When I was a teenager, my friends and I would go swimming at the pool at Gaisman Park. I think we paid a dollar or two to get in and that was it. After several drowning deaths a few years ago, though, everyone is required to register for a pool I.D. card if they're going to swim in a city pool. Swimming is free, however, and it is relatively painless to get the I.D. card.
This year, though, the process for getting a pool I.D. card has changed. Instead of registering at the community center and obtaining a card used just for pool access, city residents can now get a City Access Card that can also be used to check out library materials. These new library cards/pool I.D.'s can be obtained at any City of Memphis library. There is no cost to register and the process seems fairly simple.
If you have a previously issued pool I.D. card, it is not necessary to re-register for a City Access Card at this time. If you have misplaced your old card, however, you will have to re-register. You need to bring proof of identity and residency with you so be sure to check out the new rules before heading down to the library.
Be aware that while registration is going on now, city pools will not open until June 8th.
If you are traveling this Memorial Day weekend, you probably wouldn't mind saving a little bit at the pump. Every little bit helps, especially when you're driving long distances. Fortunately, there are a number of websites that track gas prices all over the country. You can find the cheapest gas in Memphis on which to fill up before you leave town, and the cheapest gas at every point along the way to your destination. Keep in mind that gas prices can change from day to day so be sure to check the latest prices before heading out.
Got a tip on cheap gas in the Memphis area? Leave a comment below and tell us!
Memorial Day is a national holiday that is observed each year on the last Monday in May. The holiday is designed to honor men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. The day is also considered by many to be the unofficial start to summer.
With both of these observances in mind, there are a number of Memorial Day weekend activities going on throughout the weekend to help you celebrate the holiday from cemetery services to baseball games.
If you want to pay your respects to our fallen heroes yourself, Memphis' National Cemetery is located at 3568 Townes Avenue near Jackson Avenue and National Avenue.
Photo by Elvis Santana
Memphis is considered by many to be the barbecue capital of the world. From our distinctive dry ribs to our messy pulled pork sandwiches, there is no doubt that we know a thing or two about it. And everybody seems to have a specialty - barbecue spaghetti, barbecue pizza, and barbecued bologna are just a few of the unique barbecue dishes to be found in Memphis. Unfortunately, we can't all be contenders in the upcoming World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Nonetheless, if you have a barbecue specialty you'd like to share, tell us about it!
Photo by Peter Hellebrand
The Memphis Shelby County Vector Control announced this week that West Nile Virus is back in town. Mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found in the following local zip codes: 38017, 38116, 38122, 38125, 38127, 38133, and 38141. Although Vector Control has been treating bodies of water to reduce the mosquito population, West Nile Virus has been detected earlier this year than in some previous years. The county will continue to spray for mosquitoes in areas where the virus is detected.
To reduce your risk of contracting the virus, the Centers for Disease Control has put together a list of preventative measures to take. Similarly, the Shelby County Health Department offers these tips:
- Wear DEET-containing mosquito repellants according to label directions.
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. Check properties for objects - including old tires, flower
pots and drip plates, tin cans, buckets, and children's toys - that collect rainwater and either drain or dispose of the
- Install or repair windows and door screens.
- Empty, clean and refill birdbaths and small wading pools weekly.
- Empty and refill pets' water bowls every few days.
- Repair failed septic systems.
- Repair leaky outside faucets.
- Clean rain gutters and down spouts.
- Secure swimming pool covers tightly and remove any standing water after rainfall.
- Store wheelbarrows, canoes and boats upside down.
- Stock ornamental lawn ponds with mosquito fish (Gambusia) that eat mosquito larvae (Gambusia fish are available
FREE from the Vector Control Program).
A lot of folks look forward to Thanksgiving dinner or perhaps Christmas dinner each year. For me, though, the most anticipated meal of the year is dinner at the Memphis Greek Festival. Every year I get the same thing--lemon chicken (served with rice), fasolakia (Greek-style green beans), and spanikopita (spinach pie). Yum!
The 55th annual Memphis Greek Festival, put on by Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, will take place this Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11. This is the largest Greek Festival in the Memphis area and features authentic Greek food, music, dance, and more. The festival will take place rain or shine from 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. both days. Read more about the Greek Festival and make plans to attend. Want a sneak peek of what's in store for you at the festival? Check out these photos from a previous year's festival.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, photo by Teresa R. Simpson, licensed to About.com
Each child will receive two free games of bowling daily. Shoe rental fees are not included in the coupon (depending upon how often your child bowls, it might be worth it to just buy him or her a pair of bowling shoes). In addition to the free passes for kids, the website also offers family passes for adult family members. Starting at around $25, grown-ups can bowl daily all summer long, too.
Andy B.'s, Cordova Bowling Center, Billy Hardwick's, and Winchester Bowl are all participating. Each has different hours during which the free passes can be used. The Kids Bowl Free website has all of the details for each bowling center.
For the sixth year in a row, the Pink Palace Museum is offering a free three month membership to the museum. The trial membership includes unlimited admission to the museum and Lichterman Nature Center, discounts on IMAX and planetarium tickets, plus special invitations to the new IMAX films.
I have taken advantage of this offer for the last five years and I think it's one of the best deals in town. Where else can you beat the heat for free during the dog days of summer? Registration is only open during the month of May, so sign up now if you are interested.
The Pink Palace Museum
Photo courtesy of the Pink Palace Museum
With all of the excitement and bustle surrounding Memphis in May, Cinco de Mayo is a day that often takes the back burner in Memphis. And while it may not be an official U.S. holiday, it's still a good excuse to celebrate.
Cinco de Mayo (i.e., the fifth of May) is celebrated in honor of the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is not, however, Mexico's Independence Day. You can read the complete history of Cinco de Mayo from About.com's Guide to Latin American History.
Now, if you want to celebrate, check out these Cinco de Mayo celebrations or head out to one of the many Mexican restaurants in the Memphis area for drink specials, food specials, and live entertainment.
If you know of any other Cinco de Mayo celebrations going on around town, please let us know.