouble with following Twitter accounts that auto-tweet news. They get it wrong sometimes!

The MBJ has more information about the French Fort neighborhood redevelopment, including artist’s renderings. Planned uses include a hotel, an event center, restaurants, a tavern, a coffee shop, 695 residential units, a grocery, an urban market, and commercial/retail space.

I’m on call for work through Sunday. That doesn’t mean I won’t be out this week, but please forgive me if I have to cut a conversation short to run home and post stuff. Work’s gotta come first.

Mon update #2: Riverside Drive meeting, French Fort meeting, North Parkway building renovation, Tamp & Tap, help fund FORGE

(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.)

Mon update: James Govan, Steve Cohen fundraiser @ High Cotton, Salty Dogs/Breakaway-Bardog 5K, Center for Southern Folklore/DNA, top beer cities

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.

A visit to Memphis Farmers Market, and fostering opportunities at Streetdog Foundation

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.

Fresh flowers
Muffin mix
Dog treats
Glass work
Hot sauce
Metal work
Bird houses
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.

Fri update: New park, Farmers Market, Labyrinth, Blues on the Bluff, LUNCHBOXeats, unlimited Kindle, young professionals, sample ballot, Stumbling Elvis pub crawl stops

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. 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.

Thur update: Lionel Hollins, barista jobs, Orpheum and Peabody events, parking scammers, Riverfront Bar & Grill

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

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!

Wed update #2: Logo makeover giveaway, new way to watch NFL Sunday Ticket, bridge construction, new local beer on tap at Silly Goose, Best Memphis Burger Festival

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.