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Radar: Taste of Little Italy, Suburbanxxx, Rock 'n Rogue Vintage Menswear Pop-Up Shop, Leaving Hate Behind: The Nate Phelps Story, The Border as Fiction

FESTIVAL | Taste of Little Italy
College Street comes alive this weekend during the 11th annual Taste of Little Italy Festival, Toronto's celebration of the food, music and culture of the big boot across the sea. The neighbourhood's famous Italian restaurants like the Riva Supper Lounge and La Forchetta (as well as some not-so Italian ones like the Auld Spot) will be offering up special tasting menus of authentic Italian food and cocktails, and local artisans and craft makers will be exhibiting their wares. Bands will also be playing practically round the clock on street corners, and if you want to see some true Italian passion on display pop into one of the bars on Sunday at 2 pm to watch Italy take on New Zealand in the World Cup. Runs til Sunday.
College Street between Bathurst and Shaw Streets, Friday 6 pm - 2 am, Saturday 12 pm to 2 am, Sunday 12 pm to 10 pm

GALLERY | Suburbanxxx
The front lawns of 1950s American suburbia may have been immaculately manicured, but if Mad Men has taught us anything it's that beneath the perfect exterior lurked powerful forces of a quiet sexual revolution. A new exhibition at the Oborn Contemporary pairs Chicago artist Patty Carroll's black and white photographs of perfect front yards with contemporary photos of amateur and professional nudes. The effect is to juxtapose the veneer of Cold War era America with the surge of sexuality which would erupt a decade later, causing us to view the picket-fenced front lawn as a battle field on which people struggled against stifling conformity. Runs til August 7.
Oborn Contemporary Gallery, 710 Yonge Street, Free, Opening reception tonight 6 pm - 9 pm, Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday 1 pm - 6 pm, Saturday 1 pm - 5 pm

PANEL | Rock 'n Rogue Vintage Menswear Pop-Up Shop
Bloor West vintage shop lost+found takes over the Hotshot Gallery in Kensington Market this weekend for three days of high quality second hand shopping. Kensington is known for its vintage shops but you'll find much more than old Bruce Springsteen t-shirts and Wrangler jean jackets at this sale, which features hand-picked bow-ties, shirts, and shorts as well as accessories and footwear from Stacked. The launch party for the three day sale is tonight, and features booze, photos by Maxime Bocken, and music from sleazy DJs David Coppafeel and the Grump. You can RSVP for the party, but shopping is open to the public starting tomorrow.
Hotshot Gallery, 181 Augusta Avenue, Launch party: Friday 8 pm - 11 pm, Shopping: Saturday 11 am - 8 pm, Sunday 12 pm - 6 pm

TALK | Leaving Hate Behind: the Nate Phelps Story
If you think you have problems getting along with your parents, just be thankful Fred Phelps isn't your father. The founder of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, Phelps is responsible for popularizing the phrase "God Hates Fags" at his numerous rallies, which over the years have targeted everything from anal sex to Gerald Ford to Jewish Americans. His son Nate left home at the age of 18, and has become an outspoken critic of his family's radical theology and organized religion in general. An insider with first-hand knowledge of the violence and hatred that comes with radical religion, he comes to Toronto to tell his story tonight as a guest of atheist organization the Centre for Inquiry.
MacLeod Auditorium, 1 King's College Circle, Room 2158, $5, 7:30 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | The Border as Fiction: Margaret Atwood, Alistair MacLeod, Li Ang, and Robert Butler
York University is a currently in the midst of a four-day conference examining the art of the short story, and tonight convenes a panel of four masters of short fiction to read from their latest works. Making the trip down from North Toronto will be a group of writers who are veritable international literary royalty in Margaret Atwood, Taiwanese feminist Li Ang, legendary Canadian prairie writer Alistair MacLeod, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler. Great minds like this don't get together very often. A cash bar will be open and after the readings a book signing will follow.
Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Free, Doors 6 pm

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