Yeah, we know. As those "W" sticker zealots gorged on their freedom fries and boycotted French toast, you made sure they overheard you ordering the 2000 Château Latour à Pomerol. You've never been shy about enjoying all things French, no? Neither have the folks at Hollywood Frame Gallery, who are celebrating sensual and whimsical French-related art with "March de Triomphe," running through the end of the month. Highlighting the exhibit will be black-and-white shots of Paris by photographer-Francophile Robert Borne, who splits time between his Paris apartment and his home in historic New Orleans. "Robert's photos capture unique moments and the soulfulness of life in Paris," says Hollywood owner Kathleen Connaughton. Meanwhile, New Orleans artist Jim Tweedy gets silly with animal-themed paintings such as Moolin-Rouge and Bark de Triomphe. Artist Jim Koehn's paintings of the French Opera House, Chanel No. 5 bottles and Rémy Martin brandy bottles also will be on display. Meet the artists at the reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 26. Exhibit runs through Thursday, March 31. 2427 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-942-8885 or visit www.hollywoodframegallery.com. Free. - Steven Devadanam
Egging It On
Three spots to let your basket cases run wild
If you're tired of your floor being covered in Marshmallow Peeps remnants, this Easter, unleash the rugrats at Moody Gardens in Galveston, where there will be egg hunts, a petting zoo, music and arts and crafts. (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27. One Hope Boulevard, 800-582-4673, www.moodygardens.org. Free.) Or head to the Houston Zoo for an all-day EGG-stravaganza, with a scavenger hunt, bunny hop, egg hunt and special demonstrations of egg-laying insects (yum!). (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 26. 1513 North MacGregor, 713-522-6500, www.houstonzoo.org. Free for members; $2 to $7 for nonmembers.) You also can hit the Orange Show's Easter Orange Hunt and let the kiddies loose in search of fruit, with a special performance by "Mr. Puppet." (Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 27, 2401 Munger, 713-926-6368, www.orangeshow.org. $1.) - Bob Ruggiero
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
If I'd known that Mariah Carey was going to be at this party, I would've worn a different shirt.
We're hanging at one of the three bars in the upstairs VIP section of Vision Nightclub, the bumpin' club formerly known as Spy, for the Shaq Birthday Bash. Shaquille O'Neal, now of the Miami Heat, is in town for the Rockets/Heat game, but tonight, he's here to kick it with a club full of eager -- and I mean eager -- fans, well-wishers and groupies.
The party is crazy. Slinky young ladies strut around in teal jerseys. Pro athletes and dudes who look like pro athletes are everywhere. After sweet-talking (begging) our way into the upstairs VIP section, my friends and I find that there are two more VIP sections blocked off with velvet rope. So we stand and wait, feeling too much like bloodsucking paparazzi who'll wait hours -- days -- for one glimpse of a celeb.
Around midnight, it happens. Up the stairs of the now jam-packed club comes the biggest man I've ever seen. The seven-foot-one, more-than-300-pound Shaq towers above the crowd, high-fiving folks and making his way to the VIP section. He's wearing a gray outfit and some ridiculous ice. We talk our way into his VIP area only to find that there's yet another velvet rope -- but we spend the rest of the night two feet from him. He grins at us as women squeeze by and feel him up like a supple mink coat. Barely dressed ladies are begging his handlers to let them get close. Speaking of barely dressed, Mariah Carey is allegedly on her way to the party. Crammed at the bar, our eyes are peeled.
But we never see her, and somehow, we lose Shaq. On our way out, we realize that if we can lose a seven-foot-one giant, we're not cut out for the paparazzi. -- Steven Devadanam
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He's been called the Gandhi of the Fields, though the man who created the United Farm Workers organization preferred to be known simply as Cesar Chavez. In the '60s, Chavez's hunger strikes and outspoken defense of migrant workers made him a hero -- or a villain, depending on the color of your collar. To honor Chavez's birthday, MECA will present a performance of Tony Garcia's play Papi, Me, and Cesar Chavez, which chronicles the Chavez-led migrant workers' march on Sacramento. Also performing will be MECA's intermediate mariachi students. 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30. 1900 Kane. For information, call 713-802-9370 or visit www.meca-houston.org. $7.50 presale; $10 at the door. - Steven Devadanam
They can't all have yellow skin, fat-guy prescription pants and a master's degree in folklore mythology. In fact, we'll go ahead and guarantee that most attendees at the Houston Comic Books Expo will be far hipper than the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy. Comics are the expo's main attraction, of course, but the superhero-crazed also can check out toys, apparel and games, collect door prizes and compete in the ubiquitous Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournament. Discuss Spider-Man 3 -- or folklore mythology, whatever -- from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 26, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 27. Clarion Inn, 500 North Sam Houston Parkway East. For information, call 832-867-7221 or visit www.houstoncomicsexpo.com. $3 to $4. - Julia Ramey