Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Memphis Life: Cooper-Young Festival

Saturday was the most gorgeous day of the year.


High of 79, chilly that morning and evening, sunshine-y with a nice, but not overwhelming breeze.

If there had been cherubs or harps, I would have though I was dead an in heaven, that's how nice it was.

(Yes, my idea of heaven looks a lot like the one in All Dogs Go To Heaven. I was an impressionable child.)

Luckily Cooper-Young Festival happened to fall on that unbelievably gorgeous Saturday this year.

Everyone else thought the weather was great too:

*Via the very cool Memphis Junction Tumblr (photos by Andrew J. Breig). 

The Commercial Appeal estimated that 120,000 people converged on the Cooper-Young area (Central-ish down to First Congo, a block or so east and west down Young). There were three live music stages, a performance area that had a drumline at one point, and a TON of tents, crafts, food, and beer, not to mention the restaurants that were open in the area. 

*Even JFK was there! Great painting btw, from a booth whose name I failed to get. 

My roommate and I went down about 1 and walked around for a bit, and managed to find the cheapest beer we found all day:

*Yeah, I'm drinking Coors Light out of a Lilly Pulitzer koozie. I'm classy, y'all. 

He wanted to watch the football game while we were down there, and we had some friends coming to meet us, so, after a failed attempt to go to Celtic Crossing (which was so packed we couldn't actually get in), we went to Young Avenue Deli. 

I like the food at the Deli, and they have great entertainment and a cool vibe, but I was glad there were other food options. Service is pretty awful, almost notoriously so, at the slowest of times, but with this many people I can't imagine how bad it was. 

Luckily we just wanted some drinks (which we got from the incredibly surly bartender who made me pay for someone else's drinks before he would give me my card back, no matter how much I told him that there was no way I could possibly have drank 23 PBRs, since I would be dead - at least he was quick and I had cash this time) since the Deli was insane too:

*Those are my friends Sarah and Daniel on the right. I know no one else in this bar except my roommate. Making friends? 

I'm an Arkansas fan (Woo Pig!) and my roommate is a Tennessee fan (I have no idea what to follow that with), but the Alabama (gross) and Texas A&M game was on the big screen, so we watched the incredible sadness of the Tennessee - Oregon game on the bar TVs. It was pretty sad, although Arkansas won so I was happy, but it was a fun time. 

My friend Ashley came down and we went and walked around, and when my roommate and Troy, our other friend, got done with the saddest game ever, they joined us. First on the agenda? A Pronto Pup.

*There's Troy and Ashley (more Lilly!) laughing at something. I clearly only have eyes for this deliciousness. 

If you're unfamiliar with Pronto Pups, they're basically corn dogs. But they're extra fried in some magical way and then brushed with mustard. Ashley had never had one, and she was impressed. 

Angels pretty much sing when you eat one. 

You think I'm joking. 

We walked around some, but the boys left us to go...do something? Maybe to get Spiral Spuds, my roommate's favorite fair food, but either way, we of course had to follow up our footlong Pronto Pups with the most logical and healthy decisions ever. 

Nutella crepes.

Yes, the Crepemaker was there. 

*Via www.crepemaker.com. I had the Triple Treat and Ashley had the Black and White. We ate them kind of fast so no pictures, but they were as delicious as the look. 
**By "ate them kind of fast" I mean we inhaled them like we'd never eaten before, much less had just had a giant Pronto Pup and about 4 beers. Don't worry gentlemen - we're both available. Line forms to the left. 

We also browsed around the tents, signing up for things, and, of course, buying stuff. 

My weakness is community t-shirts. If there's a t-shirt at an event, I'm in. 

I bought 2 really awesome ones: 

*For some reason I don't have a picture of this on. It's super cute though! Stacey from Dining with Monkeys was manning the booth, and this adorable shirt, from Citizens to Preserve Overton Park was only $15.

*The back - small little insignia on the top. And it's pink!

I wanted a "Reading is Sexy" shirt from Literacy Mid-South, but they were out of my size. 

*Via Literacy Mid-South. You can buy them on their website too. 

Luckily (for me, not for my already too full closet) I happened to stop by the Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis booth. 

For those of you who don't know, Planned Parenthood is kind of my charity of choice. Of course I always participated in the Children's Miracle Network stuff for Phi Mu, and that's a great organization, and I'm doing Race for the Cure in October, and I donate to World Wildlife Fund, which my mom and I have been involved with basically my entire life. 

But Planned Parenthood is so important to me. They provide healthcare, essential healthcare, for women who can't afford it or just want to go someplace that doesn't judge them for their choices, which, at the root of it, are theirs to make in the first place. Abortions (which should be legal, safe, and rare) are a tiny part of what they do - but conservative legislators have targeted PP as part of their anti-women agenda, so it's especially important to support them now. Maybe most importantly, they serve as a voice for equality, women's rights, and the general fight against stupidity/ignorance/squeamishness about our bodies. 

Yeah, it's kind of my soapbox. 

That's why I bought this, which basically sums it up: 

*No one really needs to talk about how t-shirts kind of make me look like a porn star. I'm aware. 

We also browsed around and saw these: 

*At the Little Dead Things booth, which was run by my friend Kirby's friend (and Trilogy Tattooist Extraordinaire) Nate. 

And some awesome woodwork: 

*I don't know who this was by - if it's you please tell me!

We left about 6:30, walked back to the car (we parked on Central - if my bike hadn't been stolen we probably would have rode our bikes, but Central wasn't too bad), and went home to nap. 

Who am I kidding - we (my roommate and I) stopped at McDonalds and got a Diet Coke and a double cheeseburger on the way back. 

I also didn't go to the gym Saturday or Sunday. 

Monday was hell. 

Like I thought I was gonna die on the elliptical. 

I didn't, but I kind of wanted to. 

That night we went out, ate at Bayou, went to Local, and went home and watched The Newsroom until 5am. 

We're the coolest kids ever. 

When we got home though, we had gotten the mail. I got my Birchbox for the month (review coming soon!) and another t-shirt. FINALLY, I got my Choose 901 Overton Square shirt: 

*Um. Awesome. 

The shirts were delayed (the Memphis Flyer brought up an interesting point: Choose 901 used out of state suppliers for their shirts, kind of making the "Choose 901" spirit a little less convincing. In their defense, they are using local suppliers in the future, and, let's be honest, they do a lot of good and these shirts are great.) but I finally got mine. Definitely happy to represent my favorite Memphis neighborhood. 

Cooper-Young Fest was a success for sure. I love fall festival season - coming up there's Best Memphis Burger Fest (which I'm a judge for! I'll be judging the Anything But Beef category, and Kim from Dishcrawl Memphis will be there judging Best Straight Up Burger), Battledish (a Dishcrawl event - I've got a promo code for $10 off tickets - "pearls". I'm a judge, and it looks like it's going to be awesome! You should also follow Dischrawl on Twitter for more great codes and information about the event.), Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest , which is super fun, more concerts at the Levitt Shell, Night Markets at Broad Avenue, and a ton more. (I Love Memphis blog has a listing of all the events going on.)

And now that it kind of feels like it could possibly be fall soon-ish maybe, it's nice to be outside. 

And boots and cardigans and scarves are coming soon too. 


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