Hear one of the best, smartest writers alive, Simon Winchester (pictured, right), discuss his new book A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 (HarperCollins, $27.95), tonight, 7pm, at 192 Books, 192 10th [21st] 212.455.4022. Reserve.
Oh My Rockness picks: Friday: Tristeza (and Amandine) at Northsix: One of our favorite instrumental bands of all time is back! Tristeza is Spanish for "sadness" and it's the perfect name for a close-to-perfect band. This is music that just makes you feel something. Saturday:The 101 at Lit: The 101 is a very good band that features Eric Richter, formerly of an extremely good band, Christie Front Drive. These guys rock in that catchy, why-am-I-smiling way. Sunday:American Analog Set (and Headphones) at Mercury Lounge: For close to a decade, Austin's American Analog Set have quietly been playing some of the finest hush-rock. Catch them on their last "full-on tour in support of an album." Just Announced:11/27: Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists) at Town Hall, 1/27 & 1/28: Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall, 2/15: Be Your Own Pet at Knitting Factory.
Anyone who saw Elizabeth Franz in the title role of "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You," the Christopher Durang play at Playwrights Horizons that debuted in 1981, remembers being doubled over with laughter as Franz presided over the evening with her demented toothy rictus. Now it's Kristine Nielsen's turn (again at Playwrights, pictured middle) to take Mr. Durang's title character of "Miss Witherspoon" and rock the boards.
The best short films are showcased in the 26th Asbury Shorts of NY on Friday night, 8pm, at Florence Gould Hall, 55 E. 59th [Park/Mad]. Tickets are $18, available here. Chase Palmer's "Neo-Noir" (pictured, left) is one of the many prize-winning shorts that you'll see.
We've turned friends and family on to Sean Thackrey Pleiades and it's always a guaranteed full wow. The meritage is a grab bag of varietals, including with Zin, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Grenache. It can be tricky to get your hands on, but Wine Library in Springfield, NJ has it for $21.99. A wine that would drink well this weekend, on the Thanksgiving table, and any time between now and the return of warm weather.
A good weekend for a stroll in Carl Schurz Park and a look at Henderson Place, an historic district consisting of 549-553 E. 86th [EEA], 6-16 Henderson Place, 140-154 EEA, and 552-558 E. 87th . Although there is an intrusive highrise that has lopped off part of Henderson Place for all eternity, you can still feel the presence of an earlier era here. The cul-de-sac was completed in 1882, a development of fur importer and hatmaker John C. Henderson (Lamb and Rich were the architects). It was conceived as a housing group for "persons of moderate means," and the Queen Anne houses, 24 of which remain, were modest for the time, though they are certainly charming. Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne lived here. Photos.
Over 25,000 books, CDs, videos, calendars, cards, and more are sold at 50% off during the 19th Annual New York Book Fair that benefits the very worthy Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus [88th] 212.873.4448. It takes place at the center this Saturday, 10-6 and Sunday 11-6. A free admission card is available here.