It's nearly summer in Deep Ellum. The bare midriffs and pierced navels are just beginning to hatch from their shells and peek out into the world. The vomit and urine are starting to bake onto the pavement, the smell fresh and brand-new all over again, but changed slightly by the mixing of the two. But there's more to Deep Ellum than torn wristbands, crumpled fliers, booted cars and other remnants of nights spent drinking. Some of Dallas' most exciting history--the kind that doesn't center on land disputes and papers drafted in boring meetings--dwells here. Blues legends, speakeasies, Bonnie and Clyde, train hopping, drug running. It's all here, pushed aside to make way for valet stands and overpriced furniture stores. But one person you'd expect to be for progress and against looking back is actually in favor of both. Brandt Wood--co-owner of the Entertainment Collective that in turn owns Gypsy Tea Room, Trees, The Green Room, Star Cat and more--advocates remembering the past while moving forward. He's taking his knowledge used normally for purchases and renovations to guide the Dallas Historical Society's The Blues and Heritage Tour of Deep Ellum. The walking tour covers landmarks in the area that spans Elm Street south to Commerce Street and Good-Latimer Expressway east to Exposition Avenue, and there are many, including Rudolph's Meat & Sausage Market, which is more than a century old. The tour departs the DHS's home in Fair Park's Hall of State at 9 a.m. and returns early afternoon after the walking lecture and lunch. Admission is $45, or $35 for DHS members. Call 214-421-5400. --Shannon Sutlief
Just Like Tyke
Kiddie dialogue: "I had a dog." "Just like me." "Who humped the sofa." "Just like me." "Who crapped in the yard." "Just like me." See, wasn't it a lot more fun before you grew up? Many writers continue to think so, reveling in immaturity as long as they can. Same goes for artists. The Mesquite Arts Council found a bunch of them in a traveling exhibition, Just Like Me, which features self-portraits and children's book illustrations, often by artists who dabble in both. Curated by Sylvia Nissley, the show celebrates diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, art styles and media. Be the first to see the free Just Like Me on May 15 at Mesquite Arts Center, 1527 N. Galloway, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 214-324-9299. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Eat gourmet for the hungry
Let's play a word association game. We say a phrase, and you respond with the first thought that pops in your head. For example, if we say "dog," you might respond with "cat." Simple. Here's the first phrase: feeding the poor and hungry. Perhaps your response went something like "black-tie four-course dinner catered by gourmet chefs with huge floral displays on every table." If so, you are either a heartless zombie or an employee at Taste of the Nation. Some might consider "eating for hunger" counterintuitive, but if you were already planning on a fancy feast this week, TOTN will be on hand Thursday night to ease your cuisine-guilt by putting your tab toward local food banks. But here's to hoping Tiny Tim won't peek through the windows at the Adam's Mark Hotel while you're sampling lobster bisque for his sake; his tummy might growl. Tickets are available for $250 at 214-922-0394. --Sam Machkovech
Angelika revisits Nazi Germany
Ever notice how every review of any film regarding the events of the Holocaust must include descriptive declarations like "unflinching," "harrowing" and "brave"? Not to say that the subject matter doesn't call for extreme adjectives, but the only topic on par in terms of critical redundancy is the "brave" choice of an actor to take on the role of a mentally challenged character. In that sense, we don't need to delve into what you can expect emotionally when the Angelika Film Center debuts Dan Spigel's House of the Generals tonight (for one night and one night only at 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.), as it focuses on one Ukrainian family that goes from the frying pan of the Russian revolution into the fire of the Nazi invasion. No, we don't have to, but we will: Expect an evening full of unflinching, harrowing and brave drama. The Angelika is located at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Call 214-841-4700 for ticket info. --Matt Hursh
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Remember when the U.S. State Department told us they'd decided to call Saddam Hussein by his first name only--as the ultimate insult? Everyone got into it, and soon Saddam's sons were merely Ousay and Uday, which MSNBC's Chris Matthews of Hardball pointed out is pig Latin for "dude." Now high-profile Dallas artist Benito Huerta is opening a new show of painstaking, minimalist prints etched with gold dust at William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth called Zuma. That's short for Montezuma, but instead of a slam against the defender of Aztec gold who fought a pirate, er, conquistador like Cortez, Huerta's paying homage to the, uh, Zuma dude. Meet Huerta at the gallery's opening reception May 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at 4935 Byers. Call 817-737-9566. --Annabelle Massey Helber