New York Thought: Smart Things to Do in NYC This Week

Appearances by Michael Cunningham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and a Prime Minister of Australia highlight our picks for the best smart things to do in NYC this week.

Monday, January 23

True stories of imaginary illness are the subject of a conversation with neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan. She’ll speak about mind-body connections as she points out that even if it’s all in your head, that makes it no less real. To quote Joseph Heller, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” 92nd Street Y.

Image: T W I N K A/Flickr

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham speaks of his connection to the Italian
city of Matera, carved from the rock and home to humans continuously since at least the
Palaeolithic era. Italian Cultural Institute.

As technology advances, our chances of reaching deep into space accelerate. Hear from a physics professor as he shares the latest hopes for interstellar exploration, from postage-stamp-sized probes to photon sailing to the discovery of a potentially habitable planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. American Museum of Natural History.

Tuesday, January 24

Track the history of eight influential ingredients, including vanilla, black pepper, garlic, and soy sauce, at this illustrated lecture with historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman. 92nd Street Y.

Wednesday, January 25

“The mind, in a sense, has a mind of its own,” writes Culadasa (John Yates, PhD), as he lays out a roadmap for meditation practice. Yates brings many years of experience in both neuroscience and Buddhism to his new book, which he’ll discuss on the 25th and the 31st. Tibet House US.

Image: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

Hear a former Prime Minister on the new President. The Honorable Kevin Rudd leads an Asia Society and Museum town hall meeting that will look at what we know so far, and what the future is likely to hold, for Asia’s place in the Trump Administration.

Author Richard Price (Clockers, Lush Life, The Wire) brings his observations of urban America to a curated night of stories at Symphony Space. He’ll have some A-List accompaniment from Edie Falco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Turturro, and Rita Wolf.

Thursday, January 26

Send a message to President Trump at Dear President: What You Need to Know About Race, an evening of conversation and performance hosted by WNYC. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Timing is everything in life, and in the brain as well. Hear from an expert in our responses to time and temporal influence on thought and behavior. He’ll also look at the possibilities for new treatments growing from new understandings of anticipation. Barnard College.


Find our picks for the weekend here.

When a Nobel Laureate speaks, who listens? Sign up for Thought Gallery’s weekly Curriculum and get the best of smart NYC delivered right to your inbox.