Flower pot ping-pong

Things you only hear Downtown: “I played flower pot ping-pong early Sunday morning.”

That was a quote from someone who lives in my building. You see, flowerpots line both sides of the Main Street Mall. Locals coming home from the bars stumble from one side of the pedestrian mall to the other, from one flower pot to another, playing flower pot ping-pong.

You just don’t get this kind of entertainment in East Memphis.

Ten Feet off Beale has a really good post what you can expect to find when you visit replicas of Columbus’ ships The Nina and The Pinta. The ships are docked at Beale Street Landing through October 5.

If you pre-ordered a Memphis Grizzlies license plate, there’s good news. The quota of 1000 orders needed to send the plates to production has been reached.

The South Main Mosaic Artwalk will have its unveiling this Friday from 5 to 6:30 PM. It will happen at the bocce ball court at South Main and Talbot. You’ll be able to meet the artists who worked on the artwalk and there will be refreshments and live music.

Evelyn and Olive is hosting a glow-in-the-dark paint night on Saturday, October 14. Visit www.paintnite.com to reserve your spot.

eighty3, the restaurant inside the Madison Hotel, has added a 30-seat patio.

Curious about new burger restaurant Oshi, set to open next week? Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog has a sneak peek.

That’s it for now. I will be at poker at the Blind Bear at 8. I played pretty terrible on Sunday and plan to redeem myself tonight. It’s free to play, so come on out.

The Intimidator

So, last night I played poker at the Blind Bear. I didn’t win. However, post-game I had the most enlightening conversation with one of my opponents.

She told me she doesn’t care about Memphis. She doesn’t need anyone or anything here. Then she told me that I use my blog to intimidate people. That’s why I write my blog, she explained. To intimidate. Not to inform. I stay in control of Memphis by intimidation. But she’s way smarter than me and she’s going to use those smarts to take control away from me. Then she’ll be in control of Memphis. Even though she doesn’t care about Memphis.

Then she called over one of the owners of the bar and asked to have me thrown out. I hadn’t done anything wrong, she admitted, but she has tits & ass and I don’t and she wanted to exercise that power, as an example of how she plans to take control away from me. Her request was denied.

* pats conversation partner on head *

You’re so cute.

Voting starts at 1 PM in the Memphis Business Journal BBQ Brackets. Readers will be able to vote on each matchup in a 64-restaurant bracket to see who advances. The top four seeds are Corky’s, Tops, Central BBQ, and Rendezvous. Top seeds were selected according to the MBJ’s Book of Lists according to number of employees. You can vote the MBJ website. I predict that two of the top four seeds (Corky’s and Rendezvous) won’t make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

South of Beale will be closed today. They are cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. The restaurant will reopen tomorrow for lunch.

Historian Jimmy Ogle will give a free South Main tour tomorrow at 11:45 AM. Meet at the Chisca Hotel, Main at Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., if you want to join.

If you’re a fan of the TV show Seinfeld, you can put your knowledge to use and win some prizes Wednesday night. Kevin Cerrito hosts Seinfeld trivia at Tamp & Tap at 7.

I hope I have sufficiently intimidated you today. My plans for after work are to hit happy hour at Bardog and intimidate Melissa. Then I will walk over to Flying Saucer and intimidate the girls behind the bar into giving me Dos Equis Lager with extra limes for only $3 a pint. Might engage in some intimidation at the Blind Bear too. If YOU want to be intimidated, come join me!

Sat update: River cruise, Grizzline auditions, trolleys, how to drink a beer, Grizzlies tickets and more

This week I made a life decision. I gave up shots – Fireball, Jameson, moonshine, Jager, all of it. Mostly Fireball. After taking numerous shots during my unexpected vacation week, I saw the effects they were having on my health and decided it was time to give them up. This week I have felt a lot better, I’ve been able to stay out a lot longer, and I’ve spent a lot less money. I’m happy with my decision.

Please don’t be offended if you offer me a shot and I turn it down. Those things were literally killing me and it was time to stop. If I win a “pot shot” at poker I will let it ride until the next hand.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will host a River Cruise tomorrow at 4 PM. The boat will depart from Beale Street Landing. The captain will discuss the boat, and Jimmy Ogle will discuss historical items of note along the cruise. There are two upper decks for river views and an air-conditioned lower deck for when you need to cool off. There will be a raffle on the cruise with prizes from Double J, Bluff City Coffee, Mid-South Casters & Equipment, Reel 2 Real, Blue Monkey, Peacock Travel, Peabody Hotel, Redfish, Rizzo’s, and Muse. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here. $20 at the door. Limited to 300 people.

 The Grizzlies are holding auditions for the Grizzline tomorrow at 3 at the FedExForum. If you’re a performer and you have mad drumming skills, come down and audition to be part of Memphis’ premier drumline. You must have some previous drumline experience and be able to sight-read music. Come a little bit before 3 to get your paperwork processed.

A study released this week revealed that MATA’s two trolley fires in the past year were caused not only by faulty equipment but also by poor management. I would have used the word “incompetent” rather than “poor.” Meanwhile, business owners in South Main say their businesses are hurting without the trolleys.

The Flyer has a good article on how to drink a beer featuring tips from owners of three of Memphis’ local breweries. By the way, I may have given up shots but I have not given up beer. I plan to drink plenty of the Cadillac of beers, PBR, today.

Grizzlies single game tickets go on sale at 10 today.

From Bleacher Report: Arkansas is the SEC’s sleeper team of 2014. I would have to agree. Although Arkansas is the only unranked SEC West team at the moment, it is projected that they would be favored against everyone except Florida State and Clemson if they were in the ACC. The Razorbacks play Texas A&M today at 2:30 on CBS. It’s time to CALL THOSE HOGS!!!

I spent a few hours last night hanging out with friends on the Silly Goose’s patio. Perfect weather for it. You know, I’ve avoided the Goose after about 9 on Friday and Saturday the past couple of years – not because of anything about the bar, but because of the crowd. But, you know, last night I had a really good time. And besides, I’ve always had massive respect for what DJ Cody does. I’m going to start going back. Not tonight, though, because there is a small private event not far away that I expect to turn in to a shitshow of gigantic proportions. I want to be there to observe it from a safe distance.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas ACQUIRED for the Silly Goose pajama party tomorrow. I was beyond my cartoon-watching years when the show premiered on TV, so I guess I’ll have to get on Wikipedia and find out who these turtles are. I’ll have my pajamas on at the Goose about 1 tomorrow.

Business as usual today, with Panda’s bar at Bardog my first stop at 11. Unsure where I’ll watch the Arkansas game, but Brad’s bar at the Blind Bear is where I would normally be on a Saturday at 2:30, so if they have the game on I might have a longer-than-usual Saturday session there. Happy Saturday. Get out there and enjoy this weather! Perfect for patio dining and drinking!



Fri update: Transportation news, Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival, Pride Festival, former Club Crave

All right y’all, I’ve got to make a run to Target and buy pajamas for the Silly Goose’s pajama party on Sunday, so I’m going to keep this fairly brief.

Couple of pieces of transportation news. First of all, MATA says MATA says it’s likely the trolleys won’t be running again before the end of the year. I don’t think anyone is surprised by this, although it’s still bad news.

Better news: Lyft has cut its fares in Memphis another 10 percent.

Don’t forget that the Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival is tomorrow in AutoZone Park from 11 to 4. All-you-can eat ice cream and other treats. Excellent event for kids.

Also tomorrow, the annual Pride Festival is in Robert Church Park at Fourth and Beale.

The MBJ reports that two nightclubs will occupy the interior of the former Club Crave at 380 Beale by the end of next year.

All right, that’s it, time to go shopping. Undecided whether to head south to Trolley Night or just hang out in the Downtown core after work.

Thur update: Pocket park, flip-flop giveaway, The Art of Science, Dragon Boat Races, pajama party, BMBF results, new weekly poker night

There will be a launch party at 4:30 this afternoon to celebrate the future Madison Pocket Park. Demolition on the old Burger King building, the site of the park, will be christened this afternoon with water balloons, Silly String, and more. There will be music, drink specials, and Yolo frozen yogurt.

In case you haven’t heard, the Grizzlies will give away flip-flops for their home game against the L.A. Clippers. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the gang from L.A. are probably the best-known team in the NBA for “flopping,” taking a dive to get unwarranted foul calls on their opponents. No giveaway could be more appropriate.

Excellent High Ground News article on The Art of Science, an exhibit at Memphis College of Art, 477 S. Main, tomorrow evening from 6 to 9. The idea came from two scientists at St. Jude when they were new to Memphis four years ago. They loved the art, but they wanted to find a way to join it with the beauty of science. You can see the result tomorrow.

The Dragon Boat Races are Saturday at Mud Island River Park.

The Silly Goose is holding a “Goose got me loose” pajama party on Sunday. Start time is 1 PM. “Best pajamas win the best item in the house,” whatever that means.

People have been asking me where they can see Best Memphs Burger Fest results. Found ’em.

A new Thursday weekly poker night begins NEXT Thursday (so no game tonight) at Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe on Beale Street. It will be free to play and will be run by Winn who is a regular at some of the other Downtown poker nights. There will be food specials, $3 domestics, and $3 Fireballs during the game for players. 8:30 start time and you get 1000 extra chips if you show up on time.

All right. Time to walk over to the Medical Center District and get my car with its new, expensive cooling fan. I’ll be out at the usual places after work.

Wed update: Columbus’ ships, Phantom of the Opera, South Main Trolley Night, more British Bingo, Kill the Keg, free beer

Working from home today because the car’s engine cooling fan decided to die sometime while I was on my 11-day vacation. I took the car in, expecting to get it back by lunchtime and drive in. Instead I got “we ordered the wrong cooling fan” and “by the way, the right cooling fan that you need is more expensive.” Great.

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships The Niña and The Pinta will be parked at Beale Street Landing from September 26 to October 5 and will be open for the public to tour. The ships are floating museums that re-create the world of Columbus’ first voyage to America in 1492.

Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera returns to the Orpheum today. The Broadway musical will run through October 5.

South Main Trolley Night is this Friday, with shopping, art, and live entertainment, in the South Main District from 6 to 9 PM. This month you can be among the first to see the Soith Main Mosaic ArtWalk. There will be live entertainment by Rice Drewry & 3 Degrees, The Po Boys, Eric Crays, Evan Farris, Michael Joyner, Steve Reid, Shelly Brown, Savannah Long, and Tim Plunk & Chris Johnson. There will be on-the-spot portraits by Alex Harrison, and hand-bound journals by Renee Hodges.

Diamond Dave, who runs British Bingo at Brass Door and Bardog, just texted me that there will be more British bingo tonight at Aldo’s Pizza Pies.

Friday is Tamp & Tap’s local Kill the Keg Party with beer from local breweries Wiseacre and Ghost River. $2.50 pints from 4 until the kegs run out.

Budweiser of Memphis and Yuengling will be at Downtown Local tonight at 6:30 providing free samples.

Plans for this evening: A walk to go get my car (at least I couldn’t ask for a better day for a walk) then over to Jessica’s bar at Silly Goose as normal. Since I’m Downtown, it’s time to go grab some chili from Court House Deli, then back to work.

Tue update: DNA meeting tonight, Oshi exclusive pre-opening tasting, Burger Fest photos, Food Truck Friday, Repair Days, RAW recap

Sorry the blog posts have been so sparse for the past 12 days or so. What happened was that a weather event led to me having an unexpected 11 1/2 consecutive days off from work. It was the first time since I got my job in 2009 that I have had an entire week off that was not BBQ Fest, so I decided to go out and enjoy life and neglected the blog a little more than I meant to.

The monthly Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting is tonight at 6, in the High Point in the Pinch, 1 Commerce Street, next to the Balinese Ballroom. Bass Pro will have reps there to give updates on what’s happening with construction in the Pyramid. There will also be an update on prevention of Downtown crime by Councilman Lee Harris and a South Main police officer. Social at 6, program at 6:30, free catering by Ferraro’s Pizza.

Oshi, the new burger bar opening across from Local, is having two exclusive tasting preview parties September 28 and 29. Tickets are $25 and benefit Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee. You can be one of the first to tast Oshi’s gourmet burgers. More details here.

Photographer Frank Chin did his usual awesome job on the Best Memphis Burger Fest album. View it here.

A Square Meal on Wheels food truck will be at Emerge Memphis this Friday for lunch, 11 to 1:30, Tennessee St. at G.E. Patterson.

The Metal Museum will hold its annual Repair Days October 2-5, where metalsmiths will offer repairs and demos. Saturday, October 4 is Family Fun Day beginning at 10 AM with a free community dinner and art auction and late-night dance party beginning at 6:30 PM.

I went to WWE Monday Night Raw at the FedExForum last night. I agree with this post on Bleacher Report. The overall card was not very memorable, although Dolph Ziggler regained the Intercontinental title and Dean Ambrose was just awesome in general. But: A boring main event that’s been done a million times, a wrestling bunny, no Paul Heyman, no Bray Wyatt, no call-ups from NXT (and I really hoped to see The Ascension). Average show at best.

All right. Home from work, time for beer.

Best Memphis Burger Fest and other events happening this weekend, plus PBR news

Tomorrow is the Best Memphis Burger Festival, in the parking lot of Minglewood Hall, 1555 Madison in Midtown, from 10:30 AM to 6 PM. Teams will compete to see who can cook the best burger in several categories: Veggie burger, Anything but cow, Extreme burger, and Best Memphis Burger. The event benefits three pet-related charities: Streetdog Foundation, the Tunica Humane Society, and Fayette County Animal Rescue. Some cook teams will offer burger samples in exchange for a suggested donation to these wonderful charities. Since my BBQ team does not compete in Burger Fest, I will be joining forces with Squeal Street BBQ for the day.

In addition to the cooking competition, there will be live music, a pickle-eating competition for the kids, and a slider-eating contest (sponsored by Slider Inn) for the adults. There will also be pet adoptions, a cornhole tournament, and food trucks.

There’s a Build Your Own Terrarium workshop today at Garden Path at the corner of Madison and Marshall. 1 PM. More info here.

John Paul Keith and Mark Stuart play the Harbor Town Amphitheatre at 7 tonight.

A suspicious package was found in the FedExForum parking garage yesterday.

Lots of tribute bands performing tomorrow, with the School of Rock performing a tribute to Green Day and Van Halen at 4. At 6:30 tomorrow there will be a Led Zeppelin tribute at the New Daisy.

In the news: Pabst sells for $700 million to Russian company

All right, time to hit Publish and get this day going. Starting off at Panda’s bar at Bardog as usual.


Thursday update

Central Station is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a free concert on October 2. Country band The Grahams will perform in the Hudson Ballroom at the train station. Doors open at 7, live music begins at 7:03. The Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum, housed in the train station, will have special events October 3 and 4 to celebrate. There will be two special rail cars at the museum on the 3rd. On the 4th there will be free admission with tours of the MATA trolley barn, face painting, and food from the Double J. More details here.

Congrats to Downtown agency RedRover, recently approved for a marketing contract for #memphisairport.

The Downtown Memphis Commission is having their annual celebration of Downtown this afternoon at The Columns at One Commerce Square. Live music by The Soul 7 Band and John Paul Keith and the 145s. The annual Downtown Vision Awards will be presented. Things kick off at 4:30.

The Ghost Town Blues Band performs a free “Sounds of Beale” concert tonight at 7. Handy Park, Third at Beale.

TV personality and author Tavis Smiley will give a talk about his book Death of a King tomorrow night at the Civil Rights Museum. The book is about the last year of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. 6 PM.

Penn & Teller perform at the Orpheum tomorrow night.

There’s a “Fall is here and so is the beer” tasting at Downtown Central BBQ tonight from 5 to 8. Sample beers with amber, pumpkin, and spice. Live music by the Detective Bureau, giveaways. After all, tis the cheeason, my friend, to quote the guy from the Sonic commercial. Not sure what that has to do with beer, but maybe you could make beer cheese soup with one of the beers from the sampling. If not now, then when?

The Gourmet Grillers food truck will be at Emerge Memphis tomorrow from 11 to 1:30 for lunch. Tennessee at G.E. Patterson.

Want to volunteer in Memphis but aren’t sure where? Volunteer Odyssey just launched a calendar that can help with that.

Charity poker and bunco tournaments tonight at 6 at Blind Bear to fight breast cancer. As you all know I love breasts (especially tube top breasts) so I am all in. If you want to win a prize I suggest you play bunco because I am whooping that ass at poker,