This Week's Day by Day Picks

Thursday June 19

From refugee smuggling to gangland murders to church bake sales, something newsworthy is always happening in Miami. And photojournalists have always been among the first to arrive to document an event. Today the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (101 W. Flagler St.) pays homage to the shutterbugs with its exhibit "Assignment Miami: News Photographers. " Curated by long-time scholar Michael Carlebach and photo editor Maggie Steber, the exhibit shows more than 250 images from the Miami Herald, the Miami News, the Associated Press, and a variety of media outlets. Miami's emergence as a unique and controversial spot for democracy, crime, justice, and natural phenomena from Hurricane Betsy to the capture of Elian Gonzalez is documented by the work of the dedicated photojournalists. The exhibition opens at 6:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday, January 18. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-375-1492. (JCR)

Friday June 20 Red pill, green pill, chewing gum, spliff. No matter what you take before seeing The Matrix Reloaded at the IMAX Theatre at Sunset Place (5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami), you are bound to be blown away by the special effects and freaky post-apocalyptic story. The sequel stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, the mortal "one" chosen by divine intervention to take on the repressive forces of the Machines with his allies Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). The movie may be burning up box office sales at dinky megaplex screens, but at the IMAX, you'll be surrounded by a panoply of images and sounds that might just drive you over the edge. The film begins screening at 1:00 p.m. and will run for at least two months. Tickets range from $9 to $11. Call 305-740-0399. (JCR)

Saturday June 21 Okay, patriots, the war is over. Time to stop hating the French. After all, even if they didn't invent French fries, back in 1982 they did create an event called Fete de la Musique. The idea was for a bunch of musicians -- amateur and professional -- to do their thing outdoors on the summer solstice. In the last twenty years more than 100 countries have been holding such events. Miami and Miami Beach will both host music from 4:00 p.m. until who knows when today. Just a few of the participating musicians: Tereso, La Flotabanda, Bacon Bits Ensemble, the Alhambra Orchestra, Fabio Zini, and, of course, DJ Le Spam and the Spam Allstars. A double-decker bus will shuttle folks to Miami venues including Roberto Clemente Park (101 NW 34th St.), Objex Art Space (500 NW 24th St.), Slak Lounge (2826 N. Miami Ave.), and the Bakehouse Art Complex (561 NW 32nd St.) in Wynwood; the Damien B. Art Center (282 NW 36th St.), Soho Lounge (175-913 NE 36th St.), and 190 Restaurant (190 NE 46th St.) on the outskirts of the Design District; and Churchill's (5501 NE Second Ave.) in Little Haiti. Ocean Drive and Ninth Street and Lincoln Road will offer the music on Miami Beach. Vive la France! Admission is free. Call 305-758-5348. (NK)

Sunday June 22

If you think you've experienced the full impact of belly dancing by seeing a few shows at a Middle Eastern restaurant, you'll be blown away by Samay Wa Ishtah and her company's performance tonight at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.). The internationally recognized choreographer and performer has assembled a huge spectacle called Farfesh Ou Na'nesh(Sheer Bliss) that comprises more than 50 dancers and musicians. Among the featured acts is Fadi Hardam and Dikran Dostorian, leading composers of Middle Eastern tunes. The musicians and dancers will come together to celebrate the high art of belly dance, which highlights the mysterious beauty inherent in all women. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $37. Call 305-374-2444. (JCR)

Monday June 23 On a sweltering summer day, one look at Luciana Abait's work makes you want to dive right in. The problem is you can't. Abait doesn't build pools; she paints them. No, she doesn't slap color onto the interiors of pools in people's back yards. The Argentine artist renders the sparkling blue water on canvas with ripples, stepladders, and whatnot so realistically, you're tempted to grab a bug net and start skimming. Abait's exhibition "Swimming Rooms" is about more than just pretty pools, however. The themes she touches in her underwater world include loneliness, presence, and absence. See her refreshing, affecting work on display through Wednesday, July 9, at the Miami-Dade Cultural Resource Center in the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW First St. Admission is free. Call 305-962-6223. (NK)

Tuesday June 24 One of the most innovative events of the 25th annual Florida Dance Festival is performed tonight at the New World School Dance Theater (25 NE Second St.). The night titled Florida Dances brings together a potpourri of styles ranging from modern jazz to hip-hop to Middle Eastern dance. The works are performed by Florida-based companies. There will also be two new works: "Timeless," a solo piece by Gerda Konig featuring Miami's own John Beauregard, and "Intrinsic Memory," choreographed by New World graduate Heather Maloney for Marjorie Burnett. The premieres were commissioned by Tigertail Productions' danceAble, a program for dancers in wheelchairs. The performance begins at 8:00. Tickets range from $10 to $25. Call 305-867-7111. (JCR)

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