This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 15Tarpon Bend (200 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale) is looking for "any lady who thinks she has what it takes to be the next Miss Hawaiian Tropic." If you're one of those, enter the contest that starts every Thursday at 10 p.m. The winner takes home $500, plus an invitation to return on September 16, when Miss Fort Lauderdale Hawaiian Tropic will be chosen (she'll then fly to Hawaii for an international competition). Contestants will be judged by local firefighters, cops, and military personnel ('cause, you know, driving a fire truck or carrying a gun makes you really qualified to decide who's beautiful), and the winner will be chosen based on "overall beauty of face, beauty of figure, and projection of personality." The event announcement doesn't say what to wear, but when we're trying to project our personalities, a wet T-shirt usually gets the message across loud and clear. Once the lovely ladies clear the stage, the ugly dudes take over; rock band Beddy Ford performs. There's no cover to get in. Call 954-922-5052, or visit www.tropicbeauty.com.

FRI 16It's not construction. It's not a DUI checkpoint. And there wasn't a burglary. The 200, 300, and 400 blocks of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach are all closed tonight because of the Street Party. Don't be surprised if you wander by and think you've stepped into a time warp; because the event's theme is the '60s and '70s, you'll find yourself swimming in a sea of bell-bottoms, fake sideburns, afro wigs, and enough tie-dyed shirts to cause more than a few flashbacks (shouldn't have eaten that brown acid at Woodstock). Of course, not everyone back then was into music, what with all the stylish cars being built. Plenty of those classic autos will be on hand too, as well as food, drinks, and live entertainment. The party starts at 7 p.m. Call 561-278-1380, ext. 17.

SAT 17Like it's not hot enough already! Lavender Writes, a group that organizes writing workshops for gays and lesbians, presents a reading of steamy works called "Not Your Average Bedtime Story." Beware: You may never again have innocent thoughts about three bears who live together or the little Dutch boy who put his finger in a dike. Huffing and puffing, as well as sweating and blushing, are expected. Writers of all stripes -- published or unpublished -- are invited to this free event at the Stonewall Library (1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). If you just want to listen, that's cool too. It starts at 7 p.m. Call 954-763-8565, or e-mail Lwrites@mindspring.com.

SUN 18Tonight's the last night to catch "Shakespeare by the Sea," the annual theatrical festival that gives us all a reason to haul blankets, picnic baskets, and pitchers of margaritas cleverly disguised as lemonade to Carlin Park (400 S. A1A, Jupiter). This year, the players have chosen to produce Big Willie's tragedy Othello. "The ultimate tale of betrayal, manipulation, and murder" has all the ingredients of a juicy drama: racial prejudice, religious differences, jealousy, and greed. Producers suggest you also pack a handkerchief. The play starts at 8 p.m., and it's free. Call 561-575-7336.

MON 19In Zen Buddhism, joriki is when the mind is completely unified and free from all mental distractions, even all those Freudian images you've got stored up there. Though joriki's only the first step toward enlightenment, it's enough to gain control over your physical environment. And it's a basic building block of learning martial arts. But you don't need to be a Zen master to sign up for the free martial arts class at Bushido Knights Ryu Academy of Martial Arts (221 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach). All you've got to do is try, butterfly. The academy teaches reality-based self-defense techniques that'll prepare you for the next time you're in the wrong part of town. Unless, of course, you're in Chinatown -- then you'd better just keep your hands in your pockets and know your place. The class starts at 7:15 p.m. Call 954-455-1005.

TUE 20We've got American Idol to help us find Celine Dion wannabes. We've got Nashville Star to help us find Tim McGraw wannabes. But what about a program to help us find rappers, dancers, choreographers, and singers with original styles? Bye-bye, Ryan Seacrest. We know that you are just an evil robot created in the marketing labs of AT&T. We don't need your artificial smile and metrosexual wardrobe, nor do we care to text-message our votes to you. We have our very own DJs Abyss, Taz, and E&J hosting the very real talent showcase Shyne at Peppers Café (3828 N. University Dr., Davie) on the third Tuesday of every month -- and we will vote, in person, with our hoots and hollas. Visit www.irievibz.com, or register by calling 954-494-8995.

WED 21You may wonder why the Los Angeles-based trio Birdie is spending most of July in Florida. If your first assumption is that the band has roots here, you'd be correct. Two of the three band members are Florida natives, so the band's heading back east in support of its latest release, Glendale. Birdie takes the traditional rock 'n' roll song structure and slows it down a bit, as if to give it a gentle, much-needed massage. The band's use of synthesizer, piano, and xylophone creates a seamless mix of the organic and the electronic, building complex arrangements from just a few chords. Just listening to the angelic backing vocals on "The Other Side of Sunset" is enough to calm the most agitated nerves. One stroke under par? Sounds more like a hole-in-one. Birdie takes flight tonight after Summer Blanket to celebrate the one-year anniversary of "Wormhole Wednesdays" at the Lounge (517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). The free show starts at 9 p.m. Call 561-655-9747.

 
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