While the rest of the world bellyaches over a summer of unbearable heat, Floridians love to bask in it. Year after year, we leather our skins and wear our sunburns like badges of honor. Our love affair with the heat is nothing new. We hold Sunfests and Fun-in-the-Sun 5k runs and watch eagerly as our weather girl gives us the record-breaking numbers.
The South Florida heat is also the impetus for a new art show in town, lovingly titled "Heatstroke." Organized by a collective hot flash of ladies known as Las Cabronas, "Heatstroke" is a multimedia exhibition dedicated to the eccentricity and kitsch of the Sunshine State. The aim of curators Cheri Marie, Miss Agatha, and Mamma Joe is to explore the perceptions and clichés of Florida and prove that there is more to Florida art than flamingos, coconuts, and alligators. "We're reclaiming stereotypes of Florida and using them to our advantage, simultaneously poking fun at ourselves as well as those who instigated the stereotypes," Marie says of the inspiration for the show. The exhibit showcases a crop of local artists as well as a few outsiders for good measure: from West Palm Beach, Pooch and Mose; from Boca Raton, Stacie Hargis; from Pompano Beach, Miss Agatha and Mamma Joe; from Fort Lauderdale, Cheri Marie, Robert Giordano, An-thony Mangicapra, and Gidget Gein (yes, ex-Marilyn Manson); from Hollywood, Steven Michael Way and Susan Cafolla; and artists from Gainesville, Sarasota, and Orlando to boot. And to get your blood pumping, Junque, Life in the So Called Space Age, Dr. John, Popsicle, White Knuckle Excitement, and Ryan Spence all perform. "Heatstroke" takes place at Der Bunker, 203 SW Fifth St., Fort Lauderdale from 7 to 11 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $3, and beer and boiled peanuts will be served. It's one night only, which means it will be gone quicker than you can fry an egg on the hood of your car. Call 954-675-3075. -- Terra Sullivan
More than just kids at play
The more you go out on the town, the more jaded you get. Soon, it gets to the point that nothing heats the blood anymore. You stifle yawns when you see go-go girls in hot pants dancing in cages. You shrug your shoulders when you spy the seething masses twirling about on the dance floor to spaced-out beats. It's just not the same. The thrill is gone. For some, that means it's time to upgrade the kink level. That's why the folks at Abusement Park Entertainment put on Recess on the fourth Thursday of every month -- yes, that would be this Thursday. Held at Plato's Repeat (321 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), Recess is a dinner and fetish party, and since Plato's is a private club, more or less anything goes. Use your imagination. In fact, don't bother. Some of the outfits people show up in are beyond imagination. $20 gets you in the door and includes dinner and nonalcoholic beverages. As for the alcohol, you're on your own there -- Plato's is BYOB. Once inside, you'll find a sprawling complex including private rooms, lounges, five DJs, hot tubs, and some of the friendliest partygoers a hedonist could ask for. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the party goes all night. Call 954-254-2234. -- Dan Sweeney
The Storm of '28
Head to the basement!
Actually, scratch that. There are no basements in Florida. No wonder we all get washed away every time a big storm rolls in. And the storm of 1928 was one of the biggest. By the time it got done with Palm Beach County, it had overhauled the entire landscape of some areas and killed hundreds of people. Several historical societies and the Storm of '28 Memorial Park Coalition have come together to put on a series of events throughout September that reveal the devastation wrought by the hurricane. The first event begins Tuesday, when the Historical Society of Palm Beach County displays photos taken in the storm's aftermath. The exhibition will be on display through September 30 in the Palm Beach County Courthouse lobby (205 Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach). Upcoming events include appearances by several authors who wrote books on the subject and a reenactment of the burial procession that carried 674 bodies to a mass grave. Call 561-832-4164. -- Dan Sweeney
Sure Beats the Beach
And speaking of the heat, it's Labor Day weekend, and the choices are pretty limited in South Florida: go to the beach, have a barbeque, or go out of town (or go out of town and have a barbeque at the beach in another city). Well, if you're not going out of town, you hate hamburgers, or you burn easily, you have no excuse for not going to the 16th-annual "Las Olas Labor Day Weekend Art Fair." On Saturday and Sunday, you can browse artwork, photography, jewelry, ceramics, and sculpture from more than 250 artists from 40 states and enjoy live music from sitar player Stephen Mikes and steel drummer Doug Walker. Buy anything from a necklace to a life-size sculpture. Show times are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The show takes place on Las Olas Boulevard, between SE Sixth and SE 11th avenues. Call 954-472-3455. -- Audra Schroeder