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 email@example.com.
MONDAY, 1.10: Wally Cardona Quartet kicks off a week of performances of HIM, THERE, THEM at Dance Theater Workshop. Note: When I was (very briefly) a publicist at the 92nd Street Y, I saw the piece two or three times and genuinely found it to be refreshing, inventive, and enjoyable. Times vary, $25.
TUESDAY, 1.11: Pankaj Mishra, author of An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World and Jonathan Schell discuss Buddha, Ghandi and the Indian Philosophical Tradition as it pertains to war and politics, at the New York Public Library. 6:30pm, $10.
WEDNESDAY, 1.12: In our corner of the ring, Maud Newton, taking on a Billionaire for Bush in a Melville House-sponsored taxation debate to promote the “instant-book sensation” What We Do Now, with Dennis Loy Johnson pledging to break up any fisticuffs. At BookCourt, 163 Court St. in Brooklyn; 7:00, FREE. Choreographer Noemie LaFrance and performance artist Julia Mandle join The Kitchen’s Debra Singer for a discussion of how “performance space is transformed through the use of sculpture, fashion and location,” at The Whitney. 7:00pm, $8. And, Nicholas Lemann kicks off a series of three lectures this month at the New York Public Library, entitled, “What To Do About Interest Groups?” 6:30pm, $10 each. Also, 2004 NBA (Fiction) Nominee Kate Walbert reads with debut novelist Felicia Luna Lemus at Cupcake, the reading series for New York’s best women writers (that I co-direct). 7:30pm, FREE.
THURSDAY, 1.13: The New York chapter of the Women’s National Book Association presents industry experts in a discussion entitled, “Publishing in the Black: New Rules for African-American Writers, Practical Lessons for Others.” 6:00pm, $10. Jon Stewart and Daily Show friends stage a benefit reading at Symphony Space for 826NYC. 8:00pm, $36. Also, for those of us who have wondered,”Where in the world are we headed if we can’t get there in a Bentley?” Two congruent solo shows of work by artists Karlos Carcamo and Nika Sarabi, exploring the origins of hip-hop and its influences, open at Xanadu [via Wooster Collective]. And, “Co-authored by Bill Bonanno, former high-ranking member of the Bonanno crime family, and ex-FBI agent Joe Pistone, aka Donnie Brasco… and written with David Fisher, co-author of Killer, The Good Guys is a riveting crime saga…Bonanno, Pistone and Fisher will be appearing at the legendary Algonquin Hotel’s Round Table-the very same room where Mario Puzo signed the contract for The Godfather. There will be a reception and book signing from 6:00pm-8:00pm.”
FRIDAY, 1.14: “Idea No. 22: Fill a desk drawer with gravel and make a secret zen garden.” From 101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself, an online project by artist Rob Pruitt at e-flux.
SATURDAY, 1.15: Cultivate your inner flaneur.