10 Ideas Under $10 for Your Week: Ben Marcus at McNally Jackson and Awkward Sex...and the City

Stop whining and go out!
Stop whining and go out!

We know we're supposed to stay indoors today, but it's not that cold -- at least, not compared to how cold it was back in 1896. Tonight, author Ben Marcus chats with Sam Lipsyte at McNally Jackson, and comedians share their most sexual TMI stories at the People's Improv Theater, plus much more going on this week. Come on, be brave!


[Shopping] Shopping and astrology go hand-in-hand, which is why this evening's Shopping Party with the Astro Twins at the chichi Henri Bendel department store on Fifth Avenue, is a great way to start off the New Year. There's a small catch: Although the event itself is free to attend, the only way to get a free reading from the Astro Twins is to spend more than $150 at the store. Before you get worked up over the high cost (which defeats the whole purpose of this post), here's what we suggest, as we are very good at cutting corners. Stroll around the store until you see someone getting a reading. That's when you casually stand nearby and eavesdrop. If the subject has the same zodiac sign as you, presto! Free reading! If you get in trouble for intruding on their space, tell them we put you up to it.

At 6 p.m., Henri Bendel, free.

[Drink] Calling all beer enthusiasts! Or, all spectators of a good competition! Tonight, the Knights of Bruklyn Home Brew host a round of free drinks (samples, at least), and the winning brew makers take home a load of money. There's a People's Choice award, too, which is where you come in. Bottoms up!

At 7 p.m., Union Hall, Brooklyn, free.

[Lit] Start the year with a literary orgasm. Two of America's best contemporary novelists, Ben Marcus and Sam Lipsyte, who are also colleagues and close friends, will be holding the floor at McNally Jackson discussing Marcus's new collection of short stories, Leaving the Sea. Marcus has for years been one of experimental fiction's greatest champions, and while he continues to write bizarre and avant-garde tales, he has of late been dabbling (with tremendous results) in more traditional forms. Expect high jinks, laughter, and a slew of odd profundities. -- AG

At 7 p.m., McNally Jackson, free.

[Comedy] As much as we all loved Sex and the City for its relatable content and characters, real sex stories are never that clean or fashionable. "Sexually awkward" Natalie Wall hosts Awkward Sex ... and the City tonight featuring Jillian Green, Justin Angermeyer, Dani Alpert, and Brooke Roberts. These lovely comedians spill the beans on what it's really like to have sex in the city.

At 9:30 p.m., The Peoples Improv Theater, $8.


[Art] "Now You See" features two parallel viewpoints with similar subjects which includes images of Marilyn Monroe and artist/muse Natalie White. The show also includes a separate group show titled "Marilyn Monroe vs. Natalie White."

At 6 p.m., Rox, free.  

[Talk] On Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, the new subway line is clearly on its way to completion, however slowly. But what will the area look like when it's finished? Tonight's "Transportation and the Second Avenue Subway" panel, the final talk in the discussion series Art, Design and the Urban Environment, will hopefully address these concerns, plus much more. Panelists Sandra Bloodworth, Mitchell Joachim, and Judith Kunoff will look at the relationship between transportation infrastructure and public art, examining how urban design can transform and beautify street-level spaces.

At 6:30 p.m., National Academy, free.

[Comedy] Bartenders: They get the brunt of our needless drama. But tonight their good deeds are celebrated, sort of, with Tell the Bartender LIVE! A live recording podcast hosted by Katharine Heller with stories from Frank Conniff (Mystery Science Theater 3000) and Blair Koenig (STFU Parents), and a special appearance by Shawn T. Andrew (The Carrie Diaries). One lucky audience member gets a chance to win a bottle of booze with the game Bar Talk. Also partake in the fun "Craigslist Ad or Casting Notice" with Matty Blake.

At 8 p.m., Union Hall, Brooklyn, free.


[Art] "A 'Womanhouse' or a Roaming House? A Room of One's Own Today" is a group art show curated by New York-based writer and painter Mira Schor. The show revisits the requisite territory for artistic production by women visual artists suggested by Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and articulated at Womanhouse in Los Angeles in 1972. This exhibition considers questions including "What is the room today?" "Who occupies it?" and "What is the space necessary for an artist to make art in, and for whom?"

At 6 p.m., A.I.R. Gallery, free.

[LGBT] Meeting people is certainly not easy, Thom Yorke! So tonight's Select All: A Queer Mixer can hopefully help out in that department. As the invite states, "This broadly inclusive LGBTQIGNC+ mixer sets the stage for making new connections, whether new friends, professional networking, or sparking romantic interest for singles and the otherwise available."

At 7:30 p.m., The Bell House, Brooklyn, free.

[Dance] The "Focus" collective features eight prominent choreographers in four programs. Tonight's double dance program includes a performance by Yvonne Rainer and Group titled "Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money?", and Urban Bush Women's "dark swan."

At 8 p.m., Joyce Theater, tickets start at $10.

[ACruz] [@chelipj]

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