The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the date of the event in the subject line.
MONDAY, 7.11: Marty O’Brien’s Public House (1696 Second Ave., btw. 87th/88th) hosts a “Literary Monday, to benefit a friend in need.” Ed Conlon (author of the New York Times bestseller, Blue Blood), T.J. English (author of Hell’s Kitchen-gang chronicle, The Westies), novelist Colum McCann, Black 47’s Larry Kirwan, and friends, plus live music by Brian Monaghan. 7pm, donation suggested. It would be hard to come up with a more truly “New York”-centric literary evening, and supporting friends in need is always a worthy cause. Highly recommended.
TUESDAY, 7.12: Ned Vizzini, formerly of the Barbes reading series, curates a literary evening as part of The Harlem Shakes’ month-long residency at Pianos. Also, consider the Word for Word series in Bryant Park. 6:30pm, free. And, it’s Joy Division Night at Rare. Godspeed.
WEDNESDAY, 7.13: Francine Du Plessix Gray’s parents fled dark times in Europe to build a glittering new life in New York. She reads from and discusses her memoir, Them in an appearance at Borders on Wednesday evening. 6:30pm, free. Also on Wednesday evening, Air America’s Liberal Arts program kicks off a summer series with host Katherine Lanpher in discussion, to be taped live for national broadcast at a later date, with Chuck Klosterman, author of Killing Yourself To Live, and Dar Williams at Housing Works. 8:00pm, $10 donation suggested. Recommended.
THURSDAY, 7.14: I definitely don’t cross picket lines, so I haven’t been able to visit the shiny new IFC theater yet…As noted, Jim White, subject of the new documentary, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, plays a show at Joe’s Pub. 9:30pm, $20. Vanessa Beecroft drops by (avec her sexy army in tow?) Artbook at Visionaire (last item). Celebrate Bastille Day by checking out the Les Halles Downtown Waiters & Waitresses Race and trying to imagine a similar exercise for aspiring authors (chasing an agent through the Righa Royal bar without losing a page of an unbound manuscript?).
FRIDAY, 7.15: Summer Sessions: Design + DJs + Dancing at The Cooper-Hewitt looks promising. Also, I’ve been on a bit of a film jag lately — Lila Says (an adaptation of a controversial novel) and Miranda July’s You and Me and Everyone We Know are both excellent.
SATURDAY, 7.16: Street artist Swoon brings the ruckus indoors for a riveting solo show at Deitch Projects. The opening last week was irritatingly overcrowded, but the work on display left me transfixed and counting the minutes until I can return (more: my full review). 76 Grand Street location, Saturday hours: 12pm-6pm; free.
SUNDAY, 7.17: Get a double dose of ab-fab picnic pop when Femi Kuti and Brazilian Girls play SummerStage. 3:00pm, free.