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Jan 2005 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

Begin Again
By Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Saturday, January 8
Art Opening: "Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs"
Morton J. May Gallery, Maryville University, 13550 Conway Rd.
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., 314-529-6520

Iwo Jima These kids today, with their mobile-to-mobile and omnipresent Blackberries (we're talkin' to you, Jim Shrewsbury!), may be so visually saturated that they can't imagine the way a striking image once could become the symbol of a whole world, a moment in time, an icon: Iwo Jima, Napalmed Vietnamese children, the Twin Towers' collapse. These and other indelible images form the exhibit of Pulitzer Prize winners, which has opened to great acclaim around the world.

Sunday, January 9
Forum: "Building a Black and Green Alliance"
Randall Building, 3026 Cherokee St.
Free, all ages, 1 p.m., 314-385-6906,

Though minority groups have much common cause with environmental groups (because hazardous environmental toxins are often disproportionately sited in poor communities, among other reasons), the lines that divide ethnic groups often outweigh the issues that bring them together. The Missouri Green Party is committed to overcoming the racial divide in environmental politics, and to capitalize on what it sees as failures of the dominant Democratic politicians in the city. Speakers at this event include Willie Marshall, Green candidate for the 21st ward committeeman seat, Jason Murphy, chair of the Green Party's central committee and Zaki Baruti, a former Green candidate for Missouri governor.

Monday, January 10
Reading: "Under the Arch: St. Louis Stories"
Duff's Restaurant, 392 N. Euclid
Free, 7:30 p.m., 314-367-6731,

It's bound to be a memorable literary night (is there any other kind, tucked into the wooded enclave of Duff's?) when some of the Lou's most renowned authors — poets Richard Newman and Suzanne Rhodenbaugh, bestselling author Eileen Dryer, professor William Gass and many others — come together to read from a new collection of 23 stories about life in our town. Sponsored by our friends at Left Bank Books...coincidentally, just across the way.

Thursday, January 13
Reading: "The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America's Food Supply," by Ken Midkiff
Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 225 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-367-4120

What's this? Another quality event of letters from the Left Bank Books crowd? Why yes, and you might want to get a good meal in you before you show up: you're probably going to want to swear off anything but organic, low-on-the-chain vittles after Midkiff's graphic descriptions of how our shiny modern pork, beef, milk, eggs and chicken get to our tables. It ain't pretty, people. Food for thought.

Friday, January 14
Art Opening: "Gateway Greening's Community Gardeners"
Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center at Forest Park, 5595 Grand Dr.
Free, all ages, 5:30-7 p.m., 314-516-5273

The Public Policy Research Center Gallery at UMSL, long a home to innovative and relevant art programs for the St. Louis community, has stepped it up a notch since Mel Watkin took over as gallery director, and this photography program is one of her pet projects, reaching beyond the walls of the physical gallery to be a more, well, present presence in the area. (A companion exhibit is running through April 13th at the UMSL gallery). This exhibit features the work of William Bennett (no, not the morals czar, but a good fellow, we're sure), Wardwell Buckner, Bob Byrne, Ruth Kamphoefner, Marilyn Lane, Kristin Lindner, LaDoris Payne, Ola Bledsoe and Cheryl Schaefer, focused on the neighborhood activists who participate in the programs of Gateway Greening.

Friday, January 14
City Circus Cabaret
City Museum, 3rd floor, 701 N. 15th St.
$12.50 (includes museum admission), 9 p.m., 314-645-4445,

A singing trapeze artist, a juggling teenaged contortionist (aren't they all?), a human calculator: just a few of the acts, impressive as they are offbeat, that you'll find at the all-grown-up City Circus Cabaret, an offshoot of the popular everydaycircus at downtown's favorite madcap museum. Stick around afterwards for a drink at the Cabin Inn or a trip down the roller slide.

Saturday, January 15
Film: "Jimi Sir: An American Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal"
Schlafly Branch of St. Louis Public Library, 225 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 4 p.m., 314-367-4120

Admit it, you've either served in the Peace Corps or thought about it, perhaps in a wistful, "I-wish-I-didn't-have-to-go-back-to-sitting-at-my-desk-after-Christmas-Hey-wait-what-about-the-Peace-Corps?" way. This afternoon's screening offers you a chance to understand the real deal, in a documentary by Boston filmmaker Claude von Roesgen about the service of James "Jimi" Parks in a tiny Nepalese village in 1984. Both men will be in attendance, as will a number of returned Nepalese Peace Corps volunteers who will be reuniting for the first time. With any luck, recruiters will be available afterwards for the true believers.

Sunday, January 16
Free Candy, with Amanda & Julia
Hartford Coffee Company, 3974 Hartford St.
Free, 7 p.m., 314-772-5947,,

I know I say this every month, but every month it's true: we just keep topping ourselves with our riveting guests and inane-yet-amusing hostess banter down at the Free Candy show. As you may know, we are now happily ensconced at Hartford Coffee Company, and the cozy space fills up quickly, so make sure you're timely to get a good seat, so as to not miss any of our Lindsay Lohan trash-talk, or any of the tricks of our Human Oddity guests...or any of the fantastic storytelling of guests like Jeanne Trevor! The candy's still free, free, free; the Sugar Daddies (minus Kurt Groetsch, Godspeed) rock, rock, rock; and you'll have fun, fun, fun. Just ask us!

Tuesday, January 18
Benefit Evening for The Commonspace
Nik's Wine Bar and Hookah Lounge, 307 Belt Ave. (at Pershing)
Free admission, 21-up, 5 p.m.-midnight,

Join all your friends — even the ones you haven't met yet — and the volunteers of The Commonspace for a low-key, post-holiday happy hour. The good folks at Nik's will be serving up fabulous drinks, tasty appetizers and dinners and the ever-delightful hookah water pipes (filled with your favorite flavored tobacco: we're big fans of jasmine and apple) all night long and giving 10% of the evening's revenues to The Commonspace! What a deal! What a country! In addition, we'll be raffling off a few prizes, handing out information about upcoming events sponsored by The Commonspace, and more. You can meet that witty writer whose work you've admired on the site, or get a debate going about the merits of various downtown developments. It'll be a great way to catch up with the folks you missed seeing during the holiday bustle, and a great way to start the new year. Our sincerest thanks to the kind people at Nik's for hosting us; check out their menu.

Wednesday, January 19
Concert: Chuck Berry
Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd.
$25, 21-up, 314-727-0880

Be It Resolved: every month you flip idly through the concert listings, and every month you say, "Hey, has anyone ever gone to see Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill? We should do that sometime." Yes! Yes! Yes, you should! I mean, the Chuckster's not getting any younger, he's a freakin' national treasure and he's right here in your hometown! Why are you still reading this? Go get tickets already! Make 2005 the Year of Chuck. (Then you can celebrate by picking up the all local, all Chuck Berry tribute disk that supports KDHX...)

Friday, January 21
Film: "Nothing But a Man"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park
$5, 7 p.m., 314-721-0072,

This 1964 film, directed by Michael Roemer, is a classic of neorealism and its intense, stark compositions. The story deals with a black railroad worker who runs smack into demons, both personal and societal, after his encounter with a local preacher's daughter — 40 years later, it's still considered one of the best films out there about African American self-discovery.

Friday, January 21 — Sunday, January 23
Hip-Hop: Asphalt Jungle
COCA, 524 Trinity Ave.
$20, 7 p.m. Friday, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 314-725-6555,

Rennie Harris Founded in 1992 in Philadelphia, the Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) dance company is committed to spreading the true spirit of hip-hop culture rather than the bling-bling-gansta-pop stew that's on the airwaves and MTV. The show features a wide range of dynamic dance styles that have emerged from the streets, including hip-hop, popping, locking, stepping, break and house. If you want cred with the headz, get your body movin' over to COCA for this tight performance.

Saturday, January 22
Hula Hoopla
Butterfly House, 15193 Olive Blvd.
$4-$6, all ages, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 636-530-0076,

Here's the thing: we're suckers for anything in January to combat the SAD blues, and if you've gotta drive to Chesterfield to play Tiki Totem Pole and hula hoop among rare and exotic butterflies, well then, by gum, that's what you have to do! (Seriously, this is safe for the butterflies, right?) Anyway, there'll be "tropical crafts" (hopefully to do with fashioning umbrellas for my fruity drinks), hula dancing and more. Study up on the physics and you'll be a ringer for the prizes.

Saturday, January 22
Theater: "Soul of a Clone," presented by Upstream Theater
Danforth Plant Science Center's Southwestern Bell Auditorium, 975 N. Warson Rd.
$5-$10, 314-863-0570,

Also, we're suckers for people striking out and doing their own thing: thus, we present Upstream Theater, a new nonprofit professional group that will present new works and inventive productions of classical plays, emphasizing inclusion of artists from other countries. Their inaugural work, "Soul of a Clone," is inspired by Kafka's "A Report to the Academy," and includes acting, cello and mixed media. And is reported to be "syncretic." We're not quite sure what that means, but it sounds awfully smart, so you know we'll be there.

Thursday, January 27
Curator's talk: A Visit to Naraland, by Kristin Chambers
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Blvd.
Nara sprite Free, 6 p.m. cash bar/7 p.m. lecture, 314-535-4660,

Yoshitomo Nara's wide-eyed waifs and spunky puppies (and surly toddlers) inhabit a pop world, flattened before the viewer's eyes to present a surreal world that you can't help but be drawn into. As Nara himself professes limited English speaking skills, this lecture might be your best chance to find out what's really going on in Naraland.

Sunday, January 30
Wiener Dog Derby
Soulard Market Park
Free, all ages, 2-4 p.m., 314-771-5110,

I think this says it all:
photo by Dave Beardsley

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