Are we almost out of Lewis & Clark activities yet? Of course not! Despite 200 years of study time since Lewis & Clark's mystic voyage, there are still areas of their trip yet to be fully explored by scholars.
Author Patricia Reeder Eubank has staked out her claim in the Lewis & Clark territory with a very unusual approach: Her book, Seaman's Journey: On the Trail with Lewis & Clark, charts the dynamic duo's progress from the point of view of Lewis' Newfoundland, Seaman. Intended for younger readers (kindergarteners up to third graders), Seaman's Journey is as much an adventure story as it is an educational one. Kids who might be put off by a dry account of the trip are likely to be drawn in by the musings of an intrepid dog. And besides, who doesn't love dogs?
Eubank, who raises Newfoundlands herself, discusses her book and Seaman at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599) at 1 p.m. Admission is free, and Seaman's Journey will be for sale in the gift shop if you wish to have a signed copy. -- Paul Friswold
It Ain't Easy
But Walter Mosley makes it look that way
Walter Mosley is a mystery writer -- a writer of mysteries, we should say, to keep ourselves away from painting him into the corner of mere genre writing -- with nineteen books to his credit. His most famous character is Easy Rawlins, a working-class LA detective who's often tapped by the (mostly white) police when they need help going places they can't go. And as Rawlins' march through last century's uneasy history attests, there were plenty of places in LA where white cops were not welcome. Not that all that much has changed, either.
Devil in a Blue Dress was Mosley's first novel and Rawlins' first appearance, and the book sold well -- until it was catapulted into the stratosphere when then-President Bill Clinton told the press that Mosley was his favorite writer. Mosley's written science fiction, literary novels and essays, all in a relaxed-yet-precise prose style that's kept him on bestseller lists for fourteen years. Little Scarlet, his latest novel, is set five days after the 1965 Watts riots, and it finds Rawlins picking through the smoldering ruins of his city to help the police keep a lid on a crime that could reignite the fury that burned it down. Rawlins doesn't like cops, but he doesn't like riots, either, and he does what he has to for his neighborhood.
If you had the good fortune to catch the free screenings of the film versions of Mosley's novels Devil in a Blue Dress and Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned at the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue) the past two weeks, that's great. But even if you didn't, you should still see Mosley read from Little Scarlet at 7 p.m. at the Schlafly branch as the guest of Big Sleep Books. Call 314-367-4120 for more info. -- Mark Dischinger
Tour de St. Louis
Your body wants you to ride your bike. St. Louis wants you to come back downtown and see what you're missing. Starving polar bears in the melting tundra want you to quit driving your car. Don't have a bike? Don't know what to do in the city? Don't care about ice shelves dissolving into the sea? We can't make you care about the last one, but the Touring Cyclist has a bike-rental shop (right next to the city's best landmark, the Gateway Arch on Riverfront Drive) open until the end of September to help with the other two.
For $12 ($25 if you want to ride all day) you can pedal your way through the city for two magical hours. There are several self-guided tours, but our favorite is the City Tour, an easy-to-manage 6.5-mile trip to the City Museum, Union Station and the Soulard neighborhood. It's the perfect combination of art, consumerism and libations. Hey, in some suburbs six miles won't even get you to the strip mall and back. Rentals begin at 7 a.m. and bikes need to be back by 6 p.m.; call 314-335-3406 for details. -- Mark Dischinger
If you hadn't noticed, the porn star is the new astronaut. Everybody in America wants to be a porn star, or at least project the porny image that's so, so hot. Uh-huh. So get to Velvet (1301 Washington Avenue; call 314-241-8178 for show time and prices) for the Porn Star Ball 2, a.k.a. the "Slippery When Wet" tour. Velvet will become a veritable smorgasbord of nubile flesh poured into tight and revealing clothing. Oh, and the ladies will probably look pretty hot, too. Check out www.jillkellyproductions.com for a sexy preview, but don't do it at work. It's so sexy, you'll get one of them sex-harassment suits thrown at you if the boss sees it onscreen. -- Paul Friswold
Do It Four Art
Tired of busyness? Busy days, busy nights. Busy art openings, busy art. Schmidt Contemporary Art at 4740 McPherson Avenue understands. That's why the current show, running through August, only consists of four paintings: one by Michael Toenges and three by Peter Tollens. The beauty behind these German artists' work is the abstract simplicity; Tollens' subtle textures (pictured), combined with the lush surface of the Toenges painting, make for a (welcome) uncomplicated show. See for yourself (when you're not busy) from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or call 314-575-2648 for an appointment. -- Alison Sieloff