Local events, now through Labor Day


Every time Lauren goes on vacation, I get nervous she’ll breeze back into town, some fabulous new scent trailing behind her, and announce a revised life plan, which will involve a multimillion dollar business scheme and a great deal of European travel, but will mean the end of The Smart Set (her weekly events listing, which has been on hiatus this summer). She laughs when I tell her this, but as a fellow (easily-bored) Gemini, I’m not reassured.

Still, for now, good news! If you, like me, have spent many Monday afternoons this summer sighing and pressing your nose against the glass, your reward is at hand: The Smart Set is scheduled to return sometime shortly after Labor Day. Meanwhile, here are some events for the last of summer.

MON, 25: “Anna Winger writes about displacement and belonging, loss and connection with intelligent forthrightness and complex subtlety. Set in a modern-day, haunted Berlin, This Must Be the Place is a riveting, bittersweet, and bracingly unsentimental novel,” says Kate Christensen, and that’s only the beginning of the praise this first novel has seen from readers as diverse as Gary Shteyngart and Liesl Schillinger. Winger reads tonight at Housing Works, 7 p.m., Free.

WED, 27: Don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to catch Girl Cut in Two at Lincoln Plaza before it closes this week. Says the Times’ Stephen Holden: “The French master Claude Chabrol’s newest film, loosely inspired by the 1906 murder of the New York architect Stanford White, is an icy examination of class divisions, ruthless sexual gamesmanship and crushing social machinery. Its putative heroine (Ludivine Sagnier) is an attractive television weather girl who finds herself the object of a power struggle between a married, womanizing author who is decades older (François Berléand) and a spoiled multimillionaire playboy (Benoît Magimel) who wants her as his trophy. When the fight turns nasty, she becomes the victim.”

THURS, 28: ZZ Packer appears at this year’s New Stories From the South party, at Housing Works. The event, presented by Algonquin and Paste magazine, celebrates the 2008 anthology, which she edited, but doubles as a benefit for Katrina writers. I’ll emcee, Packer, Brett Anthony Johnston and Stephanie Dickinson will give short readings, and we’ll have Cajun eats from Mara’s Homemade and ACME. Right now I’m putting the finishing touches on a Southern culture trivia quiz. Prizes include a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, works by Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, Zora Neale Hurston, Tennessee Williams, and Larry Brown, and cds from the Avett Brothers and others. If you’re in town, come on out and eat some crawdads with us. $5 suggested donation.

WEEKEND: A Sheepshead Bay fishing boat expedition — help save the fleet! — and the West Indian American Day Carnival.

Addendum: Lauren sends her love. She misses us, too.


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