Month: January 2016

Sorry Folks, the Blog’s closed! For two weeks


Hate to disappoint my 3 readers but I will be on hiatus for the next two weeks. Do you recall when I told you that I got me a real job? Well, I have to go to training for two weeks to learn how to sell those Bus Tours in Times Square. I am imagining that I won’t have time to do any posts so I will just go on hiatus till then. Don’t worry, I have tons of stuff jotted down and will get back into the swing of things upon my return. So see you the second week of February.

Carbunkle Trumpet




You ever seen 30 inches before? Dude, I love nuggets!

Well I sure as hell won’t do that ever again. You recall that POST where I called out Mother Nature and some of our New York friends? Well the Blizzard called Jonas came into the Big Apple and damn near crippled the city that never sleeps. Let me back up a bit; Friday morning I am getting into the elevator at work and there is a guy holding a snow board. I ask him if we are supposed to get “that” much snow this weekend and he laughs it off saying he is heading to Vermont right after work to “go shred the mountain bro!” Wonder how that dude made out and why he didn’t wait and could have done that shit in the East Village. Now we all know what happened, New York according to the weathermen, missed the biggest snowstorm by .01 of an inch.  On Saturday the travel ban was issued which meant no cars, Uber, or Yellow Taxi’s so that the Snow Plows could get a handle on the streets for Monday’s work commute.  We originally planned on hooking up with the Murphranks for snow drinks but considering they are on the other side of the tracks in Park Slope we both were afraid of being stuck if they closed the bridges or subways – which happened. So after a relaxing morning watching the pissing match between the Governor and the NYC Mayor we made our way to The Allie Way Sports Bar for afternoon beers with Caitlin (no not him her) the bartender. Snow days in New York are great, but having a snow day on a weekend is even better!

On Sunday Morning I am taking the dogs out for their morning pee when Paul, the doorman, congratulates me on surviving the second largest snowstorms New York has ever seen. 30 inches is what was recorded at JFK airport, I am 67 inches so I am glad that shit stopped when it did.

So lessoned learned, I am going to keep my mouth shut when it comes to making fun of Old Man Winter or Mother Nature. She didn’t play this past weekend. And like I said before thank God this storm was on a weekend because if it were during the week, well it wouldn’t have been pretty

IMG_0222No that isn’t haze, that is snow falling so fast that it makes it look hazy

IMG_0223Across First Avenue where people destroyed the Bread aisle

IMG_0229So that is what those things are used for!

IMG_0233Rookie Mistake, never stand near that thing when it is ‘blowing’ snow!

IMG_0232Yes that is when the panic started in the UES, Dr. Wine was closed due to the storm

IMG_0243Mrs. Trumpet wearing her 14inch boots and this is where you have to cross the street. Now I see why I needed tall boots for the snow.

IMG_0247At first we wondered why they plowed E70th street so frequently. Then we realized that NYP and Sloan were at E70th and York and the Ambulances needed clear roads.

IMG_0262If only that were sand and it was 90 degrees!

IMG_0256Here is Manny our building Super keeping the sidewalks clear

IMG_0267They had a busy night but Sunday at 8AM the streets were in good shape

IMG_0258Bean the Springer Spaniel’s footies were out drying

Now can someone please get this shit off the sidewalks?



Pictures of the Week

It was a good week

Fellow Bloggers You Should Also Read – Paul Ryburn

We are going to get this new series off the ground as my friend down in Belize,  TacoGirl, is in the process of moving and she has promised her answers back to me in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I figured we would showcase a US blogger that I have known for as many years that he has lived in 38103.  Paul, along with Mike King, was very vocal about the homeless and did a great job of identifying them and if they carried an open warrant they were removed from the downtown streets. Yeah, Memphis had a bad problem with more aggressive panhandlers back in the day and thankfully they made a dent in it. I am a frequent stalker of Paul’s blog as he does a great job of showcasing the events in downtown Memphis  and supporter of some great non-profits. Also it keeps us up to date with the goings on in our former city.

Anyway thanks to Paul for playing along and I will showcase Taco Girl in about 2 weeks.

The Cold Hard Facts About Your Blog

  1. Name of your blog, hyper link, twitter handle, Facebook page and your Pen Name.  Paul Ryburn’s Journal,, Paul Ryburn on Facebook, @paulryburn on Twitter. I don’t have a pen name, I use my real name. 
  2. How did you come up the name of the blog and or your Penname?  Given that it is a personal blog, “Paul Ryburn’s Journal made sense.
  3. Describe your blog/brand in 5 sentences or less. I started writing  journal in 1999 so my former students at the U of M could keep up with me. In 2004 I converted it to blog format; in 2004 I found out my neighbors actually read this thing, so I started taking it seriously and posting every day. It is about my life in downtown Memphis. The main posts I try to make in my writing is that there is a lot to do down here in walking/trolley distance, and there is no easier place to meet people and make friends. 
  4. Did your blog change direction over the course of the life of it? If so can you explain? About 2005-6 it changed from my own personal journal to “The Downtown Blog” so I started treating it as such. However, I still throw in personal stuff whenever I want. I do not get paid and I have no editor, allowing me to write without a filter.
  5. Number of times you try to post something in a week?  I go for at least once a day and sometimes multiple posts a day. I post whenever I have something interesting to share with my readers. If I skip a day it’s because I don’t have anything interesting, and I am not going to post simply for the sake of posting.
  6. Where do you get your material and how hard/easy is it for you?  Word of mouth is my best source; also, accounts I follow on Twitter, things friends post on Facebook, RSS feeds
  7. What countries are your readers coming from?  Mostly US. Occasional readers from Canada and Europe, which I assume are people planning to visit Memphis or Memphis transplants.
  8. How often do you encounter readers on the streets/social media and does it still freak you out when they say that they read you?  It doesn’t freak me out at all when people come up and tell me they read my blog. I have had people tell me they have found jobs, gotten seats on nonprofit boards, and been reunited  with pets because of things I have posted. I have had people tell me they have moved Downtown from other parts of the city, and in a few cases even moved here from out of state, after reading my blog. I am more proud of those things than I am of winning any Best of poll award.   What freaks me out is when people recognize  me but are afraid to come talk to me because I’m this “big, important local blogging celebrity.” I’m just a regular guy! I promise you, I am one of the easiest people to meet.
  9. Got any good “hate mail” comments you want to share with the class?  In 2006 I went on a rant after a few of my friends got robbed and the panhandlers got out of control. A reader named In2RealEstate send me a long email saying I was destroying property values in the area. Because I was honest? By the way Downtown is a good deal safer in 2016 than it was a decade ago.
  10. Any particular blog post that you are particularly proud of? Please include the link if you like.  I don’t have time to search of the links, but there was a September 23, 2015 post about the behavior of a homeless woman Downtown that I am proud of. Also search “Popester in da hizzy” (2005) and “Chicken fried steak rap” (2015)

Let’s Talk about you shall we?

  1. Who you be?  I’m Paul Ryburn. I have a Master’s degree in computer science and spent five years teaching math at the University of Memphis. Since then I have been a web designer, currently for an organization that sanctions a card game.
  2. Where you be? Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Proud resident for nearly 14 years.
  3. Where did you come from? (please don’t say hospital or parents) Little Rock, Arkansas. I moved to Memphis to go to Rhodes College. Except for a six-month stay in San Diego, I have been a Memphian ever since.
  4. Care to talk about your family or if you have any ankle biters/pot lickers (pets) where you charge your laptop/tablet?  I’m an only child. My mother still lives in Little Rock. I don’t have any family in Memphis. No pets.
  5. Name up to 5 countries/places you visited, loved and recommend to my readers? San Diego – Beautiful city, perfect weather.  Montreal – So laid back. Great culture. Obviously I would go in the summer. I hate cold weather. Lexington, Kentucky – Made several visits as a traveling corporate trainer. Likeable town. Little Rock – Up-and-coming mid-sized city.  Chicago – Love the walkability. Again, would go in the summer.
  6. What countries/cities you have on your radar for future travel locations?  New York (Manhattan), San Francisco, Seattle, I wouldn’t mind a trip to Romania after 2005-06 Flying Saucer visits taught me that the girls in Romania are really hot. *Editors Note – Oh Paul, I have failed to mention something about my neighborhood Cigar Joint on East 73rd street.  One of the girls who works there is Romanian and well…..Lupe is built like a brick shithouse!
  7. If you had the financial means to do so, where would you like to live and why? Downtown Memphis, where I live now. I could not give up my friends and favorite places for any amount of money. I might maintain crash pads in Midtown Memphis and in maybe one or tow of my favorite cities.
  8. When you aren’t banging on a keyboard what do you like to do for fun?  I am a regular at the bars of Downtown Memphis, where I hang out with my friends – and I have friends on both sides of the bar. My favorites are my “Big Five” of Bardog Tavern, Blind Bear, Flying Saucer, Silly Goose, and Max’s Sports Bar. I also love poker and played for money online before the government banned that in 2011. Occasionally I play in weekly bar games Downtown. I am on a BBQ team called the Moody Ques that competes in Memphis in May and regional contests. I am Director of Public Relations for the team and have a voting seat on the team’s board of directors.
  9. We know that you read (who doesn’t?) but who else do you read/stalk on a daily basis? You know it is weird, I really don’t have any other blogs I visit daily. I have their RSS feeds and click on when a post looks interesting, and I follow many of them on Twitter and Facebook. That is how I learn about latest posts.
  10. Could you get me an introduction with that author so that I can send them this questionnaire? N/A

Fun/Random Stuff that you would like to share with the class

  1. What is your favorite food and restaurant (doesn’t have to be in your current location)  Mexico Chiquito, Little Rock Arkansas. I love a plate of brown-and-yellow Tex-Mex food.
  2. If you are living abroad, what is the one thing that you miss the most? N/A
  3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (please don’t say older)  Still in Downtown Memphis, even with a wider circle of great friends. Not married, no kids. Director of PR for a grand champion BBQ team.
  4. What’s on your bucket list?  Hmmm, I never really think in terms of bucket lists. Win cooking trophies at BBQ Fest, visit cities I mentioned. I don’t know. Most of the things I’ve really wanted to do already. I guess “find a sane women who communicates well and understands me” is on the bucket list, but then “win a billion dollars in the lottery” is probably equally likely.
  5. What is the question do you want to ask Carbunkle Trumpet (I promise to answer honestly) Karaoke. WHY??????  Fair question and God knows that we have had some fun with the Karaoke harassment over the years. Full Disclosure – I have ‘sang’ a couple of songs, primarily Elvis songs, in Memphis at the Monkey and naturally alcohol was in play. I have visited a Korean Karaoke parlor here in the Koreatown section of Midtown Manhattan and I can say that you have not seen a better shitshow! One of the bars that we visit to watch football has evening Karaoke but we haven’t partaken. Don’t worry, if you make it up here, I promise not to take you to Iggy’s or the Koreatown joint.

Thanks for playing along Paul.

Carbunkle attends an Off Broadway show

Carbunkle Trumpet did what? Did you really read that right? Carbunkle “I would rather masturbate with a cheese grater than attend a play” Trumpet really go see an off Broadway show this past weekend? Yes he went to a show but no, I wouldn’t consider this show a traditional “Off Broadway” performance. We had some friends in town this past weekend so we had a great dinner at DaNico in Little Italy on Saturday night and Sunday we attended Fuerza Bruta on Sunday. Without going into much detail, we attended an earlier show about 10 years ago and this past performance did not disappoint either. I will just say that if you are not a fan of loud music, strobe lights and a ‘club vibe’ then you may want to forgo this show. If that doesn’t bother you then by all means get some tickets, you won’t be disappointed.

Selfie SticksFun with a Selfie Stick on Canal Street

IMG_0183Running Man during the show

IMG_0182High Energy Show, I would go back!

IMG_0184Um, CBT, you drinking again while posting? What is that? It looks like half naked women on visqueen swimming in some water. Oh and this is going on 20 feet over your head too.

IMG_0186Like I said, this is a show you need to go see if you like high energy stuff

IMG_0187My Fun-employed Pool Buddy from 7 years ago!

IMG_0180No lies being told here, not at all!

Good to see our friends from Chicago, NOLA and Memphis. Love you guys.


Welcome to Peter Luger, whaddaya you want for dinner?

Yes, I admit that is a rather rude way to welcome you to a restaurant but to hear the back story about Peter Luger’s Steak House in Historic Williamsburg (2 Broke Girls Territory) in Brooklyn that is par for the course. Apparently the waiters, old and crotchety aren’t much on small talk. Thankfully ours, an 11 year old veteran, was fun and cut up with us.  We were there to celebrate the Birthday of our friend and trusted consigliore, Maria, as she booked our table a month prior. According to their website the restaurant was established in 1887 and has been voted best steakhouse in NYC for 30 years in a row. Peter Luger, a German immigrant, established the joint and if you have every eaten at Blues City or Doe’s Eat Place you will recall the ‘steak for X’ menu because this joint has the same. The steak is cooked in a hot arse broiler and the ‘steak drippings’ are served on the plate.  It is rumored that the daughter of the Lugar family still gets first pick of the steaks that arrive into NYC from the distributor. Our waiter informed us that the joint sees many a celebrities there. Ed Koch ate there 2 days before his demise and fellow former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a frequent visitor to the restaurant.  

For dinner we ended up getting the Thick Cut Bacon, tomatoes and onion, (2) Steaks for 3, Creamed Spinach and German Potatoes. Oh and we had copious amounts of wine to go with the meal because man doesn’t live on break alone. We ended up getting some New York Cheesecake with extra Schlag (whipped cream) and had a great meal. Oh here is where I scratch my head because other than Alex’s Tavern in Memphis, the joint only accepts cash or you can put it on your Peter Luger Personal Account.

IMG_0156We will have (2) steaks for 3 please, one cooked medium and the other one bloody as hell please.

IMG_0157Not sure what they put in the steak sauce but one can hear their arteries closing up when you put it on your steak.

IMG_0158Welcome to the house of beef! For you vegetarians (bless your heart) that is a porterhouse steak. And I think that the name of the cow was Bessie too.

IMG_0159Just slap the horns off of it and cut it up, I will take it bloody as hell.

IMG_0160Why yes I will have an Irish Coffee

IMG_0165Extra Schlag too!

IMG_0167Message me if you want to know Maria’s account number at Peter Luger

IMG_0166But of course they give you a chocolate wrapped in foil.

We will be back and Happy Birthday Maria!

Pics of the Week – a poor showing if you ask me

As you can tell, the weeks after the New Year are meant to be indoors and putting on that winter weight. Unless you wanted to see what we watched on TV this week there isn’t much to report. Not to worry, this weekend a Southern Belle is coming to town along with her Midwest friend and a New Orleans woman so I am sure there will be some pics to share  with the class next week.

IMG_0122I had chores to do before I could go see the boys at the Cigar Inn

IMG_0127We made another purchase from IKEA and now have storage in our 535 square foot studio

IMG_0144I was craving some Low Country food so Momma made me Shrimp & Grits.  Try to explain to a Yankee what the F grits are? Yep that is what I tried to do the next day.

IMG_0114Ford and E went down to Belize and all I got was this Effin Picture! That does it, you have pissed me off! *picks up foam* “Hello Travelocity, what you got in airfare in late March???”

Yep, we got tempted by our friends who live near Indy who are going to 17.9214° N, 87.9611° W and it got us thinking and surfing the web. We are making a long layover in San Salvador but the total sum of the cost of the tickets is cheaper than one Christmas flight to Memphis so look out Scoop, Taco, Badass Auntie and many others. The Trumpets are returning!


Enough Said! See you during Holy Week San Pedro!


Below the streets is a Steam Room and a Keg Party!

I had mentioned on an earlier blog post that this past Sunday was No Pants Subway rides and as much as I wanted to join the rest of the CB’s (Crazy Bastards) I figured against it. I can say that living up here you see a lot of odd things that normal people would stop, point, take a picture, and probably upload to Snapchat.  New Yorkers, they keep on walking and pass it off as just another weirdo. Case in point, I encountered a long haired European looking fella wearing cargo shorts (Shout out to my boy Jon Roser) a Tank Top, combat boots and to offset the 17 degree weather we were experiencing this morning a full length mink coat.  It was just another day on the 7 train.  

I have encountered two things on the streets of NYC that well, as much as I think that I have assimilated to NYC living, I find very odd. One item is the ominous steam vent pipe on various streets in Manhattan and I still can’t get used to. I get that ConEd still has buildings that they provide heat to and there are a majority of older buildings that have radiator heat but why all the vent relief pipes? Two of them popped up on my walk to the subway in the past month and it begs the question. Why all of a sudden do we have to vent that steam now? I would think that if it is colder then the buildings would need all the heat it can get therefore the demand would great so why do we have to heat the outdoors?

Another thing that I see on the streets of Manhattan would be the large Nitrogen tanks that you see at restaurants in the south to supply beer gas to the taps. These rather large tanks are normally on the corners of the intersections and you see a small hose running into the ground. The question that begs to be answered is “Where is this Keg Party underground?” But what really pisses me off about this is “Why the hell wasn’t I invited?” I mean come on Jo, Gary, and Chris at Baker Street Pub, why didn’t you tell me about this underground keg party? Anyway, if anyone knows why NY Streets have to vent steam and keep something cold or full of CO2 can you help a brother out?

cq5dam.web.1280.1280New Pope?

untitledWe have a keg party at E73rd and 5th Avenue – Bring Beer Nuts!

Have a good day!




Whats a Grizz fan living in NYC to do?

You have heard my struggles this past fall during football season. I can report that the majority of New Yorkers really don’t give two shits about college football. Now I have met UConn fans (not sure how far of a road trip that is from NYC) Rutgers fans (think that is in New Jersey) and we even shared a Metro North with Fordham fans (snicker, snicker). However, watching College Football on the TV on a Saturday in NYC is nothing like it is in Memphis. The rule traditionally is (or it is at the Cigar Inn) that Professional sports trumps college football and then if there is nothing on then they will show a team that is near NYC. I have watched a couple UMass Football games this year and have given up asking to change it to watch an SEC game. Sure I could go down to one of the bars that is labeled “Official NAME OF COLLGE bar” but those bars are kind of expensive. Translation….I love my Hogs but drinking $8.00 Bud light to dull the pain can get expensive. That and we are normally busy on the weekend so maybe next year Hogs. 

Now that we are in the doldrums of the winter NBA basketball and Hockey are the sport of kings up here. Mrs. Trumpet and I got pretty addicted watching the Memphis Grizzlies when we lived downtown and if this move to NYC didn’t occur our arses  probably would be sitting in Fed Ex Forum as season ticket holders. At the start of the season we found that our Max’s Sport Bar of the UES, Iggy’s, would put the Grizz game on for us but that is 82 games.  We then feared for our livers because watching those many games in a bar can get VERY expensive. Add to that I recalled a couple of times during football season that Max would have some wildcard off the wall football game on a TV. We would inquire he informed us that some guy called and wanted to watch his beloved Slippery Rock football. We would then look at him muttering “bless your heart” so we didn’t want to be ‘those guys’ up here.  Heck we even tried that Memphis Grizzlies bar that was featured in the Commercial Appeal that is in the East Village and that turned out to be a bust. 

So what were two Grizz fans going to do? We ended up getting the NBA League Pass. That way we can sit on the couch with the dogs curse Tuohy, make fun of Rob Fischer’s outfits and listen to Memphis commercials. It was a win-win for us, or at least we thought so. The Grizz aren’t doing that well and my mantra turned into “If I wanted to watch a shitty basketball team, I could watch the Knicks for free!” Oh well at least it keeps us off the street and from watching black-market videos from Asian Video hawkers. But let’s don’t forget that I am now a hockey fan so who knows I may start painting my face!

IMG_0139Wore this to work today and everyone in the office said that the color looked good with my jacket.

IMG_0141Tonight the Grizz minus some key players take on The Rockets


When I want people to feel sorry for me and let me sit when on the subway because I am ‘special’ I wear my Grizz gear. I would wear Bama Football Gear but they may mistake me for sleeping with my family and that I got the shirt at Walmart.

You want to go up to Harlem to hear a Jazz show?

Ok, I have to admit that living in this city is pretty effin cool. We can do as little or as much as we want. You do figure out very quickly that even if you run wide arse open you still can’t do it all. Case in point, Maria texted us back in October if we wanted to go see Jazz musician Lea DeLaria preform at Ginny’s Supper Club up in Harlem.  Not sure who Lea DeLaria is do you? Have you ever seen the Netflix show Orange Is The New Black? You may know her as the rather butch looking lesbian inmate on the show that is known as ‘Boo.’ Who knew that she was a Jazz singer! I did a search on her bio and according to Wikipedia her father was a Jazz Pianist and Social Worker so that makes sense. We headed up to 125th Street to Ginny’s Supper Club this past Sunday. Because of the show we missed The No-Pants Subway Ride so maybe next year we will ride the 7 train in our BVD’s.

Ginny’s Supper Club is in the basement of Red Rooster which is becoming a frequently visited joint of ours and enjoyed the buffet of soul food and biscuits. The show started and first impression was that Lea is tiny; I mean she comes up to my armpit.  After watching the show I guess the camera really does add 20 pounds because she is 100 pounds soaking wet. The show was great and she really has a good time up on stage. After the show she came by each table and thanked us for attending before she fixed herself a plate. She did ask that if someone wanted a picture or autograph to please wait till after she ate because as she stated “you do not want to get in-between a fat dyke and her food!” Ironically her latest album is entitled “House of David” where she does David Bowie covers. Imagine the “whoa, that is freaky” feeling when we heard that David Bowie died Sunday evening Monday morning.

IMG_0128My Brunch Dates! FYI – They have good spicy Bloody Mary’s

IMG_0130Lea is tiny and she puts on a great show

IMG_0131Bad Picture but she was friendly, thanked everyone  for coming and posed for all the pictures

This weekend we don’t have a Jazz Show but we do have LM, AB, & SO heading to town!