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Tom Lee Park
In 2020 Tom Lee Park as we know it will no longer exist. On February 2nd I attended the Tom Lee Park Engagement Center Grand Opening. I was able to see a model of the park, read about the history and future of the park, test out a pair of super cool virtual reality goggles, and give my opinion of what I think Downtown Memphis needs more/less of. I want Memphis to make no moves without me knowing so if there is something to see or discuss I try to be there. If you too are interested in doing the same head to Beale Street Landing on Wednesdays (4 pm - 7 pm) and Saturdays(12 pm - 3 pm)to see the design, ask questions, and learn more about the future of the riverfront. Also, the South Main Association and Memphis River Parks Partnership is having a meeting on February 12 at 6 pm - 7 pm discussing the redesign.
St. Jude just celebrated its 57th anniversary and at 57 years they show no sign of them slowing down. They continue to expand and make more efforts to support the families that travel to them from all over the world for treatment. Soon St. Jude will start construction on its new patient family housing project in the Pinch District. In 2016 they purchased the Downtown Animal Hospital and Promedica Clinic that was located in that area for this project. With more construction to come St. Jude is moving forward with its 6 six year expansion plan mentioned in previous Top Things You Need to Know blog. I have yet to hear or read any information about a completion date.
Swanky's + Chisca
Last year Lyfe Kitchen surprisingly closed both of its locations. The Poplar location was immediately turned into a Central BBQ but I wondered what would replace the downtown location that was connected to The Chisca On Main. While on a City Tasting Food Tour, which is a must experience, the founder, Cristina McCarter informed me that Swanky's Taco Shop may be taking over. I wasn't too hype about it because I was hoping something different would be coming and maybe even another vegan option to add to the list. However, Cristina would be right and Swanky's would be taking over. By April of this year, Downtown should have it's own Swanky's Taco Shop located at 272 S. Main Street with the cutest outdoor patio for all your summer night adventures.
We Are Memphis
We Are Memphis is looking for Memphians who are making a difference in the city! In honor of Memphis' bicentennial celebration, you may nominate a "Next Century Memphian" by clicking on the link below and filling out the form. I'm down for anything that shines a positive light on the city so when I saw this I had to share. "We Are Memphis" is Powered by the Memphis Brand Initiative, a collection of organizations and individuals with the intent to "elevating Memphis, captivating audiences locally and globally, to create catalytic positive change" according to the website.
LeMoyne- Owen College + Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
When I read that my beloved organization pledged 100,000 to Lemoyne-Owen College I had to post about it. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has implemented AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund with the purpose of investing in the future of the youth and helping to sustain HBCUs such as LeMoyne. As I continued to read I started to wonder how we have a whole HBCU but people barely know. I think Memphis often tosses things to the side after it feels there isn't much need for it anymore. LeMoyne wasn't even an option to me for college and a lot of times I made jokes about how it was barely a school. But why wasn't it an option? Why hasn't it been cared for like other Historical black colleges and universities have? It may not be as popular or advanced as others but it's still a gem and it's still apart of our history. I'm sure their leadership has played a part in things as well but I hope in the future we support and protect it more!
Orange Mound is hosting its own Black Restaurant Week! It starts today, February 11th and continues until February 15th. Currently, the participating businesses are Pop's Hot Tamales, Smacker's, The Wing Factory, and Toney's Corner Grocery Store. I have included the flyer with more details about the week and addresses of the participating businesses. Go out and show the businesses in my old neighborhood some support!
MATA will be offering free bus and rail trolley rides on April 25, 2019. I know this date is a little far off so I'll be sure to repost this to my page when the date is closer.
l'll definitely be getting a free trolley ride that day!
Culture & Cocktails
This Wednesday, DMaze & Rob Love will be hosting Culture & Cocktails Writers Block Edition with Steph Jones & Underground Poet Society at LOVE. I'm a sucker for poetry, vibes, a good happy hour, and food, so I was happy to find out that Culture and Cocktails have all of the above! I went to the first Culture & Cocktails Writers Block and had a great time! If you're looking for more things centered around the arts or to just vibe with your friend this is your spot. You can even treat bae to a pre-valentines day adventure with some spoken word and witness some of Memphis' most talented poets. Happy hour is from 4 pm - 7 pm and you don't want to miss it. LOVE is located at 7144 Winchester Ave. See flyer for information on booths and tables.
Midtown has a new donut shop. Midtown donuts, located at 1776 Union Ave, opened on February 9th. It is replacing Midtown's old Donald's Donuts. Midtown Donuts will be serving lunch items and coffee in addition to the donuts. They will be opened Monday - Sunday from 4 am to 7 pm.
Last year I shared this program that the City of Memphis started called Manhood University. It was started to assist the men in Memphis with finding jobs, creating better relationships, stress the importance of them building up their communities, and more. Manhood University is facilitated by a partnership with the faith-based community and is a six-week program. The curriculum topics will be developing goal-setting, time management, financial literacy, conflict resolution, job readiness, and communication skills. The program is for males between the ages of 16 and above. If you know someone who would benefit from this program click on the link provided to register online. I also have a copy of the application and I can send it to whoever needs it.
Saturday, February 16, 2019, THE University of Memphis NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) presents its Black History Month step show at the Elma Roane Field House. Doors open at 6 pm and the show starts at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 for students, 15 for general admission, and $20 the day of the show. If you plan to attend you may want to get there early for a good seat.
"The Fieldhouse" as it is often referred to is located on the University of Memphis campus. If you're familiar with the campus then the fieldhouse is next to the Rose Theatre. If you are not familiar with the campus please go to the University Center for directions. Put 499 University St Memphis, TN 38152 in your GPS and it will take you right to it.
So usually for potholes, trash on the highways, an abandoned vehicle, or other issues we report to the city we dial 311 but there is actually an app for it. It was created in 2013 as a more convenient option for Memphians to report issues. I downloaded and it seems to be user-friendly. In addition to you being able to submit your own request, there is an option for you to see all the issues/service request that has been issued in the city. Go to your designated app store to download it and help fix the issues in the city.
The first State of the County address will be given by Mayor Lee Harris on Friday February 15th at 3 pm. The location is Halloran Centre, 225 S Main Street Memphis, TN 38103. You can RSVP to Deon.firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-222-2000