Toward the end of John Waters's suburban satire Serial Mom, one of Beverly Sutphin's (Kathleen Turner) pet peeves becomes her undoing. During her trial, she notices a juror's white shoes and confronts her in the hallway. "You can't wear white after Labor Day!" Sutphin shrieks as she clubs the hapless woman with a telephone receiver. "No! Please! Fashion has changed!" the juror pleads. The bludgeoned victim was right. Even though the rule of sporting white only in the summertime is still taken seriously south of the Mason-Dixon line, in a hot clime like ours where it sizzles like summer for most of the year, it can be all right to wear white. At the Girls' Night Out "White Party," enjoy a runway show that showcases fair, feminine fashion while you sip equally pale cocktails from Marti Coco Suave and feast on desserts tonight from 6:00 to 8:00. Enjoy a white-hot evening at Bloomingdale's Aventura (19555 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura) or Bloomingdale's Miami (8778 SW 136th St., Miami). Call 305-252-6234, or visit www.bloomingdales.com. (PEGY)
Nature lovers be warned: We are sprinting toward the searing heat and sticky humidity of summer. Seize the last delightfully breezy days of spring by playing hooky and enjoying the great outdoors. Celebrate Earth Day at the Crandon Park Visitors and Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center (6767 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne) with fossil reef and butterfly walks, kayak clinics, sea turtle presentations, and safe solar viewings provided by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society. Grab your sunscreen and bring your lunch (or you can purchase a sack lunch for five dollars) today from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the event is free, but parking costs five dollars and you'll need to fork over a buck for the toll. Call 305-631-6767. (LO)
When you talk to local spoken-word veteran Rebecca "Butterfly" Vaughns about The Nest (16835 NW 38th Ct., North Miami), a private home occasionally made open to the public for poetry events, a smile spreads across her face. "You have GOT to see this venue," she exclaims. "The back yard is ... amazing," she sighs. The Butterfly's enthusiasm about this lush, idyllic setting is palpable. As well it should be. In a city where glass-walled condos seem to spring up before our eyes and houses are stacked almost on top of each other, a place with an enormous back yard is definitely worth visiting. Apparently an event at The Nest is not to be missed. Come and watch fifteen spoken-word artists verbally duke it out for a $500 prize. There's also a full bar and fabulous food. Admission is ten dollars. Call 305-836-3572, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (PEGY)
Orchids are celebrated in a seemingly endless parade of shows and festivals. But if you don't have a green thumb, once those gorgeous flowers die all you've got is a clay pot with a long, lonely stem poking out of it. Perhaps it's time to take a closer look at an equally exotic plant that's easier to care for -- the underappreciated bromeliad. These spiky-leaved epiphytes come in an amazing range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Browse through a tremendous selection at today's bromeliad show and sale. Reliable favorites and astonishing hybrids will be up for grabs, as well as paintings by local artists today from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. Admission is $15. Call 305-667-1651, or visit www.fairchildgarden.org. (PEGY)
With just the right mix of history and humor, author and storyteller Irene Smalls entertains children of all ages with her animated tales and rambunctious teaching of the "Shimmy Coco Pops" dance. Tonight Smalls will present "Don't Say Ain't and Other Stories from the Tip of Your Nose" at the North Miami Beach Public Library, 1601 NE 164th St., North Miami Beach. Smalls is the author of fifteen children's books, including Irene and the Big Fine Nickel and Jonathan and His Mommy. "She's a neat deal and quite a coup for us to get to come to our little library," says adult services librarian Susan Sandness. Lose yourself in Smalls's captivating stories from 6:00 to 7:00. Refreshments will be served, and you'll also have the opportunity to purchase books and have them signed by the author following the program. Admission is free. Call 305-948-2970, or visit www.irenesmalls.com. (LO)
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Good food can taste like poetry. The succulent flavors of your favorite meal can stir the soul as strongly as the most exquisite of Shakespeare's sonnets. But can a poem nourish like food? The organizers of Now Taste This seem to think so. In this month-long program, respected chefs provide prix fixe menus and poets compose fitting odes, which are presented to erudite bons vivants. To close National Poetry Month, the participants will come together for a poetry reading and silent auction. Howard Camner, Michael Hettich, Diana Abu Jaber, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Jen Karetnick, and other esteemed poets will share their work tonight at 7:00 on the fifth-floor terrace of building three at the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free. Poetic menus will continue to be available until the end of April. Visit www.nowtastethis.com for a complete list of poets and restaurants. (PEGY)
Firemen are hot. They are strong. They are sexy. And they are heroes. Who doesn't love a fireman? Don't get yourself in trouble by chasing those big, red (or chartreuse) trucks around all day. You can find plenty of hunky ones to ogle at the ninth annual Secretary's Day Luncheon with the Men of the South Florida Firefighters Calendar today at the Treetop Ballroom at Parrot Jungle Island (1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Watson Island). Not only will you be surrounded by gorgeous, muscled bodies, but you will also get to assist in choosing the models for the 2006 fifteenth-anniversary edition Firefighters Calendar. Funds raised will benefit Here's Help, Neighbors 4 Neighbors, and other local charities. Dress appropriately (it's bound to get hot in therrre, ladies) and be prepared to dine with the distraction of shirtless men starting at 11:30 a.m. Tables of ten cost $600 for front-row viewing, $500 for middle, and $400 for the remaining rows. Limited single seating is available for $60. Call 305-828-7787, or visit www.firefighterscalendar.com to RSVP. (LO)