Lap Dance 

Emerson Indy 250 is fast & furious

David Letterman once said that when it's done right, it's like a ballet on wheels. It's open-wheel racing and it's coming to St. Louis in the form of the Emerson Indy 250, bound for Gateway International Raceway (700 Raceway Boulevard in Madison, Ill.) Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10.

Indy Racing League (IRL) stars Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves will take to the track for practice and pole-qualifying on Saturday. The Infiniti Pro Series will run the Gateway 100 at approximately 3:45 p.m., followed by IndyCar Series Qualifying and then an all-driver autograph session in the garage area. On Sunday, gates open at 9:30 a.m. for IRL Final Practice, with the green flag waving for the big race at 2 p.m. Tickets ($20-$55) are available at 866-35-SPEED or -- Tom R. Arterburn

The Real Deal
Wrestling fans believe

TUES 8/12

There's a passage in Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories where the narrator notes the German people's willing suspension of disbelief when watching wrestlers. Every afternoon they return to watch the same match between the same wrestlers with the same moves, and yet they get caught up in the action each time, as if they didn't already know the outcome. Set against the backdrop of the Nazi Party's rise to power, Isherwood's observation is particularly trenchant. One could make a similar case for modern America's fondness for WWE Smackdown and the war on terr -- wait, hold everything! Rey Mysterio is fighting at this one! Mysterio is a wily, canny wrestler, an explosive talent with high-flying acrobatic moves! ¡Viva Mysterio! WWE Smackdown at the Savvis Center (1401 Clark Avenue, 314-241-1888) costs $15-$30 and starts at 7:30 p.m. -- Paul Friswold

Beggin' for a Bat-Down

Let's talk about something real -- anger. Anger at the co-workers, boss, spouse, kids, in-laws, cops, thieves, killers, other drivers, Chinese government, telemarketer who woke you up this morning--it doesn't matter, we all feel that anger sometimes. Is it worth a special trip to purge your anger? Hell yes, it is! Grab a few quarters and drive to the nearest set of batting cages. Swing a bat that's a little too heavy for you at each pitch. If you're lucky, one of the balls will carom off the bat straight into your jaw and you'll feel a salty stream of blood trickling from the place where newly loosened tooth meets gum. Tastes good, don't it? Spit blood and keep swinging. And laugh. -- Byron Kerman

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