This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Week of November 23, 2005

Now would be a good time to go to Brazil. Summer has arrived, things are heating up, and in fact, you can almost hear the caipirinhas (essentially Brazil's sans-mint mojito, sorta) chilling in the distance. Ah, yes, a trip south of the equator would be nice right about now, and that must be why Yemanja Brasil Restaurante (2900 Missouri Avenue) is opening up its banquet facility and nightclub with such a lavish party. Let's see, there'll be samba music, samba dancing by Christina, samba lessons also by the lovely Christina, mass Yemanja edibles and, lest we forget, enough caipirinhas and other fun drinks for all of us to at least think we're in the good country. The grand-opening party starts at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $5; call Yemanja at 314-771-7457 or visit www.brazildining.com for more information.

Push back from the table, hoss; you've had enough. And don't even think about picking up that remote control. You need to get out among people at this point. It's 6 p.m., which means Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street; 314-351-5711 or www.fredericksmusiclounge.com) is open for business, and you should make a beeline for the bar. Alcohol is your friend when your giblets are stretched to the limit by pie and mashed potatoes, and music will soothe your roiling guts — or at least mask the suspicious sounds gurgling from within said entrails. Steve Hinson's ragtime piano cutting serves as the soundtrack for your digestion until 8 p.m., when the Turkey Day Hootenanny/Open Mic goes into effect. Drink, sing, or just keep time on that distended belly. It's all good — you're among friends here. Oh, Atomic Cowboy (4140 Manchester Avenue; 314-775-0775 or www.atomic-cowboy.com), you teased us for so long with your super-slow Maplewood-to-the-city transformation. We missed you way too much while you were closed, so now it's our turn to play hard-to-get and tease you — in our little atomic cowgirl outfit purchased especially for tonight's Atomic Cowgirl Night (convenient, huh?). After we pay $3 to get in, we'll scoot our little red boots on the dance floor, thanks to hot sets by DJs Sarah Cox and Karizma. And we'll hold onto our hats and shake our fringy skirt while we down $5 appletinis, margaritas and Cowboy Cosmos (don'cha mean Cowgirl Cosmos?) until 3 a.m. And listen up, pardner: That's a mighty fine price for those drinks, but don't you think you could be a gentleman and offer an official cowgirl an appletini on the house for making her wait so long for you? Thought so (wink)! With the biting cold winds and the first signs of ice in the river come the American Bald Eagles, returning to roost along the waterway. In anticipation of the eagles' return, the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and the World Bird Sanctuary invite everyone to come out to Grafton City Hall (118 East Main Street, Grafton, Illinois; 800-258-6645 or www.visitalton .com) between 1 and 3 p.m. to meet an eagle up close and in the feathers. Liberty is a fourteen-year-old male eagle permanently grounded by shoulder injuries and retinal damage to both eyes. He works as a display bird, providing the public an opportunity to see and learn about our majestic national emblem at close range. For a $5 donation, you can have your picture taken with Liberty, which could make for a unique and striking Christmas card this year.

Sunday, November 27

Gift certificates and gift cards are so 2004; what you need to give this holiday season are American Indian gifts — hip, trendy and authentically cool. But where would you find such items (after all, we don't live in the Southwest)? Head to the Indian Market Days held Friday through Sunday (November 25 through 27) at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, Illinois; 618-346-5160 or www.cahokiamounds.com). There, you can purchase wampum jewelry for your mom, a walking stick for your dad, pretty gold and silver jewelry for Sis, and traditional clothing for your brother (he always did have an eclectic fashion sense). The market is open from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, so you'll have ample time to get your shop on this weekend. Promises made by a generation of futurist writers have yet to be kept: It's 2005, and exactly zero percent of Mr. Night's time is spent in any sort of virtual-reality pod. Well, when science fails you, turn to art. Thomas Tucker has an exhibition of his work, Reinventing the Present, at St. Louis Community College-Meramec's Art Gallery (11333 Big Bend Boulevard; 314-984-7632), and the work can only be viewed while seated inside the "spatial environment of a self-contained pod," according to the artist's description. Tucker uses the computer animation program Maya 3D to create drawings that locate the cynosure between subatomic structures, meditation and mathematical formulae. That's so futuristic it's crying out for a silver lamé unitard and Geordi La Forge glasses, which just happens to be Mr. Night's chosen wardrobe for the opening reception this evening, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The show remains up through Friday, December 16.

 
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