The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s weekly events

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] by the Thursday prior to publication, with the event’s date in the subject line.

MONDAY, 1.29: The Reader’s Room at Mo Pitkin’s, hosted by Emilie Stewart and Leigh Newman, promises you will be “wowed by Jim Shepard, and swept away to foreign lands (which sometimes means a cruise ship) by debut novelist (and former international lounge singer) Lara Tupper.” 7:00pm, one drink minimum.

TUESDAY, 1.30: At the New York Public Library, “Novelists Richard Price and Colum McCann, a former Cullman Center Fellow, talk about the arts and crafts of writing fiction, and about McCann’s new novel, Zoli.” 7:00pm, $15.

WEDNESDAY, 1.31: Open City continues its monthly reading series at KGB with Vestal McIntyre and Rakesh Satyal (who will hopefully also kick out the jams). 7:00pm, FREE. And, “Jonathan LeVine Gallery and BrazilFoundation will host Ruas de São Paulo: A Benefit Art Auction on January 31, 2007 from 7pm to 10pm at The Newspace, located at 530 West 21st Street in Chelsea. The benefit is organized to raise funds for eight Brazilian street artists from São Paulo and Choque Cultural Gallery representatives to participate in a multi-tiered cultural immersion in New York City.” Admission is $30, which makes you BFF with Brazil or something.

THURSDAY, 2.1: Pranksters, Bluestockings, EXCELLENT. Also, at Anthology Film Archives: “An intensely intimate portrait of Japanese literary figure Mitsuharu Inoue. Born in 1926, Inoue was a member of the Japanese Communist party and his book CHI NO MURE was nominated for the highest literary prize in Japan. He was also a maddeningly complex person: on the one hand revered by students and colleagues alike; on the other, an unrepentant womanizer and a shameless liar.” 8:30pm, $8.

FRIDAY, 2.2: When I was planning out the week’s listings, I totally forgot about Friday. Let’s see… I hear that boldness is back in fashion. I’m sure you can think of something daring to do.

SATURDAY, 2.3: Last chance for: “The Gotham Chamber Opera is New York City’s leading opera company dedicated to the highest quality productions of chamber operas rarely performed in opera houses today. Our mission is to present vibrant, fully-staged productions of works from the Baroque era to the present that are intended for intimate venues… Rossini’s comic one-act opera IL SIGNOR BRUSCHINO, first presented at the Teatro Moise in Venice in 1813, paved the way for Rossini’s burst of stardom with the premiere of Tancredia mere ten days later. Gotham’s production of IL SIGNOR BRUSCHINO is set in the sexy and stylish world of Rome’s Via Veneto circa 1960: molto Fellini.”

SUNDAY, 2.4: Pretend to be too focused on rolling that cigarette to notice the Fairway across the street, and amble on nonplussed down to the waterfront, my little bohemians, as Sundays at Sunny’s presents an afternoon with Virginia Vitzthum reading from I Love You Let’s Meet: Adventures in Online Dating, and Brandon Stosuy, editor of Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992. 3:00pm, $3 suggested includes free coffee and Italian pastries, which are really, really good.

The Mighty Boosh and the book deal

While laid up, I can only do so much sleeping and reading and stroking of cats before the pacing starts.

Mr. Maud (and YouTube) have come to the rescue with The Mighty Boosh, a hilariously surreal British TV show that began on stage, went to radio, and finally aired as a BBC3 series several years ago.

In this episode (Charlie), Howard announces his plans to become a novelist. His chirpy, poncho-clad friend, Vince, mocks him — “You don’t even have a pen” — and says he himself is already a writer, having produced several books about a character made of bubble gum. The following exchange ensues:

Howard: That’s not a novel. That’s the scribblings of a retard, Vince.

Vince: They are novels. They’re novelettes.

H: It’s in crayon, ya berk.

V: So what? I’m New Skool.

H: New Skool?! I’m talking about books that are gonna get published.

V: Mine are published. I published ‘em myself.

H: You photocopy them, and you leave ‘em lying around supermarkets, inside Weetabix boxes. That’s not published, is it?

Watch it, or I’ll be forced to quote the rest of the show.

Until next week

I’ve been so sick, I believe I’ve tried every remedy but Mark Twain’s health tonic.

Livy my darling, I want you to be sure & remember to have, in the bath-room, when I arrive, a bottle of Scotch whisky, a lemon, some crushed sugar, & a bottle of Angostura bitters. Ever since I have been in London I have taken in a wine-glass what is called a cock-tail … before breakfast, before dinner, & just before going to bed…. To it I attribute the fact that up to this day my digestion has been wonderful — simply perfect. It remains day after day & week after week as regular as a clock.

This works for the flu, too, right? (Thanks, E.)

Stay well, everybody. I’ll be back next week.

The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s Six-Day Forecast

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] by the Thursday prior to publication, with the event’s date in the subject line.

TUESDAY, 1.23: At the 92nd Street Y, “Two popular writers from The New Yorker tell us what they love—and hate—about living in New York. Adam Gopnik writes “New York Journal,” a column about culture and daily life. He is the author of a new essay collection, At Home in New York. Patricia Marx has written for Saturday Night Live and Rugrats and for The New York Times, Vogue and The Atlantic. She was the first woman on the Harvard Lampoon. Her first novel, Him Her Him Again the End of Him, was published recently.” Recommended. 8:15pm, $25. Downtown, Dean & Britta perform new material as a warm-up for their spring tour, at Mo Pitkin’s. 7:00pm, $15.

WEDNESDAY, 1.24: From the fantastically dedicated women who produce Sunday Salon comes the Girls Write Now 2nd Annual Winter Pair Reading & Raffle, “showcasing New York City’s best teen writers and the mentors who help them learn their craft.” Highly recommended, no… essential! 7:00pm, $5 suggested. And per the invitation of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, “please join us for the final salon for LMCC’s pilot Writers Residency. Six writers and three songwriters will present work produced during their two months in a vacant office space on Astor Place.” Including the charming and talented Liz Brown. At Redhead Gallery, 125 Maiden Lane, 2nd Floor. Recommended. 6:00pm, FREE. Plus, at jen bekman [where, full disclosure as always, I am the gallery's PR director], the best of the best of emerging photography is unveiled with the opening of the Hey, Hot Shot! ne plus ultra 2007 annual. 6 – 8pm, FREE.

THURSDAY, 1.25: “On December 26th, 2006, Bob Powers’ Happy Cruelty Day! was carefully unpacked from shipping crates and placed on retail bookstore shelves, and America’s innocence was hijacked forever…” The book’s publication is celebrated at a very special edition of How To Kick People, featuring Dan Kennedy, Andres du Bouchet, Mike Albo, Chris Regan and Amanda Melson. At Mo Pitkin’s. Highly recommended. 7:30pm, FREE. Also, “Housing Works proudly presents acclaimed poet Anne Carson’s “Possesive Used As Drink (Me): a lecture on pronouns in the form of fifteen sonnets” This very special performance features Anne Carson reading her poetry, accompanied by choreography and dance by Julie Cunningham, Rashaun Mitchell and Andrea Weber, members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.” Also highly recommended. 7:00pm $10.

FRIDAY, 1.26: “CHINA BLUE takes us on a poignant journey inside a blue-jeans factory, where the working conditions Jasmine and her teenage friends must endure are harsh beyond imagination. They are also unlawful by international standards, and tensions in the factory are running high. So when the factory owner strikes a deal with a Western client and demands around-the-clock production to meet the deadline, a confrontation becomes inevitable. Shot clandestinely in China, under difficult conditions, this is a deep-access account of what both China and the international retail companies don’t want us to see — how the clothes we buy are actually made.” Showing one week only at Anthology Film Archives. Also, just as a side note, pretty much any film that Jim Browne picks up for his distribution company, Argot Pictures (including the one listed above), can be considered essential viewing.

SATURDAY, 1.27: “The Museum of Modern Art and Creative Time, the New York–based public art organization, have jointly commissioned Doug Aitken to create the artist’s first large-scale public artwork in the United States…Inspired by the densely built environment of New York’s midtown, the artist will create a cinematic art experience that directly integrates with the architectural fabric of the city while simultaneously enhancing and challenging viewers’ perceptions of public space.” sleepwalkers features Tilda Swinton, Donald Sutherland, Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Seu Jorge, and Ryan Donowho. Evenings through February 12 from 5:00–10:00 PM, FREE. Also on Saturday evening, The Books play Webster Hall.

SUNDAY, 1.28: At P.S. 122, Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects presents “Edith and Jenny“… “Interwined through Rogoff’s signature choreography, performers Claire Danes and Ariel Rogoff Flavin explore the intimacy that has marked their life-long friendship.” Sunday’s performance is at 5:00pm, $20. Through February 4.

Soundtrack to this week’s edition: Tegan & Sara, especially their infectious and brilliant “Living Room,” which I’ve had stuck ceaselessly in my head for three days! Do listen, but absolutely at your own risk…