Friday update

The National Civil Rights Museum will celebrate Freedom Day on Juneteenth, Wednesday, June 19 with FREE admission for all from 9 AM to 6 PM. There will be food trucks, music, children’s activities, and health resources.

This subscriber-only DM article says that Elon Musk’s new supercomputer facility, to be built in Memphis, will initially employ fewer than 200. Elon’s team chose Memphis for its ample power, water, and air, the article said, and Musk could consider locating other businesses here.

We have a date for the 2024 Liberty Bowl: Friday, December 27 at 6 PM, broadcast on ESPN. That means the Liberty Bowl parade on Beale Street will likely be the day after Christmas.

Ground was broken on the Memphis Flyway observation deck Thursday in the south end of Tom Lee Park. The boardwalk expanding over the river will be the only free and ADA-compliant structure of its kind on the Mississippi.  The “Flyway” name is used because the Mississippi River at Memphis is part of the migration path used by ducks and other waterfowl in North America.

Global Wellness Day will be celebrated in River Garden Park Saturday from 5 to 7 PM. Jasper Float Spa and Wellness will be on hand and there will be free massages, food, and guided meditation.

Slim & Husky’s will host a SO ICY Cider Release Party Saturday night. DJ Yo Breezye will play.

Le Bon Apetit, a fundraiser for LeBonheur Children’s Hospital featuring Chef Kelly English, happens Saturday night at The Kent.

Supper Club on 2nd has closed. According to a statement the business released, they faced a number of challenges here in Memphis that prevented them from delivering the dining experience they wanted. The Nashville version of Supper Club continues to operate and thrive.

Friends of mine dined there (the Memphis location) and had positive reviews, but I always had a feeling that maybe Supper Club’s owners didn’t “get” Memphis. Want to know why?

“2nd.” No local spells it that way. It’s “Second.”

Terrace at the River Inn will be closed today for a private event.

Memphis is under a Code Orange air quality advisory today.

Not a Downtown job yet, but it will be: The Brooks Museum seeks a development manager, operations & analytics.

Speaking of the Brooks’ move Downtown, I stayed out all night Wednesday and walked past the construction site about 3:30 in the morning. It was so busy with people, machinery, and scaffolding that I thought for a minute I was looking at BBQ Fest. Good to see work on Memphis’ future happening ‘round the clock!

Spots are still open for the Orpheum’s Musical Theatre Intensive for grades 9-12 and recent graduates. It’ll be held June 17-21 and 24-28 and the performance the kids will train on will be Kiss Me, Kate. They’ll get training from Broadway performers and professional acting teachers.

The Memphis Grizzlies are reported to be interested in trading up to Houston’s number-3 NBA draft pick to get 7’2” UConn center Donovan Clingan – but a Beale Street Bears writer says that may not be good enough. There’s a chance the Atlanta Hawks could take Clingan first overall.

Pat Sajak will retire from Wheel of Fortune after tonight’s broadcast.

The DM researches where Elon Musk ate challah French toast when he was scouting Memphis to locate xAI. If he was Downtown, he could have been at Biscuits & Jams or Capriccio, or he could have had room service at the Peabody.

I’m staying out again tonight. A Friday in June is perfect for staying out because

  • The Cossitt Library is open until 6 tonight (and I’m gonna use their Wi-Fi to write a Medium article as soon as I get this post done)
  • My late-night hangout stays open until 3 AM
  • Sunrise is 5:45 AM, and it starts getting light outside by 5:15, so I only have to spend 2 hours and 15 minutes wandering around in the dark. And the low will get to 65 – we’re not in the part of the year yet where Memphis is a steam bath 24/7
  • The Farmers Market opens at 8 AM. Maybe I’ll get another of the Brazilian chocolate parfaits by Brigadiero, or maybe I’ll try the lemon this time.
  • The people who hand out the breakfast burritos on Saturdays are usually in Court Square by 9 AM
  • The Cossitt Library opens at 10 AM
  • And then I’ll meet my friends Randy, Theresa, and Butt Slut #1 at Bardog at 11
  • And, finally, back to the Union Mission by 7 PM Saturday to catch up on sleep. It’ll cost me $6 to come in after 2 PM, but the additional time out is worth it.

I probably won’t do a blog post tomorrow morning, but you never know.

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Thursday update

Bogie’s Deli in Brinkley Plaza at Main and Monroe has added a new jalapeno popper grilled cheese. Sounds delicious!

Speaking of jalapenos, Front Street Deli’s hot dog special this week is the El Paso Dog with a cheddar jalapeno sausage and salsa morita. Come get a taste of the last U.S. city our friend Mardoqueo sees before he climbs over Trump’s wall to get back to his native Mexico.

It’s National Churro Day. Go to the Subway at Main and Jefferson and get you one of those footlong churros.

It’s also National Moonshine Day. Blind Bear is the place to take care of that celebration. Butt Slut #1 would want you to order a “bleach,” a half blackberry, half peach moonshine shot. She’d want you to order Tony’s cabbage soup special too.

This Elon Musk supercomputer thingamadoodle is Memphis is apparently a big deal on the level of FedEx and St. Jude. That supercomputer is gonna consume 1 million gallons of water a day.

The Jack Moves will bring hip-hop, funk, and soul to Eight & Sand Lounge in Central Station Saturday night.

There will be a monologue creation workshop next Tuesday from 5 to 7 PM at the Cossitt Library.

Don’t forget that Slider Inn Downtown’s silent disco with a beach theme is Saturday night.

The DM has the info about the new 12-team college football playoff. The first game kicks off December 20.

There was an “unprovoked” shooting in Uptown Wednesday.

That’s it for now.

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Wednesday update

I saw a really good movie at the Union Mission, of all places.

Tuesday is movie day in the chapel there. Attendance is optional. I normally skip the movies, because they always have a Christian theme and I’m not terribly religious (although I am deeply spiritual). Yesterday I found myself sitting right outside the chapel door, though, because that’s where the available outlet was to charge my phone.

I heard “University of Arkansas” and perked up. I didn’t go there, but I grew up in Little Rock. The Hogs are the team I root for other than Memphis.

The movie was Greater, the story of an offensive lineman named Brandon Burlsworth. He was told he’d never play in the SEC because he weighed 245 and SEC linemen were expected to be 300 or more. Nevertheless, Burlsworth turned down a full ride at Arkansas Tech to walk on with the Hogs.

I won’t ruin the full story for you, but Burlsworth did everything right, always did extra, and stayed humble when he started to see his good habits pay off. Yet the main character of the movie is arguably his brother Marty, 17 years older. The movie is a must-watch if you are a Razorbacks fan.

The movie wasn’t the only treat we got yesterday at the Union Mission. Miracle of Redemption Church, located out at 3575 Orchi in Nutbush, came to guest-preach to us. They fed us spicy chicken and fish with rice and buttery mashed potatoes. A 4-lady gospel choir with piano player, guitarist, and drummer played (and prayed) for us.

On to today’s news… and we have BREAKING news, xAI, an Elon Musk company, will build a supercomputer here in Memphis. The factory will be on the site of the former Electrolux factory.  It’ll be known as a gigafactory where AI bot Grok, a competitor to ChatGPT, will be trained.

Hearing that a much-loved Downtown event, on pause since the pandemic, may make a comeback the Sunday after Labor Day. That’s about 3 weeks later on the calendar than this event has often occurred.

Memphis Daily News reports (PDF link) that Phase 5 of redeveloping Foote Homes in the South City district is complete. The former public housing project is being replaced with vouchers and mixed-income units.

First Horizon has been named one of the best employers for recent college graduates.

Iconic Midtown restaurant Bob’s Barksdale has been temporarily closed due to a kitchen fire.

This Thursday will be DJ Night at the Peabody rooftop party. Jordan Rogers, who played the guitar drop on NYE on Beale Street in previous years, will spin. Special Guest Wyn Starks. 6-10 PM, $20 general admission, $40 to go VIP. VIPs get a buffet of chicken satay with peanut sauce, shrimp spring rolls, and veggie pot stickers. There will be opportunities to win a Mich Ultra cooler and tickets to the Memphis Tigers football season opener on August 31.

A friend of the homeless person shot last week outside the Court Square hotels spoke to Action News 5.

It’s National Veggie Burger Day. I recommend getting your favorite Huey’s burger made with a black bean patty.

There’s a report that the Grizzlies are talking to Houston about trading for the Rockets’ number-3 pick in this month’s NBA draft. Since they traded Steven Adams, Memphis has a gaping hole at center. 7’2”, 280-pound Donovan Clingan, a member of the national champion UConn team, would seem to fill that hole well.

Downtown neighborhood The Edge District is the subject of the Memphis Flyer’s cover story this week. They talked to Memphis Made brewer Drew Barton, and he said he hopes to have the taproom overlooking The Ravine up and running by early July.

Memphian on the Move: Choose901 profiled Chef Eli of Dos Hermanos Kitchen at the Cossitt Library.

The fourth-floor unit above Winfield’s clothing store at Madison and Main is for sale.

Uptown community garden Black Seeds Urban Farm has received a $15,000 grant.

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative has a Career Launch Academy for high school juniors and seniors interested in working in healthcare. Tuition in the program is free and students can earn $15 an hour.

The South Main Association will hold its June South Main Social next Tuesday from 6-8 PM at Momma’s. Complimentary cocktail, light fare. Free for SMA members, $20 for non-members.

Thinking about staying out tonight. Back tomorrow with more news.

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Tuesday update

Just saw on Facebook that Tater Red, namesake of the Beale Street gift shop, has passed away. RIP Tater.

Blind Bear specials this week:

  • Cabbage soup
  • Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes and asparagus
  • Crawfish mac & cheese
  • Chocolate chip cookies and ice cream with caramel topping

Fox 13 digs into the background of Downtown murder suspect Karl Loucks.

901 Live! presents Gerald Richardson, Stefanie Bolton, and Teven Lavell at the Halloran Centre this Saturday. Tickets are $45.

The R&B Money Tour comes to the Orpheum Sunday. It features Tank, Keri Hilson, and Carl Thomas. Tickets are $49.50-$149.50.

There’s a 6G pipe welder job available Downtown.

Open up the Hennessy for National Cognac Day.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow.

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Monday update

There’s Taylor Swift trivia tonight at Momma’s at 7 PM. Come see who knows the second most about Taylor Swift after Lana. In addition to winning $100+ in swag and gift cards, if you order a burger during trivia, there’s a 1 in 7 chance it’ll be free.

Memphis is number 1 for deadly car accidents in the country, says a study by ConsumerAffairs.

Dr. Pepper has pulled into a tie with Pepsi as the country’s second-most popular soft drink, based on sales. Of course, Coke is still tops.

The Trumpster has joined TikTok.

Wiseacre will celebrate the beginning of the Dog Days of Summer with a takeover at Loflin Yard Saturday from 1 to 4. The brewery will debut its new premium lager, SkyDog. Bring your puppers or doggo or whatever you call your domesticated wolf. Live pet paintings. They’ll be accepting donations to Streetdog Foundation.

Black Panther is the film the Downtown Memphis Commission will show at its next free movie night this Thursday at Grind City Brewing Co. Doors at 7, movie at 8.

Gia Welch & JD Westmoreland play The Central BBQ Sessions this Saturday from 6 to 8:30.

DJ Hush plays Central Station’s Eight & Sand Lounge Friday night 9 to 1.

It’s World Cider Day. I have no recommendation to celebrate, but Butt Slut #1 would want you to drink an Angry Orchard.

Project Green Fork’s Loving Local celebration is 2-5 this Sunday at Grind City Brewing. Food from PGF-certified restaurants including

  • Lulu’s Cafe
  • Good Fortune Co.
  • Biscuits & Jams
  • Shroomlicious Meals
  • Mempops

Eco-friendly vendors will be there as well. Loving Local is free this year, but registration is encouraged. Music by DJ Crystal Mercedes and by Marcella. Kid-friendly.

That’s all. Back tomorrow with more news.

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Sunday update: What’s missing in this photo?

This is the entrance to Court Square, across Main from the Moxy & Springhill Suites parking lot. Notice anything missing?

The black flat-top tables with yellow umbrellas that had 2-4 built-in seats apiece are gone.

DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS COMMISSION? What gives?

Those tables were perfect for Saturday mornings when the burrito ministry would bike by. I had plenty of table space for my burritos and drink, and an extra seat in which to lay my backpack.

I know there was one person and one group who tended to camp out at those tables, and that the park tended to smell like weed when they were around. But are we really going to let a few people ruin it for everyone?

A block and a half further down Main, better news.

The construction on Monroe between Main and Second has been paved over, suggesting that the avenue may reopen this week.

Soul & Spirits Brewing at 845 N. Main will host a record fair all day Saturday, June 15. 

  • Local vendors all day 
  • A new beer release 
  • Glassware specials
  • Live music by The Subteens

The DM has photos from yesterday’s Pride parade and festival.

Anime Blues Con comes to the Renasant Convention Center Friday through Sunday.

“The diner and dive off 55,” Momma’s, seeks front of house staff.

Samara Joy comes to the Cannon Center Monday.

RedRover’s top dog, Lori Turner-Wilson, will have a signing for her book The B2B Marketing Revolution: A Battle Plan for Guaranteed Outcomes at novel. bookstore in East Memphis on Tuesday, June 18 at 6 PM.

In other book news, Malcolm Gladwell has written a sequel to Tipping Point.

The team of former Memphis Tiger forward DeAndre Williams won the Taiwan League title last week. Great to see him doing well. 

The man allegedly responsible for the shooting of a man near the Court Square hotels is said to have a history of confrontation with homeless people.

A man wrecked a car and then hid in a ditch near MLK Ave. and B.B. King Blvd. last week.

Today is National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day.

Yesterday was a reminder I am blessed with many wonderful people in my life. Back tomorrow. I have a lot of writing to do on Medium, so I may be out late tomorrow.

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Friday update

The Medical Center District is getting an ALDI grocery store. It’s going in the former Office Depot building at 785 Union.

The Trumpster was found guilty yesterday on all 34 counts in his criminal hush-money trial. He can still run for president, but as a convicted felon he might not be able to vote for himself. Sentencing is scheduled for a few days before the Republican convention.

There was a shooting near the Moxy Hotel at Main and Court about 3 this morning.

BRIDGES USA is hiring a CEO.

It looks like I won’t be attending South Main Trolley Night after all. To do so, I’d have to stay out all night, and it’s supposed to rain and storm.

Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.

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Thursday update

This may be a Thursday update post, but I’m starting it at 10:37 AM Wednesday… and I just saw the sweetest thing as I walked to the Cossitt Library.

A couple walked out of Brinkley Plaza, presumably having been to immigration court on the 7th floor. As they turned the corner onto the Front Street sidewalk, the man pulled his wife close and gave her a kiss. I bet that was their first kiss as United States citizens.

One personal note about me, and then we’ll get the news started. There is a good chance I’ll be at South Main Trolley Night Friday. Come find me and say hello! If you have any news you want me to include on the blog, I’ll have the Notes app on my phone ready.

  • My appearance at Trolley Night is dependent on the weather and my getting a good night’s sleep Thursday, so it’s not 100% that I’ll be there… but I’m sure gonna try.

And now, the news…

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will show the movie Family Switch (FREE for all, DNA members or not) at new outdoor movie venue Grind City Brewing tonight. Doors at 7, movie at 8.

Shannon McNally returns to South Main Sounds Friday for Trolley Night.

Memphis Tigers basketball star David Jones chose to remain in the NBA draft and will forfeit his remaining NCAA eligibility.

After ethics concerns were raised, City Councilwoman Dr. Michalyn Easter-Thomas has resigned from her Memphis River Parks Partnership job.

I posted an Experience Memphis Like a Local article on Medium yesterday. I have no idea if a travel article will work on that platform, but I figured I’d give it a try.

Back tomorrow.

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Wednesday update

Grit & Grind Music Machine will supply the tunes at this Thursday’s Peabody rooftop party, along with DJ A.D. $15 general admission, $30 VIP. VIPs get a buffet of chicken and beef sliders and sidewinder fries. 6-10 PM; party will be moved inside the Skyway in case of rain.

Megan Thee Stallion with special guest GloRilla comes to FedExForum Thursday night.

The following night, Friday, comedian Nate Bargatze brings his Be Funny Tour to FedExForum.

Whet Thursday returns to the Metal Museum this week. Smithing demos, live soul by Corey Lou & DaVillage, bar, Smurfey’s Smokehouse food truck.

The popular Scandals & Scoundrels Tour returns to Elmwood Cemetery June 9. Get a look at Memphis’ shady past.

The Cossitt Library will have a used book sale Saturday, June 8. DJs, live performances, and library activities throughout the day.

Sunday night a Corvette was taken at gunpoint outside a restaurant on the 100 block of Monroe.

The Middle Ages ended 571 years ago today.

It’s National Biscuit Day.

Community Legal Center seeks a program coordinator.

The Redbirds host Nashville at 7:05.

MarketWatch has named Memphis one of 7 cities reaping the benefits of awesome public art.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow.

It’s free to read this blog, but I gratefully accept tips! 
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Tuesday update

RIP Bill Walton.

Birdie’s, the golf simulation bar on South Main, has announced weekly nine-hole Par 3 tournaments. These will allow you to get some swings in and maybe win a prize, while being short enough not to interfere with your summer vacation.

Blind Bear specials this week: Italian sausage and potato soup; pan-seared chicken breast with wild rice, sautéed zucchini, mushrooms; shrimp and crawfish scampi pasta

Janey Bee Jems will have a pop-up Charm Bar at Stock&Belle on Saturday, June 1 from 11 AM to 3 PM. Brooke Ballard will help you design a charm necklace. The first 30 necklaces can be picked up the day of the Charm Bar, and after that you can arrange for shipment or pickup.

The I-55 bridge will be closed June 9-23.

It’s International Hamburger Day.

The Redbirds host Nashville tonight at 7:05.

I had something weird happen recently. Saturday night I dreamed I was watching an episode of M*A*S*H. It was the one where Frank Burns promised Margaret the moon, and she pointed out he didn’t have the moon.

Then Memorial Day afternoon I checked into the Union Mission and entered the common room. The TV was tuned to the TV Land channel. I expected to see episodes of Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith.

Instead, M*A*S*H came on. THE VERY EPISODE/SCENE I HAD DREAMED ABOUT. I had not seen that show in at least 8 months.

There is no way that was a coincidence.

I’m interpreting it as a reminder from the Universe that we are more powerful than we realize; we possess more than just our basic 5 senses.

That’s all I’ve got today. Back tomorrow with more news.

It’s free to read this blog, but I gratefully accept tips! 
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