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Agenda Newsletter - September 4, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick And oh yeah, he has a book, too
Bill Clinton

Barnes & Noble, Union Square; 6 p.m.; Wristband giveaway begins at 8 a.m.; More info

Here’s how this is gonna go: You’re going to read the rest of this newsletter, get up, and go to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square to get a wristband for tonight’s reading with In Retrospect the Greatest President of All Time After Lincoln. (His new book, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, is out today. You'll also need to buy one of those.) Then linger in magazine aisle until six so you can get a decent seat.


   
Populist Pythonite relates intimate history
Michael Palin
 
Monty Python troupe member Palin began keeping a detailed diary because he was getting married, not because he knew his new absurdist comedy team would end up being the most famous one in the history of sketch comedy. But sprinkled among his musings on friends and family in Diaries 1969–1979: The Python Years are dishy, hilarious anecdotes about the years he spent with his somewhat better-known collaborators. Tomorrow, after today's solo talk, he'll be bantering with Lorne Michaels.

Today
7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, 1972 Broadway
Free
More info  »
September 5
7 p.m.
92nd Street Y
$26
Tickets  »

     
Indieist Sufjan Stevens finds yet more unlikely inspiration
The BQE
 
The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, it's no quip to note, doesn't inspire much in the way of song. Leave it to Sufjan Stevens—the handsome and talented singer-songwriter who has promised to release an album about each of the 50 states and has covered Illinois and Michigan so far—to chart “the American Dream” with this performance, a combination of video footage, making for a virtual road trip, and orchestrated selections of new and old material. Get tickets starting today.

The BQE
BAM
On sale today
November 1–3
8 p.m.
$20–$50 Tickets  »

     
Square Shutterbug outdid other Euros
Evocations of Place: The Photography of Edwin Smith
 
British photographer Smith makes gorgeous prints of the withered architectural monuments of Europe; he's one of that continent's few postwar practitioners who rates with the best America has had to offer. This new monograph catalogs all of his major works and includes some unpublished correspondence. We should warn you that viewing the book might have you impulsively buying plane tickets to France, Italy, or Greece.

Merrell
$59.95
Buy it  »

     
Aesthete Paris preserved by standard-setter
Eugène Atget
 
This Frenchman followed a rocky career path from sailor to failed actor before trying his hand at photography, and as it turns out, his shots documenting old Paris at the turn of the twentieth century are now gold-bar standards among documentarians and were a huge influence on later photographers like Walker Evans and Lee Friedlander. These subtle, mournful pictures come down Saturday, so see them while you can.

Zabriskie Gallery
Through September 8
More info  »

     
Kids Puns finally fill higher purpose
Do Unto Otters
 
A trio of otters moves into rabbit's neighborhood, and they're a bit ill-mannered, with their over-the-top gesturing and smelly fish. How can everyone just get along? According to this wickedly funny new book, the answer's an old one: “Do unto otters…" Laurie Keller's exploration of what that really means is packed with visual and verbal gags, and her non-messagey message is perfect for kids returning to the classroom this week.

Laurie Keller
Henry Holt and Co.
Out today
$16.95
Buy it  »

     
 
 

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Tuesday September 4, 2007
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US OPEN 2007
American Express Presents
The Art of the Dispute
With John McEnroe
Learn to argue like a tennis pro with the all-time best.
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