The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and posted by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30 pm, and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New Yorkâ€™s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to Ms. Cerand at lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication. Due to the volume of submissions, events cannot be considered unless the date appears in the subject line of your message.
MON DEC 1: The Writers Read series presents Stephanie Dickinson, whose new novel is Half Girl (Spuyten Duyvil); short story writer Sally McElwain, who will read from “Pandora in Brooklyn”; and Lawrence Shainberg, whose new novel is Crust (Two Dollar Radio) [Full disclosure, as always: Larry is one of my publicity clients]. At Cornelia Street Cafe, the almost unfathomably charming artists’ enclave, which has long hosted cultural notables such as Suzanne Vega, Eve Ensler, Oliver Sacks, and poet-senator Eugene McCarthy in the heart of Greenwich Village. 6PM, Cover $7 (includes one house drink).
TUE DEC 2: Near Union Square, Idlewild Books is having a War and Peace party with “vodka punch, Russian snacks and live viola music (including some of Tolstoy’s favorites)”. 7PM, FREE. Uptown hipsters should swing by Bookculture for Mickey Hess and Jack Sullivan (and free booze): “Mickey will be reading from his new memoir about life as an academic, Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory (Garrett County Press; November 2008), which Joe Meno declared ‘an absolute winner.’ Jack will discuss his book Hitchcock’s Music, a fascinating look into the importance of soundtrack in Hitchcock’s films which NPR declared ‘big on suspense.'” 7PM, FREE. Midtown hipsters, I don’t know what to tell you.
WED DEC 3: “This December, Les Freres Corbusier transforms the Ohio Theater into a fully immersive, bombed-out discothÃ¨que as we fuse unmerciful Japanese rave music with deeply regrettable sophomoric comedy in this one-of-a-kind, futuristic dance spectacular, Dance Dance Revolution. Riffing on fizzy dance musicals like Flashdance and death sport movies such as Rollerball, Dance Dance Revolution is like Footloose set in the futureâ€”but much scarier, and with 50 really attractive, barely-clothed young actors and buckets of free beer.” $18, performances through December 20.
THU DEC 4: “The Goethe-Institut New York presents the next edition of ‘What is Green Architecture?’, featuring Stefan Behnisch in conversation with Andres Lepik at The Architectural League of New York. This season, weâ€™ve explored promising cities with zero-emissions pioneer Steffen Lehmann and the spectacular concepts that exist beyond ‘just a building’ with avant-garde instigator Friedrich von Borries. For our final talk of the year, weâ€™ll consider the campus of the future with Stefan Behnisch, whoâ€™s currently showing them how itâ€™s done at Harvard, whereâ€™s he designing the universityâ€™s high-profile new Allston science complex” [Full disclosure, as always: I am the publicist for this series]. 7PM, FREE.
FRI DEC 5: “Please join us for The Correspondences Party, a celebration of New Yorker editor and author Ben Greenman’s new collaborations with Hotel St. George and Jack Spade — and with complimentary cocktails — at Idlewild Books. For this special evening, we will debut “The Correspondences Cocktail,” the intriguing creation of mixologist-to-the-stars St. John Frizell” [Full disclosure, as always: Ben is one of my publicity clients and I put this event together]. 6:30-8:30PM; FREE, but reservations are required: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAT DEC 6: Why not spend an afternoon at the movies with your vampire adaptation of choice? I vote for Let The Right One In, “a story both violent and highly romantic, set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982.” And, the 21st Indie & Small Press Book Fair kicks off.
SUN DEC 7: At the Indie & Small Press Book Fair, “The Future of Independent Publishing”: “As new technologies once again turn the publishing world on its ear, small presses are surviving–and thriving–by embracing alternative publishing models, from limited editions that treat books as collectable objects to innovative multi-media that make digital books more fluid, interactive and open source. In a conversation led by Buzz Poole (Managing Editor, Mark Batty Publisher), Alex Rose (Publisher, Hotel St. George Press), Ben Greenman (Editor, The New Yorker), Matvei Yankelevich (Founding Editor, Ugly Duckling Presse), and Dan Visel (Future of the Book) discuss how to maintain the dynamic relationship between publisher, author and reader in the digital age, and how to create books that reflect and respond to our interactive cultural landscape.” 2PM, FREE. In Brooklyn, pretend to be too focused on rolling that cigarette to notice the Fairway across the street, and amble on nonplussed down to the waterfront, my little bohemians, as Gabriel Cohen’s Sundays at Sunnyâ€™s presents an afternoon of eclectic entertainment with Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City), Karan Mahajan (Family Planning) and Amanda Petrusich (It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways and the Search for the Next American Music). 3:00pm, FREE.