My experience with art has been limited. It's not that I don't appreciate fine work. It's more that I don't get around to appreciating fine work. Believe me, I have the ability to appreciate in me. (It stays in me most of the time, but what can you do?) For example, when I was in Holland over Thanksgiving, I walked right past the Vincent van Gogh Museum and thought to myself, "You know, if I went inside right now, I bet I'd really appreciate some of that van Gogh." Alas, I never made it inside because I was busy doing other things, most of which can't be mentioned in this space because of international law. Right. But for those of you who aren't wanted by Interpol, art appreciation isn't so tricky. You might want to check out the City Arts Celebration from May 20 through May 23. The free street festival will be held in the downtown arts district around the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art and Nasher Sculpture Center and will feature popular jazz, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Brave Combo, visual artists, food, beverages, culinary demonstrations and children's activities. Check out www.visitdallas.com or call 1-800-C-Dallas. --John Gonzalez
C'mon to My House
When we were growing up, the closest we got to seeing the dwellings of other cultures was in Come Over to My House, an "I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Book" by Theo LeSieg (aka Dr. Seuss/Theodor Geisel). The little guy in his Chuck Taylors travels the world and gets asked in to play in an igloo, a stilted hutch, an adobe structure and all sorts of other dwellings. The point of the little read was that no matter how different the houses, they were all the same if someone asked you in to play. In a related vein, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History opens Your House, My House, a traveling exhibit that originated at the Children's Museum of Memphis. Cecelia Palazola, director of education at the Memphis museum, says the whole idea of the exhibit, like LeSieg's book, is to "help visitors make a connection with people from other parts of the world through learning about their houses." The exhibit offers three model homes (a Mongolian ger, Fijian m'bure and Malaysian stilt-house) for kids to check out and compare, plus a design center and other activities. Your House, My House opens Saturday and will be in Fort Worth through September 12. The FWMSH is located at 1501 Montgomery St. The exhibit is included with regular admission. Call 817-255-9300. --Merritt Martin
A friend once said, "Monkeys go with everything." And oddly enough, we do find ourselves intrigued by all things randomly monkey--the word itself, socks, juice glasses and now a new book. It is Love Monkey by Kyle Smith, and despite the fact that the protagonist has a nasty habit of being a serial bad boyfriend, we're intrigued to see how the other half thinks...and if there's really a monkey somewhere in the story. Meet Smith as he signs and discusses his novel at Barnes & Noble, 7700 W. Northwest Highway, at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Call 214-739-1124. --Merritt Martin
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The White Rock 'N Boil Festival--named for its mean crawfish boil, as well as the likelihood that patrons will acquire third-degree sunburns--will be serving up prepubescent fun Saturday at Flagpole Hill from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. With a bounce house, pony rides and face painting, how could a 10-year-old ever get bored? And, because Dallasites are a thrifty bunch, the White Rock Lake Foundation is giving it all to you for the low, low price of $5 for kids and nada for adults. Call 214-824-6150. --Mary Monigold
Banking On It
Lakewood gets some flavor
What does Lakewood taste like? White Rock Lake on the rocks with a twist? Boiled Gaston Avenue? Jalapeño-encrusted country club golf balls? If authenticity is the goal, Lakewood should taste like its foremother--a dairy cow. Let's take a trip back, before Oswald put Dallas on the map. In the 19th century, Dallas' eastern boundary was Fitzhugh Street. All acreage beyond that was farmland and country roads. White Rock Lake was a dairy farm. Right around the time the railroads arrived and more folks scattered to areas east of Fitzhugh, the town of East Dallas was born; complete with its very own mayor, city council and water, sewage and road systems (historical documents make no mention of a city manager or a hockey team). But this bucolic fun came to a screeching halt in 1890 when Dallas city fathers voted to annex East Dallas to increase the population and tax base of the city. Hey, can't we try this with Plano? White Rock Lake followed in 1910, a country club in 1912, and after Dines and Kraft Realtors scattered bungalows on a hilly, wooded tract between Abrams and White Rock Lake to complement the cavernous homes along Swiss Avenue, the name Lakewood was coined. Presumably, Professional Bank is tapping into these pastoral roots. The full-service bank, launched by 47 area families, just completed a $600,000 restoration of its historic home at Abrams Road and Prospect Avenue to bring old-fashioned personalized, community banking to the Lakewood/East Dallas area. It's celebrating with an old-fashioned parking-lot fair dubbed "Taste of Lakewood" on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at 2101 Abrams. Rumble in a bounce house, grab munchies from local restaurants and grind to live music. No word on any dairy cow tastings. Call 214-269-2114. --Mark Stuertz