Buy American: The Living Room Candidate shows the history of American presidential campaign commercials.
Buy American: The Living Room Candidate shows the history of American presidential campaign commercials.

This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, July 8

Cafe Izmir's hummus is a work of art. This perfect chickpea creation is deserving of sonnets, gallery exhibits and Kennedy Center honors. But mostly, it should just be eaten. The cafe's downtown restaurant, Izmir Mediterranean Tapas in the Stone Street Gardens, takes the hummus one step further, serving it with other tapas, those dainty, beautiful appetizer dishes such as kabobs and borek. We're not sure if the dishes have inspired Izmir's Thursday art nights, but they could. Through July, the restaurant will host an art show each Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It kicks off tonight with abstract works by Rosalyn Costanzo. Abstract art can be whatever you want it to be, even a dollop of hummus and a few pieces of pita. Izmir Mediterranean Tapas is at 1520 Elm St. Call 214-653-8880.

Friday, July 9

A leg beauty competition we could win: the Mary Lou Retton Pageant, honoring the short and muscular ex-gymnasts. Well, unless Shannon Miller showed up. That goody-goody wins everything. But those women with legs that start at the height of other women's elbows and curve smoothly and tanly down to pretty pedicured feet can compete in their own pageant: Venus Divine's Legs of a Goddess. Cris Judd (the former Mister J. Lo and a professional choreographer) will help judge the competition, awarding the Dallas woman with the shapeliest, most toned, most beautiful legs with $500 and the chance to compete in the finals. It takes places Friday during Taste of Dallas in the West End. Registration is at 1 p.m. with runway walks beginning at 2 p.m. Winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m. Visit

Saturday, July 10

Don't listen to Steve Miller, who suggested in "The Joker" that shaking a tree is a good way to get peaches. (He was talking about fruit, right?) The best way to get Texas' sweet, juicy, fresh peaches is at the Parker County Peach Festival. The annual to-do in historic downtown Weatherford is completely peachy: homemade ice cream, cobbler, pie, juleps, tea, smoothies and as a topping for vanilla ice cream. You can even get a bushel of peaches, fuzz intact. Though the recent batch of storms damaged some of the early varieties of cling peaches, the freestone peaches are ready to be sliced, diced, chopped or just bitten. The festival, which runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the square, also includes a children's play area with pony rides, games and rock climbing, and competitions for foods, arts, crafts and dogs. The antique and specialty shops around the square will have special sales, and more vendors will be set up inside the festival. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids 6 to 12. Kids 5 and under are admitted for free. Weatherford is west of Dallas on Interstate 20--take exit 408 or 409. Free parking is available at the Trade Days site, the college and the ninth-grade center. A shuttle runs to the festival entrance. Check

Sunday, July 11

Most bars are obstacle courses: Squeeze between the thick-necked men, tiptoe around the cluster of bleached and tanned women, jump out of the way of the racing bar-back and rush to the finish line to order and retrieve a beverage. But Ben's Half Yard House is setting up an actual obstacle course as one of the events of its Summer Bar Olympics. Beginning at 3 p.m., athletes can compete in teams of five in bowling, cricket darts, three-ball billiards, football toss, paintball target shooting, Texas hold 'em poker and the obstacle course. It's $25 per team, and both individual and overall event winners take home prizes, which will be awarded during the closing ceremonies/karaoke show. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Ben's Half Yard House is at 7102 Greenville Ave. Call 214-363-1114.

Monday, July 12

Last presidential election, voting was like playing one of those crane toy-grabbing machines at the bowling alley. We put our quarters in and aimed the crane's arm and pincers toward our desired toy, but what was scooped and deposited in the slot was not what we wanted. Voting is always like buying, judging from all the paid promotions we see: television ads, yard signs, stickers, T-shirts. See the evolution of the still-new form of campaigning through TV commercials with The Living Room Candidate: A History of Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2004, which runs through January 30 at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm St., Suite 120. The exhibit includes 200 of the most memorable commercials paired with election results and other background information, including Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy Girl" ad in which the image of a little girl is spliced with one of a nuclear mushroom cloud. It never names opponent Barry Goldwater, but it's credited for changing the tone of the campaign and how ads are used in elections. Admission is $9 to $10, but free for children under 6. Audio tours are $3. Call 214-747-6660.

Tuesday, July 13

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding? Nothing. Not a thing. But then comedy troupe Section 8's new show, Summer of '69, isn't about the actual summer of '69, just about summer and love in general. We're hoping for some jokes about "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams, but what we expect are plenty of jokes about "69" that have nothing to do with the last year of the 1960s, just to keep with Section 8's "adults only" reputation. The improv/sketch/music/miscellaneous show opens today and runs through September 6 at 9 p.m. Tuesdays. Admission is $10. Ozona Bar & Grill, 4615 Greenville Ave. Call 214-265-9105.

Wednesday, July 14

Last year our friend--totally our friend and not us--had to buy her own birthday cake and ice cream and animal-shaped plates for the party she was throwing for herself. She did not have the grocery store frost her name on her cake, but she did have to--sadly, very sadly--admit to the woman at the register that the supplies were for her. It is not sad, however, when a bar throws its own party. Face it, they have the liquor and the food and the little plates. So don't feel bad for Zbar--the Lower Greenville fancy lounge, restaurant and DJ haven--when it throws a party for its eighth birthday this week. The party is called Eight Ball, which we're certain must be because of the eight years, the '80s jams that the DJs will be spinning and everyone's love of the Magic 8 Ball toy. It's definitely not a sly drug reference. (At least not according to our Magic 8 Ball, which responded, "My sources say no.") The theme is '80s prom, with DJ Redeye spinning Club Retro in the front room and DJ Robert Taylor playing "hair band power ballads" in the back. It starts at 9 p.m., and admission is $10 for 21 and up. Proceeds benefit DEFMAN and Cancer Relief Fund. Zbar is located at 2012 Greenville Ave. Call 214-887-0071.


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