Hump Day is not the most convenient time to take a trip to the Pacific Rim for a quick meal. Weekday flights are tough, and that whole international-dateline thing messes with your inner chronometer every time, so it feels like you've departed and arrived on the same day. But if you want to cheat a little, you can bop down to the as-yet-to-be-officially opened Red Moon restaurant (1500 St. Charles Street; call 314-535-0770 for tickets) between 6 and 9 p.m. for an advance sampling of Asian cuisine with a French flair. It's like two trips in one! For your $45 ticket, you sample sake, contemporary martinis and Red Moon's take on Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai favorites. For an extra $20, you can help finish the restaurant's décor with local artists. The evening is a benefit for both the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Thursday, October 7
How big is your apartment? Maybe 500 square feet? Or are you one of those fancies that sprawls out in a well-proportioned 800 square feet of space? Imagine if you had a whopping 6,000 square feet -- you could put a lot of paintings in there! And displaying lots of art is just what the new-and-improved Kodner Gallery (now at 9650 Clayton Road in Ladue; 314-993-4477 or www.kodnergallery.com) plans to do. Join the Kodners at the free cocktail reception and grand-opening celebration for the new gallery space from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. A portion of the sales from the first exhibit, Portraits of the Park, benefits none other than Forest Park Forever, and you can bid on a chance to take a little part of Forest Park home with you tonight, too. A commissioned painting by Billyo O'Donnell, capturing the Grand Basin in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum at twilight, is silently auctioned off. While tonight's the only party night (reservations recommended), the exhibit is up until November 6 for you to do your own, more private celebrating.
Friday, October 8
We know it: You're one of those people who's a little slow to change. You like your comfy college clothes -- pleated-front khakis and thick-soled shoes included. You've heard of the "dance music" and have even heard some of it firsthand. "Not bad," you say. Tonight's the night to hear a little more of that DJ style with some of the music you like. You know, the classics. At the restaurant 609's U Lounge (at 609 Eastgate Avenue; 314-721-9168), DJ Mark Lewis hits the Rolling Stones and the old soul and funk and the good MJ (pre-Neverland), all in one rockin' set, every Friday night. Those pants with the extra room in front suit you well as you sit on a cushy cube, enjoy a post-dinner cocktail and prepare to do some moonwalking. "Pleased to meet you/Hope you guess my name," you sing as you forget about your reluctance to evolve and find a new way to groove. And who knows? Tomorrow you may be ready to try on the oh-so-sexy flat-fronts -- we hear the ladies dig them.
Saturday, October 9
So, are you looking for something to do on a Saturday night, and you don't want to drag the kids along? Get yourself two tickets to the St. Louis Community College-Meramec theater department's production of The Trojan Women. This Jean-Paul Sartre adaptation of Euripides' 2,500-year-old play explores the ideas of nationalism, the rationalization of brutality during times of war and the human cost of these endeavors -- yeah, exactly, not very kid-friendly at all but perfect for the discriminating, intellectual man-or-woman-of-the-world such as yourself. And these tickets you need? They're free. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so you might want to get to the SLCC-Meramec Theatre (11333 Big Bend Boulevard; 314-984-7562) a little before the 8 p.m. start time. A night of intelligent theater and no kids? Priceless.
Sunday, October 10
Think kids get to do all the fun stuff? That's not entirely true, because all ages can train to be a Junior Naturalist at the Junior Naturalist Day Camp (no doy) at Onondaga Cave State Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. These two-day instructional sessions (attendance is required both Saturday and today in order to earn the patch and certificate) take future J.N.s hiking into the woods, under the woods to Onondaga Cave and into the water for some river ecology. Bring your own lunch -- and a little money to get yourself into the cave -- to 7556 Highway H in Leasburg, Missouri. Yeah, and if you want, go ahead and bring your swee-eet jacket that you plan on sewing your patch onto and flashing every time someone says, "What? Are you, like, a Junior Naturalist?" How surprised those smart-alecks will be! Call 800-334-6946 to make your required reservation.
Monday, October 11
It's almost too strange to be true: Mike Metheny performing music at the Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue)? Pay attention to the spelling there, bub. That's Metheny with an "e," as in the flugelhorn player from KC (and older brother of guitarist Pat), not Matheny with an "a," as in the St. Louis Cardinals catcher. This Metheny is known for his soft tone with the flugelhorn and his occasional use of the EVI (that's an acronym for Electric Valve Instrument, a trumpet synthesizer you blow like a horn; see photos at www.ewi-evi.com!). Metheny performs with the Steve Schenkel Trio at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5, and you can call the Fine Arts Hotline at 314-968-7128 for more info.
Tuesday, October 12
New Music Circle brings another international group to St. Louis, this time in the form of Conference Call. The quartet features Gebhard Ullmann on woodwinds, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer/percussionist George Schuller, and they work in the "modern jazz" tradition. Mr. Night is not quite sure what makes their jazz modern -- is it their use of composition and improvisation, or their shared songwriting duties, or the fact that they chronologically follow post-bop and post-fusion? Whatever the terminology, there's no denying Conference Call's particular style of forward thrust. Their drive owes in large part to Fonda's sinewy bass propulsion. The group's theme song, "Conference Call" (from the album Final Answer), skips along on the power of Fonda's bouncy runs alone. Hear for yourself at 8 p.m. at the Washington University Gallery of Art (Forsyth and Skinker boulevards; 314-995-49630). Tickets are $6 to $12.