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Agenda Newsletter - September 27, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick The enchanter has landed
Barack Obama

Washington Square Park; 5 p.m.; Heilemann on Obama; More info

Polls, issues, fund-raising: We're not gonna say none of these things matter to us, but have you seen this man? He is pure magic, an emanation of megawatt charm that abides not by the puny formalities of the presidential-election cycle. He transcends your rationally judged positions on politics, experience, and the recreational use of Class A controlled substances back in college. He is, in short, probably worth checking out in the park this afternoon.


   
Populist Squirm into the fall lineup
The Office
 
What can we tell you? The premier squirm-comedy show that doesn't involve Larry David talking about people's masturbation habits is back, and unlike Curb Your Enthusiasm, there's an ongoing plot to reimmerse yourself in: Last episode, Jim abandoned his girlfriend in New York, so that he and Pam, the new Ross and Rachel, finally have a chance to consummate a tease that’s been building lo these three seasons. Also: Steve Carell returns in a role that's not Evan Almighty.

Season-four premiere
NBC
9 p.m.

   

The Decemberists
at Terminal 5

The "Long and Short of It" tour brings the hyperliterate rock stars to town for two nights in November, with each set focused on a different facet of their varied catalog. We've got tickets to both long-sold-out shows. Win tickets now!

   
Indieist Staten Island cruise goes arty
The FM Ferry Experiment
 
Here's the best excuse for that scenic Staten Island ferry ride you intended to take this summer: This sound-art project, afloat for the past two weekends and broadcasting live (via WSIA 88.9 FM), wraps up Sunday after a final three-day run. They've featured music from Brian Eno and John Cage, the soundtrack from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a healthy sampling of local duo neuroTransmitter's highly experimental “sound works.” And like radio itself, the trip is free.

Whitehall Terminal
Through September 29
Noon
More info  »

     
Square Hear the real story behind The Human Stain
Bliss Broyard
 
Our eyebrow also shot up when Anthony Hopkins turned out to be part black in The Human Stain, but the movie and Philip Roth novel were based, as they say, on a true story. Tonight, meet Broyard, who discovered her father's mixed ancestry upon his death, then made a journey of self-discovery involving a reexamination of her Connecticut Wasp upbringing. But her subsequent memoir, One Drop, is hardly lint plucked from her navel; it's a highly compelling, Hopkins-free look at race.

Barnes & Noble, Astor Place
7 p.m.
More info  »

     
Aesthete Sample a mostly great book
Anne Patchett
 
Three-quarters of Patchett's new novel, Run, is just about perfect. It’s a story about a Boston family (Dad’s the former mayor, Mom dies in Chapter 1, and two of their three kids are adopted and black) that abruptly crosses paths with a working-class mom and her daughter, with complex and unexpected results. But smack in the middle of all this graceful prose is a squishy, treacly dream sequence. Tonight, decide whether the writing you hear outweighs this bum chapter.

Barnes & Noble, 1972 Broadway
7:30 p.m.
Read "The Wall"  »
More info  »

     
Kids Give them a dream day
Art Under the Bridge Festival
 
Rather than dive headfirst into this zany art wonderland, print out the program and skip to the section on interactive activities, which reads like a kid's dream day: She can eat rocks made from bread, climb into a shaving-cream cave, take wacky mug shots, and run alongside a sculpture bike. Note that artist Annette Tacconelli will mend torn clothes all weekend. If only she did grass- and shaving-cream-spot removal.

Various locations in Dumbo
September 28–30
Noon
More info  »

     
 
 

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Thursday September 27, 2007
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