As Ms. Day is writing this, she is enjoying some of Missouri's finest -- Missouri's finest wine, that is. So all the wine snobs out there are snickering and feeling a little embarrassed for Ms. Day. After all, everyone knows that real wine comes from faraway places like Europe and Australia (or at least California). Or does it? If you haven't tried a glass of Stone Hill Winery's Hermannsberger red wine, you're missing out. But instead of taking Ms. Day's word for it and just dropping by the store to pick up a (very reasonably priced) bottle, why not head to Missouri's own wine country for a taste, a bottle and a tour? Stone Hill Winery (1110 Stone Hill Highway, Hermann; 573-486-2221 or www.stonehillwinery.com) offers daily tours from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (on the half-hour) every Monday through Thursday in April, with different weekend hours ($0.50 to $1.50). And yes, you could go on a weekend, but wouldn't a day off work be nice?
Thursday, April 21
Kids are mysterious creatures, it's true. It's hard to imagine what's going through their little heads when they pull any number of stunts, from trying to do a flip on a bike into the pool to unevenly cutting and dyeing their own hair. Well, the ten- to thirteen-year-old students who attend the Pagedale Beyond Housing after-school program want you to see through their eyes. Do so at an exhibit of photographic portraits, Fifteen Kids: By Us, for Us and About Us, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Public Policy Research Center (362 Social Sciences & Business building, 1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-5273). Get a glimpse into how the kids view themselves and each other with images like Ladarrell: The young man photographed looks just as comfortable in the French-styled chair that he's lounging on (with his shoes on the furniture, mind you) as he would on the playground. Most grown-ups don't have that kind of adaptability (but if we did, we'd probably go as far as we suspect the subject of this photo will. Set your sights on the White House!). This free show opens today with a reception from noon to 1 p.m.; the exhibit remains on view from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until August 30.
Friday, April 22
It pains Mr. Night to no end to consider a world without the work of George Hurrell. The photographer immortalized the visages of the Golden Age of Hollywood; in the process, he created the very essence of superstar glamour. The bedroom eyes, the come-hither look, the subtle suggestions of bare flesh (and then some): Hurrell pioneered all of it. The Gallery of Photography at the Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900 or www.sheldonconcerthall.org) features a new selection of Hurrell's work, but just his photos of male stars. Hurrell's Men proves that when it comes to pretty, the ladies don't have a lock on cleaning up nice. The show opens with a free public reception from 5 to 7 p.m., and it remains up through August 13. Meow, tiger!
Saturday, April 23
Sherry Shepard-Massat's drama Levee James, the penultimate show in the Saint Louis Black Repertory's season, may not seem like traditional date-night fare. Shepard-Massat's play, set in rural Georgia in the 1920s, is at its heart a love story between Lily and Wesley, former lovers who have reconnected after years. But the play also exposes the hatred and bigotry that surrounds them -- and the cycle of violence that such stunted emotions creates. Not exactly lightweight stuff, but neither is Romeo and Juliet. Shepard-Massat has been praised for her hard-edged yet poetic dialogue, so for the more mature lovers, Levee James might be just the ticket for a stimulating evening out on the town. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; 314-534-3810). Tickets are $10 to $37.50, and the show continues Wednesday through Sunday (through May 15; see www.stlouisblackrep.com for more information).
Sunday, April 24
Going out to eat with your family is always a major ordeal: Dad only eats basic things like steak and potatoes, your teenage sister is on a vegetarian kick right now, and your mom, well, she's ruled out white flour. (Meanwhile, you're just so excited to get dinner that you'd eat pretty much anything.) Take this finicky bunch to the Kiwanis Club of Creve Coeur's all-you-can-eat Pasta Party from 4 to 7 p.m. at the YouthBridge Family Community (12685 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur). Here, regular spaghetti with meat sauce is served (Dad'll like that), whole-grain spaghetti is offered (yea, Mom!), and your sister can enjoy vegetarian tomato sauce. Everyone wins, including two charities: Proceeds from this dinner benefit the YouthBridge Family Community (which provides lodging for out-of-town families whose children are in local hospitals) and the Oakridge Clinic of Roatán (an outpatient medical center on the island of Roatán, which is off the coast of Honduras). Dinners cost $6 to $12; call 314-995-1212 for more information.
Monday, April 25
If you've always wanted to be whisked around town in a rickshaw but weren't sure you could afford the extravagance of it all, April is your lucky month. St. Louis Rickshaw is donating its services (thanks to certain Soulard-based businesses footing the bill) Monday through Thursday nights until at least the end of the month. Say you're leaving Mike and Min's (Tenth Street and Geyer Avenue) and you want to get to the Gearbox (formerly Lil' Nikki's, 1551 South Seventh Street). Just call 314-520-7632 between 7 and 11 p.m. for a pick-up, and have the four-seat, pedal-powered rickshaw haul your caboose thataway, absolutely gratis. Of course, there are limitations: No rides in rainy weather, your party has a ten-minute maximum, and your destination has to be in Soulard (so no flossing over to the strip clubs all Shanghai Surprise-style). Otherwise, live it up.
Tuesday, April 26
Amy Goodman, host of the radio program Democracy Now! doesn't know Mr. Night or Ms. Day, but she probably doesn't like us. We're sure it's nothing personal; it's her principles. She stands against all facets of the media elite, and if anyone is the elite of the media, it be us. (Rattle your jewelry, Ms. Night; let 'em hear the ice storm!) Goodman's book, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers and the Media That Love Them is out in paperback, so she's touring the nation to discuss the book, politics and the way the U.S. ought to be run. She stops by the First Unitarian Church (5007 Waterman Boulevard; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com for information) as a guest of Left Bank Books at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and we'll be there with solid-gold bells on.
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