leisure 08.10.10

Brain Food

We'd like to hear the deep background on David Plouffe's role in Obama's presidential campaign, even more than is revealed in Mr. Plouffe's campaign memoir The Audacity to Win. Perhaps we'll get a bit of it when the strategist gives a talk at the 92Y on Sunday, September 12th, 7:30pm. $29.

Iran: History, Politics, People is a 15-week, online class offered by the New School on that fascinating and confounding country. Starts August 30th, $620.

At the Tenement Museum on August 18th, 6:30pm, Gary Shteyngart discusses his new book Super Sad True Love Story. As much as we admire the book—and we do, a lot— we don't share the view that the book is 'superfunny'. But then perhaps we'd find any post-literate world depressing beyond words.

Some contemporary architects we'd trust with our city. Others we wouldn't trust as far as we could throw them, extrude them, or deconstruct them. It's tricky, though: even a sometimes brilliant architect like Renzo Piano can produce a blight like the NY Times tower, suitable for The New York Lifestyle Times, descendant of the NY Times, that appears in Gary Shteyngart's new book (see above). A survey of architecture, with an emphasis on our daily-life experience of it, is the idea of Experiencing Architecture/Master Architects, a course offered by NYU starting October 6th, ten sessions, $430.

We apparently can't quite shake the dystopia/dyspeptic thing today. Is it just us or is there something, askew about this lineup, celebrating the 40th year of the NY Times Op-Ed: Roy Blount, Jr., Nora Ephron, Garrison Keillor, Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and Anna Deavere Smith? Was Chandler Burr not available? Anyway, it's the season launch of TimesTalks, September 16th, 6:30pm, $30.

Thank you, CUNY, for this good one: Ron Chernow, biographer of Alexander Hamilton, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and, this fall, of Washington, discusses the "art and craft" of biography. September 28th, 7pm, free but reservation required. Side note: Since fiscal year 2009, CUNY has lost over $200 million in state funding.

A Conference on Preservation & Climate Change in NYC, sponsored by The Municipal Art Society, takes place on Saturday, October 16th, at Columbia. Registration isn't open yet.

Brooklyn (from 2008)

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