This Week's Day by Day Picks

Thursday 10/30

Here's a shocker: Over the next three years, Verizon, BellSouth, and Sprint want to raise their basic local residential rates, single-line business rates, and connection charges too. They're also determined to lower the fees they charge long-distance providers to access their networks. Feel free to pick yourself up off the floor. What does this all mean? You'll pay more for your local service but save up to a big $1.99 on your long-distance service! However, that "saving" part won't happen until, uh, 2006. The Public Service Commission, those folks charged with the tough task of ensuring competition among our utility companies by removing regulatory barriers (the better to gouge you with), want to know how you feel about this "change." For the past 29 days, they've been holding public hearings across Florida. Tonight at 6:30 avail yourself of the chance to scream your lungs out about your already expensive and soon-to-be exorbitant phone bill at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Miami International Airport, 950 NW Le Jeune Rd. Admission is free. (NK)

The FIU Music Festival opens at last with master guitarist Manuel Barrueco strumming A Salute to the Music of Cuba this evening at 8:00 at FIU University Park Campus's Wertheim Performing Arts Center (10910 SW Seventeenth St.). Running through Sunday, November 16, at various locations, the fest will also showcase music by famed Cuban vocalist Beny Moré; a slew of French composers including Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, and Maurice Ravel; and American favorites Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and Leonard Bernstein. Admission ranges from $10 to $25. Call 305-348-1998. (NK)

Friday 10/31 For some of us, every day is Halloween, but for the rest of y'all tonight is the night for bleating, howling, screaming in blood-curdling bursts, riding on the back of a witch's broom, and eating little children. It's Halloween, kiddies: Time to dress up, spook out, and escape your mundane existence. Okay, so you're probably not gonna eat little children, but you can dress up and act as if you just chowed on sautéed rugrat with a suburban toddler ceviche. A gathering of gloomy souls will be taking place at a raving neo-Goth, retro-'80s evil bash called the Craving. DJs Chris Halo, Tommy Gunn, Carlos St. Germain, and Dino will be spinning the dark underbelly sounds that go so well with your fangs and hip boots. Remember black lipstick, clown-white foundation, and raven hair are de rigueur. Doors open at 11:00 p.m. at the Polish American Club, 1250 NW 22nd Ave. Tickets cost six bucks or ten dollars if you're under age twenty. Call 305-635-2240. (JCR)

Saturday 11/1 Time to get some OPJ. That would be other people's junk, which to garage sale and flea market hounds can be as valuable as King Tut's treasures. Today the lovely folks who live in the Miami neighborhood known as the Roads will be hawking their discards from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. during their third annual Celebration and Upscale Yard Sale in the parking lot of St. Sophia Church (Coral Way and 24th Road). Get there early for the prime pickings and get ready to find your one thousandth copy of trumpet-player-turned-record-executive Herb Alpert's classic (and seemingly ubiquitous) 1965 album Whipped Cream & Other Delights. Admission is free. Call 305-854-8547. (NK)

Sunday 11/2

Dancers express life with every atom of their bodies. They emanate the whole of human existence in their pirouettes, their quest for flight, and their commitment to their art. They in fact embody their art. When AIDS trampled through the world of dance, it became doubly tragic, not only in the loss of fabulous men and women, but in the loss of great artists. Tonight the dance community unites to help its own who are living with AIDS and other terminal diseases. A stellar lineup of local companies including Maximum Dance Company, Ifé-Ilé Afro Dance and Music Ensemble, Mid-Eastern Dance Exchange, and others present Dance For Life. A finale featuring all the companies, choreographed by Paolo Manso de Sousa, closes the show. The performance starts at 7:00 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $10 to $100. Call 305-644-1200. (JCR)

Monday 11/3

The sweetness that remains in the time-worn and decaying heart of America is perhaps what most stands out in the black-and-white photographs of Jeff Dunas. His traveling exhibit, "American Pictures,"exposes that sweetness while simultaneously capturing the grim reality of time and a rapidly changing social environment. Dunas's portraits of blue-collar Americans, barefooted and shirtless on rickety old porches, tell the stories of those who are left behind as the country steamrolls toward the promised land. The exhibition runs through Saturday, November 15, at Daniel Azoulay Gallery, 3900-A NE First Ave. Admission is free. Call 305-576-1977. (JCR)

Tuesday 11/4 We love a good chef and if he's creating a Distinguished Visiting Chef Dinner, we love him even more. Tonight Johnson & Wales University (1701 NE 127th St., North Miami) welcomes Martin Rios, executive chef of the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who will prepare a four-course dinner, including tasty fare such as Maine lobster napoleon and cucumber-almond gazpacho with roasted golden pineapple, avocado, and Florida oranges. Oh, we forgot to mention a small detail: Matching wines accompany each course. Burp! Admission is $65; reservations are suggested. Call 305-892-7551. (NK)

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