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.
MONDAY, 10.30: Barnes & Noble presents the last edition of “Upstairs at the Square” for the year, held at the Union Square B&N. The series features host Katherine Lanpher in conversation with established and emerging authors and musicians, who will read and perform their work. Monday evening’s guests are Nell Freudenberger, who will read from and discuss her debut novel, The Dissident, and pacesetting jazz-rock musician Howard Fishman [full disclosure, as always: I am the PR consultant for this project]. 7:00pm, FREE.
TUESDAY, 10.31:: At the Merchant’s House Museum, “New York City’s only family home preserved intact — inside and out — from the 19th century,” ” Simon Loekle Reads Poe and Other Masters of Gothic Horror. Join radio personality and scholar extraordinaire Simon Loekle for a evening of spine- chilling 19th-century stories in the MuseumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s double parlors (which will be decorated for a 19th-century funeral.)” Highly recommended. 6:30pm, $10. And, “Rohan Kriwaczek’s lavish history of the oppressed and fading Guild of Funerary Violinists was received with acclaim when it was purchased by Overlook Press. His accomplishment has been undiminished by the subsequent discovery that the Guild, the history, and the art of funerary violin itself seem to be entirely his own invention. There is, however, at least one funerary violinist: Rohan Kriwaczek himself. Stop by McNally Robinson after 5:00 to hear Rohan demonstrate his art with an eerie Halloween concert of funerary violin music, punctuated with a reading at 6:00 from his beautifully written book. Signing to follow.” At McNally Robinson. 5:00pm, FREE. Also, the Tiger Lillies play their annual New York show St. Ann’s in DUMBO (I went for three years in a row; why did I ever stop? I have no idea). “Imagine the spirit of the Sex Pistols, the raw passion of Left Bank Paris and the savagery of Dickensian under-culture.” 8:00pm, $30.
WEDNESDAY, 11.1: “Photographs from the New World,” an exhibition of photographs taken in Second Life by James Deavin, opens with a public reception for the artist at jen bekman [full disclosure, as always: where I am the PR director]. 6 – 8pm, FREE.
THURSDAY, 11.2: “Drama of Works, the award-winning puppet theatre company, premieres their newest full-length work just in time for Halloween. Based on the classic tale by Washington Irving, and inspired by the storyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sparse dialogue, lush imagery, and vividly drawn mood, this Sleepy Hollow is a beautifully mounted, large-scale shadow puppet re-telling of the legend. The production features an original score by Vivian Fung, performed live by a chamber ensemble.” At Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Art Center. 7:30pm, $15. Also, First Thursdays Film Series Presents: The Motel: “…a dark comedy about a precocious 13-year-old teenager who learns about the facts of life from the sketchy clientele at his motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s roadside motel.” 7:00pm, FREE.
FRIDAY, 11.3: You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, right? Find your way on Friday for an evening with Joshua Hopkins (baritone) and J.J. Penna (piano): “Beginning with the subject of flowers, Schubert shows his appreciation of the natural world and displays its capacity to give metaphorical support to deep emotion. Schumann, on the other hand, in his first and one of his least well-known song cycles, deals with the emotional dimension of love at an abstract and psychological level. Srul Irving Glick, a rarely heard contemporary composer, returns us to the importance of the concrete embodiment of emotion in the landscape of his native Canada. Ravel, with a revealing song cycle entitled Histoires naturelles, plants our feet again in the material world by asking us humorously to pair human characteristics with denizens of the natural world.” 7:30pm, $34. Also, at the Poetry Project, “The Tiny Presses Shall Inherit The Earth!” 9:30pm, $8. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Morgan Library & Museum is open until 9:00pm on Fridays. The manuscript collection includes charmingly annotated works by the Bronte Sisters, Lord Byron (my current historical crush… sigh), Toni Morrison, Oscar Wilde (“You are heartless, sir, quite heartless.”) and many more. Admission is FREE on Friday evenings from 7 – 9pm.
SATURDAY, 11.4: “Professor Markku Lahti, Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the Alvar Aalto Museum, will …. lecture on Aalto Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the man and his work. Markku Lahti has been the Director of the Alvar Aalto Museum since 1973 and the Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation since 1998. Professor Lahti has published several books on Aalto Ã¢â‚¬â€œ most recently: Alvar Aalto. A Gentler Structure for Life, 1998 and Alvar Aalto Houses, 2005.” At the Center for Architecture. Highly recommended. 2pm, FREE but RSVP is requested. Also on Saturday afternoon, Christine Hamm, Thomas March and Juliet Patterson read from their work at the justifiably (in)famous Ear Inn. 3:00pm, FREE.
SUNDAY, 11.5: At the Bronx Museum of the Arts, TropicÃƒÂ¡lia: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture: “TropicÃƒÂ¡lia marked a true revolution in Brazilian culture in the 1960s. This exhibition revisits this seminal moment through works by numerous artists including HÃƒÂ©lio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Antonio Dias; excerpts from performances by the tropicalist musicians including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, and others; examples of tropicalismo’s influence on advertising, fashion, film, television, architecture, and theater; as well as contemporary works by Matthew Antezzo, Rodrigo AraÃƒÂºjo, assume vivid astro focus, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Lucas Levitan and Jailton Moreira, Arto Lindsay, Marepe, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, and Karin Schneider, and +2 (Moreno Veloso, Domenico Lancellotti, and Alexandre Masset Kassin).” Highly recommended [thanks to Soohang for the tip!] The museum’s Sunday hours are 12:00 – 6:00pm, $5. In Brooklyn, spend an afternoon in bohemian splendor down by the water at Sunny’s, where Gabriel Cohen’s marvelously eclectic, BookCourt co-sponsored reading series presents nonfiction writer Eve Edelson (Scamorama: Turning the Tables on E-Mail Scammers), poet Miranda Field (Swallow), and novelist Patrick Ryan (Send Me) plus free coffee and Italian pastries and cookies in an entirely winning combination. 3:00pm, $3.
On heavy rotation: Devon Sproule, …my baby don’t care for high-tone places…