This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Week of August 11, 2004

 Wednesday, August 11

We love Ellsworth Kelly and Richard Serra and how their commissioned pieces interact with the space inside (and outside) Tadao Ando's Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts (3716 Washington Boulevard; 314-754-1848). And we also appreciated the Sculpture and Drawings by Richard Serra exhibit. That's why we bid it a grateful and loving adieu. After what seems like an eternity, these works have been replaced by a new show at the Pulitzer entitled Exploring Ando's Space, Art and the Spiritual. The vague title of this exhibit barely hints at its contextual spirituality and fantastic diversity: A page from an eighth-century Koran manuscript, Pablo Picasso's Woman in Yellow (1907) and contemporary artist Wolfgang Laib's white marble-and-rice sculpture may give you a better idea of what to expect when visiting. The free show opened Saturday, August 7, and is on view from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through January 2005; visit www.pulitzerarts.org for more information.

Thursday, August 12

Quick, out of the pool! Dr. Barkapotomus pulled the 
plug out of the drain!
Quick, out of the pool! Dr. Barkapotomus pulled the plug out of the drain!

Back in '79, The Black Stallion freaked our shit, and to be honest, it still does today. That nighttime scene where the ship's going down in flames, and Alec (Kelly Reno) and the titular stallion (Honeyboy Oatchomper, in his debut) have to swim for it? That's one of the most breathtaking, terrifying sequences ever put to film. If Disney's new prequel to this childhood joy, Young Black Stallion, is even half as great as the original, well, that's gonna be a good movie. Set at the end of World War II, Young Black Stallion follows the adventures of a girl named Neera and a different black stallion, named Shetan. YBS screens at 2 p.m. at the St. Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4444) on the gi-normous Omnimax screen. Tickets are $6 to $7.

Friday, August 13

Forest Park organizations like to have young-friends groups. There's one for people who like animals, and there's one for young professionals who enjoy all art museums' chef of choice, Wolfgang Puck. Wait -- the Saint Louis Art Museum's young-friends group is for art enthusiasts, not Puck fans? Oh well, we bet they like him nonetheless. Anyway, this group of not-old art lovers is hosting a Curators and Cocktails event at 6:15 p.m. in both Gallery 120 and Puck's (cocktails are covered by its cash bar). So who's the curator on hand? None other than David Conradsen, speaking about the University City Ceramics exhibit. To join the group, pay just $5 on top of any membership level ($50 for a regular member, with a $10 discount for students). Once you're a member, all of the young-friends events will be free and close at hand. Call the friendly hotline at 314-655-5416 for more info or to RSVP.

Saturday, August 14

Mr. Night is a good-lookin' man, but he has the attention span of gnat. COCA Day, the annual sampling of programs and classes at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue; 314-725-6555), is the perfect vehicle for Mr. Night's scattershot interests. Now he can dabble in the diverse activities COCA makes available to its students. Brief classes in dance, visual art, culinary arts (what's this? There's food beyond SpaghettiOs straight from the can?), circus arts, juggling and theatrical arts will be held between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. so interested parties may test the waters, so to speak, in each area. Who knows? Perhaps Mr. Night will discover he was born to dance! All classes are free for the two-and-a-half-hour period, and practiced COCA students from the Afriky Lolo dance company will provide the entertainment. Visit www.cocastl.org for more information.

Sunday, August 15

St. Louis is French. That's why we pronounce "Chouteau" like "showtoe." Contrary to popular belief, the French are not responsible for the way we pronounce "Gravois." Learn more about our French heritage in Ste. Genevieve: On Saturday and Sunday, August 14 and 15, the oldest city in Missouri hosts the 38th annual Jour de Fête (basically, "party day"). Stroll around town and check out Main Street's 1784 Bolduc House (among other historic buildings), Les Petite Chanteurs (a group of children singing in French) and the occasional company of French marines. Non-French attractions include the Classic Cruisers Car Show on Sunday (600 Market Street; $1 admission) and birds from the World Bird Sanctuary (behind the Bolduc-LeMeilleur House, Market and Main streets). So all this sounds like fun, but what about the parking? (We know our St. Louisans all too well.) Well, worry not: Signs direct visitors to the free Eric Scott Leathers lot (on Highway M), and $1 shuttles bring guests into town from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. all weekend. Call 1-800-373-7007 for more info.

Monday, August 16

August is "back-to-school" month, which means your mom wants you to buy new clothes. Look, Mom, if the Southern Lord T-shirt was good enough for the family reunion, it's good enough for civics class. But school's not really about fashion, is it? It's about the learnin', which comes from the books. And books are in fashion at the Almost Free Used Book Sale at the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive). They're promising that more than 100,000 books will be available at low, low prices in the air-conditioned JCC. We're gonna take 'em at their word, because we'd rather hunt down a complete set of Conan novels than count the stacks of books that don't have Conan in 'em. Admission is free Monday, August 16 (when the doors are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), through Friday, August 20, although hours of operation vary after Monday (call 314-442-3281 for details). The sale is closed on Saturday, August 21, and resumes at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 22, when you can buy a bag of books for $5.

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