Saturday, January 31, 2009
Yesterday after work I had a manicure at Le Tre Salon at 113 Jackson in the Pinch District. I had the BEST manicure there actually. Anais was my nail nurturer who made my nails look better than they have in a long time. This is no small feat since I totally ignore my hands and nails and wait until they are almost past the point of no return to take action, or rather have someone else take action. Anyway, she offers regular manicures and spa manicures and pedicures so you can go the whole nine yards if you so desire. Le Tre is a full service salon in the duplex next to High Point Pinch. It has a cozy, comfortable atmosphere and the staff are very friendly and talented. 901-578-3491.
I have been again reminded that McEwen's never disappoints and I don't go there as often as I should. Last night I had dinner there with some friends and it was great. I was also so happy to see both the bar and the dining area were packed. I had the seared sea scallops with cheddar cheese grits and sauteed green beans. The service was also very good, and not just our waitress but all the staff were friendly and hospitable. This would be one among some other great downtown restaurants for Valentine's Day and they are offering a Valentine menu: http://www.mcewensonmonroe.com/menu/valentines/
Picture of my nails (per reader request) and Poppy's nails. I insisted on that color; Anais wanted to do a French manicure which I will try next time I go in. I am giving Poppy a nail clip today!
Friday, January 30, 2009
New trees, new grass, fresh mulch! This may not seem exciting but when I saw the new street trees on Main I stopped in my tracks. I guess it's been about two years that several of the street tree plots between Union and Gayoso have been without trees. There were some sad old soggy pieces of plywood set down over the little squares one after another that looked so terrible for so long. No longer! Not only are there new trees but there is also some type of hardy grass around them.
It's the last Friday of the month which means the South Main Trolley Tour is tonight from 6 pm - 9pm. It's a great time to catch some good sales or see what's new at some of the shops down there like: Muse, Tyiese Scarpa, American Apparel, Mode du Jour, Strut and Runway Boutique. Not to mention swanning through some galleries like Hannah Davis Gallery , Art Village Gallery and Jay Etkin Gallery.
Memphis is #8 out of a list of 25 best cities for filmmakers to live in according to the current issue of MovieMaker magazine. Kudos to the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission! Click here to see the press release and the magazine article: http://www.memphisfilmcomm.org/news/news26.htm
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Please read the story from the Commercial Appeal about this little girl and her family:http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/jan/22/concert-to-aid-anna-4/
An online auction benefitting Anna and her family starts Monday and runs through Feb. 2. Auction items include records and music merchandise. For details go online to goner-records.com/anna or call 722-0095.
Anna Ives is the daughter of Goner Records co-owner Zach Ives and his wife Amy. You may remember the Goner Records Showcase was one of the free downtown concerts this past fall.
This Saturday night, January 31st, the Grizzlies play the Lakers at FedEx Forum at 7pm. It's an International Night meaning they offer some discounts on Terrace, Plaza and Club level tickets for certain games. BUT it appears this game is sold out. Click this link to get all the details: http://www.nba.com/grizzlies/tickets/groups-international_nights.html
The Grizzlies' website has highlighted a few LA Lakers players and their countries of origin for International Night. If you click on the country it will pull up some other NBA players from that country.
I think I will always be able to remember how to spell "boyfriend" in French. Co=pain. Oui.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
All remaining Candy Wrapper bags are 40% OFF
All remaining digital watches are 50% OFF
All Me! Bath body washes are Buy One Get One Free
Recycled Street Sign Chairs will be 40% OFF through the end of February or while they last."
The Super Bowl is this Sunday, February 1st in Tampa, FL.; Steelers vs. Cardinals. I'm not going to pretend that I've watched one single NFL game this season but I do normally watch the Super Bowl. It just so happens that I bought a shiny new flat screen tv past this weekend so it only makes sense that I watch the game at home surrounded by my idea of Super Bowl food, pizza and Peroni*. That being said, I realize that not everyone is a hermit so here are some places downtown to watch the game. All will have specials and this is by no means a complete list, just a varied sampling:
Calhoun's Sports Bar at 115 E. G.E. Patterson
The Majestic Grille at 145 S. Main will have specials starting at 4pm as well as their usual menu.
Bardog Tavern at 73 Monroe
The Flying Saucer at Second and Peabody Place
The Silly Goose at 100 Peabody Place (old Swig space)
Tug's in the River Inn on Harbor Town
TJ Mulligans at 362 N. Main in the Pinch
The Green Beetle at 327 S. Main
B.B. King's at Beale and Second
*You can buy Peroni downtown at the corner market on Second and Madison and at Miss Cordelia's, just fyi.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Also the Grizzlies take on the Nuggets tonight at the FedEx Forum at 7pm.
AC/DC is currently on a world tour and will be playing at the FedEx Forum this Friday night at 7:30 which I believe is Sold Out. Hells Bells. They play in Little Rock tomorrow night at Alltell Arena and in Nashville at the Sommet Center on Saturday night, both of which are sold out. Almost all their European shows are sold out already through 2009. https://tickets.acdc.com/
The South Main Trolley Tour is this Friday evening which would be fun to go to before (or in lieu of) the AC/DC concert.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I mentioned some new apartments in the Downtown Core last week and wanted to add 91 Cotton Row to the list, located at 91 S. Front just south of Union. The sign out front states there are 7 apartments for rent (1, 2 and 3 bedrooms). Amenities include a common riverfront rooftop deck, private balconies, hardwood floors and 14' ceilings. In addition there are two condos with garages for sale and there is a 1,500 sq. ft. commercial space for lease. For more information go to: http://www.getsoldmemphis.com/
Speaking of apartments, a groundbreaking ceremony for Barboro Flats, the new development that will include 92 apartments, parking and commercial space, will be today at 2pm at Main and Gayoso. The CCC asks you to RSVP to Christine Taylor at 901-575-0540 or email@example.com
Mixed in among condos, art galleries, and homes along the bluff walk is the chain restaurant The Spaghetti Warehouse. They have been operating continuously for, I don't know, maybe 18 - 20 years at 40 West Huling. They are open everyday, Sun-Thursday 11am - 10pm and Friday and Saturday 11am - 11pm. The last time I went there was probably 10 years ago but clearly someone is going there more often and they like the food. Digging back into my memory bank I thought of the food as mediocre, not terrible, but not noteworthy. It's in an old converted warehouse full of whimiscal antiques and inventive seating like a trolley car. I should think it would be a good place for families with young kids and a prime downtown worker's lunch spot. Whatever the formula is this chain figured it out and they have staying power. Click the link to see their menu: http://www.meatballs.com/menu7292008.pdf
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
The Memphis Business Journal reported Chicago artist Jeff Zimmermann and Rhodes College students will paint a 5-story mural downtown. The work is scheduled to begin at the end of February and the canvas will be a blank side of a vacant building at 195 Madison, which faces Autozone Park. A Peabody Place billboard previously occupied the spot. The artist is currently working on concepts for the mural. Check out his work and a picture of the building at 195 Madison on his website: http://www.jazim.com/upcoming.html
Silly Goose, the new bar in the old Swig space, opened this week. It's always fun to go check out a new place. I wish them success.
Preston Shannon will be playing at Ground Zero tonight.
The Memphis Gift and Jewelry Show runs tomorrow through Monday at the Cook Convention Center.
The Dempseys are playing tonight and tomorrow night at Blues City Cafe.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Other deli's downtown:
Court House Deli - 22 S. Main
Bogie's Deli - 80 Monroe
Miss Cordelia's Deli - Harbor Town Square
Frank's Market & Deli - 327 S. Main
Front Street Deli - 77 S. Front
Lenny's - Falls Building, 22 S. Front
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
It's been too long since my last recipe post. This isn't actually a recipe as much as it's an idea for pulling a really good, easy dinner together. It's my bastardized version of Tsunami's Sea Bass and Black Rice dish. If you want their recipe you should buy the Tsunami Restaurant Cookbook which I have but apparently use as a loose guide. Measurements and exact ingredients are but suggestions to me, not hard and fast rules. I like this because I get to use mahogany/black japonica rice. It has a rich, nutty flavor that works so well with a dense fish like sea bass. Basically you just follow the package directions on the rice which you can buy at Miss Cordelia's. I baked the sea bass with butter, lemon, salt and pepper. The cream sauce was heavy whipping cream, lemon, butter and a little flour dissolved in water to thicken it a bit. The flavors of the rice and the sauce are so fantastic together. On the side was broccolini sauteed with garlic and olive oil. I prefer rapini but abhor having to drive to the Middle East (Fresh Market at White Station and Poplar) to procure this simplest of greens. So sad. I cannot get it downtown or even at the horrible Schnuck's on Union which I would brave if only to get the rapini.
Some other recently completed apartment options in the Downtown Core:
Lincoln American Tower (Main at Court Square)
Lowenstein Building (Main and Jefferson - I'm not sure if they are leasing yet. Downtown Greg if you're reading this leave me a comment to let me know)
Radio Center Flats (Union and Main)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Update: Blues City Coffee at Main and Peabody Place has gone out of business, sadly. To try to forget that my neighborhood coffee shop is no longer, I will go to the Corkscrew since it's Tuesday which means Ladies Day when wine is 10% off. There is always a silver lining.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I am traveling back today from Way Down South where the Spanish Moss grows lush and rampant in a sub-tropical climate. Or maybe it's semi-tropical. Or maybe it's on the cusp of sub-semi-tropical. Whatever it is it's warmer down here. Soon I will be hurtling back to downtown Memphis where MLK, Jr. Day is being celebrated, below are a couple of events:
The MLK, Jr. Celebration Game: Memphis Grizzlies vs Pistons, today at 4:30pm at the FedExForum.
The National Civil Rights Museum celebrates the MLK holiday with extended hours: 8am - 6pm, special events and reduced admission of $2.00.
On a sad note, I heard last week that Blues City Coffee at Main and Peabody Place was closing and their last day was to have been yesterday. I hope that's not true as that was the coffee shop I could walk to and work there or read or just sit. Drat.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Link to the Church Health Center website:
I see all the negatives too but would rather be part of figuring out ways to help than to simply criticize, which also only make things worse.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I'm posting some photos this morning before I leave town of some things I spied along my run. Yes, I went running in the frigid air and if nothing else it WOKE ME UP. I convinced myself that in Siberia perhaps this would be considered a mild day and people would picnic and take long strolls, so my taking a 30 minute run at 7am in 28 degree weather is well within the realm of what is humanly possible.
Work progresses on Beale Street Landing which looks like this today but will one day look like the rendering below.
Friday, January 16, 2009
1. It's a long weekend for me as I get Monday, MLK Day off.
2. I will be out of town again this weekend on another fun adventure.
Before I jet out, I will swing by Bardog after work with my office mates for a quick G&T and then back home to pack. But what's going on downtown this weekend that I will miss?
The musical The Drowsy Chaperone continues through Sunday at the Orpheum.
The Memphis Grizzlies play Utah Jazz tonight at 7pm at the FedEx Forum.
Live from Memphis v3.0 + Re-launch Party at 1 S. Main, tonight, 7p -10p. Click on the Live from Memphis link to learn more about this organization of "creatives supporting creatives", very, very cool, très très cool, molto molto cool. http://www.livefrommemphis.com/
Peace and Freedom Concert at the Cannon Center, Sunday, January 18, 7:30pm featuring Angie Stone and Will Graves and Soul.
The Memphis Farmers Market 2008 Winter Dinner Tour is Sunday, January 18. at The Inn at Hunt Phelan, 533 Beale St., 6 - 8pm.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I wanted to share a photo of yesterday's sunset over the Mississippi River. After work I rushed up to my rooftop to see the pretty sky that started out as orange and pink light through a mass of spotty clouds and then turned a deep red before finally fading to black.
Dr. Scott Morris wrote a great opinion piece in today's Commercial Appeal about Memphis, click here for the entire piece: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/jan/15/memphians-need-to-stand-up-for-city/#comments
Some of his points, which I share:
"I'm tired of people who live in Germantown and Collierville refusing to go downtown "because of the crime".
"People who have lived here all of their lives still see Memphis the way it was 50 years ago."
"If you can't find something to do in Memphis, then you're either not looking or you're just plain lazy."
Our downtown went down hard, I mean it went all the way down. Growing up in the '70's I saw downtown at its' worst yet my first impression was "wow, this is cool". The office buildings, the river, the parks, the history down here was such a stark contrast to the sterile suburbs. When the Peabody re-opened in 1981 the floodgates for redevelopment were opened and downtown has come a long way, Baby. Standing on Main Street in 1975 you would not think it possible that an NBA team would call a state-of-the-art arena behind Beale Street home, or that Gibson Guitar Factory would be across the street and AutoZone would have their headquarters downtown or that 26,000 (total 2008 population according to the CCC website) people would one day live downtown. All of this was made possible by people who had a vision (i.e. Jack Belz, Henry Turley and many others) for what downtown Memphis could be. There are many people who share that vision and continue to invest in a better, more dynamic downtown.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A conveniently located shop in the Medical Center offering to fill the needs of three habits, at least one of which must be yours, according to the catchy tagline on the shop sign. There was until recently a shop next door called "My 4th Habit". Wow, this could go on and on. I admit my habits are coffee and this blog but somehow I don't think I can get coffee or wireless at 3 Habits or even at 4th Habit, if it were still in existence. But what if you're downtown and want to satisfy your coffee and wireless habits at the same time? You have options, Dear 5th and 6th habits and they are spread out beautifully throughout downtown like points on a compass:
Blues City Coffee (In the Core)
Bluff City Coffee (South side)
Harbor Town Coffee (North side)
Quetzal (East side)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
For the past couple of years I had been trying to learn some Italian on my own just by listening to a set of CD's I bought. They are helpful as far as pronunciation and knowing some basic words and I was starting to feel pretty comfortable with it. Lately I have been wanting to learn some French as well so I bought the same set of CD's in French. I am nearly losing my mind. I liken this to tennis and racquetball. I grew up playing tennis, was on the tennis team in high school and took it as an elective in college. I needed two physical fitness credits though so I also took a semester of racquetball. Racquetball ruined my tennis game and I was never all that great at racquetball, as a result I am now a runner and shy away from racquet sports altogether. I am afraid French will destroy what little Italian I have learned. French pronunciation is hard for me; the spelling is jacked up as well but that doesn't bother me like those throaty "r's".
So last night I decided that when I am doing boring chores around the house I will listen to one lesson in French and then afterward to the same lesson in Italian. I'm not sure I can live at that speed, though it was fun trying. Along the way people have given me books and calendars in both languages. I have hidden them all until now. I put the French calendar on my desk at work and as you can see the quirky little French sentence of the day is: "It's the best artichoke I've ever had."
Bluff City Coffee has an Italian calendar on their counter at the cash register with the Italian sentence of the day. That's always fun to learn while you're waiting for your non-fat latte with no foam, or whatever your coffee drink of choice is. Wish me luck! Buona Fortuna! Bonne Chance!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I don't know what was being filmed here today but a film crew was setting up this afternoon at Earnestine & Hazel's. It's been used as a location so much, it's become a common sight. I recently saw "My Blueberry Nights" of which a great deal had been filmed in Earnestine's. To watch the Blueberry Nights trailer in which you see E&H's, the Arcade and a trolley, click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kac_uSP_pJY&feature=related
The crew blacking out the windows.
I'm not sure if this artwork along South Main is finished. I thought it was finished a couple of weeks ago when I posted a shot of it in what I now know was a preliminary stage of its' creation. It looks like a dragon to me with all those spikes along the top and if you enlarge this photo you can see two blue eyes on its' face. Anyway, I like it whatever it is and I wish there were more installations along some of the vacant spots up and down Main, though this spot is not vacant making this the best scenario.
I had to drive down South Main this morning to pick up Poppy at Berclair Animal Hospital where they are so good to her and have such a great facility. I also noticed a couple of weeks ago a new vet at 1157 Madison at I-240 called Utopia Animal Hospital and visited their website. I haven't been there or heard anything about it but it's good to know downtowners have three vets (the other one is the Downtown Animal Hospital) within a couple of miles of each other, all of which offer boarding.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I wanted to get to my rooftop earlier as the full moon tonight was majestic and huge in the sky around 6:30 pm but by the time I got this shot it was about 7 pm. Although it looks rather small in the photo it was so big and beautiful. It made a cold, clear night downtown just a little brighter.
Sunday - 2-for-1 steaks
Monday - 1/2 off bottles of wine (certain ones I guess)
Tuesday - $30 3-course dinner
I'm posting this from memory from an ad I saw in the January issue of SKIRT! magazine, so it would be best to call the restaurant just to be sure I have not given out totally erroneous information. 901-578-3031.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I'm headed out of town for the weekend so I haven't really looked at what's going on downtown. Go to http://www.downtownmemphis.com/domain/news/html/thisweek.html to find out. I saw that Free Sol www.freesol.net was at Quetzal last night. I have seen them before and they're really good so I'm sorry I missed that.
For today my post is this picture of Court Square at night from the Lincoln American Tower. A shout out goes to Downtown Greg for making that possible!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Visible work was happening this past week on the Barboro Alley Flats site aka "The Hole" on Main Street between Barbaro and Gayoso alleys. In the Memphis Business Journal's article on 'tight-site' construction projects, this future 5-story building is described as mixed use with 92 apartments, 7,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 205 parking spaces.
My grandfather's family (also on my mother's side) came to Memphis from Trabia, Sicily, now things are starting to get interesting. Favazza, Battaglia and LoBianco are some of those family names. I need to find some of those families who may still be in Sicily and roll up into Trabia or wherever they may be and say "Ciao, Ya'll".
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The 25th Annual International Blues Challenge is February 4th - 7th with many events scheduled on Beale Street. The mission of the IBC is find the best unsigned blues artists from around the world. According to their website, The FedEx International Showcase will host so many acts from outside the U.S. that it will begin at 11am. Some of the acts represent talent from Croatia, Italy, Norway, Poland, France, Israel, Canada and Austrailia.
Mardi Gras Parade and Pub Crawl is the second weekend in February and includes a parade on Beale and various parties in the bars.
The 20th Annual Zydeco Festival is February 27th and 28th on Beale Street in various clubs. I would not call myself a Zydeco fan by any means but I've been to this festival a couple of times and had a lot of fun.
Also, during these months we are lucky to have Grizzlies and U of M basketball at FedEx Forum.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Update to this: Apparently, www.restaurant.com is the place to go to get the best dining deals. If I extricated myself from my compound-like existence and gave my kitchen a night off, I might know this! Thanks Emily and Buck.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
NYC Deli will be opening in the old McAlister's space at One Commerce Square. According to the Memphis Business Journal, they are planning to open January 12th and will be open for breakfast and lunch Monday - Friday.
Lansky 126 in the Peabody recently completed it's expansion and have a much roomier store with great men's and women's clothes, shoes and accessories. They carry a lot of Ed Hardy stuff, if that's your thing. They also have great handbags and scarves.
SunTrust bank's new downtown retail branch at Main & Monroe in Brinkley Plaza looks close to being complete. There is also an ATM at this location on the street (not up and running yet).
A&R BBQ is moving into the old Roma Pizza location at Third and Court. Why, why, why did Roma have to go?
Divine Rags has "temporarily" closed the downtown store and has opened a new store at Saddle Creek, good grief that's the Far East! See my Memphis Map. Not sure when they plan to re-open the downtown location.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
* Eat more fair trade, organic chocolate.
* Roast a whole chicken - the idea is there is less packaging therefore less waste and you can use the bones for stock.
* Eat Alaskan wild salmon - according to the article Alaska sustainably tends to their salmon stocks
* Use the food processor less and the knife more - I get this. I really get this. It's chopping zen.
* Turn off the light when you leave the kitchen.
* Become a "locavore" - eating only locally grown or produced foods (this one is not so simple)
* Go to www.eatwellguide.org to find restaurants and markets that serve organic, sustainable and fresh food in your area.
* Make coffee at home - they suggest using a french press, I like the Bialetti Moka Express (big name for a very humble apparatus)
Go to the Green Fork Project website to find certified sustainable restaurants and markets in Memphis, to learn about what sustainability is and what the Green Fork Project is, of course. Miss Cordelia's in Harbor Town Square is currently undergoing the certification process. Tsunami in Midtown is already certified.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I can't remember the last time I was on a riverboat. I see them everyday and sometimes I walk Poppy down along the cobblestones to the river where all the riverboats are moored. When I was a kid our school would sometimes take our class on riverboat rides for our annual field trip. It was always so much fun to lazily float down the river, look back at the city and the bluffs and watch the paddle wheel spin. We listened to the tour guide tell us about the river, ledgendary people such as Tom Lee, the cotton trade and other bits of history and current facts.
While searching around for a little information on riverboats I came across a great deal of information from various sources on the Delta Queen. Anyone who lives near my end of downtown has heard the old-fashioned sound of its' calliope when it was docked here. Or maybe that's the Mississippi Queen's calliope as there are a lot of Queens floating along the Mississippi. Anyway, the 82-year old beauty made its final trip from Memphis to New Orleans, where she is now drydocked, in November as its' permit had expired at the end of October. The 174 passenger vessel, originally made of wood in 1926, was the last remaining steamboat to carry overnight passengers. The Safety of Life at Sea Act was passed in 1966 which declared vessels with wooden structures unsafe for overnight passengers. As a result a steel hull was constructed over the wooden one thereby creating an exemption and that kept the Delta Queen afloat until 2008. I found a lot of interesting history and information about those fighting to save the Delta Queen on the Majestic America website.
More photos of Memphis queen: