Back on September 23, I told the story of a homeless woman on the Main Street Mall who vomited into a public garbage can, urinated behind it, and then fell backward and hit her head on it, knocking herself out cold. A bystander called 911 and was put on hold for 8 minutes. “If they had been calling about a heart attack, that person would have been dead,” I commented.
Apparently this is not an isolated incident. See this tweet from earlier today:
The man in charge of the Memphis Police 9-1-1 system says the system isn’t broken. I was on hold when I called Monday for almost 15 minutes.
I hope Mayor-elect Strickland can get this fixed after he takes office. In the meantime, I would advise my readers not to get shot or stabbed or deathly ill.
For those who travel: Andy Wise reports that if you check into a hotel, get to your room, and then get a call from the front desk asking for your credit card information again, it’s not the front desk or anyone associated with the hotel. If in any doubt, hang up and physically go down to the front desk.
Facebook’s Memories feature is really nice for the most part. It helped me rediscover the PBR MAN costume I wore to a superhero party at the Silly Goose four years ago, and which I am reviving as my Halloween costume this year. However, Facebook doesn’t know what it is displaying for you. What if it displays a memory that reminds you of a really rough time in your life? What if it brings up a photo of an ex or another person it is unpleasant for you to see? Well, one of Facebook’s newest features lets you block particular dates or people from appearing in its memory generator, so that you only see memories of times when things were less shitty.
The Memphis Zoo attempted to house two reptiles from Madagascar in the same exhibit in the herpetarium. One of the two reptiles, a snake, wasn’t too happy about the tortoise that was its new roommate, and attacked the tortoise, biting its head and attempting to wrap its body around the tortoise. They were separated with the help of a zookeeper and both animals are okay.
Downtown Dining Week is coming up – November 9-15. Many Downtown restaurants will offer dinners or specials at the price of $20.15. Menus have not been announced yet, but Chez Philippe in the Peabody has announced that they will have afternoon tea for $20.15 as their special.
PRO TIP: If there’s a restaurant know you want to try during Downtown Dining Week, and it’s one of the most popular restaurants down here, don’t wait until its DDW menu is revealed to call and make a reservation. Do it NOW. The peak times (6-8 PM) will be gone within one day of menu reveal for those spots, and all reservations will fill up a few days after that. If you make a reservation and then the menu is revealed for that restaurant and it sucks, you can always call back and cancel.
Downtown Dining Week is a chance for patrons to try restaurants they otherwise might not visit. Most participating restaurants see this as an opportunity, and their DDW offerings send the message, “We want to impress you so you will become our regular customer!” That said, there were a few restaurants last year that really phoned it in and sent the message “If you order off the DDW menu, you’re a second-class customer” with what they put out. I wish those restaurants just wouldn’t participate. It’s not like participation is required, after all.
As soon as the menus are revealed, I will put up a post linking to them.
There will be an intimate blues show in the Cavern, the downstairs room of the Brass Door, Friday night at 8. Shawn Marsh from London, England will perform his interpretation of southern delta blues with backing from Diamond Dave and Seamus.
Spindini is having a patio party Friday to kick off the Grizzlies 2015-16 season, beginning at 5 PM. ESPN Radio will do a live broadcast. Hang out with Buffalo Trace and the Miller Lite Ladies, and there will be live music, food, and beverages.
Speaking of the Grizzlies, the 2015 ESPN rankings have come out, rating the best North American sports franchises (not just basketball, but the other three major sports as well). The Grizzlies came in second in the rankings, trailing only the San Antonio Spurs.
Here’s a YouTube video of the October 31 Race for the Cure route.
@Kerry901 reports that the most expensive live/work units for artists in the new Artspace Lofts on St. Paul Street will be $770 for a 3-bedroom. That is far less than any comparable apartment in the area.
BBQ festivals are not just for the South; they happen in the Northeast too. Former Memphian Robo competed in a festival in Atlantic City recently. Read about it here. He even used a device that I am no longer allowed to mention on the blog, and he mentioned me and the fact that I am no longer allowed to mention it.
(I mentioned the BBQ device I am no longer allowed to mention )
Here’s a photo of Elvis and Muhammad Ali from 1973 by @HistoricalPics. Elvis has on Ali’s robe and Ali has on an Elvis jumpsuit.
A second post is a possibility after work, so check back. I will be leading off at the Silly Goose and will be catching some of my friends up on an interesting technology discovery I made this weekend.
This morning before work, I was re-reading Holly’s post about Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos and was looking over the menu. “I wonder what huaraches are?” I thought. Having not known what they were, and assuming they might be egg-based because “huaraches” starts with the first two letters as “huevos,” Spanish for eggs, I didn’t really consider them as something to order when I went in for my first visit Friday night. This morning I had a little extra time and looked them up.
A search led me to this post from Muy Bueno Cookbook, explaining that huaraches are a classic street food in Mexico, a flatbread made with masa, and which can have practically anything as a topping. Now that I know what this is, I can’t wait to try one. Maciel’s tops theirs with shredded beef, chorizo sausage, chicken, or bell peppers. Wikipedia says that huaraches are popular in American cities with large Mexican populations, but the dish has not yet spread nationwide.
You can watch today’s Grizzlies open practice here. Starts at 1 PM today.
Max’s Sports Bar is opening for lunch at 2:30 today, with Cardinals/Cubs at 3:30.
John Paul Keith provides this Tuesday’s live entertainment for $2 local beer night at the Silly Goose. He takes the stage at 10. Three beers from great local breweries only two bucks a pint. Can’t beat that.
If you want to check out the Chisca on Main, the historic hotel recently renovated into apartments and restaurant space, there’s a South Main Association meeting there tonight at 6. Free for members, $10 non-members.
The photo album for MIFA Feed the Soul at The Warehouse is now online.
Felicia Suzanne’s is having Wiseacre Wednesday tomorrow at happy hour, with a tasting of local Wiseacre beers and Felicia Suzanne bites for only $12.
I got my ticket to the Sinners for Saints Halloween Ball at Stop 345 on October 31. Buy yours here. You’d think maybe I would have bought my ticket Sunday when I posted about the event, but I had other things on my mind, like “36 minutes until the Blind Bear opens……………. 35 minutes until the Blind Bear opens……….”
Speaking of Sinners for Saints, I need to give a shout-out to the South Main Dirty Dozen, one of the two groups presenting the Halloween ball. Last night I got invited to a friend’s private birthday party this Saturday at Earnestine & Hazel’s. It’s a masquerade party, and my first reaction was, “Crap! Where in the world am I going to get a mask?”
However, I then remembered the Dirty Dozen’s Carnaval de Panama party I attended at The Warehouse a year ago April. “Weren’t masks part of the swag they gave away?” I have a shelf in my kitchen pantry dedicated to Halloween costumes and Mardi Gras beads. I dug around and sure enough, there was a feathery orange mask. Looks like I’m good to go. Red Rover, Red Rover, Paul’s coming over!
I haven’t decided where to lead off for happy hour yet – Tuesdays are something of a wild card – but I am leaning slightly in the direction of the Flying Saucer. Blind Bear will be my second stop, although I probably will not play poker tonight. That’ll do it for now, and there may be a second post after work, so check back.
Not a whole lot of news to report, but there’s a time-sensitive item so I wanted to go ahead and get this up.
The Grizzlies hold an open practice tomorrow at FedExForum from 1 to 2 PM. It is free to the public and you can get a sneak peek at the Grizzlies players and coaches in action. There will be a plaza party prior to the practice with food and drinks for sale, games, inflatables, and live music.
The Blind Bear is holding yet another charity poker tournament this week. This one will be for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer from 6 to 9 PM. The top two finishers will walk away with prizes including prizes from Downtown restaurants. Click through to the link to see how the tournament will be structured in terms of buy-in and rebuys.
The Downtown location of Local Gastropub and Memphis Made are having a beer dinner Thursday, October 27. Andy, Drew and all the Memphis Made folks will be there to talk about their beers. There will be a four-course meal prepared by Chef Russell Casey and expertly paired with Memphis Made beer. Here’s the menu:
Lucid Kolsch: Spinach and arugula salad with roasted beets, spiced pecans, goat cheese, croutons, and blood-orange vinaigrette
Fireside Amber: Prosciutto-wrapped and smoked asparagus with Maytag blue cheese, shiitake “bacon,” and lemon butter
Hundo IPA: Crisp paneed pork loin topped with sherry mustard demi-glace and honey chipotle-buttered spaghetti squash
Soulful Ginger: Chocolate-chili fudge brownie with rum poached peaches
Bardog Tavern is once again raffling off a hearse at 11:59 PM on Halloween.
Buy raffle tickets and you could be the proud owner of a hearse as we roll into November. Perhaps you can sell it back to Aldo to raffle off again in 2016 and then it will be a re-hearse.
Scammer alert: There is a woman with an oxygen tank who panhandles with children on South Main. I have seen her as far back as April, on the day of Downtown Olympics when she tried to panhandle me. People who live in the area tell me that this is a scam and she panhandles with different children from day to day. There are much better ways to help the homeless than giving her money. Consider donating to, or volunteering with, Hospitality HUB instead.
There is a Facebook event listing for the Sinners for Saints Ball Halloween party I posted about yesterday, so you can check it out and see which of your friends are going. It’s at Stop 345 on Halloween at 9 PM. PBR MAN will be there!
This will be the the final year for the Blues Ball, to be held October 24.
Holly has discovered Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos and agrees with what everyone else has been saying: The place is outstanding. (She has a copy of the menu in her post, so it is worth a look for sure if you haven’t tried Maciel’s yet and aren’t sure what to order.)
That’ll do it for now. If I learn of more news I will post after work. My plan tonight is Melissa Monday at Bardog for happy hour, then over to Blind Bear. Might wrap up the evening with a Pint Nite visit to Flying Saucer as well.
We are less than three weeks away from Halloween. The week of, I will probably post a list of public Halloween parties Downtown. Or more likely, Holly will make a list of Memphis Halloween parties and I will link to it, since I’m lazy. (BTW: Damn Holly, the new website design looks awesome!)
But if you’re Downtown on Halloween, there is only one place to be: The Sinners for Saints Ball at Stop 345 (345 Madison Avenue, at Danny Thomas). Allow me to list the reasons why:
– Attendees will be supporting one of the best things going in Memphis, the Church Health Center.
– Lord T and Eloise will headline.
– Music by DJ Witnesse.
– Music by DJ Lil Egg Roll.
– Open bar with beer, liquor, wine, and mixers
– Hipner’s gourmet Jello shots
– “Zombified” gummi bears
– Costume contest with prizes
– Amurica photo booth
– Catered food. Not sure of the menu, but I notice that sponsors include Pete & Sam’s, the Blind Bear, Molly’s La Casita, and Double J.
– Legendary superhero PBR MAN will be there.
Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased here.
For the past several years, there have been two Halloween parties in the back room of Earnestine & Hazel’s that have been talked about for months afterward: Nightmare on Main Street (“Hipner’s party”) and the South Main Dirty Dozen Halloween party. Both of those parties were too popular for that space, and it was packed every year. This year they are combining forces for a good cause, and moving into a space that is large enough to hold them comfortably, Stop 345. The Dirty Dozen came in the Blind Bear yesterday while I was there. “How many people do you expect to attend?” I asked.
“Well, the capacity is 700, but we’re expecting 400 to 500,” they told me.
“You’re wrong. You’re going to get 700,” I told them.
This is going to be one of the best parties of the year and I cannot imagine being anywhere else on October 31. I hope to see you there!
I’ll be back tomorrow with a Downtown news post. Got a little work to do this morning, then D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear at 11. The Fire Haus, Max’s Sports Bar, and Saucer are also possible stops for me today. It’s a beautiful Sunday Fun Day, so let’s get this show on the road!
Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos has been open at 45 S. Main between Union and Monroe for less than two weeks. The first time I passed by the unassuming storefront, I thought, “Another restaurant that I’ll never try that will remain open for about four months and then close, just like everything else on this block not named DeJaVu.”
Then Deni from the Majestic Grille tried the place and loved it. That’s a hard endorsement to ignore.
Then Michael Patrick from Rizzo’s Diner agreed with what Deni said.
Then my favorite pair of librarian glasses told me, “I’ve eaten there three times already.” Maciel’s had been open less than a week at that point.
About 8:15 yesterday evening, I got knocked out of the Blind Bear/Wifflestock charity poker tournament for Ronald McDonald House. I made a classic poker blunder: I was a medium-sized stack who got involved in an all-in confrontation against a stack of similar size. That’s generally a no-no in tournament poker (obviously, if you’re holding two Aces or another premium hand, exceptions can be made). If you get all-in, you want to be a small stack fighting for your life, or a big stack bullying the stacks smaller than you. Anyway, I found myself free for the rest of the evening unexpectedly early – and hungry. Remembering that Maciel’s stays open until 10 Friday and Saturday nights (8 Monday-Thursday), I walked up there.
I was curious about the fried tacos. They explained that the shell is fried, making it hard, as opposed to their regular tacos which are soft tacos. You could get 3 fried tacos, mix-or-match, for $10, and I decided on that option, getting two frijoles tacos (on the left in the photo above) and one pollo taco. Since I live a block from Maciel’s I decided to get it to go and have dinner in the comfort of my own home.
The staff there was so nice. “Would you like a drink while you wait?”
“Oh no, I’m fine.”
“No, it’s on us,” they insisted. They handed me a cup and I poured myself a Coke.
“Would you like some avocado?” they asked. Of course I would like some avocado!
“Would you like some sauce?” they asked next.
“Whatever is the hottest sauce you have, I would like that,” I replied, and they poured some into a cup. They also gave me two cups of green sauce. They put the three tacos in a container along with rice and beans.
That was some of the best Mexican food I have had in my life, and I understand what my restaurant friends talk about when they said this is AUTHENTIC Mexican. It absolutely is. It not only reminds me of the places I ate when I lived in San Diego… it’s BETTER. Highest possible recommendation for you to visit this place as soon as you can.
All right, let’s get on to the news in this already-long post. One of the marketing authors I follow on Twitter has a new article called “Your Blog Post Is Too Long.” He was probably talking to me, but who cares, it’s not like I monetize this thing. If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking with me.
The Brass Door will be showing rugby and soccer all weekend. Here’s the lineup, swiped from their Facebook page with “football” changed to “soccer” because I’m an American:
“We’ll be open 8am Saturday! World Cup Rugby 8:30am Scotland v Samoa 10:45am Australia v Wales 2pm England v Uruguay
Soccer All the action from the UEFA 2016 Euro Qualifiers
8:30pm USMNT v Mexico Come party with the American Outlaws in their official home in Memphis
Sunday Open at 8am World Cup Rugby 8:30am Italy v Romania 10:45 Ireland v France 2pm USA v Japan”
Visit stjude.org/halloween and help the kids forget about their treatments for one day and just be normal kids celebrating a holiday.
The White House is recognizing Kyle Wagenschutz, the bike and pedestrian program manager for the City of Memphis. Over the past several years he has played a role in turning Memphis into one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States.
Jimmy Ogle’s free 10-hour tour of Downtown is today. Meet at Beale Street Landing at 10:10 if you want to join the fun.
The Blind Bear and Wifflestock raised $1890 for the Ronald McDonald House last night at the poker tournament. That is about double what I expected and everyone did a super job. The structure of the tournament was, $20 got you 3000 chips with starting blinds at 25/50. If you got knocked out you could rebuy through the end of the sixth round (1000/2000). There was a $10 add-on for 3000 extra chips at the start of the tournament, and another $10 add on for 3000 chips at the end of rebuys as the seventh level, 2000/4000, began.
Okay, a couple of comments on the add-ons for poker newbies. You have to think not in terms of how many chips you have, but how many chips you have relative to the blinds. The $10 add-on at the beginning was a fantastic bargain, giving you 120 big blinds starting off.
On the other hand, if you got the 3000-chip add-on at the beginning of the 2000/4000 level, I hope you were thinking “This is a chance to donate 10 extra dollars to the Ronald McDonald House,” not “this extra zero point seven five big blinds is going to make a significant difference where I finish in this tournament.”
I’ll wrap up this post with a song that has been stuck in my head lately:
“Fade to Grey” (1981) by Visage is not my usual taste in music, but I cannot argue that it is years ahead of its time. I discovered this song upon learning that frontman Steve Strange, one of the leaders of the New Romantic movement, passed away on February 12 of this year.
It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day, although it’s starting out a bit chilly. My first two stops will be the normal ones – brunch with Bloom at Bardog then Mary’s bar at Blind Bear – but I can definitely see myself getting outside, maybe at the Fire Haus this afternoon. If anyone wants to join, hit me up on text or Facebook.
Memphis will soon have a new mayor. Last night Jim Strickland prevailed over Mayor A.C. Wharton in a blowout, 42 percent to 22 percent. There are no runoffs in that election, so Strickland is Mayor-elect.
Mayor Wharton, if you’re reading this, thank you for your service and I have great respect for you. I didn’t vote for you because of the way your appointees bungled the animal shelter, but I recognize that you inherited a near-impossible financial situation from your predecessor. Memphis’ finances have been a mess dating back to the 1980s and no mayor would have been able to run the city in a way that pleased everyone.
Mayor-elect Strickland, congratulations. I hope you clean up the mess at the animal shelter and show our police and firefighters the respect they deserve.
Station 3: The Memphis Firehaus has announced its schedule for the weekend. Heart Memphis Duo will be the live entertainment tonight, and the Fuel Cafe and Food Geek food trucks will be on hand. Open at 4 PM.
Tomorrow the Fire Haus will open at 11 AM with college football on TV. Alexis Grace and Loveland Duren will provide the live entertainment. Food by the Stickem and Sin City food trucks.
Sunday the Fire Haus opens at noon with NFL games on TV. There will be an afternoon acoustic performance by Chris Johnson, and the El Mero Taco food truck will be selling food.
“‘Tis the Season for Late Bloomers” is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow, Saturday, October 10 from 7 AM to 1 PM at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. Pumpkins, squash, gourds, greens, beans, and cabbages are all in season and on sale at the Farmers Market. Master fruit and vegetable carver Carl Jones will give a demonstration at 9. Live music by Kris Acklen 8:30 to 10 and Bill Stanek 11-12:30. There are only 7 Markets left this year, the last the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with a holiday market December 12.
I just became a Friend of the Market and you can too! For a $35 donation, you can show your support for the best farmers market in Memphis and score a sweet “Truck Yeah, I’m a Friend of Memphis Farmers Market” T-shirt and MFM koozie. Become a Friend of the Market here or you can do it at the market itself.
Probably the most popular shot at the Silly Goose is the coffee-infused Joe shot. Yesterday Daniel announced that from now on, Joe shots will be made with locally-made coffee. The Goose is teaming up with Relevant Roasters coffee and using “Rise & Grind” coffee to make the shots.
“feet party” is one of the top searches leading people to my blog. Yeah I have no idea what to think about that one.
That’s it for now. I have not firmed up plans for tonight but most likely will be out at one of my “Big Five” bars or the Fire Haus.
Welcome to my second blog post of the day! My mood this afternoon:
Memphis has numerous beer festivals throughout the year (including the excellent Cooper-Young Beerfest a week from Saturday), but this coming Saturday it’s wine festival time. Wine on the River will happen from 5 to 9 PM at Mud Island River Park, 125 N. Front. There will be national and international tastings, with a focus on the culture and food of wine-growing regions. $45 ($55 day of) gets you a souvenir glass and all beverage samples within the park. Live music by Young Petty Thieves and the Eric Hughes Band. You must be 21 or up and bring valid ID to show at the door to attend. Proceeds benefit Youth Villages.
Speaking of wine… have you ever thought about having a career working with wine, but were not quite sure how to make that happen? You need to listen to this week’s Copeland Coaching podcast. Career coach Angela Copeland interviews Katie Delaney Owen, Wine Director at Club W in Los Angeles.
The Downtown Memphis Commission is planning some fun events at lunchtime in Court Square next week to encourage those who live and work Downtown to go to komenmemphis.org and register for the October 31 Race for the Cure. The events will happen from 11:30 AM to 1 PM Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.
Karaoke for the Cure will happen Wednesday, October 14. It will be the ultimate corporate karaoke smackdown, with a winner chosen by a panel of discerning judges. The winner will take home $150.
Concert for the Cure will happen Thursday, October 15. The Mighty Souls Brass Band will perform, and it will be the monthly Court Square food truck rodeo, so come grab some lunch.
Recess for the Cure will happen Friday, October 16. Remember grade school when you went out to recess? There will be hippity hop races, basketball with University of Memphis mascot Pouncer, cornhole, golf chipping contest, Bardog slider eating contest, bubble suit soccer, and more. The Grizz Girls will be there and there will be complimentary cotton candy and pink lemonade. For the slider eating contest and bubble soccer, you must pre-register at DowntownMemphis.com, and a waiver will be required.
The Grizzlies host Maccabi Haifa tonight at FedExForum at 7. It is the second pre-season game of the year. Grizz Essentials will be at Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus before the game giving away tickets and other Grizz items.
Travis Roman and Ryan Peel are this week’s entertainment for Tacos & Tunes on Felicia Suzanne’s patio. 7-10 PM tonight, $2 tacos, $5 margaritas.
The Green Beetle is beginning a new series called Beetle Sundays from 8 to 11 PM. This Sunday Chris Johnson and Landon Moore will perform, and there will be beer bucket and food specials all night long. They’re inviting everyone to come out, especially those in the service industry.
Advance alert for those who will be cooking on Thanksgiving: There is a pumpkin shortage this year. If you plan on baking pumpkin pie for the holiday, start looking for canned pumpkin on the shelves now, and buy it while you can. There may not be any in stores in late November.
A documentary called 1971 will be shown at the Orpheum’s Halloran Center on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 PM. On March 8, 1971, eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office near Philadelphia and stole hundreds of secret files and released them to the public. In doing so, they discovered that J. Edgar Hoover’s staff had done a vast amount of spying and intimidation on Americans just trying to exercise their First Amendment rights. The FBI conducted one of the largest investigations ever trying to uncover the eight citizens’ identities, but they never did. Price to see the documentary is $10 general admission.
This historic Clayborn Temple, home base for the sanitation strike of 1968, will be restored.
From Mashable: Facebook is testing Reactions, a possible emoji-based replacement for the “Like” button. There are seven reactions: Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry.
I’m still seeing more and more photos from Best Memphis Burger Fest posted online. Gary from Squeal Street posted a photo of that team’s Bahn Mi burger that they entered in the Best Memphis Burger contest, and it looked amazing. Not surprised it made top 15 at all. (Guys, sorry about the comment about the veggie burger I made the other day. That was not cool and was not written on behalf of my team. Sorry for lashing out. I just feel very misunderstood down in your neck of the woods in recent months. Hope we can talk soon.)
I’m going to try leading off at Silly Goose this evening since that’s my normal Thursday spot, but if it’s too crowded with people pre-gaming for the Grizz I will bounce over to Blind Bear a bit earlier than normal. I may play poker at the Bear tonight (7:30 start time) to warm up for tomorrow’s Wifflestock-Ronald McDonald House charity tournament.