Jan 21, 2020

A commoner dines at the Arcade Restaurant, Memphis, Tenn.

As a blogger, I sometimes have to make tough decisions on which topics I cover. Sure, a place can be historically significant, a city landmark or popular with tourists.  But if my personal experience there leaves me (ahem) underwhelmed, is it still, for lack of a better term, blogworthy?  Case in point:  the Arcade Restaurant in downtown Memphis, Tenn.

The Arcade Restaurant is recognized as the oldest and longest running restaurant in Memphis.  It’s ingrained in the city’s history.  Elvis Presley loved the place, probably because they served his favorite sandwich.  JFK, MLK and undoubtedly many other famous people with famous initials have dined here.    

Jan 15, 2020

Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Miss., gets to the heart of the blues

Clarksdale, Miss., is often referred to as “Ground Zero” for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the blues.  And, why not?  Geographically, it’s centrally located in the Mississippi Delta region.  It’s literally and figuratively located at the “Crossroads” of the blues where U.S. Highways 61 and 49 meet.  And it’s surrounded by sites that are historically significant to the birth and evolution of blues music.  So, it should come as no surprise that the biggest and most celebrated blues club in Clarksdale (and perhaps the entire country) is in the heart of downtown – the appropriately named Ground Zero Blues Club.

With its official address at 0 Blues Alley, practically adjacent to the Delta Blues Museum (which I highly suggest visiting), Ground Zero Blues Club can’t be missed.  That’s not just a recommendation.  The building is huge; it looks like a converted warehouse that reportedly once housed the Delta Grocery and Cotton Co. 

Jan 5, 2020

Soak in the blues at the Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Miss.

I’ve experienced my fair share of unusual accommodations in my travels as a commoner.  From a concrete teepee in Cave City, Ky., to a night in a yurt in Colorado, to an Econo Lodge in Carbondale, Ill., on the verge of being condemned (it eventually was), sometimes where you stay is the most memorable part of the journey.  So, when it comes to kicking back in the birthplace of the blues, I don’t think there’s a better way to get in the blues spirit than to book your stay at the Shack Up Inn. 

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...