‣ Food writer Harold McGee, perfumer Mandy Aftel and neuroscientist Jay Gottfried discuss how scent affects eating—why your brain says "go for the raspberries, not those rotten eggs!" AMNH, February 23rd, 6:30pm, $25.
‣ At the Quad starting tomorrow, Unrated: A Week of Sex in Cinema.
‣ Up to 50% off select eyewear from Robert Marc today thru 3/13.
‣ The lecture series at the General Society of Mechanics, 20 W. 44th [5th/6th] 212.840.1840, on the art of craftsmanship; upcoming, a bent glass artisan, an upholsterer, and a master in straw marquetry. $15 each.
sculpture ‣ We've been fans for a long time of the stricture-laced insouciance in the work of sculptor Tom Otterness and we always look forward to what he's up to next. The answer to that is Animal Spirits, opening February 23rd at Marborough Gallery, 40 W. 57th [5th/6th] 212.541.4900.
art ‣ Opening tomorrow at Freight + Volume, 530 W. 24th [10th/11th] 212.691.7700, a new show of paintings by Richard Butler called hypochondriacatthegramercyparkhotel. The British artist, (who founded The Psychedelic Furs band), creates portraits of people in Mouseketeer masks, say, or shrouded in bubble wrap. For a split second, they're fashion-magazine beautiful, then increasingly troubling, then unshakeable.
theater ‣ When Trey Parker heard that Stephen Sondheim loved South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, he wrote to the composer, "We think you've done some good work, too." For Parker and Matt Stone, nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred. And thank God for that. A somnolent Broadway will get a dose of their irreverence when The Book of Mormon begins previews at the O'Neill on February 24th. To tide you over, Mountain Town. Not exactly unsafe for work, except on general principles: you shouldn't be watching South Park at work.
movies ‣ There are things held sacred by the small group of French Christian monks in Of Gods and Men who live, peaceably, with their Muslim brothers in Algeria—until they are faced with the threat of fundamentalist violence. Based on a true story, Xavier Beauvois' very fine film opens on February 25th.
out of town ‣ Comares, Spain: The village of Comares in Andalucia is considered one of the prettiest in the region, which is no small claim. Whitewashed Moorish houses make up the village—there's not much in the way of commerce. But there plenty in the way of views—gorgeous views—of olive, almond, and orange trees beneath the sometimes snow-capped Mount Maroma. [continued]