A large, pale yellow house on a manicured lawn beneath a brilliant blue sky. A downcast woman, half-turned toward the camera, sitting on a dirty city street. Two distinct images, yet it's the first that's as stark and cold as a body on an operating table, the second that's oddly intimate. This is the work of British-born, New York-based photographer Paul Graham, whose recent book, American Night, juxtaposes suburban dreamscapes with candid images of urban residents. Many of the latter photographs were shot in daylight but manipulated to appear as if taken at night, an effect both disquieting and compelling. A selection of these photographs -- the first exhibition of Graham's work in St. Louis -- is on display from Friday, October 22 (with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m.), through December 18, at the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery (3540 Washington Avenue; 314-361-7600). Graham's work is the inaugural exhibition for the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery at its new space, which was renovated under the guidance of New York architect James Slade. The gallery is open Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and by appointment. -- Ian Froeb
You Gotta Eat
And you better eat local
Sitting in the "café" portion of Café Balaban, nibbling on some crab cakes -- served with a tasty corn-and-ham succotash -- and throwing back, er, we mean sipping on a glass (or three) of wine after a long day is so, well, St. Louis. And what about when your friend comes into town from Chicago and, before even visiting her parents, insists you join her for a pizza at Farotto's? Now that's dedication to hometown food. Here's another sign of that commitment: It can be a rainy, cold Wednesday night and the enormous Cunetto House of Pasta will still have an hour-long wait -- unbelievable! But not surprising. St. Louisans love their food, and the Saint Louis Originals, a group of 40 locally and independently owned restaurants, understands.
That's why, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park, the group hosts its second annual Autumn Food and Wine Celebration, during which attendees can nosh on the best these locals have to offer. Don't worry, SqWires is participating (and hopefully, so is the best spinach salad ever, topped with the best goat-cheese fritter ever). As is Harvest -- yum! And Riddle's -- always fresh and delicious. And the list goes on and on. Enjoy Dominic's food (he and his wife are pictured) as you bid on auction items and listen to live music. See why your $100 ticket is well worth every single cent? Your belly does, so call 314-872-3463 to get your tickets now. And feel good about gorging for once, because a portion of the proceeds helps establish a scholarship fund. Just don't eat too much: Operation Food Search plans to distribute the leftovers to area shelters. -- Alison Sieloff
You know how difficult it is to come up with a costume for a Halloween party? At the Moonlight Masquerade at the City Museum (701 North 15th Street; 314-231-2489), you don't have to think of one until you get there! Your $25 admission fee gets you some drink tickets and the opportunity to make your own masque on site. That's a bargain, friend, because you can wear your masque to next week's parties too. The party runs from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., and proceeds benefit Hostelling International USA. -- Paul Friswold
Der Soulard Party
October's almost over, but you still have time to get your 'fest on. The Soulard Oktoberfest turns on the beer-'n'-brat machine from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, October 22, and again from 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, October 23, at Soulard Market Plaza (Eighth and Lafayette streets; 314-368-3419; free). Enjoy the Storndorfer Schuetzen Musikkapelle brass band (direct from Germany) and several local German heritage bands, and laugh at Old Man Winter one more time before he hugs the city to his frosty bosom. -- Paul Friswold