5 Things Guys Actually Want For Valentine's Day

      So it's almost Valentine's Day and you're trying to decide what to get that special guy in your life. You're probably thinking, "Oh he really needs this" or " He could really use that". STOP!! No one wants what they need as a gift. Women tend to buy men what they need and not what we actually want. A woman wouldn't want a vacuum cleaner or an oil change as a gift and us fellas don't want a tie or socks either. Well, we kinda like socks just not basic black or white ones. In my experience, I've rarely gotten anything from a woman that I truly wanted unless I specifically told her what to get. So here's my guide to help you ladies out!  

  Disclaimer: SEX IS NOT A GIFT!!!

Drone

DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air

Yes! We love drones! Guys love gadgets in general and with the weather about to turn warmer, a drone is pretty much at the top of most guy's lists. I have one and I love it! They come in all price ranges as well, so they are budget friendly. My pick would be the DJI Mavic Air. Check it out HERE.

Also, if a drone is out of your budget, a radio controlled plane or car is a great alternative. 

Smart Speaker

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What guy doesn't like music? Dump him if he doesn't. What's cooler than just playing music? Well, telling the speaker to play music lol. Not only that, a smart speaker can turn on lights, control a thermostat, send a text, and even order a pizza. Pretty cool, right? I've tried them all and I love the sound quality of the Sonos, but love the functionality of the Amazon Echo. 

Cool Socks 

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Yes socks made the list! Not those plain and boring pack of socks. No one wants the socks our dads wore. Well, dad wore pretty cool socks, but I assume my mom played a huge part in that. Help your man out and step up his fashion game with some cool socks. Don't know what socks to get? Here's a pro guy tip. Socks should match the shirt. Go check his closet out and see what colors he normally wears and get matching socks. Simple. 

Tile

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Yes, this could classify as a need as well, but a guy might not know he wants one. I tend to misplace my keys and wallet. I have been late to countless things because I'm tearing up my apartment in search of my wallet or keys. I was given a Tile and it's changed my life! Using the app, I can pinpoint where my wallet or keys are and it even plays a sound to navigate you directly to the lost object. Another killer feature is the Tile will also find the connected phone if you misplace it! Trust me, this is a great gift for the forgetful man. It just won't help him remember your anniversary though. I'm no miracle worker. 

Smart Watch

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Hey look another smart item! Get the theme? Smart watches have come a very very long way. They aren't just for nerds who wanted a calculator on their wrist. Smart watches do so much more and are very stylish now. Watches are a must have accessory for a stylish fella and you can't really go wrong with a nice watch. Now that smart watches come with a variety of band and bezel options, a guy can finally get emails, listen to music, send messages, get directions, and update his calendar while being swagged out. My pick would be the Apple Watch. It's pretty much in a class of it's own. 


So here's a starting point! Don't buy guys another sad gift! We will accept it, but on the inside we are crying for something cool. Trust me, we love gifts just as much as you do. We just want the things we actually want. Does your guy have things currently that are on the list? Well, you could always get him basketball tickets, a jersey of his favorite player, a nice pair of shoes, or even a pocket knife. The ideas are endless, but you have to put the same thought into our gifts as you want us to put into yours. 

Have any other ideas or thoughts? Drop a comment! Don't forget to like or share this post!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Unlikely Friends

     So by now you know I'm really into photography. It came as a solution to get great photos for the blog, but it's evolved into a great hobby and business. Along the way, I've met some amazing people who also share my same love for photography. There's an amazing group of Memphians who took me in and helped me along the way. We call ourselves MPG, Memphis Photographers Group. I know, it's not the most thought out name, but it totally works for us. 

      Sadly I couldn't make the Saturday meet up. I was so bummed out about it. I did get out and take photos, but I was missing my crew. Then I got the word Monday around noon that one of the guys had fallen and was in pretty bad shape. I spoke with my friend Eric (@webraw) and he told me it was a guy named Dereck Larsen that fell, someone I had never met. 

   The normal thing to do is to shrug it off and continue living my life, but something told me to further investigate. Eric told me he had fallen from 25 feet after losing his grip on a fire escape and had a skull fracture, 1 fractured knee and 1 shattered knee. He also told me that Dereck was in Memphis on vacation and had no family here. I felt awful that this guy would have to sit at Regional One by himself. So I went to see him when I got off work that day. I had no clue what to expect. I didn't know who he was or what he looked like. I didn't know if he would be wrapped in head to toe bandages or if he could even talk, but I went anyways. 

The normal thing to do is to shrug it off and continue living my life.

    I found him in the Trauma Assessment part of the ER with another photographer I had never met. It was a bit awkward, but I sat down and began talking to Dereck. I told him who I was and why I had came. I could tell he thought I was a bit nuts, but we talked for about an hour or so. He told me he was to have surgery the next day to put a plate in his head to fix the fracture. He was obviously very nervous and scared about that and wasn't too cool with having to shave his hair.  So to comfort him, I told him I would bring him a skull cap to cover the scar and to keep his head cold. 

He looks good in Tiger Blue!! 

He looks good in Tiger Blue!! 

     So I kept my word and naturally had to get him a Memphis beanie, which he thought was awesome. I told him I would come see him after his surgery. I came that evening after work, but he was still in recovery. So the next day I didn't go to lunch but went to find him. Once I did, he was excited to see me. I must admit I was totally glad to see that he was ok and in a pretty good mood. So we talked more about where he was from, his parents, his girlfriend, food, dreams in life. The whole time I'm thinking I just met this guy like 2 days ago and we are chatting it up like we've known each other forever. I just let him talk. He feel asleep a few times, but I just stayed with him. His girlfriend, Samantha, eventually came to the room. She came all the way from Denver! She was so impressed by all the hospitality her and Dereck had received. The whole group had been by at some point to check on him or see if Samantha needed anything. I told her Memphians are the nicest people in America and we have loads of Southern hospitality. 

After first surgery

After first surgery

     At this moment, Dereck is still at Regional One. He is slated to have his knee surgeries as of this post. He will likely face a long road to recovery, but his spirits are up and he knows he has people who are there for him. I'm not sure why I've taken so much to Dereck, a guy I've never known, but he's an overall great guy and I do admire his courage. He's been cracking jokes the whole time and has been upbeat in spite of. 

   Meeting Dereck has been truly inspiring to me. It's given me a new purpose of sorts. I feel like he's a great friend already and I've known him a total of 4 days. Samantha has set up a GoFundMe in Dereck's name to help cover the huge bills that will be associated with this accident. If you could, please give something to my new buddy. Anything at all will definitely help. Dereck's GOFUNDME ---Click HERE. If not, please send your prayers and positive thoughts for not only him, but Samantha and his parents out in Phoenix. This is a tragic accident so close to the time when families are normally together. 

Dereck's Work

Did I mention that Dereck is an amazing photographer? Well, i will let his work speak for itself. These are straight from his personal Instagram @6millionstories

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Vlog #2

On today's vlog I will be reviewing the Hennessy sweet potato pie made by Chef Kenna! Check out the video for the review!! 

Today's music is provided by Black Rock Revival. Check out their FB page HERE!!!

Life is for Living and Pie,

Michael B. 

Black HollyWood Celebrity Costume Party

So it's Halloween time in Memphis and that means costumes! Who doesn't love costumes?? I would wear one everyday but, wearing a costume to the grocery store is only cool if you're 3 or 4 years old. I have a big list of Halloween themed events that I plan to attend, but the first event I slid in was the Black Hollywood Celebrity Costume Party presented by Privileged Memphis. 

I must say I was a bit apprehensive about going because I didn't know what to wear exactly. I spent the better part of the day wondering if this was a fancy, sophisticated dress up party or could I be myself and go with a funnier theme? So I had to be true to myself, and wear the costume that I knew would mirror my personality. 

The party was held at The Gallery at Madison Square (1819 Madison Ave), which is a very nice venue by the way. I arrived and to my delight, others wore costumes!! I've been to some parties where the attendees don't dress up and it really kills the vibe of a costume party. That awkward moment when you are the only one at the party in an Ironman costume! There was Lenny Kravitz, Beyonce, Taraji P Henson, Madea, Chance the Rapper, and even Total!! Freaking Total!! It was so cool that people actually participated!

Who goes to a costume party without a costume?

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to Jamal Whitlow. This guy is doing some great things in the city.  He's the CEO of Privileged Memphis and he really wants to make Memphis as great as it can be. I try to support people that really want Memphis to be seen in a positive light, because it mirrors what one901 is all about.  He is trying to bring a more diverse and fun theme to the Memphis nightlife. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.  

Jamal Whitlow, CEO of Privileged Memphis

I cant' wait until the next party. You definitely don't want to miss out. You can check out Privileged Memphis at www.privilegedmemphis.com.

This was a great kick off to the Halloween season! Stay tuned for more shenanigans around Memphis this weekend!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Food Trucks at Court Square

Every Thursday, between 11-2, a truly magical thing happens in downtown Memphis. It's literally on par with my insane love for Taco Tuesday. That truly amazing thing is the Food Truck Rodeo at Court Square! 

All photos taken by me with my Sony a5100 and Sigma 19mm lens. 

walking to Court Square from Main St. 

It's the best! Some of my favorites are always in attendance and there's literally something for everyone! You can have sushi at Sushi Jimmi's, you can have BBQ from Central BBQ, you can have great sandwiches from Food Geek, chicken and waffles from Waffle Mania, tacos from El Mero Taco. The list goes on and on!  

I decided to take my talents to Rawk n' Grub food truck to try the Bat out of Hell. 

 Rawk n' Grub food truck

Bat Out of Hell

The Bat out of Hell was spicy but great! They were a lot bigger than I expected and I didn't get to finish all my fries. It's two meatloaf patties with spicy cole slaw and jalapeño ketchup. it's very very good, but get some water!!

The other cool thing about Court Square on Thursday is the entertainment. Normally, there is music playing but this time there were dancers!!

So if you're in the downtown area on Thursday around lunch time, do yourself a favor and head over to Court Square and support local Memphis businesses! I will more than likely see you there!

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

Great lunch picnic idea!!

Bring the 4 legged friends as well!

I always run into someone I know on Thursday! Hey Tanja!! 

4th of July Fireworks in Pictures!

The 4th of July! America's birthday! The premiere holiday of the summer that brings families, BBQ, and fireworks all together! It's no different for my family and I, though ours includes volleyball. We used to play kickball until someone, cough cough Kelly, accidentally hit grandma with a ball and kickball was banned. 

I've always loved seeing pictures of fireworks and this year I decided I would use my fancy camera to try to capture some moments. Here's the first day of shots using settings I acquired from my expert Googling abilities. 

(Click each for a larger image)

Not exactly the greatest, but kinda serviceable maybe? So I get a Facebook message from my good buddy Blake Billings that there's a meet up on the 4th on top of the Exchange Building. I've always wanted to go on a rooftop and take pictures, but never had access. This was epic level stuff and I had to go!

I met some of the best photographers in the city up there. They all had their cool pro level gear and some even had models! I was there with my little Sony a5100 mirrorless like I belonged! After a few tips from the pros, here's what I got!

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Those came out much better! Better than I could have ever imagined! It was an amazing experience and I can't wait for the next rooftop adventure! It's cool that these real photographers actually like my work! That always takes me by surprise. 

Views from the 901!

RJ (@filtered_focus) and Ryan Haskett (@ryanthemind_)

What a view!!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Sisterhood Showcase Photo Recap

I had the opportunity to be the house photographer for the Sisterhood Showcase over the past weekend. It was an awesome experience and I can't wait to do something on this level again! Here are a few of the shots that I took. I hope you enjoy them! Leave a comment if you do!  

Click each picture for a full view.

I would like to thank all the hard working people of Sisterhood Showcase for this chance to capture the moments of the event. Thank you so much to President Christina Stevison for being so gracious! You're amazing! A special thank you to Shahidah Jones for believing my work was good enough to mention me for the job! I am forever in your debt!

If you need photography work, please hit me up! 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

10 Questions with Tyke T

I got to sit down with hip hop artist Tyke T before his performance at 901Fest. I must say this is one of the more interesting things I've done so far with my blog since I have decided to try to interview more local artists. Tyke T was insanely hilarious and engaging. You have to hear his Popeye's Chicken career story! I also got to see that he is a very smart young man that provided some thought provoking responses to my questions. There were plenty of laughs and bloopers, but I think this interview really showed who Tyke T actually is beyond the music. Check out the video for the full interview!

Tyke T is definitely on the right track for his music career and I think his music is really good in a time when less emphasis is placed on lyrics. He delivers above average and witty bars over strong production. That's a winning recipe and reaped him the reward of performing at 901Fest. I'm glad to see he hasn't gotten complacent since winning K97's Next Big Thing back in 2014. He's still grinding and putting out more lyrically heavy material, such as the powerful track "This Can't Be Life". I expect Tyke T to get more notoriety and become a staple of the Mid-South music scene. He's definitely made me a fan. 

You can check out more of Tyke T music below and also get more info about the artist at www.drivenbymusic.net. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

A good Saturday that ended in Sadness

My Saturday started out pretty standard. I woke up around 7am and laid in the bed until around 9 (I have a bad procrastinating issue), walked Petey, and checked out what was going on for the weekend. 

Oh, the night before, I did a photoshoot at a surprise graduation party for my friend Ahmed. His wife, Brenda whom ice known since high school, did a great job setting it up and keeping it a secret. Here's a few shots I really liked. If you want to see the whole album, click HERE

Seems I've become quite the photographer! I've come a very long way and it's all self taught. Youtube is a very powerful tool! 

So I had to ease this longing I've been having for a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich from Central BBQ. There's just something about that one sandwich that really does it for me. I also had to have an order of there smoked jerk wings. They are really good and if you haven't tried them, you're missing out big time! 

Disclaimer: The rest of the pics are from my iPhone 6 that has been through every imaginable tragedy....so yeah you've been warned! 

The beer pictured is called Lovebird from Jackalope Brewery out of Nashville. It's brewed with strawberry and raspberries. It was pretty good. 

I was explaining to a tourist how rude and disgusting it is to not have cole slaw on a BBQ sandwich, when my good friend Emily sent me the following text:

"Yo mikeychalupa. Bring yo ass to Silkys."
It's Emily!  

It's Emily!  

My hands were tied, so I had no choice but to go. I navigated the terrible downtown traffic (I'm sort of glad I didn't mov downtown now) and get to Silkys and I'm presented with this! 

Behold the Silky Diver! 

Behold the Silky Diver! 

The diver is a concoction that had to be created by someone that hated people and wanted them to pass out on Beale St. It's a mix of beer and liquors in a bucket. 

Silky's Liquid Marijuana 

Silky's Liquid Marijuana 

I made it about halfway before I felt like my stomach would explode from all the beer foam. I had to get the other thing I can only get at Silkys, the liquid marijuana drink.  

My other friend Kathryn was there so the gang was in town missing 1, my spirit animal Claire. More people showed up and we planned a night of drinks, karaoke, and Raifords!  

The next thing we know, there are 2 goats dancing around Silky's! people were feeding them and it was a very cool and weird experience. I've heard of the goats but this was my first time ever seeing them. 

On a trip to the bathroom I noticed someone wrote their tag and IG name on the wall lol. Follow this guy! Mad props for branding placement! IG @Bashea_v

Follow this guy!! 

Follow this guy!! 

It was way to early for Raifords so we stopped by Coyote Ugly, which blew our buzz a little because they were playing sad country music. But nevertheless, Emily and I are good sports so we decided to have another quick drink anyways. 

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Then we got the worst news ever!! The place we wanted to go to sing karaoke had a band playing! The horror!! That's when I was done with the night. That and I had been patio pimping since 3pm lol. We went from a day of great highs only to be smacked in the face with the lowest of lows. 

There will be no karaoke tonight...

There will be no karaoke tonight...

And that was the day. I was in the house by midnight.  

Fin

Also Kathryn gave me a great idea. Writing about the random things on bathroom walls lol. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Lunch at Tastee BBQ

When I'm in the Whitehaven area, I'm always looking for a decent place to go and eat. They don't have lots of choices and I try my hardest to avoid chains or fast food. So today I came across Tastee Bar-B-Que on Brooks Rd. My good friends Mikel and Blake have mentioned them to me before so why not give them a try. 

Entrance 

Walking in gives you that familiar Memphis BBQ shop vibe. A small place that has some Southern charm, older style diner seating, and the intoxicating scent of BBQ. The staff was surprisingly nice considering where this spot is located. It was also very clean with a solid 92 rating from the health department. I never used to read those, but I find myself doing it more now. 

Choices!

I was in search of a BBQ chicken sandwich, but they only had grilled chicken. So I went with the Memphis standard pulled pork sandwich. The cashier asked if I wanted slaw on it. We briefly stared at each other and laughed a bit. You cannot have a BBQ sandwich without slaw in Memphis! That's just rude!

Regular BBQ sandwich with seasoned fries

I will say that I have had a better BBQ sandwich than this but it was not without it's own merits. I loved the sauce that they used. It was really sweet with a light punch at the end. The BBQ was pretty good. It was juicy and moist. I so hate when the meat is dry and you have to drench it in sauce just to stomach the food. The fries weren't anything to write home about but they were decent. 

Back to the sauce. I really liked this sauce a lot. I'm not a fan of the spicier BBQ sauces out there so the sweet sauce was a pleasant experience. The sauce literally is what makes the sandwich. It takes it from blah to damn this is pretty good. So i would say they do have one of the better sauces I've had.

Would I drive from Downtown Memphis or Collierville to Whitehaven just for Tastee Bar-B-Que...probably not. I will say that I will definitely consider them whenever I'm in the Whitehaven area again. I hear that the breakfast is very good. I will have to try that out before I can cosign that HaHa. 

If you're out in Whitehaven and have a taste for some BBQ, give them a try. Tell me what you think. I dare you to not like their sauce!

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

I love desserts!!

The Marco Alexander Experience

I was recently invited to a listening party by a good friend of mine in the music industry. We were initially confused on the artists name because it's very similar to a local rapper that goes by the name of Marco Pave', whom I had heard before. 

Nevertheless, we found out that the event was being held at Dejavu in downtown Memphis, which happens to be one of my favorite places to eat in the city. As we walked in, I instantly noticed that this was a serious listening party because the place was packed! There were family, friends, music producers, and artists all throughout. 

Ok, whomever planned this show did a great job, because it was well thought out and provided lots of visuals. Each track that was played featured a model that walked out with the title of the song sewn into the outfit! A nice touch of class I must say!

I really enjoyed the show and the music was a mix of R&B and pop, with some very bass heavy beats and nice vocals. Basically, that boy can sang!! The highlight of the show, in my opinion, was when Mr. Alexander sung a solo that simply brought the house down.  

I got to ask Marco a few questions and really pick his brain apart. 

Are you from Memphis? 

I was born in Memphis, but I was raised in a few different places because of orchestral work and my parents wanting me to experience more. Most of it was in New York however. My parents were always in Memphis so that would always bring me back somehow. 

So who are your musical influences?

I'm very versatile and my parents had me listening to many genres as a kid. I would have to say the greats like Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Phil Collins, and Sting! 

I got a chance to check out your "Follow Your Heart" video. Most women ain't getting ignored all day and then popping up at the studio with hugs and kisses! LOL! Based on a personal experience?

Haha yes! It is based on a personal experience! Having a relationship is a risk nowadays because most women want to make it public. Putting everything in the public eye can cause problems because others start to form opinions about the couple and it's individuals ie who they really are, their past, etc. 

I agree. Ok, we gotta talk about the jacket from the show. Were you thinking "ooh kill'em" when you wore it. If so, did you think you killed them? 

Oh the suit! Haha! I was asked what I wanted to wear and I knew that because my style is classy yet very edgy that it's what I wanted to wear. I wasn't thinking ooh kill'em. I normally never think that. I just have my own weird style that some like and some don't. 

I definitely would have thought I'm about to kill the game tonight in that suit! 

Haha. I'm usually not thinking about that. 

If you could be a super hero, which one would you be?

I would have to say Captain America. I'm all for being able to jump anywhere and protect yourself from anything with one shield. The only thing I would add is mind control. I would change negative mindsets for the better!

Tigers or Grizzlies?

Haha, I'm definitely not a sports person but....I would say Tigers because that's my alma mater. 

Favorite spot to eat in Memphis?

The African Restaurant in Whitehaven is my favorite place when I'm in town. I love African food!

Tell me something you love about Memphis and something you would change about Memphis.

I love the creativity and raw talent of Memphis! Everyone you meet has a talent/skill that they are amazingly great at. The thing I would change is the willingness to practice and perfect your craft before putting yourself out there. I was blessed to spend the majority of my life on the road performing up North and the East Coast. It's cool that everyone wants to be an artist, but at what cost? There is negativity in regards to the support aspect in Memphis. It's mainly because people don't want to sort through the artists who are serious vs who's not. So in essence, artist development is a huge issue in this city. 

I encourage you to check out this artist's work. I was pleasantly surprised by the vocals, showmanship and the show in itself. Check out Marco Alexander on May 27 at the Cook Convention Center for the Neighborhood USA Youth Conference. His album also drops in July, so be on the lookout for it and support this homegrown talent. 

 

Check out his Facebook HERE and his Instagram page HERE

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Southern Fashion Meets a Great Cause

Over the past weekend, I was able to cover the 5th Annual Get Down and Derby Gala that was presented by the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis. This was my first ever Kentucky Derby party, and I was highly impressed not just with the fashion but with the organization as well. 

The Down Syndrome Association of America is a great Memphis organization that provides support for families with children with Down Syndrome in addition to empowering those with Down syndrome. The also seek to promote inclusion by providing education and public awareness. I think that is awesome! No one want's to feel left out or disregarded and DSAM is doing all it can to ensure that people with Down Syndrome are seen as people with worth, value and can contribute to society. 


DSAM provides resources and education to new families, including an inclusive summer program from ages 3-10 at Germantown United Methodist Church, tutoring programs, adult advocacy programs, speak to community groups and sponsors many social events. They are truly a great example of the Golden Rule and a reminder that we should all treat each other a little bit better. 

You can get more info about Down Syndrome Association of Memphis by clicking HERE. I encourage you to please take a look and see what they have to offer and ways you could help! 


The 5th Annual Get Down and Derby Gala brought out the traditional Southern fashion! I'm talking big hats and seersucker suits!! I'm not well versed in the fashion world, so I'd like to take this moment to introduce the newest member of the one901 team, Nikki Chanel! She will be taking over the fashion and beauty aspect of the blog. 

 

WHEN YOU CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE DERBY, BUT YOU OWN AWESOME HATS!

You put on your best Derby themed attire, get a great Mint Julep and party anyways! At least, that's how we roll in Memphis. The annual DSAM Derby Party showcased some adorable derby-esque looks. Of course the stars of the day were the chapeaus (that's French for "hat" y'all), which are a mainstay at the Kentucky Derby. However, I'd lose my "Southern girl card" if I didn't point out that most of these headpieces could be seen at any given church on any given Sunday around here or on someone's super cool granny working in her front yard on a random Tuesday! Again, that's how we roll down here!

I love how the ladies came out with their large colorful hats. I think hats, like gloves, are becoming a lost form of fashion. Someone needs to do something about that! If anyone knows whom I should call, please let me know!

In the meantime, check out some of the looks from the event! Also, take note of the Memphis-proof makeup. We'll talk more about that later. LOL. 

The Gentlemen were not to be out done!

The Seersucker suit!

BOLD and BRIGHT!

UNIQUE & FUN SHAPES!

Gravity Defying!!

Life is for Living

 

Nikki Chanel is a professional MUA. A lover of all things beautiful. Traveler, mom, seafood aficionado, and retired socialite. Oh, and I collect lip gloss.....lots and lots of lip gloss!

Mid-South Food Truck Festival

If you know me, then you know I'm all about some food trucks! It's a borderline obsession, but I'm in no way ashamed about this at all. I went to the Mid South Festival over the weekend and I was in heaven! You just don't understand how I felt walking up to Tiger Lane and seeing all the food trucks and the humming of their generators. The weather was absolutely amazing so the day was perfect!

A great day at Tiger Lane

I lost count of how many trucks I saw and visited for this event. Again, I was in heaven and I don't think people pay much attention to anything in heaven. You kind of just wander along in absolute bliss without a care in the world. That's exactly what I did! 

I ran into DeAngelo Williams!!

In all my inner fat kid excitement, I did happen to take some pics from the festival. Prepare to be amazed! Ok, that was a bit too dramatic, but the food will make you a bit hungry. Don't blame me! 

Just from looking at the pics I might have gained 3-5 pounds! I really enjoyed this event. I got to try some of the food trucks that I don't see often as well as some from out of town. I still have my ticket for my vote on the best. I couldn't decide! That was literally the hardest thing to do. 

I can't wait until the next food truck festival. I will make sure I plan to stay the entire time so that I can try them all!!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

My HQ Red Ball Alley Party

I was casually looking through Facebook events and I ran across an alley party being put on by My HQ for the Red Ball Project. I was in the area and I wanted to put my new 16mm lens to the test, so I stopped by. 

Firstly, it was a little chilly, but it was an absolutely gorgeous evening in Downtown Memphis. Memphis really has some of the best scenery around. I just love my big ole town!

Ok back on topic, I finally ended up at Local Gastropub and saw no Red Ball. I was a bit disappointed until my bartender pointed me in the direction of the end of the Barboro Alley.

There it was, in all it's glory, wedged between two buildings! It really was a big red ball lol. Lots of Memphians flocked to this traveling art exhibit just to get pictures either of the ball or with the ball. I'm all for doing what the Romans do, so I joined in on the sweet action! Check out redballproject.com for more info on the artist behind the Red Ball, Kurt Perschke! 

I went back to the party, which had a nice sized crowd, and enjoyed a game of corn hole and ping pong. By the way, I'm not particularly good at either but I do enjoy both. 

Somewhere along the way, I was challenged to a sliding contest. Ok I have to be honest, I saw some kids sliding down a makeshift slide and they were having a blast and I got jealous of being a grown up! That's basically a gentleman's challenge, right? 

Well things started out great, but then crashed and burned because I didn't make it all the way down the slide..I was defeated. I lost the battle but not the war!

This kid was the coolest!!


I had a great time at the Alley Party. The DJ was amazing! Look up DJ Alex Turley!! That guy was a magician on the tables and took the crowd from a Tribe Called Quest to Prince and back to the old school summer classics! Keeping a very mixed aged crowd grooving isn't an easy undertaking, but he pulled it off famously.

And the crowd was great. Very friendly, like most downtowners tend to be. Local Gastropub had drink specials going, Amurica was onsite to take some great prop-centric photos, and there was local art displayed by Ted Domek. It was a good time overall. 

I didn't want to leave, but it was time to head back to the crib. Not before I took some great shots downtown. I would have to say this new Sony 16mm pancake lens did a great job capturing the Alley Party. Can't wait to get my 19mm tomorrow to do a full comparison of the 2! I've become such the shutterbug lately! 

Check out all the cool things about My HQ at myhqisdowntown.com. They have some upcoming events and they are really pushing to make not only downtown great, but Memphis as well!! 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.