It may not be the Macy's Day Parade, but the annual Memphis Holiday Parade promises local marching bands and Christmas floats.On the Friday after Thanksgiving, it's the perfect kick-start for the hectic shopping days ahead. The parade begins at 5 p.m. in the South Main Arts District.
Don't limit your holiday giving to friends and family. Donate a bag of socks to the homeless at the Old Fashioned Sock Hop at Earnestine & Hazel's on Friday night. For your donation, you'll gain entry to a traditional "sock hop" party with live music and dancing. And you can rest easy knowing your holiday gift-giving has already begun. The party starts at 8 p.m. Socks will be dispersed to the homeless through Calvary Street Ministry.
Stock up on local art for holiday gifts at Lulalyn's Santa Showcase on Saturday night from 5 to 9 p.m. The tax-free art sale features work by Cathy Burge, Paul Clements, Kevin Mitchell, and others.
If you have room left in your belly after days of eating Thanksgiving leftovers, dine at Majestic Grille during their weekly "Sunday Supper & a Movie" promotion. Each week, they'll serve a special holiday menu and screen a Christmas film. Miracle on 34th Street begins at 6:30 p.m. this Sunday.
For more weekend fun, check out the Flyer's online calendar.
The highest priced gas? Midtown and east Memphis. And the difference is nothing to scoff at: 45 cents per gallon. Might be worth the drive to the 'burbs, we say. Check it out.
Nope. Meet the elevator operators of the brand-new Sterick Building ...
Vance Lauderdale's got the scoop on the glory days of the now-vacant Sterick Building.
Bicycling magazine has released its best cities for cycling and guess what?
Memphis ... Not on the list.
Actually, the Bluff city did make one of their lists ... the one of the worst cities for cycling, along with Miami and Dallas.
Here's what they had to say:
"No bike lanes exist within the city limits of Memphis. And the city government, comprised of layers of bureaucracy, has repeatedly ignored or rejected requests from bike clubs, shops and other organizations to create facilities."
For more, visit Mary Cashiola's In The Bluff blog.
Hot and Bothered
Twilight puts teen heartthrobs at angsty arms length.
She: High school junior just relocated to Forks, Washington, to live with her nonverbal, sheriff dad. Shes pretty and quiet and accident-prone and trying to make some new friends. And then she sees him walk into the cafeteria.
He: High school junior who lives with his mysterious, monochromatic-clothed family in the countryside. Hes got bleach-white skin and purple lips and gold-looking eyes below smirk-shaped eyebrows and he looks tortured by how sensitive he is. And then he sees her.
Unless youve been living in a world without Entertainment Weekly or teenage girls, then you know that she is Bella and he is Edward, and they are the hottest couple to happen to romantic fiction since Heathcliff and Catherine. Or something like that.
They star in Stephenie Meyers book series, of which Twilight is the first. And now its a movie. And how is it you dont know about this?
Well, in case you dont, here it is: Bella (Kristen Stewart) is a girl and she loves and is loved by Edward (Robert Pattinson). But theres a cactus in their relationship corner. You see, Edwards a vampire.
Thats about all you need to know, except that Ive hardly ever seen as much excitement from a movie audience as I did for Twilight. Youd have thought the Beatles had a pop-cultural baby with Oprah and Zac Efron. At a recent preview screening filled with teenaged girls, every beloved line and character and moment from the book was greeted with cheering and huzzahs. When Edward says, I dont have the strength to stay away from you anymore, the theater was swoon city. There were more girlish squeals than the opening night of a Star Wars prequel. It was contagious. I may have plotzed a little about Edward, as well. What can I say, Im a sucker for Clair de Lune, too.
The Twilight series is what has been filling the teen-consciousness void since Harry Potter exited stage right. Ive read all the Potters and have only seen but not read Twilight, so take this with a grain of salt, but: Meyers story isnt a seventh as clever as J.K. Rowlings. Twilight lacks all the little details and crackerjack fabulosities that make Rowlings tale behave like the fantastical real world its supposed to be. Also gone is any sense of wonderment the audience might be given over the lead characters induction into a hidden world behind the world. Its all just taken in stride, fairly ho-hum.
What it has instead is super hot sexy reciprocal obsession between a man and a woman. Or a girl and a hundred-year-old vampire. Whatever. Love has rarely been so urgent, so angsty, so perilous, so breathsucking as that between Bella and Edward. Which is how it really feels when you're in the moment, so score one for Twilight.
And theres is a super hot sexy chaste obsession. Oh, sure, they kiss. Twice. But Bella and Edward dont get much past first base.
Twilight is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who made the teens-in-peril Thirteen and the teens-in-purity The Nativity Story. In Twilight, Hardwicke splits the difference. Bella's life is literally in danger the closer she gets to Edward. He may not to be able to stop himself once he gets going. And so they just hover near each other for two hours, breathing each others air and keeping their hands to themselves.
Therein lies my one true gripe with Twilight. The plot keeps the feted couple in an annoying push-pull limbo; Edward keeps coming up to Bella and telling her to leave him alone. Hardwicke reinforces it as the characters are constantly moving toward and away from each other, even in casual conversation, and the camera keeps moving toward one at the expense of the other. Hardwickes direction is like a game of one-upsmanship. Toss in the many impossibly tight close-ups, and it makes you just want to shake some sense into these kids.
Its also got a Google-search/dream-sequence montage, for heavens sake, and a totally silly baseball action scene, but none of it really matters. Twilight is totally critic-proof. n
From the End the Fed press release:
"On the night of November 22, 1910, a group of bankers met at an elite resort at Jekyll Island, Georgia. So began the dark conception of the Federal Reserve System, which many economists argue is responsible for devouring the political and financial wealth of America. The U.S. dollar has seen a better than 98% decline in its purchasing power since that timeâ¦ Ninety-eight years later, End the Fed will announce the initiation of a grassroots, unfunded, trans-partisan citizens' movement for sound money with rallies at every Federal Reserve Bank and office in the country. Activists will demand an end to private banker control over the nation's money supply and the return to a hard, commodity-backed monetary system.
"End the Fed activists believe that the Federal Reserve Bank, through its inflation of the money supply and the distortion of free markets resulting from its intervention, is responsible for the current financial and economic crisis. They also hold that the current round of 'bailouts' and Federal Government nationalization of large segments of the financial sector further inflates the U.S. dollar and disrupts the proper functioning of the markets and will ultimately serve to plunge the nation into an even more severe crisis and possibly even into a serious depression."
End the Fed's action plan includes a petition drive and a Congressional lobbying campaign for the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act (H.R. 2755), which was introduced to Congress by Representative Ron Paul in June 2007. The plan also calls for a public, Congressional audit of both the Federal Reserve Bank and of the U.S. Treasury Department's gold reserve. End the Fed activists believe that with the development of free market and barter trade systems and "private banking institutions based on precious metals and commodities" that we, as a people, may be able to save our economy.
To find out more information, visit www.endthefed.us, or join the rally at Memphis' Federal Reserve Bank at 200 N. Main Street. --By Shara Clark
And the money goes to a good cause, too -- the Wounded Warrior project for American vets. The current bid is only $2331. Check it out here.
As Darren McGavin would say, "Fra-GEE-lay!"
After bringing Newark, New Jersey, mayor Cory Booker to Memphis to speak, the Leadership Academy felt like it needed a special event to follow the energetic young mayor.
The result was one of the group's Celebrate What's Right luncheons, this one with a panel of "young politicos."
During the luncheon -- held today at the FedEx Institute of Technology -- city school board members Martavius Jones and Tomeka Hart, County Commissioner Wyatt Bunker, and City Council members Shea Flinn and Kemp Conrad (as of yesterday) talked about how they decided to run for office, what their youth brought to their respective bodies, and how people could get involved.
"The average age of your district nine reps, now that we got rid of Ol' Man [Scott] McCormick, is 33," Flinn joked.
To read more, visit Mary Cashiola's In the Bluff blog.
Employing a series of stark magazine ads -- with such morbid headlines as "Never to Dance Again," "Tragedy," and "Loneliness" ...
Read more morbidity at Vance Lauderdale's Memphis magazine blog.
You'll have to excuse us for saying so, but the Flyer has always been a bargain. Now we're bringing readers -- and retailers -- even more of a deal.
The Flyer is asking readers to pledge to spend $100 at locally owned shops this holiday season. In exchange, readers will receive weekly emails with "deals and steals" from area retailers.
"Right now, when the economy is what it is, it makes sense for people to try to spend locally as frequently as they can," says Penelope Huston Baer, the Flyer's advertising director. "We know it might be convenient to shop online or to shop the 'Big Boxes,' but if you do so, fewer of your dollars stay in the community."
According to Civic Economics, 68 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned business stays in the community versus 43 cents if that same dollars is spent at a national chain.
If 1,000 people pledge to spend $100 at locally owned stores, the economic impact is $25,000 greater than if they had spent that same $100 at a national chain.
"We're not trying to encourage people to spend money they don't have," Huston Baer says. "Part of what we're telling everyone is to spend responsibly. But if you're going to spend, spend locally. It means so much to the community."
Shopping locally can also encompass area artists markets, consignment shops, and antique stores.
"I was talking with a local retailer and she said that she felt like so many people in Memphis wear the 'I shop in New York' as a badge of honor: 'I got this in Miami,' 'I got this in New York.' She wanted people to be proud so say they got something in Memphis," Huston Baer says.
"We're just trying to help our readers and our retailers find each other."
To make the pledge and get signed up to receive great deals, email "I pledge" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a partial list of locally owned retailers, visit Mary Cashiola's In the Bluff blog.
Because it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas, kick off the weekend with the Emerald Theatre Company's A Queer Carol, a re-telling of the Charles Dickens classic with a gay twist. The play opens tonight at TheatreWorks and runs through Nov. 22nd.
With temperatures expected to drop into the 30s tonight, you might want to brush up on energy conservation tips to ward off high utility bills. MLGW representatives will give tips on how to "Conserve Energy, Save Money, and Still Live Comfortably" tonight at the Whitehaven Branch Library. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.
If you love gazing at kitties in the large windows of the House of Mews in Cooper-Young, wake up early on Saturday and join the Meowathon, an annual 5K walk/run to benefit the homeless cat operation. The walk begins at 9 a.m. in Overton Park.
Speaking of homeless animals, take time out on Saturday to honor the memory of cats and dogs that have been euthanized at the city shelter for lack of a good home. Memphis Animal Law Advocacy, a student group from the University of Memphis Law School, will hold a candlelight vigil outside Memphis Animal Services on Tchulahoma beginning at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Another vigil will be held on Sunday to pay respect to transgender murder victim Duanna Johnson. Johnson, the subject of a brutal beating by a Memphis Police officer earlier this year, was shot Sunday night in North Memphis. The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday around the flagpole at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
For more weekend events, check out the Flyer's searchable online calendar
Read Chris Davis' review of The Skin of Our Teeth.
Cowart's lawyer's petition states that because the 23-member grand jury had only two white members, it could not be fair and impartial.
To which we say: The next time you racist fools come up with an insane plot to kill a bunch of black people, you might want do it a little closer to, say, Boise, instead of Memphis, Tennessee. More here.