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Once upon a time in Ybor City, before the thumping nightclub scene took over, there was Three Birds Bookstore, which opened at 1518 Seventh Ave. in 1989. Soon the bookstore and coffeehouse became somewhat of a clubhouse for Ybor's young hip crowd. As Deep Carnivale, Tampa's annual literature festival, pays tribute to the store and Ybor's art scene this weekend, it's a fitting time to look back at what former Times staff writer Anne V. Hull wrote a few months after it opened:

- It's a place for dreamers, thinkers, pipe-smoking professors, fallout souls from the Beat Generation and cool guys who dress in baggy trousers and two-tone Jerry Lee Lewis shoes.

- The owners - Val Day, Cindy Wheeler and Melisse Cunningham - decided what sort of books they wanted to carry. No romance novels. No Jay McInerney. And no best-sellers, unless they're by a really good author.

- The refrigerator is painted turquoise and spattered with color. They call it the Jackson Pollock refrigerator. A friend built the black, amoeba-shaped tables. They bought the cash register at Goodwill. The cafe part of Three Birds looks like Pee-wee Herman's kitchen.

The store closed in 1994, forced out in part by the newly flourishing bar scene. The tribute is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Don Vicente de Ybor Inn, 1915 14th St.; admission $1.

Deep Carnivale: A Celebration of Words runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Saturday events are free and take place in and around the Performing Arts Building of the Ybor City campus of Hillsborough Community College, at the corner of 14th Street and Palm Avenue. For a complete schedule, go to

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Drop by Wal-Mart, Target, wherever and get decked out in gleaming white duds for the DayGlow paint party at 10 tonight at Club Underground in Tampa. You'll need the blank canvas for big squirts of neon paint that glows under the black lights. (Supposedly it's water soluble, but why worry?) You'll also get a chance to dance with the Devil From Acapulco, a sort of Aztec warrior in silver paint. The 18 and older event is $20 at 802 E Whiting St. See for info.

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This may be one of the best cheap weekends ever for families: Admission for two kid hot spots is only $5. But be forewarned: There will be crowds.

On Saturday, the Museum of Science and Industry will show off its more than 450 hands-on activities, films and its planetarium at $5 Day at the Museum. That's a good savings off the regular $23.95 adult admission. The family can try out the Astronaut Training Adventure, the Gulf Coast Hurricane exhibit and see the BioWorks Butterfly Garden. On Sunday, Lowry Park Zoo gets into act with $5 Day at the Zoo (above), featuring cute little koala Bundaleer, baby rhino Jaya and rides for restless kids.

Yes, it will be crowded. But know that going in, be prepared and put on a happy face. For both events, parking lots fill up quickly, so arrive early. For the zoo, take your sunscreen and stay hydrated. Neither the zoo nor MOSI allows you to bring in food so pack a picnic that you can go back to your car and eat (get your hand stamped) or bring extra money for lunch.

$5 Day at the Museum is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 987-6000 for details. $5 Day at the Zoo is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. For information, call (813) 935-8552. And for more parenting information, tips and dish, go to

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Anybody wearing white?

Deal Diva Dalia has that age-old question: white shoes after Labor Day? An excerpt from the Deal Divas blog:

"Last week I was lamenting to my husband about how beaten-up my white heels had gotten, but that I had yet to find a suitable replacement pair. Doll that he is, yesterday he came home with delicious white sandals. The regular retail price is $90 at Guess, but of course he got them for less at DSW. Hubby said the shoes had been hard to find; buying white on Labor Day certainly bucks the system. And I'm further bucking it by debuting my white footwear today."

We don't know what's more buzzworthy: wearing white sandals after Labor Day or her husband buying the shoes for her. Really, whose husband does that? Chime in at

They Might Be Giants

The two-man band has just released a CD for kids that's all about - science. But before you start to nod off, take a listen to Here Comes Science, a followup to previous CDs Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s. TMBG has a way around the lab, with catchy tunes and funny, clever lyrics that sneak in lessons about chemistry, biology and astronomy. I Am a Paleontologist and Why the Sun Really Shines are two favorites. And the best part is that they are fun for kids and parents. For more on the CD and to get a look at one of the band's videos, go to