Friday update

Bronny James is going to play alongside his dad LeBron on the Lakers, the first-ever father-son duo to play on the same NBA team. Happy for the James family. They deserve it.

In Memphis NBA draft news, the Grizzlies selected Washington State forward Jaylen Wells with the 39 pick. They then traded up to 53 and snagged UConn guard Cam Spencer. Both picks will add shooting on the wing.

Here’s a transcript of the June 27 Biden-Trump debate.

This week they were installing signage at Aloft, the new boutique hotel at North B.B. King at Jefferson. It must be getting close to opening.

NFL Sunday ticket subscribers have money coming from a class-action settlement.

David Jones signed a two-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has a new plan to deter crime.

Today is National Food Truck Day.

Dave Lambert and Friends play The Central BBQ Sessions Saturday from 6 to 9 at Downtown Central BBQ.

Artist Mary Ellen Kelly will have an exhibit at 387 S. Main tonight for Trolley Night.

Brittany Haynes, Jack Linsey, and Ava Rose play Songwriter Night at South Main Sounds tonight at 7.

Rev. Omma will lead an exploration of ancient Egyptian religion Saturday at 2 at The Broom Closet.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow or Sunday or Monday.

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Thursday update

So the Grizz picked Zach Edey. I hope my reservations expressed yesterday about the 7’4” Purdue center are dead wrong. Welcome to Memphis, Zach.

I remember 2008, when a husky center draftee was sent to Memphis as almost an afterthought in a trade with the Lakers. He was known mainly as “Pau’s brother” and the expectations were low. That player, Marc Gasol, became an All-Star. Let’s hope Edey develops similarly.

The DM’s Geoff Calkins tweeted that the Edey-Thabeet comparison is unfair. Edey cares way more about the game than Thabeet ever did.

The second round of the 2024 NBA draft will start at 3 this afternoon and will be broadcast on ESPN. The Grizzlies have picks 39 and 57. Who’s gonna take Bronny?

Here’s a presidential debate drinking game you can play tonight.

The Lucky 7 Brass Band headlines the Peabody rooftop party tonight, with acoustic openers Shinedown and the Wallows. DJ AD will also perform. If you upgrade to VIP status at the door, you’ll get a buffet of mini shrimp and oyster po-boys, jambalaya, and beignets.

Stop by Margie’s 901 to celebrate National Ice Cream Cake Day today.

David Haffner from Portland (Oregon, not Maine, I assume) plays Eight & Sand Lounge in Central Station Hotel Saturday from 9 to 1. He’s said to be “a tastemaker’s tastemaker” in soul, funk, and boogie.

Sunset Skate happens tonight at River Garden. DJ, food vendors, free 30-minute skate rentals.

Friday will be Pride Night at Memphis 901 FC as they host Phoenix Rising at  AutoZone Park at 7:30.

Saturday there will be a benefit concert for Clean Memphis in The Ravine. It will be a tribute to ‘90s grunge and alt-punk featuring After the Rain, The Contradictions, and Macrophonics. Doors at 5:30, music at 6:00. $10 cover. Enter at 16 S. Lauderdale. Food will be available from the Good Groceries food truck and Memphis Made will have beer.

Deion & Curtis play the Saucer tonight at 7.

A nonprofit will redevelop several Prince Mongo-owned buildings Downtown into art hubs.

ABC 24 has a list of Fourth of July events in Memphis. Downtown, the Redbirds will have fireworks following the July 3 game. First pitch is 6:05.

I stayed out all night last night and it wasn’t fun. I got soaked by torrential rain and ended up shivering so bad I could barely bend my leg. After Momma’s closed, I walked back to the core where the mosquitoes TORE ME UP. Then this morning the Cossitt Library remained closed well past 10 (computer upgrades).

I’m worn out but I’ll try to be back tomorrow.

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Wednesday update

The first round of the NBA draft will be broadcast live on ABC tonight at 7 PM. The Grizzlies have the ninth pick in the draft but could trade up. Player to keep your eye on: 7’2” UConn center Donovan Clingan would fill the Grizzlies’ greatest need. He’s unlikely to be available at pick number 9, though. The Grizzlies would have to trade up to get him. 

Another possibility is 7’4” Purdue center Zach Edey. He’s really tall but I’ve read that he’s not as complete a player as Clingan. The Grizzlies need to be careful here. They once drafted a player who was really tall. His name was Hasheem Thabeet.

A Beale Street Bears writer proposed a Grizzlies-Miami Heat trade. Memphis gets Jimmy Butler, Miami gets Desmond Bane. NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! Des should be untouchable, and Jimmy is a poor fit for the Grizzlies in both age and attitude. Klay Thompson would be better organization-wise, but I still wouldn’t give up Bane to get him.

Today is Tropical Cocktails Day. Bahama Breeze in Cordova would be my reco… KIDDING! Only on April Fools’ Day would I recommend driving half an hour to go to that place. Go get one of those fish bowls at Silky’s.

I saw about 12 cop cars near the intersection of Poplar, Carroll, and High one block east of Danny Thomas yesterday around 1 PM. Witnesses told me a gray car came speeding out of the Exxon parking lot, crossed into opposing traffic on Poplar, and hit a woman standing at a bus stop and then a telephone pole.

Never been to one of the South Main Trolley Nights? Choose901 has a fantastic guide. The next Trolley Night will be this Friday, June 28.

Slider Inn Downtown will have its food truck and a full bar on its back patio beginning at 6:30 for the ultimate Trolley Night hangout. Heartbreak Hotel will play at 8.

Friday is Pinch District Community Day and you can sign up to help beautify the neighborhood from 10 AM to 3 PM. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and bring a water bottle.

LEO Events seeks a sales & marketing project manager.

Keeping Downtown informed, the DNA’s Jerred Price reported that wing restaurant The Crazy Coop is planning to open a location by August 2 in the former Hu. Diner location at Main and Madison. They have more than 30 wing flavors. If the wing’s not your thing, they have catfish dinners too.

Memphis Flyer writers made some good picks for late-night eats in this week’s issue. Two of the three restaurants covered, Blues City Cafe and Momma’s, are Downtown; the third, Madison Tavern, is the sister restaurant of Downtown’s Local on Main.

This week’s Flyer also has photos from Project Green Fork’s Loving Local event in We Saw You.

Birdie’s, the sim-golf bar on South Main, wants to keep its golfers safe and cool in this sweltering Memphis heat. They have a deal for you – half-off rates for golf when there’s an Excessive Heat Warning in effect. Just show staff the warning on your phone and the discount will be automatically applied.

Bogie’s Deli in the Brinkley Plaza building will be closed next week.

Old Dominick Distillery is having an event 5-8 PM this Thursday:

  • $7 Old Fashioneds
  • Mini tours
  • Live music
  • Complimentary samples of new whiskeys
  • Meet Grizz

Elevation Memphis plays Live at the Tracks at Central Station Hotel this Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30.

RIP Sika Anoa’i. Sika and his older brother Afa formed The Wild Samoans, WWF tag team champions in the early ‘80s. Sika was the father of current WWE star Roman Reigns.

I’m staying out tonight! I’m going to miss dinner at the Union Mission, but I’m willing to sacrifice the calories for control over my schedule for a day. My tentative plan is to hang out at the Cossitt Library all afternoon writing, then over to the Saucer for at least the first 9 picks of the NBA draft, then south to Momma’s.

I’ll be back tomorrow with Grizzlies draft reactions.

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Tuesday, June 25 update

I’m back!!! Merry Half-Christmas!

The drive-through sign at the Wendy’s on Danny Thomas got an unplanned makeover last week.

I’ve seen several people in their cars ordering since, so apparently the drive-thru still works.

Sad to hear of the passing of Elizabeth Lemmonds. I had the pleasure of working with her on several projects as part of MPACT Memphis, a young professionals’ organization, about 20 years ago. She was both an idea person and a “get things done” person, and she believed everyone should have equal opportunity to make their mark on our great city.

Happy 26th to Desmond Bane!

Fans of Momma’s, “the diner and dive off 55,” great news: The I-55 river bridge has reopened. If you’re coming across the bridge from Arkansas, here’s the fastest way to get there:

1. Take the new flyover & exit at McLemore Ave.

2. East on McLemore Ave.

3. North on Kansas St.

4. East on W. Illinois

5. North on Kentucky St.

In other Momma’s news, they have a new Root Beer Float. It’s made with Barq’s root beer and vanilla ice cream, and optionally you can add vanilla vodka for a grown-up float.

Presidential candidates “Joltin’ Joe” Biden and Donald “Agent Orange” Trump go head-to-head in a CNN debate Thursday night. 

Bardog has a new addition to brunch, the chilaquiles stack: chorizo/beef blend, fried egg, cheese on a toasted, stacked English muffin. 

Looks like Bardog’s new opening time of 7:30 on weekdays is paying off. They had a 16-top of health care workers in there this morning. Health care workers get 10 percent off breakfast and a morning happy hour. 

Specials at Blind Bear this week 

  • Chicken and wild rice soup 
  • Grilled fish tacos with strawberry and peach salsa
  • Creamy pesto chicken and sun-dried tomato pasta 
  • Strawberry cream cake 

Walking Downtown on Adams this morning, I noticed a couple of office spaces for rent.

251 Adams – a 1-story building near Fourth. Seems like it’d be perfect for a lawyer in private practice or maybe a partnership, or maybe a real estate agent who specializes in Downtown properties.

212 Adams – Who wouldn’t want to work in a building with a New Orleans-style gallery?

One of the things on U of M basketball coach Penny Hardaway’s mind last season was his mom’s throat cancer. Great news: The cancer is in complete remission.

St. Jude fundraising arm ALSAC is hiring a Senior Designer, Distribution.

Cool site I found last week: Explain That Stuff explains technical stuff in terms people without a technical background can understand.

The former Peabody Place Mall (now the Terminix building) is going to temporarily house 500 St. Jude office workers displaced by construction.

Groovy Gratitude, a wellness cafe, is now open Monday-Saturday 9 AM-2 PM (hours will be extended soon) at 605 N. Second in Uptown. Brittany Brown, the chef there, was formerly at Salt | Soy.

Gift shop ARCHd, at 65 Monroe a couple doors down from Bardog, will close at the end of July. The women-owned store will retain an online presence.

The Flyer has more info about the $50 Five-Course Thursdays tasting menu at Amelia Gene’s.

The Gentrys are going in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. You may not have heard of this 1960s Memphis garage band. However, you’ve surely heard of one of its members, “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, who found fame in a different branch of entertainment.

Image credit: Miguel Discart, CC-by-SA-2.0 license, from Wikimedia Commons

Today is National Catfish Day.  Flying Fish, Kooky Canuck, and Huey’s are 3 good options to celebrate.

Food & Wine has info on how long before different types of alcohol go bad. Diamonds are forever, and so is vodka.

Memphis River Parks Partnership receives about $3 million annually from the city. This week there was a resolution to take away $2 million of that money, but it got put on hold.

I want to apologize to my readers for the week without a post. I just felt burned out creatively, emotionally, and physically, and I couldn’t pinpoint any one reason why. My intuition told me to take some time to go along with the flow of life, that if I attempted to exert a lot of energy it’d make my situation worse, not better.

I’ve had a couple of outstanding meals staying at the Union Mission the past 2 nights. Sunday night, Mission Church brought us homemade meatball subs – 2 of them per man, 3 meatballs per sub, with fresh mozzarella to sprinkle on them, green beans on the side, and Moon Pies for dessert.

Then on Monday, Kirby Woods Baptist brought us spaghetti and meatballs, buttery garlic bread, green beans, and Oreos. Church volunteers lovingly sprinkled Parmesan on our main course as they handed us our trays.

I wish I’d taken photos, but I was too hungry. I bet some of you thought the Union Mission dining room served mystery meat and stale bread. My blog these past few months has sure been an eye-opener, huh?

I’m feeling much better and don’t anticipate more days off for a while, unless there’s just no news to report. Back tomorrow.

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Heat and mosqueet

That’s how one of the other guys staying at the Union Mission described summer in Memphis. Not much at the Mission makes me laugh, but that did. 

Yesterday around 4 PM at the Mission, word got out that a donation of individual cartons of chocolate milk had arrived in the dining room. A stampede practically broke out. I had no idea chocolate milk was so in-demand among that audience. I would’ve guessed it would take something at least 70 proof to get some of those men to move that fast.

Baron von Opperbean, the interactive exhibit being installed on Mud Island by artist Chris Reyes, now has a Facebook page you can “Like” to get news and updates in your feed.

Flying Saucer is doing Singo Bingo from 1-3 PM on Saturdays. Don’t know what that is? Check out the Singo site – it’s bingo played with clips of songs rather than numbers. Win up to $50 in gift cards.

Today is International Sushi Day. The Nine Thai Sushi, STIX Express, and South Main Sushi would be good places to celebrate.

Beale Street Bears looks at three players the Grizzlies could send to Houston along with the number 9 pick in the upcoming NBA draft in exchange for the Rockets’ 3 pick. I’ll spoil it for you: Santi, Kennard, Smart.

It’s Time Tour: Girls Night Out tonight at the Orpheum has been canceled.

The Redbirds host Jacksonville today at 12:05. The heat is giving us a break today (the “mosqueet,” probably not so much), so it’s a good day for a day game.

There will be a Puppy Pride Parade in Court Square at noon Saturday. It will be hosted by the Moxy Memphis hotel across the street from the square. Strooly will DJ and there will be vendor giveaways.

By the way… if you’ve been mourning the loss of the bocce ball court at Main and Talbot since Slider Inn Downtown installed its back patio – the Moxy has a court. I’m sure hotel guests have priority, but I bet if you bought a drink at the Moxy’s lobby bar, they’d let you play. Fun fact: The Moxy’s front desk agents double as bartenders. That’s very Downtown Memphis.

Edible Memphis, in its most recent “Where Should I Eat?” e-newsletter, reports that fine dining restaurant Amelia Gene’s has a $50 tasting menu on Thursdays. (That’s a bargain for fine dining.) If you choose, you can add a $30 wine sampling that includes five glasses.

Blind Bear specials this week:

  • Cream of asparagus soup
  • Fried crawfish po’boy with fries
  • Cajun sausage and peppers pasta
  • Strawberry cream cake

New hours for the Soul & Spirits taproom at 845 N. Main, starting July 2 (they’ll be closed July 4):

  • Mondays: Closed
  • Tuesdays-Wednesdays: 4-9 PM
  • Thursdays: 4-10 PM
  • Fridays-Saturdays: 1-10 PM
  • Sundays: 1-6 PM

Apologies for the typos in yesterday’s post. I did that one entirely on my phone where it’s easy to make and not notice accidental keystrokes. Back tomorrow.

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The Mission Man’s Summertime Conundrum

How an unusual but very cool (among homeless shelters) policy at the Memphis Union Mission puts me to a tough decision every day

The main building of the Union Mission – where we dine, go to chapel, watch TV – is square shaped, built in two phases (two L shapes) between 2017 and 2023. It’s therefore known as Phase 1 and Phase 2. It has 6 dorms that sleep about 200. It is thoroughly modern with good air conditioning.

The other building, MES (no idea what that stands for) is the original Mission building, built in 1945. These days it’s used only for sleeping. It has 123 beds. It’s been retrofitted with A/C but it’s ineffective. The last night I stayed in :MES, it was about 83 and stuffy ithere. (I hear there are plans to eventually replace MES with a Phase t3.)

Depending on the dorm, we are awakened at either 5:30 or 6:00. I tend to skip breakfast (a bowl of corn flakes in milk most days) in favor of charging my devices. Most days I’m out the door by 7:00, headed to the Downtown core. I stay out until about 1:00 PM, being sure to be back to the Mission in time to beat the 2:00 deadline to get in free for the night.

But that 7 AM departure time? That’s totally a time of MY choosing. Which is kinda cool in a way, yet it also creates a problem for me.

You see, most shelters – including Calvary, the other large men’s congregate shelter in town – kick their guests out right after breakfast.

Memphis Union Mission does not. You can hang out in the common room until 9, when the front office opens; then go up there and check in and get a bed assignment for the new day. A LOT of men do this. A lot of men never set foot outside.

I can’t imagine doing that. I want to go see my friends. I also want access to Wi-Fi, which the Mission does not have. Without it I can’t write this blog.

But by the time I get back to the Mission between 1 and 2 in the afternoon, more often than not I find that all the Phase 1 and Phase 2 beds are taken. So, off to MES I go. Another night in MES. Another night in 83 degrees.

Those of you who know me well know I loooooove air conditioning.

I love my friends more, though.

And I love writing for all of you more.

I just hope I feel the same way in August. It’s gonna be a long, hot summer.

On to the news…

There’s a FREE showing of The Color Purple tonight at the Orpheum.

Flyway Brewing beers are showing up Downtown even though the Little Rock-based brewery has yet to open in the High Cotton space on Monroe.

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative’s success is gaining national attention.

The National Baptist Congress of Christian Education is meeting at the Renasant Convention Center this week.

Today is Take Your Cat to Work Day.

A man has been charged with stealing a Corvette Downtown Saturday night.

Libraries and government offices will be closed Wednesday for Juneteenth.

I bet some sports psychologist is going to make a lot of money off Rory McIlroy this week. That was an epic choke in the U.S. Open.

Looks like it’s going to be a rainy Monday. Back tomorrow with more news.

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Sunday update

If you ever want something to eat on a Sunday morning but can’t afford to pay, check out the back parking lot of KFC at Poplar and Danny Thomas. Church groups set up there and feed anyone who is hungry. It’s right across Poplar from the Union Mission so it’s convenient.

This morning I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two oranges, a granola bar, and a water. They were smoking meat too, but I didn’t feel like waiting. Thanks to them for a great breakfast.

Memphis 901 FC got a 2-1 win over New Mexico United last night.

The DM checks out DeMoir Books which recently made a home on Main.

Today is No Orange Clothes Day. Especially Tennessee Vols orange.

Another short post today. The reason/excuse du hour is that my back hurts.

Coming soon: The Mission Man’s Conundrum: How something fairly unique to the Memphis Union Mission puts me to a tough decision every day I stay there.

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Saturday update

My friend Jason visited the new Shell station at Danny Thomas at MLK and he says it’s basically a candy store with some gas pumps. In particular, he noted the many flavors of cotton candy and jelly beans.

The Peanut Shoppe will be closed this Sunday in observance of holidays.

The U.S. Coast Guard Band will play a free concert at the Cannon Center next Saturday, June 22.

Huey’s is hiring managers.

Short post because laptop battery dying.

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Friday update

Biscuits & Jams, the new restaurant in Hotel Indigo at B.B. King Blvd. and Court, is The Daily Memphian’s $10 Deal this week. You can get challah French toast, loved by new Memphis entrepreneur Elon Musk, for $7.09.

George Strait’s new song dropped this morning. Normally I don’t follow county music but these are the kinds of things you learn when you sit at Allie Cat’s bar at Bardog.

Wednesday morning, a woman living at the Hernando Flats apartments (G.E. Patterson Ave. and Hernando Street) discovered two men hiding in her Jeep as she got in. They accosted her with a gun and got away with her purse, wallet, and work ID. That area southeast of B.B. King and Vance reminds me of the way the southeast quadrant of Cooper-Young was 30 years ago… up-and-coming, but still a place people can walk from the hood in less than 5 minutes.

Today is Flag Day in the U.S. It’s also the Trumpster’s 78th birthday.

And it’s National Bourbon Day. Belle Tavern can help you celebrate with a large selection of bourbons.

Je’Caryous Johnson brings classic film New Jack City to the stage at the Orpheum with 2 performances Saturday. Tickets are $79.75.

Speaking of the Orpheum, there are jobs open there:

Smart Growth America has named Memphis the deadliest city for pedestrians.

Comedian Matt Rife stopped by Envision Fitness at Main and Madison for a workout prior to his Orpheum show Wednesday night. He and his crew were said to be really nice.

Some people hate Rife, though. I walked around Downtown Wednesday and noticed that Rife drew a heavily female – HOT female – crowd. It was the best-looking audience I have seen Downtown since JT did a show here.

There will be a vegan festival in Fourth Bluff Park Sunday.

MarceauxMarceaux DJs Eight & Sand Lounge in Central Station Hotel tonight 9 to 1. From the hotel’s website: “His style is an eclectic blend of electronic soundscapes and rave-friendly techno that feels right at home on a dark dance floor.”

That’s it for today. I have stuff to do Saturday morning so there may not be a post tomorrow. Back soon with more news.

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