Last Day in New Orleans, Johnny’s PoBoy, Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans Casting Call, Hidden Behind the Brick, Haunted New Orleans, Abducted By Aliens New Orleans, Bike Corral, Winning Slots New Orleans


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Last day in New Orleans.

Did you know that Johnny’s PoBoys (511 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130) serves breakfast? Not only did we pick up breakfast, we also purchased a sandwich to take on the train for lunch.

Johnny Poboys New Orleans

Word to the wise. Right before noon we ordered our sandwich. At 12:00 p.m. there was a line at least 20 deep if not more, to order plates. Don’t wait, get here early.

We also stopped in at Cafe Du Monde. How can we not? Coffee and beignets!

Cafe Du Monde New Orleans

cafe du  monde new orleans

While in New Orleans we did see some odd signs. The first sign was posted on a bicycle. I’m not sure if the sign was FOR the owner of the bicycle or written BY the owner of the bicycle.

Cast Call sign New Orleans

I surely thought this brick in our hotel room was a sign.

Secret Behind the Brick New Orleans

This brick was the only one that was colored black. I was positive SOMETHING was hidden behind that brick. Jean Lafitte’s treasure? I don’t know…

You see these “for sale” / “for lease” signs frequently in New Orleans. Either you are sharing the joint with a ghost, or you are not. Hey some people want extra company. And others do not. This property apparently has company that comes with the place.

Haunted Condo New Orleans

This sign on the gallery door was my favorite.

Gallery Sign Hung over abducted by aliens

I am still impressed with the bicycle culture in New Orleans. First up, local motorists get it. They see you on a bicycle and DO NOT attempt to kill you. Even my wife who bikes little did well riding in the Garden District and French Quarter with traffic.

The city also has provided bicycle corrals.

Bicycle Corral New Orleans

The bike racks are placed in the street and blocked off so that only bicycles can park in that section. Great idea New Orleans!

I did see some odd bikes while in the city. Mr. “ZIP TIE’ wanted TO MAKE SURE that the basket did not fall off. #OverKill “You only need ONE MORE zip tie.”


And for you brave cyclists out there, here is an elevated ride.

Elevated Bicycle New Orleans

After we checked out of our hotel, we headed to the casino for one last try at big money. I really didn’t want to go, but my wife insisted. I started with $10. I was down to $3.33 when I put my money into a single line, $.25 machine. After several tries, I didn’t win anything. I was down to nearly my last quarter of gambling for the trip and hit the button ONE LAST TIME. The first symbol that came up was 10X. The next symbol came up 10X. The guy sitting next to me said, “This is going to be good!”. The last symbol came up…. 20X. That would be 10 x 10 x 20 = 2000 quarters. Which equals $500!

Harrahs Winning Slots New Orleans

I told the guy sitting next to me, “I’m done.” I cashed out and found my wife. “That pays for our hotel stay.” Thanks New Orleans for the drinks, food and CASH!

Done. Well almost. I will update our Amtrak train adventure in a future post. See YOU back here for more beers, winning tickets, and bikes. Cheers.

Living Loud in New Orleans, Still Perkin’ New Orleans, The Garden District Book Shop, Lafayette Cemetery 1, The Gumbo Shop, Coops Place, Road Kill


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New Orleans; Day #3.

Tuesday morning. Time for breakfast and a bike ride to the Garden District. One of my favorite coffee shops in New Orleans is Still Perkin’ (2727 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70130).

Still Perkin New Orleans

LOVE the coffee at this joint. Although it appeared no one was inside the place, once you open the door, your realize the shop is packed with customers. The line, as usual, is at least 10 deep. The wait is short though. I usually have the big iced coffee.

Even better, there is the Garden District Book Shop right next door.

Garden District Book Shop

Get coffee, then browse books. Two of my most favorite things.

After coffee and books, we headed to the cemetery, which is nearly across the street.

New Orleans Lafayette Cemetery 1

Who died? Well, lots of folks. Cemeteries make for good photography. Plus there is history buried in cemeteries. And then there is always a grave or two that are out of sorts. We took a leisurely stroll around the cemetery. Having been to this particular cemetery in the past, we took our time, looking about.

New Orleans Lafayette Cemetery 1 2

The vampire escaped! I KNEW IT!

If you want to see what the graves look like on the inside, look below. From a previous tour, we learned that the family lets the body cook (yes cook, from the heat of the sun) inside the grave for “a year and a day”. Once dried out, the body is then broken up and pushed to the back, or bagged up and placed under the main part of the grave, to make room for other family members.

New Orleans Lafayette Cemetery 1 3

Next stop? Lunch. Back to the bike rental shop to drop off the bikes and then onward to the French Quarter. I was looking for some good food. The Gumbo Shop has some very tasty dishes (630 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116).

Gumbo Shop New Orleans

I made the mistake in the past and ordered the seafood gumbo. The bowl of seafood gumbo was okay, but the waitress had warned me that the chicken gumbo would be better. She was correct.

Gumbo Shop New Orleans 2

So now every time I am in town I order the chicken gumbo at The Gumbo Shop.

Although we had heard about the legendary “Coops Place” on Decatur, we never tried out the chicken, until this trip. The shop, near Margaritaville, is small. Grab a seat and order up some food.

Coops Chicken New Orleans

I tried the jambalaya. Spicy but good. The chicken was good, not spectacular, but good. Coops Place – 1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116.

We also picked up some shirts at the Road Kill shop (903 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116).

Road Kill New Orleans

Bicycle shirt new orleans

A FAVORITE place of mine in New Orleans to shop for that special something. I even tried on the metallic helmet in the shop. For days I had noticed a young woman on her bike, riding down the street, wearing the same helmet. “I can be that cool too.” When I looked in the mirror, my head looked like a silver egg. “This looks terrible!” So no metallic helmet for me. “We do have a black German helmet in stock.” “Pass. I care not for the Nazi helmet.” “Why does everyone call it a Nazi helmet?” “Ummmm…. because…. the soldiers in the German army wore helmets that happened to be Nazi’s.” I did get a free sticker with the store logo for my bicycle. Score.

More gambling and margaritas followed. We waited out the short rain shower then headed to the casino. The gambling did not go well. I lost $40 to the slot machines. Afterwards we softened the loss with a few hurricanes. That’ll fix it.

Eat, drink, gamble. New Orleans has it all. With a half day left in the Big Easy, what could happen next?

See YOU back here for more food, gambling and drinks. Cheers.

Living Loud in New Orleans, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Avenue Bar New Orleans, French Market, Sidneys Wine Cellar


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New Orleans day #2. Here we go.

After having some breakfast, we headed over to the Garden District to rent some bicycles. Arts District Bike Rental rents bicycles out for $20 a day (24 hours). You get a bicycle, helmet, chain, tail light and head light. Call ahead to reserve your bicycles. There are several bicycles to choose from. Best bikes in the world? Not really. Enough to get by on? Yes. The woman renting the bikes was nice enough. We took the bus along St. Charles to arrive at the place. Enter through the small gate as pictured below.

arts district bicycle rental

Sign the contract, pay your money and you are off! We made our way over to Juans Flying Burrito on Magazine Street.

Juans Flying Burrito New Orleans

Enchilada plate please!

Juans Flying Burrito Enchilada plate

Love me the enchiladas at Juans. Plus the joint plays good music as well.

After lunch, we biked on down to the Avenue Bar.

The Avenue BAR New Orleans 2

The Avenue offers some of the best beer on the planet. There are menu’s for beers both upstairs and downstairs. If you are downstairs, you have to order those beers. And if you are upstairs, those are the beers you can buy. Order at the bar. Myself? I ordered up the Blanche de Chambly.

The Avenue Bar New Orleans

Love in a cup. Oink.

Making our way back to the French Quarter, I noticed my front wheel wobbling a bit. Then the bolt holding the wheel on turned up missing. And then the front wheel locked up. As in the wheel stopped rotating. Not much I could do in this situation. It’s not like I carry a spare bolt in my pocket. I called the bike rental place and told them about my situation. I was only 2 blocks away, but had to carry the bike back to the shop. (the front wheel wouldn’t budge) If you have not had the joy of carrying a bicycle for several blocks, you don’t know what you are missing out on. Arriving back at the shop, I picked out a different bicycle and headed out once more.

On to the French Market!

New Orleans French Market

Go check out the French Market!

French Market 2 New Orleans

There are many vendors selling food, art, shirts, ect. One vendor we saw last year was here again this year. This artist is from Mexico and does beautiful work.

New Orleans Art

We purchased several of his prints. Federico Salas is the artist’s name.

Next stop? Sidneys Wine Cellar at 917 Decatur St. One of my favorite places to buy some beers. Did you know you can drink on the street in New Orleans?

Drink on the streets in New Orleans

I picked out 4 different beers and headed back to the hotel.

Beers New Orleans

That apricot beer on the right was actually pretty good.

Later that evening, we had MORE margaritas and more time to gamble. Although I lost $20, I was still up $50 in the casino.

So far, my birthday trip to New Orleans was good. Great food and drinks, plus a bicycle ride. And presents. Don’t forget the presents.

Done. See YOU back here for more New Orleans, drinks and gambling. Cheers.


Living Loud in New Orleans, Cafe Pontalba New Orleans, Felipes New Orleans, Amtrak From Memphis to New Orleans, Hotel Decatur Street


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New Orleans Jelly Bean. (I type this as I hold a handful of Jelly Bellys in my hand. Not an easy task kids, but someone has to do it.)

City of New Orleans

Memphis to New Orleans via an Amtrak train. I have posted in the past about getting to New Orleans by train. In the near future I will write-up another post about the private rooms on the train and a few new tips about my rail experience.

Day #1. We arrived by train to New Orleans in the afternoon. The first step was to find a taxi outside the train station to take us to the hotel on Decatur Street. $11 later and we were at our hotel in a matter of minutes.

hotel new orleans

Nice LARGE room in the French Quarter. The room was big enough to make it difficult to watch t.v. from the bed. We also had a nice balcony overlooking Decatur Street.

French Market Inn Balcony New Orleans

It took me 16 years to get a balcony this big in New Orleans. 16 years! I sat on the balcony twice while in New Orleans this year.

After putting out luggage away, it was time to hit the Quarter. First up? Felipe’s restaurant on Decatur Street. Our trail is easy to follow. Go to the mexican food place, and order a few margaritas,

Felipe Margarita new Orleans

then head over to the casino to gamble.

felipe bar new orleans

Good drinks to be had at Felipes. (as well as food.)

Next stop? Gambling. I am not much of a gambler. I will play the slots slowly. The point is to walk away WITH money. By the end of the evening, I was up $70. Nice. Time to leave the casino when the leaving is good.

Next joint? Cafe Pontalba on Jackson Square. My favorite dish is the gumbo. I get it every time I am in town.

Gumbo New Orleans Pontalba

The gumbo hit the spot big time. LOVE IT! And yes, I am a HUGE gumbo fan while in New Orleans. Bring the gumbo on!

I did see this ad while in the French Quarter.

IJesus phone repair new orleans

How can this ad be legal to use? HOW? The ad appears to be a rip off of a well-known televised cartoon. Don’t worry, the signs only get better as the days go on in the Big Easy. So after a few (read MANY) drinks, it was time to head back to the hotel. A big day was ahead of us featuring bikes and beignets. And beer. And more drinks.

See YOU back here for more Memphis AND New Orleans. Cheers.




Cooper Young Regional Beer Festival, Country Boy Beer, Charleville Beer, Sour Beers, Jalapeño Beer, Keg in a Back Pack, I Parked In a Bike Lane Sticker


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Thirsty Thursday Memphis. Get some.

Cooper Young Regional Beer Festival. So how was it? Excellent as always. Since I didn’t want to wait in line for the festival to begin, I walked over to the beer festival at 1:15, arriving at 1:25. No line, and no wait.

Cooper Young Beer Festival

Some of the stand out beers? First off, Bluff City Brewers brought their “A” game to the event. And I mean “A” game. I have sampled some of the beers in the past, but only thought the beers were okay. This time around, Bluff City Brewers created some really good beers. Two examples were the Breakfast Stout (YOU WANT SOME BEER WITH THAT COFFEE???) and the Mole Beer “English Brown Porter with cocoa, ancho, chipotle, and orange peel.” Nice burn at the end. The Bluff City Brewers did an outstanding job this year with the beers.

Charleville Brewery brought one of my favorite beers of the day, “Kick in the Cranberries”. This would be a sour cranberry beer. I went back for a second beer that day. This was the ONLY beer I went back for another round. LOVE me the sour beers.

Returning again was a very popular brewery, Country Boy Brewery.

Cooper Young Beer Festival Country Boy

Get ready for the Jalapeno Smoked Porter. This keg was emptied quickly. Love the bite at the end of the drink.

I did check out the peanut butter beer at the festival. The aroma was there, but I couldn’t find the peanut butter flavor in the beer. Others of my party said they could taste the peanut butter in the beer. Are my taste buds hard of tasting?

Best marketing ploy? Put a small keg in a back pack and give festival drinkers a free sample while walking through the crowd. BEST IDEA EVER.

Keg in a back pack

Again, The Cooper Young Regional Beer Festival was about talking to other people. Beers you liked, beers you didn’t like. The future of certain local breweries. The only downside of the festival? I was standing in the bathroom line, telling my friends how to toast in Czech. I’m going through the steps and finish up with “Na zdraví”. (To your health.) And that is when the woman behind us stated I was pronouncing the phrase incorrectly. I went on to introduce myself “YMEH-noo-ee seh…” (“My name is…” She understood THAT phrase) and then I proceeded to explain my Czech was a little rusty, it had only been NINE YEARS since I had been to the land of beers and dumplings. Who corrects Czech phrases at a beer festival? The Czech Grammar Police?

Again, great festival. But I had to rest afterwards, because at 7:00 a.m. the next morning, I was headed to New Orleans. (But that trip will be covered in a different post)

I received some stickers in the mail. “I parked in a bike lane” stickers to be exact.

I parked in a bike lane stickers

I wish I had received “I parked a DUMPSTER in a bike lane” stickers. On McLean, someone put a dumpster in the bike lane. Side walk? No. Yard? No. Driveway? No. Bike lane? Yes. I believe I will have to order more stickers.

Done. Beat. New Orleans will win every single time. No rest on that vacation with so much food and drinks and gambling. See YOU back here after I rest up from my vacation. Cheers.


Muddy’s Grindhouse, Mannequins, Hammond Popcorn, New Orleans, Cooper Young Regional Beer Festival


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Waffle Wednesday Memphis. Get out!

I took a trip to Muddy’s Grindhouse the other day.


Muddy’s Grindhouse does have a chalkboard for suggestions.

muddysgrindhouse chalkboard

A few notes. During the last visit to the Grindhouse, the shop did not offer iced coffee for purchase. THAT needs to change. A.s.a.p.

I found a couple of girlfriends the other day at work.

mannequin twins

The girls LOVE ME! But how to get the girls home? I do have a bicycle basket.

mannequin bicycle

Yes, this is how I biked home. 13.5 miles. I did get some strange looks during my ride home along the Greenline. “Don’t make fun of my girlfriend Jolene!”

A friend gave me some popcorn she purchased by mistake. Although she said the popcorn was very spicy, she thought I would like it.

hammonds popcorn habanero

The popcorn LOOKS average, but check out the fine print.

hammonds habanero popcorn closeup

Notice the keyword “habanero”. Two words; HOT. My co-workers said my face turned red as well as my eyes when I ate a few bites. Oh, and I was choking the popcorn was so hot.

My days are getting very busy since we are getting ready to leave town for a trip to New Orleans. Going to be a fun trip.

Picture Perfect Day

We are going to see a bunch of this:

gumbo grand isle new orleans

And a bunch of this:

gordon biersch new orleans


New Orleans is always fun. Get ready for some “interesting” photo’s.

mosaic new orleans

Cooper Young Regional Beer Festival Saturday October 11th. SOLD OUT!

Been there, done that, over and over. Easily the BEST beer fest in town, for a very different reason than you think. This festival is about the people who attend. Everyone ends up talking with everyone else. Not so much of a drunkfest, more of a “hanging in the neighborhood, talking with some cool people” kinda event. Love it!

cooper young regional beer festival 2013

Cooper young regional beer festival 2013 1


Done. See YOU back here for more bikes, beers and mannequins. Cheers.

Drake and Zeke’s Bacon and Beer Festival, Muddy’s Grindhouse Cooper Young, Ribs, Cooper Young Regional Beer Festival, Lone Survivor book


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Weekend Memphis. Get out. A wrap up of last week?

I installed a new wireless printer at home. Hours, hours, and hours to install, but complete. I fixed a broken vacuum cleaner. Take apart, put back together. Ribs?

Memphis Ribs

Yeah I cooked some of those up as well.

Work, work, work, Muddy’s Grindhouse. What???? Yup. Muddy’s has a new shop in Cooper Young, right across the street from Easy Way. (Corner of Vinton and Cooper. 585 S. Cooper, 38104). Wait. Isn’t Otherlands Coffee shop just down the street? Like half a block away? Yes it is. But just as I predicted when I heard Muddy’s was moving into Cooper Young, Muddy’s is going for a different crowd of coffee drinkers. Friday I jumped on my bicycle at 6:45 a.m. and headed over to The Grindhouse. Pulling into the driveway (that is ONE STEEP DRIVEWAY!), I climbed to the top and parked my bicycle outside. (Any way to get a bicycle rack?)

Muddys Memphis Grindhouse

Wow. The joint was bright inside. I was the only person in the place. I walked up to the counter and ordered an iced coffee. As I was purchasing my drink, one of the staff asked about my bicycle. We chatted briefly about bicycles as bike people do. “What is the appropriate number of bicycles to own? Take the number of bicycles you own and add “1” to that number.”

Sitting down, I tried out the iced coffee. Good. A couple of notes. The coffee shop is bright, spacious and clean-looking. There is a nice looking patio outside. I was a bit out of sorts because I couldn’t find a straw for my drink. Bad habit of mine. I enjoy drinking my iced coffee with a straw, but not hot coffee. (What is WRONG with me???) I turned on my tablet but could not find a wifi connection. Ummm… I am used to using wifi while in a coffee shop. (what is wrong with me???) There was a board posted for suggestions for the coffee shop. Someone wrote “Bullet Proof Coffee” on the board. Ummm…. what? Never heard of it. Would that be like “Kevlar Coffee”? Just asking.

As I suspected, the crowd of neighborhood locals began to stroll in at 7:15 a.m. And just as I predicted, the crowd was that 30-45 age group, Cooper Young residents, white-collar workers, heading out to work. Muddy’s Grindhouse will do VERY, VERY well at this location. Over all the place is good. I would recommend Muddy’s Grindhouse.

Sunday. Waking early, it was time for coffee. And eggs and in basket.

Eggs in a basket

We finished our breakfast, then readied ourselves for the Bacon and Beer Festival at Minglewood Hall.

Bacon and Beer Festival Memphis 2014 shirt

This should be interesting. Anything with the word “bacon” in it, should be good. Here we go.

I wore my Maiden shirt today.


As I was standing in the festival, a teenager pointed to me and whispered to his mother, “That is a good album”. There is hope for the youth.

I recognized several people in the crowd as “beer” people, or locals who attended many events as I did. And I wasn’t the only person wearing classic rock t-shirts. Must be that “old folks” mentality.

The Schweinhaus had a booth at the festival as well.


So how about that bacon? Well there was bacon everything. Bacon desserts. Bacon wrapped hot dogs. Ice cream and bacon. Or you could just get bacon. Burgers were also available as well as hot dogs.

Beer and bacon festival memphis cooking burgers

One of the best dishes was the FRIED hot dog, stuffed with jalapenos, wrapped with bacon.

Bacon wrapped jalapeño stuffed hot dog memphis bacon beer festival

Evil. Evil I tell you. Who would do this? This guy below would.



I talked with him awhile about the dogs and cooking in general.

Don’t forget the bacon desserts.

More bacon dessert memphis bacon beer festival






Water chestnuts, wrapped in bacon and covered with cinnamon sugar. Wow.

And ice cream with bacon sauce.


We ate the bacon as the band played a good deal of classic rock.

Beer and bacon festival memphis

Good stuff. We had an enjoyable time at the Bacon and Beer Festival.

Speaking of festivals, the Cooper Young Regional Beer Fest is sold out. Those tickets went fast. I got mine. Get ready for beer Memphis because here it comes.

cooper young regional beer festival 2013

Cooper young regional beer festival 2013 1

Current book I am reading? “Lone Survivor”. Great movie and the book is even better. Love it.

Ribs? Those are going on the grill in one hour, along with the burgers. Am I the only person who purchased a wifi extender so I can play classic rock outside on the patio as I grill? (what is wrong with me?)

See YOU back here for more bacon, bacon and bacon. Oink.

Tour De Coop 2014 Memphis


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Tour De Coop 2014. Here we go.

I had heard about this bicycle tour last year. For whatever reason, I did not participate in the bike ride. The subject was interesting though. Tour Cooper Young and see how my neighbors are planting vegetable gardens, raising chickens and cultivating bee hives. After finding a poster at a local coffee shop, I decided to join the ride this year. Grow Memphis sponsored the event.

Tour De Coop Memphis

Let me first state, I am not the guy who grows ANY vegetables, chickens or bee’s or anything else. I am lucky if my flowers don’t die in the flower bed. That’s as much as I can grow. Flowers. But I was curious as to what others in Memphis were growing in their yards or lots.

(Note; any errors are mine alone. Shooting the video was difficult due to low flying planes. Just as EVERY host began to speak, a plane flew by.)

Saturday morning I biked my way to Wiseacre Brewery. The ride started at 8:00 a.m., so I made an effort to arrive early for the event. Reaching the parking lot of Wiseacre, I was the third person waiting for the tour to start. I later picked up my “Tour De Coop” shirt and a bottle of water. At 8:00 a.m., the temperature outside was cool, but that would later change.

Blog reader Frank approached me, and we talked about Memphis, bicycles, ect. Good talk. He was signed up for the long ride as well. (The “long ride” was 15 miles) I wondered how many people signed up were going out for the long ride. My best estimate was only 10% of the tour would participate in the long ride. From what I saw online, 135 people were signed up total. By my guess, 13 people would bike the 15 miles. I was wrong. When we were asked to line up for the long ride, my group alone totaled 14 people. And the other group had nearly the same amount of people for the long ride.

There was a question asked early in the event, “Does everyone have extra tubes, tools, ect. for a flat tire?” Maybe half of the riders had extra tubes. (P.S.A. PLEASE carry an extra tube, mobile air pump and the tools to change a flat tire. Thank you.)

After our group was formed we followed our fearless leader Patrick to our first stop. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we headed down the street. The first few gardens were located in the Binghampton neighborhood. Big empty lots were turned into vegetable gardens. Excellent. Hear from the host about this urban garden here.

1 Tour de coop 2014 N. Merton

The second stop was just down the street.

2 Tour de coop 2014 McAdoo

The vegetables looked amazing. The host talked about how neighborhood children would weed and help with the garden, and would be paid for their work. Now that is a plan. The children benefit from working, the neighborhood benefits from the vegetables grown. I love it. Listen to the host talk about this urban garden here.

3 Tour de coop 2014 McAdoo 2

Our group moved further down the street to meet a man who raised chickens.

4 Tour de coop 2014 McAdoo 2nd stop

This was the first chicken coop I have viewed up close. The talk was very informative about raising chickens. “You won’t get rich by doing it, but you know what is in the eggs you are eating.” Some group members had questions, including myself. Most of the tour that day consisted of the host speaking about the garden / coop / bee hive for 10 minutes, then the group asked questions for about 10 minutes.

Moving on, we biked a short distance to find a large garden, including a bee hive.

5 Tour de coop 2014 4th stop bee hive

This garden included many fig trees as well. I was amazed how all of this was happening in Memphis and I knew nothing of it. Watch the video of the host explaining this large urban garden here.

Heading south, we biked down Hollywood past Southern. The next stop was a charter school. A garden was set up outside next to the school.

6 Tour de coop 2014 Elementary school

The school children helped with the garden. Teachers and neighbors received vegetables. As we were told, there was more than enough vegetables to go around for everyone. Although the vegetable garden was a success for the first year, the host said some mistakes were made. (This was the first time she had ever attempted to grow a vegetable garden.) “Use cages to grow your tomatoes. Without cages, it is difficult to gather the vegetables.” Lesson learned. If you look closely to the photo, you will notice stone benches created from leftover bricks in the background. Clever. Another fact I found troubling; the school cafeteria cannot use the vegetables grown in the garden due to government regulations. Something is clearly wrong. Vegetables grown by students should be first on the menu list in the school cafeteria. Maybe things will change in the future. Hear a teacher discuss the school garden here.

Our next stop was close. A large lot was used as a vegetable garden. Since the host wasn’t there to speak, the group talked about some of the newer local restaurants.

7 Tour de coop 2014 orange

I still couldn’t believe how I missed out on these public gardens in the past.

After a short stop, we headed west towards Stax.

8 Tour de coop 2014 stax

This would be the first time I have ventured into this neighborhood. I was surprised by how many homes looked like some houses in my neighborhood 38104. We pulled up to the next garden lot. Two men worked this lot in the spring, summer and fall. That is work. And the lot was large.

9 Tour de coop 2014

If you look closely to the above photo, dirt was dumped on the ground. Someone asked, “Why is there dirt dumped over there?” The answer? “We are doubling the size of our vegetable garden.” Wow. A group member also asked about the “food desert” in the neighborhood. Krogers was miles away. Many in the neighborhood went to the corner stores to purchase food items. Unfortunately, the small stores do not provide fresh vegetables. “We sell 60% of the food we grow. We give away 30% of the food, and 10% is stolen.” Interesting facts. The older gentleman said he has been growing his own food for his entire life. I kept hearing the same fact over and over on the tour, “These vegetables just taste better than store-bought food.” Watch the guys talk about growing vegetables on the plot of land here.

Moving on, we found another lot with vegetables.

11 Tour de coop 2014

The garden was small. The owners told us they were new to the “grow your own vegetables thing”. If you look closely to the photo above, the bricks are NOT staggered on top of one another as they should be. The woman went on to say they would change that in the near future.

11.1 Tour de coop 2014

There are so many different kinds of vegetables you can plant in such a small space. I found it fascinating. Listen to the host discussing her vegetables here.

By this time the temperature had climbed to the “uncomfortable level”. We headed back east and north to Cooper Young. We found a chicken coop and vegetable garden in this back yard.

12 Tour de coop 2014 Cooper Young

12.1 Tour de coop 2014 cooper young

As the host was talking about her chickens, I noticed the foreign accent. “You’re not from around here right?” She laughed. She was from the Netherlands. I asked if those in the Netherlands grew their own vegetables there. She said they did grow their own vegetables, but the growing season was so much shorter. She went on to say that here in Memphis, you could almost grow items year round. I also asked if the neighbors complained about the chickens. She said no, they didn’t complain. Someone asked where they received their chickens from. “Craigslist.” YOU CAN GET CHICKENS FROM CRAIGSLIST? Holy hell! Hear the owner talking about her chickens here.

Just around the corner we stopped in at Peabody Elementary School near Cooper and Young.

13 Tour de coop 2014 Cooper Young Peabody Elementary

The school kids help to plant vegetables, and incorporate the vegetables into their school studies. By the looks of it, there is plenty of space to grow various veggies. Watch a parent talk about the school garden here at

Just a short distance away, we moved on to First Congo Church. The funny thing is, I watched volunteers build the raised bed a while back. I was in the church parking lot for some festival (Which festival? I can’t remember.) We were told the volunteers had used an old wooden fence that had been discarded to build the raised garden.

14 Tour de coop 2014 First Congo Cooper young

(By the way, that is my bicycle parked in front of the garden.) Here is a secret. Behind that wooden fence in the background are bee hives. I never knew.

14.1 Tour de coop 2014 First Congo bee hives

You can see the hives from the basement. Fun fact. The host told us that bee hives are the second most vandalized property. Why would you want to vandalize a bee hive? Hear a host discuss the bee hives here.

After the tour, we travelled near Overton Park. Another chicken coop and garden.

15 Tour de coop 2014 Chicken coop

This coop was “mobile”, meaning it could be moved to fertilize different parts of the soil. Pretty smart.

15.1 Tour de coop 2014 Garden

Although the owner of the property was not present, we heard about the coop and garden from another individual.

And just down the street was another coop and garden.

16 Tour de coop 2014 Chicken coop

These chickens even have a fan. I found it interesting while on the tour that people had small coops and large coops and simple coops and fancy coops. All of the coops varied. Another thing I learned was that there were various kinds of chickens. I always thought “chickens were chickens”. Not so. And the chickens have their own personalities. Watch some of the chickens we saw at this “fancy coop” stop here. Some chickens had amusing names as you are about to see at the next and last stop.

Last stop on Tour De Coop. We pulled up to the house. It appeared that no one was home. Patrick, our tour leader, found the owner and we headed to the back of the house.

17 Tour de coop 2014 Chicken Coop

Here we discovered that the owner had named the chickens. Audrey Hepburn. Katherine Hepburn. Raquel Welch. This is crazy. But good crazy.

I do like the sign on the coop.

17.1 Tour de coop 2014

See the video from the coop owner here discussing his chickens.

After the last stop we headed into Overton Park towards the new bicycle arch.

Bicycle Arch Memphis

As we neared the arch, one mother on the tour yelled to her daughter riding next to her, “This is AWESOME!”. Bicycles bring that kind of behavior out in people. (The mother had been rather quiet for much of the tour.)

We finished the tour at the Wiseacre Brewery.

18 Tour de coop 2014 Wiseacre beer

Total time for the tour? 6 HOURS. Total miles? (From another tour participant) 19.2 miles. A few thoughts about the tour. I found the whole thing fascinating. As I told Patrick, “This is a whole ‘nother world.” I found the tour very inspiring. I had no clue this was happening right here in Memphis. Another thing. All of the hosts and home owners were very nice to us all. They answered our questions, and gave great talks about what they were doing in the community. Would I do the Tour De Coop again? Heck yeah! This is the best event I have been to in Memphis this year. I had no idea what to expect during the day, but I learned so much from the tour. If you have an interest in growing vegetables, cultivating bee hives or raising chickens, GO ON THIS TOUR NEXT YEAR. You don’t have to go on the long tour. There are shorter tours to ride in. But really, you should attend this tour next year. Fantastic!

Apartment For Rent, Near Cooper Young, Near Christian Brothers University


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I have received word that an apartment in the Cooper Young area is for rent. The apartment is near Christian Brothers University and the Cooper Young area. These apartments are leased VERY QUICKLY. I doubt the apartment will be on the market for more than 1 week. The apartment will be available October 1st. Rent is $750 per month. You can email me with any questions; kilmistr AT hot mail DOT com. (just run the email address all together and insert the various @’s and .’s.) Or you can comment on the post with a question and I will send a response to your email address.

Now for the details:

It is an upstairs apartment.

2 bedrooms / 2 baths

Good sized living room and dining room

Small kitchen

Small sun room

Covered parking

Shared laundry room

Hardwood floors

Many windows, plenty of light

You have to provide your own a.c. unit (‘s). No central air or heat. One large a.c. unit is good for the living room and dining room. Small a.c. units are good for the bedrooms.

Heat is radiated heat


Neighbors are quiet.

Again, these apartments do not last long at all. They go very quickly because of the location (very near Christian Brothers and the Cooper Young area.)

bedroom apartment

One of two bedrooms pictured above. Living room leading into dining room (photo below).

cooper young apartment for rent

dining room cooper young for rent

Dining room photo above. Second bedroom photo below. Each have a full bath that leads off from the bedrooms.

apartment for rent cooper young

Living room leading to dining room (photo below).


Again, comment on the post with your email address or send me an email for more information. This apartment will NOT last long on the market.

Tour De Coop Memphis 2014, Strano Memphis, Greenline Meeting, Lost Helmet, Tap Route Memphis, Babalu Memphis, Flat Bicycle Tire


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What. A. Week.

This work week has been CRAZY. I worked late Tuesday, Wednesday and will do so again Thursday. To top THAT off, I had to spend two hours on a conference call evaluating a new software application. “Can it do this? Can it do that? How does this work?” If new technology can make my job easier and the customers experience better, I am all for it.

So let me recap. Last Saturday I participated in Tour De Coop, sponsored by Grow Memphis.


The event was excellent. I had no idea how many people in Memphis were growing their own vegetables, raising chickens and building bee hives. The experience was awesome. As well was the SIX hour bicycle tour. The long ride was maybe 15 miles (easy for me), but lengthy in time. The ride began at 8:00 a.m. in the Wiseacre parking lot and ended at 2:00 p.m. at the Wiseacre brewery. I spoke to blog reader Frank for a short time before the ride. Patrick who lead the way was great at keeping us on track for the tour. The 14 tour participants in our group (there were two long ride groups) were clearly smart people who wanted to educate themselves about growing vegetables, raising chickens, ect. With the exception of one or two stops, I recorded video at each stop and took photos. Look for a full report of the tour in the coming days.

After that long ride, I spent the evening in Cooper Young having a bite to eat and a drink at Strano. The meat plate is AMAZING.


I can’t say enough about this joint. They are always impressing me here. I asked the owner how many pizza’s were served during the Cooper Young Festival. “We cooked 700 pizza’s that day.” Holy hell! 700 pizza’s??? That is incredible.

Monday evening featured a meeting at Shelby Farms to discuss new entrances to the Greenline at several different places.




Shelby Farms Greenline wanted public input. The room was filled nicely at the beginning of the meeting. Several people I recognized from other meetings or those I have seen on the trail. Look, when you ask the public for their opinion on a subject, you get OPINIONS. My wife whispered to me, “Is it always like this?” Ummm…. yes. When you invite the public to meetings, you end up with a mixed bag. Sane and CRAZY. Some wanted lighted routes for exercising at night. (reasonable) Others wanted restrooms, water fountains and heated stops. (not any time soon) I will say the short meeting was informative. Good stuff coming to the Shelby Farms Greenline in the near future.

I did find this helmet at the corner of Avery and E. Parkway S.


How do you lose a helmet? The thing is supposed to be attached to your head. And the thing is STILL there to this day, hanging on a fence.

The other day, while biking to work, I noticed this small object near the sidewalk at Waring and the Greenline.


At first I thought it was a new Little Free Library. No. It is a public drinking fountain. Free to use for the public.

2014-09-24 11.40.29

I attempted to look up the website listed, but the website is still under construction. No information about this new concept. But I like the idea. Someone adds water near a ped / bike route and you grab water when you need it. Fantastic! I love it.

Oh yes. We had a bite to eat at Babalu the other day. The wait is no longer 30 minutes. The place was empty at 3:00 p.m. on a Sunday.


I ordered the Cuban sandwich


and my wife ordered the burger


with a side of sweet potato fries.


The fries were okay. My sandwich tasted good. The burger is not what you are expecting. Not in a bad way, but this burger is NOT an american burger you are thinking of. The flavor was different. The meal was fine. The service was good. Best food in the world? Not really. Okay? Yes.

The problem with riding a bicycle? You are going to get flat tires. As I was riding home last night (in the dark), I hit a bump pretty hard on Gardener Road, west of Shelby Farms. Nice. I pulled over and thought for a minute. I can call my wife to pick me up, or change the tube. I take out my tools and start to work. The mosquitos were larger than bats, I swear. I am sweating, shaking the mosquitos from my legs and arms and putting a new tube in. The process took me 30 minutes, but I did it. Instead of taking 1 hour, 15 minutes to get home, the ride took 1 hour 45 minutes. Fun. What did I learn? I need a headlamp to change tubes in the dark. Holding a flashlight in your mouth for 30 minutes is no fun. I also discovered I need a better, brighter headlight. I am biting the bullet and getting one of the brightest lights I can afford. The reviews are excellent and the order is in. I will see EVERYTHING at night with this light.

I also tried out my new ankle light for the first time. I LOVE this device. The strap works well around my foot, and the light is bright. I feel much more comfortable riding at night with this thing. I also added some spoke lights that appear very bright on my wheels. The more lights, the better. I want cars to see me at night.

Done. See YOU back here for more beer, bikes and chickens. Cheers.


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