The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30pm 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 send details to lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication, with the eventÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s date in the subject line.
TUESDAY, 10.17: Guest curator Liz Brown presents an intriguing edition of the Writers at the Alliance series: “In his foreword to ‘Here is New York,’ written in 1948, E.B. White asserted that “it is the reader’s, not the author’s, duty to bring New York down to date.” The Alliance has enlisted three very different writers with that task, beginning with Caleb Crain who chronicles the extravagances and vanities of New York’s upper class in the nineteenth century. Next, Brandon Stosuy delves into the downtown music scene of the 1970s and continues through to 2006, noting outerborough shifts along the way. Finally, Melissa Plaut, a blogging cab driver, keeps us “down to date” with her present-day account of life behind the wheel in New York City.” Highly recommended. At the Educational Alliance, 197 East Broadway (F train to East Broadway, walk two blocks to Jefferson). 7:00pm, FREE.
WEDNESDAY, 10.18: You can imagine that I believe them subject to the same basic principles of Fight Club, but I’ll be making an exception to my first rule on Wednesday, when I will be a panelist for a discussion of cult followings with Soft Skull Press publisher Richard Nash, literary agent Simon Lipskar of Writers House, and DailyCandy.com editor Jeralyn Gerba, and moderator M.J. Rose. Presented by the New York City chapter of the Women’s National Book Association at the Small Press Center. Open to the public. 6:00pm, $10. Also, Jami Attenberg (Instant Love), Marcy Dermansky (Twins) and Stephen Elliott (My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up) are among the readers at an erotically-themed event at Happy Ending. 8:00pm, FREE. And, Lisa Yuskavage, responsible for my favorite quote of the week (from a profile in this month’s issue of W) — People say, ‘when are you going to paint a man?’ I say, ‘when a man inhabits my imagination'” — has a much-anticipated exhibition of new work opening at David Zwirner. No info online, but probably 6 – 8:00pm, FREE.
THURSDAY, 10.19: “Edward J. Renehan Jr., author of Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons, will take to the stage in the auditorium at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site (28 East 20th Street, between Park Avenue & Broadway) to discuss Manhattan as Jay Gould knew it in the heyday of the Gilded Age. Renehan’s talk kicks off a new lecture series – Third Thursdays at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace – featuring major authors discussing key aspects of New York City History.” 6:00pm, FREE. In Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology reading series takes place at Spoonbill & Sugartown, featuring contributors Thomas D’Adamo, Elizabeth Reddin, Jermey Sigler, Lewis Warsh, and Lynda Schor and editor Donald Breckenridge. 8:00pm, FREE.
FRIDAY, 10.20: The Wingdale Community Singers will be playing “a benefit for the Earth School, on a star-studded bill including: Jonathan Lethem, Les Chauds Lapins, and Laura Cantrell, admission $25. The event takes place at the James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea, during the run of Fred Tomaselli’s new show.” 7:00pm. [Thanks to T. Jones for the tip!]
SATURDAY, 10.21: “Chez Bushwick makes an encore appearance at the Abrons Arts Center with this celebration of its resident artists, Jonah Bokaer and Moving Theater. Renowned for fostering the development of new work, Chez Bushwick is BrooklynÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s undisputed incubator of must-see performance. Bokaer, Chez BushwickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s founder and guiding light, offers a mixed-media performance that explores the relationships between choreography, sculpture, sound, and video. Moving Theater, a discipline-defying, frontier-crossing performance group directed by Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly, brings new material fresh from the company’s 2006 residency at the Watermill Center.” Also on Friday evening. 7:30pm, $15.
SUNDAY, 10.22: “Guaranteed to be more fun than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick…Readings At The Field presents AN EVENING WITH THE ONION Featuring The Onion features editor Joe Garden, head writer Todd Hanson, and contributor John Harris.” At Magnetic Field. Go and thank them in person for “My Short Fiction Will Restore America’s Romantic Spirit,” “It’s Funny How What You’re Saying Relates to My Novel,” and “Women Dozing at Coffee Shop Has That Dave Eggers Sex Dream Again.” 7:00pm, FREE.