Saturday, May 17, 2014

Kiss' Paul Stanley Brings People Out Of The Woodwork From Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky At His Book Signing

When I first heard the news from D93 Rock DJ Tommy Starr on Facebook that Kiss' front-man Paul Stanley was coming to Bowling Green for a book signing of his new autobiography, "Paul Stanley: Face The Music, A Life Exposed," I was a little skeptical at first.  I don't think I quite believed it.  "The Paul Stanley from Kiss is coming to good ole little Bowling Green? No way!" I thought.  So I put it on the back burner on my mind because the book signing date was still several weeks away.
However, when the day came this past Thursday, I realized it was a reality.  I started seeing postings about it on Facebook again. I posted on Facebook a couple of negative comments concerning that I hated large crowds, long lines and I didn't like standing out in the cold rain waiting. I could feel my middle age seeping in on my positive attitude towards rock legends of the days of my youth.  Then, I thought, "Hey, wait a minute, this is my chance to meet Paul Stanley in person and get his autograph. Hell yes, I'm going!"  Even my childhood friend, Ricky Williams from Memphis also posted on Facebook, "You've got to go, man. It's Paul Stanley!"
I'm glad I went.  Yes, it was crowded. There were probably about a 1,000 people from everywhere there at the Warren County Public Library-Bob Kirby Branch on Scottsville Road just off Exit 22 next to the Ramada Inn.  Lots of people had even traveled from out of town such as Evansville, Ind., and Ohio.  So people had been waiting all day too. My number was No. 267.  You had to buy the $30 book at 4 p.m. and if you lived in town like I did, you could go home for dinner and come back at 6:30 p.m. in get your place in line.  I asked the organizer of the event, Jayne Pelaski, "How did you all managed to land Paul Stanley here?"  She said, "It was a lot of hard work and it took a lot of finagling."  Of course, Paul showed up on time and you could hear the applause, hooting and hollering for him when he arrived.  How it worked is that he did not sign any
memorabilia. Only his books.  Once you got in line in this big room, the staff brought a cart around with pre-signed copies of his new books and they exchanged them for the unsigned books that you had purchased earlier in the day.  Then when you got up there to meet Paul, the staff would take you picture with him with your camera.  When it was my turned,  I approached him and introduced myself to him and tried to shake his hand.  He gave me the fist bump instead.  He was nice about it though.  He posed for picture with me and I told him that I was going to the Kiss concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on July 16th.  He said, "We'll see you there!" and smiled. Then, I walked out the backdoor and starting posting my pic with him on Facebook immediately. 

Warren County Public Library to Host KISS Frontman Paul Stanley

Face the Music book cover
The Warren County Public Library will host Paul Stanley for a book signing on Thursday, May 15. Stanley will sign copies of his memoir Face the Music:  A Life Exposed.
In Face the Music, Paul Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize.
The event will be held at the Bob Kirby Branch on Thursday, May 15th at 7:00 p.m.  Doors open at 4:00, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early to reserve their space in line. Book signing only – no memorabilia will be signed. Books will be available for purchase on site starting at 4:00. For more information, call 270-782-0252 or email Jayne Pelaski at jaynep@warrenpl.org.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The New "Mariah's" Restaurant in Downtown Bowling Green, Ky., Is A Smash Hit!

     Downtown Bowling Green is changing and it's now the place to be these days.
It's not the same place it used to be for years and years since I moved here in the late 80's. However, anybody who decides to go downtown nowadays can get a sense and feel of the "new vibe" as soon as you approached the new gigantic parking structure next to the Bowling Green "Hot Rods" minor league baseball ballpark.  I have been seeing the progress of this particular parking structure these last couple of years and I thought, "Well, it's just another parking structure".  But I supposed it never peaked my interest until the Hitcents Park Plaza or Mariah's Restaurant's new location http://www.mariahs.com/ came into fruition in the last year or so with five new restaurants currently bunched in together at the bottom of the parking structure on the plaza level next to the ballpark.  The new restaurants include the new Mariah's, Brick & Basil Pizzeria, Asia Cafe, The Holinos Mexican Restaurant and the 643 Sports Bar.  When I found this out, of course, then I became intrigued.
Supposedly, all of the restaurants are sharing one large kitchen and somehow all of the food is distributed to all of the different restaurants after it is prepared.  I wouldn't mind to take a look behind the scenes in this kitchen to see how all of this is being executed especially since I work in the service and sales industry.
    But then of course, the devil's advocate side of me has had this curious thought lingering in the back of my mind. I'm sure as taxpayers of Bowling Green and Warren County, we will all help pay for the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) which includes the building of two new parking structures (Downtown and Western Kentucky University) and several buildings and projects in one form or fashion that I have seen being built in the downtown area lately. Too many for me to recall right now. According to my mortgage company, I know that my city taxes are going up a little next year . I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.  But the county taxes, may not have not have anything to do with the TIF and the downtown redevelopment.  I don't know for sure or how all of this is working out is all I am saying.  But on the other hand, I do know that there are people here who are investing tons of their own money also into these private ventures which is a good thing for Downtown Bowling Green and our local economy.
    Anyway, back to the Hitcents Park Plaza.  The old, Mariah's in the old historic home closed down not long ago.  Former owner, Rick Kelley, sold out to the Mills family (Hitcents), because of  some financial troubles that he had been involved in these last couple of years.  But Kelley has stayed on as an adviser and consultant to the restaurant which is a good thing I think.  Also, Jodi Fleming, the manager of Mariah's is still there as well as some of the servers and staff.  Especially, Bryan Graves, head bartender and server is still there. He's a great guy and knows how to take care of his customers really well.  I understand that he is in charge or helping out with arranging entertainment that is taking place in the 643 Sports Bar and also for bands that we be performing on the Plaza area this Summer.
   All and all, the new Mariah's is a smash hit in my opinion.  This new restaurant is beautiful inside especially the bar area, our usual hangout since Patty and I have been regulars there these last couple of years.  The menu is basically the same as the old Mariah's.  There appears to be a little variation of menu item choices and maybe some price changes a little.  With our drinks, Patty and I ordered the "Say Cheeseburger" and side two salads.  The new "Say Cheeseburger" has been greatly upgraded and much improved.  They were very delicious!  The bar area has even added several new selections of wines and beers to it's stock too. However, the biggest difference of the new Mariah's in my opinion, is how grand and beautiful the new restaurant is with lots of glass, dark stained wood and very high ceilings.  There's tons of room and space for everyone.  Being brand new, the new Mariah's is super clean, charming and elegant too.  But I would say, even years down the road, the new Mariah's will serve its customers well in its new location. And with its new location and new owners, I would say that they will most likely maintain the legacy and reputation of Mariah's, keeping it alive and well for Bowling Green and anyone who walks through their doors.  It's worth a trip to Downtown Bowling Green, even if you decide not to park in the parking structure.  But please do because it's free in you are dining at one of the Hitcents Park Plaza restaurants!