The Smart Set: a weekly events listing by Lauren Cerand

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, with the date of the event in the subject line (new for spring!).

MONDAY, 5.23: Why don’t you…have another glass of wine for the third time?

TUESDAY, 5.24: The Jewish Museum presents “Proust and the Power of Conversation,” in conjunction with its current special exhibition exploring “Jewish Women and Their Salons.” 6:30pm, $11. Also on Tuesday evening, the fabulous Amanda Stern, author of The Long Haul and host of the Happy Ending Reading Series, reads from her novel-in-progress, The Guthrie Test, at Junnos, along with Tony Antoniadis and Adalena Kavanagh. 7:30pm, FREE. And, reliable sources tell me that Alex Parsons is not only the author of a good novel, In The Shadows of the Sun, but also the type of person who “rocks cowboy boots,” both admirable qualities in my book. He reads at the Barnes & Noble at 396 Avenue of the Americas at 7:30pm, FREE.

WEDNESDAY, 5.25: Go ahead and enjoy that cigarette – you’re not really going to quit. [UPDATE: a clever reader has advised me that there is something to do in addition to smoking on Wednesday night. “Michael Mejias has relaunched his reading series at the Kettle of Fish….Crystal Mandler, Cleyvis Natera, and Scott Snyder will be reading.” The Kettle of Fish is located at 59 Christopher Street. 7:00pm, FREE.]

THURSDAY, 5.26: Make out with a stranger, with no strings, Friendsters, or Dodgeballs attached, or however it is you crazy kids like to stalk each other these days. [UPDATE: Cake Shop hosts a party for Jeff Buckley’s Grace, the latest in the 33 1/3 music series by Continuum Books. Noted: “Daphne Brooks traces Buckley’s fascinating musical development through the earliest stages of his career, up to the release of the album. With access to rare archival material, Brooks illustrates Buckley’s passion for life and hunger for musical knowledge, and shows just why he was such a crucial figure in the American music scene of the 1990s.” Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. Thanks to Nichelle for the tip. 7:00pm, FREE. I’m leaving for Big Sur now. No more updates.]

FRIDAY, 5.27: Be drunk. See also: “Monday,” “Wednesday,” “Thursday.” Or, ummmm…plan an interesting literary event and send me details.

SATURDAY, 5.28: Printed Matter has extended the exhibition devoted to the new art book, Young, Sleek, and Full of Hell : Ten Years of New York’s Notorious Alleged Gallery, for an extra week (it was originally scheduled to close May 21st). Saturday is the new last day, kind of like “No Cover” is the new “Free.” 11:00am- 7:00pm, NO COVER.

SUNDAY, 5.29: The BPC is the place to be on Sunday: Balaklava, a monthly reading series curated by Matvei Yankelevich and Eugene Ostashevsky, presents sexy-sounding Eastern European poets Mario Susko, Sebastian Reichmann, and Vasyl Makhno. 8:00pm, FREE. And then, Books Through Bars “presents Sparrow, Joie Blaney, & Just About to Burn in a benefit hosted by Jennifer Blowdryer.” Noted: “Sparrow created quite a stir in 1995 when he picketed the New Yorker magazine, holding a placard reading, ‘My Poetry is as bad as yours.’ His poetry has since appeared in that magazine…” 10:00pm, $5.

UPCOMING: “SAVE THE DATES. SERIOUSLY: September 4 and 5, 2005: Arthur Festival, Los Angeles, California.”

The ideal soundtrack for reading this week’s edition of the Smart Set: Nouvelle Vague.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.