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, 9:12: Kansas City native (and resident) Whitney Terrell stops by the Half King to read from his novel, The King of Kings County, which “has a little of everythingÃ¢â‚¬â€love, dishonor, comedy, football, and real estate, and the intense story of a man living through all of it.” 7:00pm, no cover. Also, dynamic duo Praxis perform Forget Me Not, a piece that “engages the audience in ritualistic exchanges and offerings, providing solace and ‘tools for living’ while raising questions of how we care for the dead and dying.” At PS 122, through September 13. 7:00pm, $20.
TUESDAY, 9.13: I met my old friend Andre Banks when we both worked in the social justice movement, and he is, quite simply, one of the most creative, dynamic political activists I’ve ever encountered. He’s now working at the Applied Research Center, home of ColorLines magazine, and recently wrote to invite Smart Set readers to a reading and ColorLines-sponsored afterparty to celebrate the publication of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant America After 9/11, authored by his colleague Tram Nguyen and just out from Beacon Press. At Bluestockings. 7:00pm, no cover. Additionally, the Bryant Park poetry reading series has been extended! On Tuesday, as part of September’s edition, award-winners Eric Baus, Tracey K. Smith, and Aaron Smith set their love of verse aloft on an early autumn breeze. 6:00pm, free.
WEDNESDAY, 9.14: Director Amanda Stern has turned the Season Three Premiere of her justifiably lauded Happy Ending Reading Series into a benefit for New Orleans. Featured literary stars include James Salter, Jim Shephard, Julia Slavin, and Amy Hempel, with music from Sam Bisbee. Noted: “Donations begin at $10. Audience will choose the charitable organization the money will go to. The door will be woman-ed by a Tulane evacuee, my little sister, Nina.” (My vote? Preservation Hall’s New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund or the Louisiana Library Association.) Highly recommended. 8:00pm. And, As Smart As They Are: The Author Project screens as part of Anthology Film Archives’ New Filmmakers Series [full disclosure, as always: director Joe Pacheco is one of my PR clients]. 7:00pm, just $5. Additionally, the New York Public Library presents “WOMEN OF MYSTERY: Nancy Drew Revisited. A Conversation with Melanie Rehak and Laura Lippman with moderator David Ferriero”. 7:00pm, $15. Also noted for later on Wednesday evening, CMJ kicks off with dozens of programmed events around town, including performances by indie darlings Devendra Banhart, Brazilian Girls and (swoon) Nouvelle Vague. Check site for details, and pretend your minor super powers will enable you to block out leg warmers and any of these people from your line of vision.
THURSDAY, 9.15: At Housing Works, “Authors step up as part of a two-night celebration to launch the Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA) march to Washington, when the coalition demands that world leaders exert the political will to stop the epidemic.” Featured literary luminaries on Thursday evening include A.M. Homes, Jay McInerney, Melissa Bank, James Frey, John Hodgman, and Han Ong. Highly recommended. 7:00pm, free. And, at Powerhouse Books + Gallery, there’s an opening for photographer Janette Beckman’s Made in the UK: The Music of Attitude: 1977-1983. It may sound crazy but…”Once upon a time in the UK, before MTV and big business took over the music industry, before people became obsessed with money, before the time of stylists and expensive designer labels, when bands had total artistic control, anything seemed possible, there were no rules and they were making it up as they went along.” Don’t count on Diddy as your plus one. 7:00-9:00pm, free.
FRIDAY, 9.16: RESFEST takes quite seriously its vow to “keep it curious” with a program dedicated to “Cinema Electronica.” 10:00pm, $10. Plus, while you’re there, you can pick up tickets for Saturday night’s Beck Retrospective. Remember: nothing to see here.
SATURDAY, 9.17: Saturday evening promises an entertaining Celebration of The Paris Review at the New York Public Library, with Salman Rushdie, Philip Gourevitch and Miranda July. Highly recommended. 7:00pm, $15. During the day, Chelsea has even more flair than usual courtesy of The Kitchen‘s “seventh annual neighborhood street fair, produced this year in collaboration with Friends of the High Line.” I wonder if the event has a site-specific slogan: Chic fun for everyone? The street fair for pretty people? All I know is that a couple of years ago, a conceptual artist friend served attendees gelato using an elaborate pulley system. While you’re in the neighborhood, check out Miss Van’s gem of an exhibition at Jonathan LeVine, easily my favorite in a long while, and new works by Daniel Rozin at new media gallery Bitforms, located in the same building.
SUNDAY, 9.18: Support your local reading series as Sunday Salon returns for the new season with readings by Michelle Herman, Robert Marshall, Carol Novack, and Scott Cameron, at its new home, Stain Bar in Williamsburg. Recommended. 7:00pm, no cover.