Organizers want the opening to be nontraditional, so the focus is on having a good time. Jordan Nickel, one of Your Face's artists, instructs gallerygoers to come for the art but stay for the beer -- and then move into Chicago artist Daniel Pinedas' sculpture installation, a tent called "Powder Puff," for a make-out party. "Prepare yourself to laugh and cry, to be wild and cool, and to expect the unexpected," Nickel advises.
There's an after-party from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the new Boley space (northwest corner of 12th Street and Walnut) with a sound collagist and a DJ. Call 816-221-5115 for information. -- Mark Inman
To Buy or Not to Buy
That's really the question.
Many wannabe urban dwellers we know have considered the illustrious life-in-a-loft, but aren't sure how to get accurate comparisons regarding location, security and affordability. We recommend checking out the options in the 2004 Parade of Homes. Though sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City, special attention is being paid this year to "New Urbanism." With a downtown arena and entertainment district on the horizon -- and an ever-increasing number of people who live downtown -- the intent behind Parade of Homes obviously is to sell, sell, sell. But for the discerning customer who can remain strong in the face of the alluring apartment alternatives, it also can provide a free wealth of information.
Eleven different types of downtown living choices show up in this year's parade, with homes ranging in price from $75,000 to $500,000. From Sunday through October 3, the options are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 816-733-2219 for more information. -- Annie Fischer
Take It to the Streets
Some people see America's urban centers as blighted vestiges of a civilization devouring itself from the inside out. But the hearty contestants in Verizon's Urban Challenge see downtowns as joyous playgrounds and crave the honor, medals and T-shirts that come with successfully demonstrating superior navigational abilities. This growing phenomenon comes to Kansas City on Saturday, starting at Spectators in the Hyatt Regency Crown Center (2345 McGee). Registration is at 7 a.m.; call 908-370-6800 or visit www.urbanchallenge.com. -- Harper
The famous flocked to Cowtown.
If there's a Kansas Citian alive who's not a little sick of hearing about how swinging KC used to be when effusive journalists dubbed it the Paris of the Plains, we have yet to meet that person. But we bet we'll find one or two shameless nostalgists at Vixens, Vamps and Other Vaudeville Era Images, an exhibit of photography by Orval Hixon -- call him the Cartier-Bresson of the Midwest -- at downtown's Central Library (14 West Tenth Street) through September 28. The biggest stars in showbiz said "cheese" at Hixon's studio in the long-since-leveled Baltimore Hotel from 1914 to 1922 -- Al Jolson, Joan Crawford and Eddie Cantor, to name a few. Call 816-701-3400. -- Jason Harper