Hey, y'all! These last two years have been the definition of adjusting and finding the positive in a negative situation! We have had so much going on and at times had to distance ourselves from those we love the most. However, I think I have found a few ways to help us stay safe while being around those we love!
"Surviving The Pandemic: Social Distancing Fun with Loved Ones"
will offer some creative ways to hang out with the people you love the most while being safe or practicing social distancing! I hope you all find these helpful and find some new activities to try!
This idea was my 30th birthday celebration from last year and I absolutely loved it! After canceled birthday trips and parties being a NO I finally found something safe and fun. I asked each of my guests to purchase an inexpensive teepee tent, bring their favorite food and drinks, and I would supply the rest! I made jello shots, adult poptails, had plenty of food to share (just in case), games, gave away thank you goodie bags, and had music! It was so much fun! Now, originally this event was supposed to be on Mud Island however, the heavens decided to open the day of my picnic and flood the area we were supposed to be in. I ended up having it in my parent's backyard, but it still turned out cute! The picnic gave camping but with a sprinkle of glamour! Having a teepee picnic for my 30th even started a picnic trend for me! I've gone to Memphis Botanic Garden for a picnic and Shelby Farms! Picnics are definitely an easy and creative way to hang out, be safe, and still, have plenty of fun!
P.S I don't recommend having a picnic with more than 5 people at Mud Island because they require you to purchase a permit. The permit can not be refunded nor may you reschedule if anything out of your control happens. They don't tell you that information until after you purchase the permit! Trifling!
Getting to go drinks and Exploring Downtown
Last year bars were allowed to sell customers alcohol Togo and as of now, bars are still allowed. Some bars still offer this service so find a day to meet up in an area that makes it easy to bar hop, grab some to-go drinks, and explore the area you're in. I recommend trying this in downtown or Midtown, of course, but East Memphis (by The University District) is becoming pretty walkable too! Remember to drink responsibly anddd take a Lyft or Uber just to be safe!
Tour at Old Dominick
First of all, I love this place! Old Domnick is a Memphis distillery where a variety of Memphis spirits are made. Old Dominick offers tours where you taste all the liquors that currently are available and learn the distilling process of their vodka, gin, and whiskeys! Old Dominick and Memphis also has a history spanning over a century so, head to the website now to book a small group tour to learn more about how Domenico Canale ended up here and what brought his family back.
Have Lunch at a Food truck
Food trucks are definitely sent from heaven and luckily we have ways for us to visit them often! Court Square has Food Truck Thursday, Dixon has Food Truck Friday and Botanic Gardens has a monthly Food Truck Garden party (this one will be ending soon)! You can also follow your favorite food truck on social media so that you can find out where they will be located daily! Most of the events mentioned above happen in parks so you'll be able to space out and have lunch!
Trolley night is a monthly South Main Street Festival that includes music, drinks, shopping, and food! Restaurants and other businesses have specials, host events, and you get to really experience the historic South Main District. This is another way for you to explore Downtown Memphis and meet up without having to be close! You can wear your mask because this is an outdoor event, mostly. It's also easy to barhop, restaurant hop, and get around without driving by riding the trolley! It'll be a fun night!
It may seem weird to say meet up with friends just to go to the farmers market but it's an activity that I enjoy. We all have to grocery shop right, so why not do it together? You can check shopping off of your to-do list and still get to hang out with friends or fam! Plus, it's another outdoor activity that makes you feel safe! Try it at least once with friends and family if you haven't and I promise it'll be a good time! We have a nice variety of farmers markets to choose from but my favorite are The South Memphis Farmers Market, Cooper Young Community Farmers Market, and The Memphis Farmers Market! The South Memphis Farmers Market also has a grocer so even when market season is over there is still an option for shopping local and fresh!
Visit a Rooftop
I didn't make that rooftop list for nothing! Find you a rooftop, grab some drinks, and enjoy the views! Rooftops are perfect for social distancing gatherings because you get to be with people outside of your home safely in an open space! So, with that said don't let the season change to winter before you've tried them all! Click on Rooftops to access my list!
Visit Shelby Farms
On top of Shelby farms being an outdoor park where you can have a picnic or get in some exercise, they have great events! One of my favorite events is Canoes and Cocktails! During this summer event, you take a guided tour around Hyde Lake while catching the sunset. After your tour, it's time for good vibes and your two cocktails! There are games set up and snacks are provided as well!
Whether it's Yoga, taking a walk across Big River Crossing, getting an Explore Bike, Scooter, or Kayaking on the Mississippi River the city has you covered! All often turn into me exploring or grabbing something to eat with whoever I'm out with. I have included the links with information on all of the above!
Catch Up for Coffee or Tea
Memphis has so many Coffee Shops/Cafes so pick one, select a date to play catch up or just make an excuse to hang out! You can even make it a productive visit and schedule some time for everyone to work on a project while they are there! I've done this with friends before and it turned out to be a great way to start my morning! I've listed some of my favorite Coffee Shops below!
Mugging Coffee House
Park + Cherry
Bluff City Coffee
City & State
Crazy Gander Coffee Company
Last summer a few friends and I picked a random weekend to hangout where I included a day of volunteer work! I often volunteer at JUICE Orange Mound's community garden to help with weeding and gardening so that is where we went! It was nice to give back while getting the opportunity to hang out as we hadn't seen each other in person much! I'm going to leave the link to JUICE Orange Mound's website as well as the link for Volunteer Memphis!
The Memphis Zoo
When is the last time you've gone to the Zoo? Can't remember? Then go ahead and plan your next visit! The Zoo is outdoors, has food, drinks, new exhibits, and you may even catch an event! It's perfect for a day out with your people AND it's kid friendly so go see what's new at the zoo!
Interactive selfie shops/museums have become the new thing to get into and are popping up all over the place! They are good for celebrations, photo shoots, or just something different for your and your folks to do. Last year we had a popup selfie shop brought to us by Memfolk but now we have a permanent one! Pose901 recently opened up in Whitehaven and it is nothing but Memphis, Memphis, Memphis!! So, get your poses ready to go randomly or schedule a private time for a group event.
For all activities please make sure you are staying safe! Whether safe means keeping your groups small, masking up, making sure you're negative, or getting vaccinated do what's best for you and others around you!! Let's all work extra hard to keep each other safe!
If you're having trouble viewing the calendar on your mobile device click the drop-down arrow to the left and select pin board or agenda for a new viewing option!! I hope I'm supplying you with all the events you need to live your best life!
All rights to the photos used for these events belong to original photographer. Description of events are directly quoted from, event website.
Hey y'all! It's almost summer so I know that knowing where to go after work and on the weekends is important! So, I wanted to start a list of rooftops since we are finally getting more! Thank God!
Tiger and Peacock at The Memphian Hotel
This is a new addition for us and is located in vibrant Midtown. The hotel opened up this year and has an onsite restaurant and rooftop bar! The rooftop bar is now open to the public. This is the only hotel in Overton Square and I hope there are more to come. I haven't been in yet but it looks really nice and trendy!
The Peabody Hotel
Old Faithful! When we were struggling for a rooftop vibe The Peabody hotel was there to bring us parties, good drinks, and views! And although the rooftop parties are still on pause until spring of 2022 The Peabody is now offering Sunset Social Hour! This will give you a chance to hear a little music, have some cocktails, and enjoy the beautiful view of the city from The Peabody Hotel. Dates for the Sunset Social Hour are on the event calendar.
This rooftop has been closed for a little while but I recently saw them post about reopening this summer and I am super excited! I love the decor of this place and the fact that there is an indoor and outdoor option for sitting! When they were open the bartenders were really nice and the drinks were good!
Beck and Call at Hyatt Centric
This is another newbie! The rooftop is located inside of the Hyatt Centric which is the first and only hotel on Beale Street. I've been inside the hotel and it is NICE!! I haven't been to the rooftop yet but the pictures are really pretty!
Old Dominick Distillery
I love this place! They have a rooftop bar with indoor and outdoor seating options as well! The rooftop isn't extremely high BUT it still has a nice view, vibe, and great drinks! Plus, Old Dominick has Memphis Made spirits and so much Memphis history! IT'S A WHOLE DISTILLERY WHERE THEY MAKE THE LIQUOR! That alone is enough for me! *I'm a bar nerd Lol*
Eight & Sand at Central Station
So, this one is classified as a patio according to central station however, I feel like it meets rooftop criteria. Lol Eight & Sand is a dope ass cocktails bar and lounge located inside of the massive Central Station Hotel. This place is gorgeous and ideal for several fake off guards! But the lounge isn't what I consider to be the rooftop it is the elevated patio that is upstairs. This (rooftop) patio is perfect for nice weather and has a decent view if you ask me! It is at the railroad track and also perfect for pictures!
Mississippi Terrace at the Pyramid/ The Lookout at The Pyramid
Both of these are at Big Cypress Lodge AKA The Pyramid. I included both because they both have amazing views and bars but only one of them is referred to as a "rooftop". Mississippi Terrace is a rooftop patio that opened in late 2019 with fire pits, lounge furniture, and high-top tables. They have really good drinks and the view is gorgeous especially at sunset. I went here for my birthday last year and really enjoyed my visit. Now, the lookout, to get to this one you have to take a ride on the country's tallest elevator to reach your destination but you won't be disappointed when you get there. This one is technically a restaurant but the reason it is called the lookout is because of the glass balcony outside of the dining area at the top of the pyramid that gives you a view of the entire city. I recently saw that they have been opening the glass doors on the inside of the restaurant and I fell in love. I have to have dinner there one night with the doors open! Either one will give your rooftop experience.
Well, guys, that is it for now but more rooftops are coming, and as they open I will add them to our list! I've included the links to each rooftop so just click on the name and it will take you to the website! Y'all have fun, explore, and be safe!
Accelerate Memphis: Invest in Neighborhoods
Recently Mayor Strickland gave a speech about some plans he had for the city of Memphis. "Accelerate Memphis: Invest in Neighborhoods", could include giving Mud Island some much-needed TLC, new green lines, rebuilding parks, mixed-used plazas, and possibly tearing down 100 N. Main which is the tallest building in Memphis. One of the planned libraries will be for Orange Mound. If you did not know the original Melrose High School sits facing Dallas Street and has been vacant for years. The plan states that funds will be spent to redevelop the building into a library and include senior housing units. The cost of this plan is $200 million! Please click here for the full article on what the plan includes.
I am sure you all have seen the post about a possible oil pipeline being constructed that would run through predominantly black neighborhoods in our city. The problem with the pipeline is that it would run above the Memphis Sand aquifer and wellfield owned by MLG&W. This pipeline proposes a risk to our water supply and could possibly create a situation similar to the Flint water crisis. This is one of the times where we as a community must do our part to keep our city safe! Currently, there is a petition you can sign to oppose the pipeline, Protect Our Aquifer has a list of key individuals you may contact as well as talking points to bring up when contacting! Update: As of yesterday, Memphis City Council has delayed the vote on what will come of the pipeline so, there is still time to support the opposition. There is a Facebook page called MCAP (Memphis Community Against the Pipeline) that has a ton of helpful information. I will include a link to that page and other links with helpful information below.
Protect Our Aquifer
Byhalia Pipeline Article
02/23/21 Memphis City Council Meeting
Slim and Husky’s
Late last year Memphis got a Slim and Husky’s downtown and it is open for business. Slim and Husky is a gourmet pizza beeria founded by 3 friends who graduated from Tennessee State University together. The friends have opened a total of 7 locations! I have heard great things about the restaurant, and I can’t wait to try it out! This restaurant is black-owned so be sure to add them to your black-owned businesses to support. The Memphis location is at 634 Union Ave Memphis, TN 38103. See the link to Slim and Husky’s website here
Last November, Trap fusion opened a new location! 670 North Germantown Suite 14 gives the thriving restaurant its second location. You may visit the first location at 4637 Boeingshire Memphis, TN 38116
Plans are in the works to turn the former Graceland elementary location into a gated subdivision. The LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation is developing the subdivision and has offered Shelby County Schools $350,000 for the property. The subdivision will offer three, four, and five-bedroom homes and have prices ranging from $116,000 to 255,000. For more details on the subdivision click the link provided here.
A mixed-income apartment and townhome complex with retail space may soon find its way to Binghamton. The complex will replace the old Tillman Cove apartments and will be addressing the shortage of quality affordable housing in the area. The project would include a commercial space, a fitness room, apartment leasing office, central green space, community garden, and a pedestrian connection to the green line. For more information on the project click here.
Hero Empowerment Center
A $50 million superhero themed Empowerment Center may be making its way to Hickory Hill. The Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis started a crowd-funding campaign through GoFundMe for the project which will be an entertainment, education, and community-service complex. Construction for the project may start this year as the land for the project has already been secured. For more information on this project and its creator click here
Maciel’s has a new location in Cooper-Young. 820 S. Cooper St. has patio seating that will be available during the warmer months. We can expect specialty cocktails to be added to the offerings at this location with a selection of limited beers. See the link for the full story here
Chick Fil A
Summer is getting a Chick Fill A at 449 Summer Ave! The popular fast-food restaurant will be built where The House Grimes Memorial United Methodist Church used to be.
Adopt a park
Remember how you could Adopt-A-block? Well, you can adopt a park too! If you are looking for an opportunity to give back and to help keep neighborhoods looking and feeling beautiful this is an initiative to get involved with. Contact Memphis City Beautiful about adopting a park as well as to obtain more information about the program. I have also provided a link to an article where park adopters talk about the difference them adopting a park has made and why other people should adopt a park too! See link here!
Please continue to conserve and boil your water. We are still under the precautionary boil water advisory where we are to bring our water to a rolling boil for three minutes. Please call 901-528-4465 if you see water coming out of the ground or out of homes and businesses. See the link to MLG&W’s website here.
Food Desert Initiative
Neighborhoods that are considered food deserts may soon have an initiative in place that would supply them with a new food option. An organizer by the name of LJ Abraham wants to place refrigerators with free food in high-poverty areas. Refrigerators located in communities such as Binghamton will have access to FREE frozen, pre-made, and non-perishable meals. The refrigerators will be stocked, cleaned, and maintained by volunteers! Businesses, community centers, or volunteers willing to donate or partner with this initiative can email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full article click here!
Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance
On March 1, 2021, an application for emergency rental and utility assistance will open for people in Shelby County. The application provided by http://home901.org/ will be online and applicants will have to provide proof that the pandemic has impacted their ability to pay. The $28.1 million was given by the federal government and will be split between the city of Memphis ($19.5) and Shelby County ($8.6). Memphis and Shelby County are also working with other entities to help with evictions. Click here for the full article.
Delinquent Utility Accounts
If you are homeless and looking to move but cannot obtain new utility services because of an old or delinquent account Shelby County Community Services Agency has funds available to assist with your delinquent account. Please call 901-222-4200 for assistance and more information.
Earlier this month DGX, a spinoff of the Dollar General brand, opened at 113 S. Main Street taking the place of Yao’s China Bistro. The store is said to offer fresh fruits, vegetables, cleaning supplies, home décor, a health and beauty section, and more. See more about the DGX brand here!
The medical district is seeing a lot of new development, so I decided to group these three development projects and make them apart of the bonus.
1030 Poplar Ave
A vacant apartment complex at 1030 Poplar Ave. has caught the eye of a developer. If acquired the developer plans to tear down the current building and put up 66 studios and some one-bedroom units. Construction for that project could start next month if approved. For more information click here.
Uptown’s Malone Park Commons
Uptown’s Malone Park Commons, a vintage-style walkable neighborhood, will be welcoming its first set of residents on March 1, 2021. The homes are called cottages and have will rent from $600 to $1,400. The residence sits in the middle of a busy area as the Pinch District and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Snuff District, Grind City Brewery, and Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid are all within walking distance. If you work in the Medical District housing incentives are available for you! For more information on this unique housing project click here!
URBN on Union
A 55.7-million-dollar mixed-used development may soon be happening near Methodist University Hospital. URBN on Union would include 270 apartments, retail space, and a parking garage. The address for the project would be 1338 Union Ave if approved. Read the full article by clicking here.
Links to all 3 articles can also be found here!
Vendor Sign Up
If you are interested in being a vendor at the Memphis Farmers Market, located at S Front & W GE Patterson, the vendor application is open. Click on the link provided for more information! 2021 Vendor Link
Here is a link to where you can find water distribution sites!
Free Water Distribution Sites
This list continues to grow! Here are some Black Owned businesses for you to check out. I will leave an asterisk symbol (*) beside places I can give insight on. Think of it as your little black book, a directory to support your own.
The S.O. What! Foundation*
This organization helps youth overcome obstacles and eliminate excuses
by providing hope, love, support, encourage, direction, and training.
Memphis Urban League Young Professionals*
This organization is a service oriented leadership organization promoting
the development of young professionals and serving their affiliates
through social and community actions.
This organization is a development organization for
high school and college students in the Mid-South.
901 Natural Cutie
This organization's mission is to promote positive images, people
and activities in the African American community.
Cynthia Daniels & Co.
This organization creates events for professionals. Cynthia Daniels & Co, is a full-service event planning and design company that specializes in executing large-scale corporate and social events.
JUICE Orange Mound
This organization exist to unite, empower, and support each resident
in HISTORIC Orange Mound by finding and funding innovative ideas within the community.
The Collective (CLTV)
This organization's mission is to inspire and cultivate creativity within the
our community, to provide a platform for African American artists in Memphis to display
their talents, and use that creative expression as a vehicle to uplift our community.
Just City Memphis
This organization's mission is to advance policies and programs within Shelby County and the State of Tennessee that strengthen the right to counsel and mitigate the damage caused to families and neighborhoods as a result of contact with the criminal justice system.
This organization educates, promotes awareness, and provides a positive
outlet for individuals who have become prisoners to issues and roadblocks.
Facebook and Instagram @mytaylorsworld
Perfectly Me & Proud LLC.
This organization is committed to eradicating stigma and low self-esteem
in women by embracing, educating, and empowering the total woman.
Facebook and Instagram @Perfectly Me & Proud
Memphis is filled with history so, I wanted to share ways to really embrace and indulge in the culture!
Places to Visit
The museum that showcases 260 artifacts and interactive media covering five centuries of African American history, The National Civil Rights Museum. The museum is Located at the Lorraine Motel
Learn more about slavery when you visit one of the Underground Railroads safe haven stops for slaves on their way to freedom, Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum is housed inside the historic Burkle Estate that was owned by a German immigrant apart of the anti-slavery movement.
Now, at first I wasn't too sure about this one. I have always just walked straight passed this place because I wasn't certain what information it held but according to the website The Cotton museum will tell the complex history of cotton and it's contributions to the city. Let me know how it goes!
Take a trip Downtown and check out the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery located on Bale street. View photos taken by the legendary Dr. Ernest C Withers who was a trained military photographer and one of the first nine African Americans appointed to the Memphis Police Department. His collection features life during the Civil Rights movement, the 20th century, and present day.
Celebrate musician greats like B.B. King, W. C. Handy, Isaac Hayes, Hank Crawford and research the impact Memphis has had on music by going to the Blues Hall of Fame, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum or W.C. Handy Home and Museum.
blues.org/ staxmuseum.com/ www.sunstudio.com/
Take a trip to the first African-American neighborhood and stop by "The CMPLX" to celebrate the art created by today's Memphis talent! Brought to us by way of The Collective, The CMPLX is a black owned art gallery and event space displaying the creations of native Memphians.
Events to Attend
Events will be posted as they are scheduled! You may find them here as well as on the event calendar.
Happy 2021!! Last year threw a lot our way BUT we made it through and I can't wait to see what 2021 has in store for us!
As you all may know I've been taking a break from blogging but during my quiet time I've been wondering what is it that you all really want to hear about. So! I decided to do a survey. Answer the questions below to let me know what topics are really important to you or just stuff that you would like to see on the page. This blog isn't just for me so I definitely want to make sure that useful content is being displayed. Thanks in advance for taking a moment to help keep Plug901 current and may 2021 continue to be full of peace, growth, grace, and prosperity!