Ms. Day (who fell in lust with food years ago) is optimistic that as people become more interested in and concerned with what they eat, the tide will continue to turn away from chain restaurants and toward our own locally owned treasures, like the freshly opened Terrene at 33 Sarah Street. If you, too, are food-obsessed, join other like-minded (or like-bellied) food fanatics at this new spot for the first entrée into the Foodies Forum. Pay $100 to join the group (and to raise money for Food Outreach, www.foodoutreach.org), and you get to attend four events. During this first forum, which runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., learn from chef Dave Owens about topics such as using sustainable ingredients, recycling and composting -- all while you're eating Dave's delish (and organic) dishes! Call Justin from Food Outreach at 314-652-3663, extension 18, to attend the event.
Thursday, October 27
The year is almost over (sniff), and how many of your New Year's resolutions have you accomplished? Like the one about eating breakfast -- what happened there? (Diet Coke does not equal breakfast.) And remember you wanted to be more involved in the city? You aspired to take more than a casual interest in this place and really know about what was happening -- so why haven't you? Stop with the excuses, and head downtown to the Old Post Office (815 Olive Street) at 7:30 a.m. for a continental breakfast and a Hard-Hat Tour of the space's renovation. This FOCUS St. Louis excursion costs $15; call 314-622-1250, extension 101, for your required reservation, and visit www.focus-stl.org for more information. And in case this tour fills up, hold out for a Breakfast Club tour of the Medinah Temple on November 17.
Friday, October 28
Zalmaï Ahad fled Afghanistan in 1980 when he was fifteen. It was 23 years before he returned to his homeland; in that time Afghanistan survived the Soviet invasion and the Taliban regime, while Zalmaï became a Swiss citizen and a professional photographer. Upon his return to Afghanistan, Zalmaï photographed the people fighting against poverty and terrorism to rebuild a country. He found that the intervening decades may have wrought changes in the government of the nation, but Afghanistan's lifeblood, its people, were the same as they had been for centuries -- optimistic, proud, resilient. Zalmaï's photographs show a country that has seen precious little peace but a people who continue to believe that peace is an attainable dream. Return, Afghanistan, a collection of 78 of Zalmaï's photographs, opens with a public reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Gallery 210 in the TeleCommunity Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive and Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-5976). Gallery 210 is open Tuesday through Saturday, and the show remains up through December 10.
Saturday, October 29
Whiskey and beer. Waffles and chicken. Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These are combinations of such brilliant compatibility that they make grown men weep with their sensuous beauty, that they make Mr. Night bellow, "Viva life!" from that strange-smelling nest he built under his desk. And so expect much joyful weeping and bellowing tonight at 8 p.m. as the Webster Film Series presents a new 35mm print of Tobe Hooper's beloved film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But what's this? Diabolical duo Puerto Muerto are also on the schedule, performing their "lost" soundtrack for the film live in the friendly environs of Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487; tickets are $5 to $6). Can such pleasures really exist in the same room? Terrifying movie and eerie soundscapes, flickering at the edges of our waffle-'n'-whiskey-addled sanity -- is this Halloween or Christmas?
Sunday, October 30
These late autumn Sundays are perfect for a trip to the movies, but who can ever agree on what to see? Why not skip the cineplex and see a little bit of everything instead? Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor (of the Reduced Shakespeare Company) have taken the basic elements of Hollywood movies (the superstar egos, the clichéd endings, the glitz), run them through a blender, stirred the resulting mixture (it looks like sequins and guns!) and then reduced it down to a rapid-fire show that reveals all the comedy hidden under the self-importance. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents Completely Hollywood (Abridged) at 2 and 7 p.m. today in the Emerson Studio Theatre of the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves; 314-968-4925 or www.repstl.org), with additional performances Tuesday through Sunday (October 26 through November 13). Tickets are $37.50 to $48.
Monday, October 31
Attention St. Louisans: Apparently, our sewers are more toxic than we ever imagined! Just look at the giant creature on the facing page that was found near Fenton -- whoo-weee! That's a crazy-looking thing! And lucky for you, St. Louis, you can venture inside this inflatable being and have a look at all its inner workings tonight from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. -- if you dare! The Creature is part of the Silo-X haunted complex, and for only $10 to $20, you can tour Silo-X, the Crematorium and the Creature (1600 Old Highway 141, Springdale) and be scared by the government cover-ups, funeral-home zombies and giant gooey guts, respectively. All three attractions are open every day through Halloween; visit www.scarefest.com or call 314-631-8000 for additional times. And remember: Only babies go trick-or-treating (and you're old enough to buy your own candy anyway).
Tuesday, November 1
As difficult as it's been to come down from the Rocky Mountain High of last year's Louisiana Purchase Expedition Bicentennial Fever (Mr. Night is still in his buckskin leisure suit), we must accept that those heady days of Lewis & Clark mania are over. But there were other discovery expeditions after the Corps of Discovery, and there's no reason we can't get psyched over lesser-known but no less important explorers such as Colonel John James Abert or Major William Hemsley Emory. Abert established the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, and Emory wrote a three-volume report on the Southwest. It is men such as these, and the Army itself, that are celebrated in Beyond Lewis & Clark: The Army Explores the West, a special exhibition at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org) through January 8, 2006. Learn how the U.S. Army explored, mapped and photographed the West using the latest technology; admission is $3 to $6 (but free on Tuesdays).