Tropical Forrest India Exhibit at Phipps (CP’s Sun. 9/15/13)

1) The Hindu people of India put nature on a pedestal. It is their strong belief that it is good to live in harmony with all the flora and fauna of earth, that plants and animals are divine in nature. Phipps Conservatory assistant curator of  horticulture Ben Dunigan  and Phipps interpretive specialist Jordyn Melino capture the beauty of the subcontinent with Phipp’s latest exhibit, Tropical Forest India. Dunigan and Melino journeyed to the Western Ghats region of India in 2010, traveling by many modes of transportation, boats, trains and even elephants, in order to experience the many aspects of the beautiful environment. Their inspiration can be seen in the tropical hall featuring Ayurvedic healing gardens (used in alternative medicine), waterfalls, spectacular colors, exotic plants, and a temple façade at its entrance. You might go in feeling stressed, but you’ll leave saying “Namaste,” meaning: I recognize and salute the divine within [people and nature]. 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. One Schenley Park, Oakland.

2) Celebrate Octoberfest in September!  There’s a car cruise, chili cook-off, a gaming trailer and entertainment for all ages including “That Guy With the Birds” Budwings (2 and 6 p.m.), magic by Steve Haberman (3:30 and 4 p.m.), and music from Matt Barranti (4 p.m.)  as well as the Shari Richards Band (6 p.m.). The festival closes with a spectacular fireworks display (8:30 p.m.). Caution, this is a dry Octoberfest, although spicy chili can get you dancing to the music also.  1 – 8:30 p.m. 917 Greentree Rd., Green Tree.

3) Professional musicians in the making, the Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic puts on a concert this evening with music your ears should find very pleasing at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.  Conductor Andrés Cárdenes highlights the skills of violinist Mimi Jung, who won last year’s concerto competition to start the new season. The program includes music from Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. Stick around afterwards for a coffee and dessert reception in the grand foyer. 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland

4) Pittsburgh native Tony Janflone, Jr. takes the stage at Carson City Saloon. A self-described guitarist, vocalist, session musician, composer, and educator, he is one of the most sought after jazz and blues guitarists in the area. Janflone’s resume includes opening for B.B. King, Natalie Cole, and Steely Dan, just to name a few. Saxophonist Curtis Swift joins him for a night of blues riffs that will have you tapping your feet. 5:45 p.m. 1401 E. Carson St., South Side.

5) Is your home missing some fall décor? Skip the craft stores and make your own! Vessel Studio is offering a glass blowing workshop every Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 3 where you can blow an original glass pumpkin. Artist Drew Hine walks you through the process in a laid-back environment. Workshop fees include supplies, so you don’t need to bring anything except for your sense of creativity. Call to reserve your spot at 412.779.2471 . 9 a.m. 117 S. 16th St., South Side.