Fri update #2: An evening with Calkins, StreetView to decide where to stay, and more

I’ll start off this post with a couple of weather facts.

Last day of the fall season when the historical normal high for Memphis is at or above 80: October 1

Number of days so far this month when the actual high for Memphis has been at or above 80: 20, counting today, and the final 3 days of the month are expected to see mid-80s for highs. I guess you can say we exceeded expectations here this month.

Sunday is Breast Cancer Awareness Night with the Grizzlies. They play the Washington Wizards at FedExForum at 7 that night. If you buy tickets here part of the proceeds come back to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

An Evening with Geoff Calkins, in support of the sportswriter’s recently-released book After the Jump, will happen Tuesday, November 1 on the Club Level of AutoZone Park. There will be drinks and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30, with a reading from the book and a talk by Geoff at 7. The event is brought to you by Burke’s Books.

If you’re a Downtowner who uses Nextdoor (Bruce VanWyngarden from the Memphis Flyer’s favorite app), they have created a treat map for Halloween so that you know where your kids will be safe and welcomed for trick-or-treating Monday night.

The organizers of Sinners for Saints Halloween Ball II have released a few of the flavors of Hipner’s craft Jello shots that will be served at the party tomorrow night: Pumpkin Pie, Fireball and Cider, Vodka & Red Bull, and Moscow Mule. They’ll also have specialty drinks and “zombified” gummy worms (oh God, those get me in trouble every year at BBQ Fest). $40 with proceeds going to the Church Health Center. Tickets haven’t sold out yet but today may be the day.

(Full disclosure as required by the FTC: The party organizers contacted me yesterday afternoon and told me I have a free ticket. But keep in mind I have been promoting the event on here for weeks with no expectation of being given one. I’m an independent blogger and I only promote things I believe in.)

Got some advice for you. If you’re planning a trip to a city you have never visited before, use Google StreetView to explore the city in advance, before you make your hotel reservations. Let me share a story with you so you’ll understand why.

In 1999 a few weeks after I got done teaching my spring semester classes, I took a trip west to Phoenix, San Diego, and L.A. In Phoenix I stayed with a friend near Camelback Mountain and I liked the city a lot. In San Diego I stayed in Point Loma and LOVED it, walking across the Ingraham Blvd. bridge to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.

However, I HATED L.A. The reason why is that when I booked a hotel room, I used streets I had heard of on TV to pick a hotel. “There’s an Econo Lodge at Melrose and Vine,” I thought. Melrose Place at the time was one of the most popular shows on TV. And everyone has heard of Vine from the corner of Hollywood and Vine a few miles to the north. So, I thought, Melrose and Vine must be a nice neighborhood.

Was I ever wrong. Oh my God I thought I was in a third world country. I saw every ethnicity of people except American. I came home at 8:00 the only night I was there (I shortened my stay in L.A. from three days to one) because I was scared to be out after dark.

One of my favorite ways to pass the time lately has been to pick a city, pick a street, and walk it virtually using Google StreetView. My most recent street has been Vermont Avenue in L.A. I plopped my little yellow StreetView guy down at 83rd and Vermont in South Central, and started walking north on Vermont. I saw the hood, the USC area, Koreatown, and the touristy area around Sunset Boulevard with lots of hotels.

Then I got north of Hollywood Blvd. and discovered a super cool neighborhood – Los Feliz. Lots of bookstores, lots of dive bars, lots of character. It reminded me of Midtown Memphis but much more condensed. And walkable. The Missing Persons must not have visited that neighborhood before they claimed that nobody walks in L.A. If I ever go to L.A. again, that is where I want to stay. I never in a million years would have discovered it without StreetView.

If anyone has suggestions for what city and street to drop Streetview Man next, let me know at or hit me up on Facebook.

That’ll do it for now. Already got news in the pipeline for Saturday. I’ll hit the Silly Goose briefly after work, then south to check out that PBR Art exhibit.