So I Went To Atlanta

           So I went to Atlanta. The land of Waffle House, Chik Fil A, and trap music. Atlanta is like Memphis’ older cousin that went off to an HBCU and now dresses different. Not that Memphis is uncultured or lacking, Atlanta is just a little different. It’s got that big city vibe with the Southern charm we all love. I have a love hate relationship with the city. 

            The first day pretty much set the tone for the entire trip. I booked a room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Atlanta on Peachtree. Looked very nice from the online pics on Hotel.com. We get there and it’s crazy booked with what appeared to several conferences. Check in took about 15 mins but there were only a few elevators and the wait times were horrible. The room was located on the 14th floor. The views from the room of downtown Atlanta were dope though. 

          Next up was a trip to Gus’ chicken. Yeah I know. I went to a spot in Atlanta that we had in Memphis. So what? Sue me! The experience was so trash I want even talk about it. Step your game up Gus in Atlanta. Y’all tripping mane. Next up was a walk to Centennial Park and an adventure to find a Walgreens. After that a trip to SunTrust Park to see the Atlanta Braves play. 

          Let me just say this. The area surrounding the stadium is amazing. There are shops, bars, eateries and even apartments all located inside this area. It was so dope. Memphis needs something similar. The stadium is amazing. I’ve been to several major league parks and this one was the best. They also had a Waffle House and a Chik Fil A inside. Naturally I had to find a bar inside. Come on you guys know me. 

           Day 2 started out great. We visited a market in the Edgewood area that was so nice. I loved that there were butchers, farmers and little shops to eat all in one. Memphis, take notice mane. We got there a bit too early so most of the shops weren’t open yet. Since I’m an avid bruncher, I decided to hit up a spot that was close by. It was called BQE Restaurant and Lounge. I think a Trap Brunch was going on when we walked in. It was packed as soon as we walked in at 10AM. We were told since we didn’t have a reservation that we could sit in a section but had to be done in an hour. An hour! A time limit on brunch? Not only that but their regular mimosa was priced at $13 each! Yes regular champagne and OJ in a glass was $13! They also offered bottomless mimosas for $28 per person and you couldn’t share. At this point I was done. The server let us split a bottomless but I was not too happy about it seeing how we still had that 1 Hour time limit. Thankfully the food was good. 

          Later that day I did a maternity shoot for a good friend of mine and tweaked my back a little. We went to a very nice steakhouse downtown called Cuts. Now this place was nice and our server Gary was amazing. He is from Montreal and gave some great life lessons. The evening ended with me laid out like an old man watching the new season of Stranger Things and still complaining about those $13 mimosas. 

           Sunday was check out day. I was so ready to get back to Memphis. Y’all do remember the mimosas were $13, right? Not sure if I mentioned that. We went to Waffle House because the Atlanta Breakfast Co was insanely packed then took a visit to the World of Coke. It was a good experience. Very crowded but it was nice. Here’s a pro tip. Don’t buy the surprise bags. You’ll be surprised by the money you wasted. We tried to go to the Trap Museum, but the line was about 3 blocks long. Maybe next time. 

           That was Atlanta! Nice place to visit but I could never live there. They will literally run you off the highway if you don’t go at least 120 mph. 3 days was more than enough. I do have to admit that the customer service at the Atlanta Waffle House is way better than anything I’ve experienced in Memphis. There staffed actually liked their jobs. While I did enjoy Atlanta, I’m still pissed the mimosas were $13. 

Life is for a Living,

Michael B. The

I Started A Production Company!

          Yay me! I started a production/ content creation company! I’m so so excited about it and it’s been the reason I’ve been missing in action lately. I dedicated all my time and resources to getting it up and running. Let me tell you it wasn’t easy at all and it’s still a work in progress. 

On set for “Back Home” music video with Al Kapone. Photo cred: Adarryl Jackson  

On set for “Back Home” music video with Al Kapone. Photo cred: Adarryl Jackson  

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          It’s called Poppa Bear Productions, which is a nod to my father who we called Poppa Bear. Currently the focus is event videography, social media content, music videos, short film, documentaries, interviews and also photography. Yes, all my photography will be moved as well. It’s time. I want the blog to just be the blog but with some cool images here and there. 

FootShooter music video shoot. Photo cred: @aleksworks

FootShooter music video shoot. Photo cred: @aleksworks

Shooting an event. Photo Cred: Phillip Murphy

Shooting an event. Photo Cred: Phillip Murphy

           I’m super excited about this new venture. I honestly think it will help the blog in the long run. I will be more dedicated to writing about my thoughts and adventures and not worry so much about the business side of things.  

           Go check out the new website HERE! Also like and follow the IG and Facebook pages! Let’s work!! 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

We Do Mother’s Day A Little Different

           Most brave the huge crowds to take their moms to a restaurant for Mother’s Day. Some buy mom a card or some gift she may or may not use. My sisters and I do things a little different on the day to celebrate mom. We turn the hell up!!! 

           Yes! We don’t do that typical boring Mother’s Day routine. We bar hop with mom and she loves it! It all started 3 years ago when we took my mom to a nice brunch and we had a lot of time after. My mom suggested another place to get another drink and the rest is history. It’s great to see my mom having a great time on her day. Well, as long as we monitor her drinks because that little lady will go beyond her limits lol. Here are a couple pics from out latest Mother’s Day Bar Crawl. 

          We started out at Blue Monkey then headed over to Pontotoc Lounge and ended at Tin Roof on Beale. Keep in mind we walked this entire distance lol. My mom had an amazing time and I love seeing her enjoy herself even if she did sit in some musician’s lap. 

            Do you do anything not typical on Mother’s Day? If so, drop me a comment and let me know! 

 

Life is is for Living, 

Michael B.  

I Went to Memphis Fashion Week!

          My media pass was approved to cover Memphis Fashion Week! Happy Dance mane!! I’m not the most stylish gent ever, but I figured I could get some dope photos at least. I’m still a marginally adequate photographer for crying out loud! 

I got backstage access!!

I got backstage access!!

The Wonderland Squad!!

The Wonderland Squad!!

            Well, apparently I’m a better videographer than photographer so I was asked to make a highlight video instead. I was so nervous because I’ve never even looked at a fashion show video before. I scoured YouTube for inspiration but I was so nervous. I think the final project ended up pretty good. Check out the video!  

 

             I really enjoyed myself! I totally know way more people than I thought lol. It was a great experience. I wish there were more things designed for guys though. I need all the help I can get. 

 Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

South Memphis is Memphis

“You don’t look like you belong here.”         

New Isaac Hayes mural by Jamond Bullock, @alivepaint

New Isaac Hayes mural by Jamond Bullock, @alivepaint

          This was the first thing I heard as I got out my car to take a photo with a new mural installation. The funny thing is, I felt completely at ease and like I belonged. I know you’re a bit confused. Let’s start from the beginning.  

            Murals have become so cool and trendy now that most don’t remember when they were frowned upon. They were the trademarks of urban neighborhoods and suggested crime and danger. Boy have things changed. What was once bad has been flipped into something cool. Kinda like how the old housing projects have been replaced with  triple level luxury apartments. Go figure.  

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               One of the best artists in the city and a good friend of mine, Jamond Bullock @alivepaint, recently finished a new mural of Isaac Hayes, Ike as the hood calls him, at 745 McLemore. I think the location is perfect and will keep the trendy Instagrammers away and bring the real fans of art that also feel comfortable in the “inner city”. Why? Well this mural is on the side of a corner store. If you’re from any urban area, you know all about the corner store and you know exactly what I’m getting at. 

          As I was getting ready to snap a few pics of the mural, local fly guy Rick, who was standing in the parking lot of the store, approached me. “You don’t look like you belong around here”. I get this often and I kinda understand. I sort of stand out with my fitted jeans, sweater over my buttoned down shirt and oxfords. I definitely don’t look the part and the hood knows it. 

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“Nah my dad grew up around the corner in Lemoyne Gardens.” I said.  

Rick responded, “It ain’t about yo daddy. Where are you from?”  

          The one thing about Memphis is that where you’re from really means something. It’s like a gang of sorts. If you’re from South Memphis, you don’t go to North Memphis just because. You gotta have a pass from the members of that neighborhood. Rick was checking my hood credentials. 

“I grew up in Pussy Valley and Westwood.”  

“Oh you good young blood!”  

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          I passed the test. The insertion of PV probably validated my claims. Not many know that area of Memphis. Rick and I spoke about the mural. He wanted to know who painted it. He had a funny story about how he met Isaac Hayes and I told him my mom was his next door neighbor when she was a little girl. He asked if I could snap a pic of him and I agreed.

Fly Guy Rick

Fly Guy Rick

           That’s the real Memphis right there! Memphians will welcome you in if you come correct. Even if my hood credentials didn’t check out, as long as I was respectful and cool, they would extend that same courtesy. Memphians are tough in the outside but are full of Southern hospitality on the inside dying to get out. So don’t be afraid to visit the real hood to see one fo the coolest new murals in the city. If you see Rick, tell him Mike said what’s up.

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Life is for Living,

Michael B.

I Took Matti Haapoja’s Challenge

          Mane, I love YouTube! I really love YouTube! I literally learned everything about blogging, photography, and videography from YouTube. I know, it’s an insanely resource of knowledge. One of my favorite Youtubers, Matti Haapoja, issued a Solo B Roll challenge. The rules were pretty simple. Shoot a 1 min video featuring yourself without any help from anyone else. Seems simple right? Wrong! 

          This was the hardest thing to pull off. Do you know how crazy you look filming yourself? Lol. It didn’t go exactly as I planned but I made the most of the footage I did get. I also had to represent for the home town. I might not win but if Matti likes or comments, I see that as a win!  

Here’s the video! 

           Also, my friends seem to think this could be a sneaker or Footlocker ad. Yo Nike holler at me! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.