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 by the Thursday prior to publication, with the date of the event in the subject line.
MONDAY, 12.19: Tom Piazza reads from his latest, Why New Orleans Matters, at The Half King on Monday evening. 7:00pm, no cover (note: He’ll be at KGB on Tuesday night; 7:00pm, no cover). Both events highly recommended.
TUESDAY, 12.20: The (International) Noise Conspiracy, singers of my favorite song — “Capitalism stole my virginity” — ply their trade at Bowery Ballroom. And, at Dance Theater Workshop, “House of No More is a panoramic performance using live video layering, green screen technology, dense sound design and splitÃ¢â‚¬â€œsecond choreography. In it, Caden Manson/Big Art Group hijack America’s cultural narrative by reenacting a televised soft core Hollywood crime thriller that disintegrates into an existential chase sequence through multiple states of being. With its idiosyncratic mix of hysterical precision, simulation and exploding performance, Big Art Group presents a disturbing reflection of a hyperÃ¢â‚¬â€œsexualized climate of fear, consumerism, and single player worldÃ¢â‚¬â€œbuilding.” 7:00pm, $15-25.
WEDNESDAY, 12.21: Ellen Datlow and Gavin J. Grant’s “Fantastic Fiction” series at KGB presents Going, Going, Gone author Jack Womack and F. Brett Cox, co-editor (with Andy Duncan) of Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic. 7:00pm, no cover. Recommended.
THURSDAY, 12.22: At McNally Robinson, “Miguel Angel Zapata, renowned Peruvian poet and winner of the Latino Prize for Literature, and the Jose Maria de Hostos Prize for Essay… will read from his books: Luces de la Memoria, Cuervos, and El Cielo Que Me Escribe in both Spanish and English.” 7:00pm, free.
FRIDAY, 12.23: There’s no better time than the present to savor finger-licking Gulf Coast cuisine (including Louisiana Oysters) at Mara’s Homemade in the East Village.
SATURDAY, 12.24: The Museum of Modern Art screens the documentaries Psychiatry in Russia (1955) and Grey Gardens (1976) as part of “Maysles Films: Five Decades.” Highly recommended — I am extremely tempted to change my travel plans! 2:00pm, $10.
SUNDAY, 12.25: All I want for Christmas is a slice of Red Velvet Cake.