Friday 9/22 – Thursday 9/28
By Cara Jepsen
22 FRIDAY There are two sides to what happened in Santo Domingo, Colombia, on December 13, 1998, when an explosion killed 19 civilians. The Colombian military claims it was a guerrilla car bomb, while community leaders say the Colombian Air Force sprayed the village with rocket bombs. There’s never been an official investigation, so the Chicago Campaign for Justice in Colombia is holding a two-day forum called The Case of Santo Domingo. Lawyers representing both sides will present their arguments in front of a tribunal that includes former Illinois Supreme Court justice Seymour Simon, former state senator and comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, Detroit’s Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Chicago’s Rabbi Arnold Wolf, and others. The verdict and recommendations will be presented in Chicago and Colombia in December. The trial takes place today and tomorrow from 10 to 5 at Northwestern University Law School, 357 E. Chicago. It’s free. Call 773-293-2964.
23 SATURDAY “Someone once said, ‘Find them, fuck them, feed them and leave them.’ But that don’t work. People I work and play with have a habit of moving into my life. And they don’t move out so easily,” wrote Ben Reitman, the well-known hobo, physician, reformer, author, and ladies’ man. The good doctor, who grew up in the city’s notorious First Ward and was an early advocate of the widespread use of condoms (despite fathering a number of out-of-wedlock children), wrote a lot of letters to his lovers, including Emma Goldman. Those letters provide the framework for Mecca Reitman Carpenter’s 1999 book, No Regrets: Dr. Ben Reitman and the Women Who Loved Him. Carpenter will discuss her father’s love life today at 3 in the Chicago Authors Room at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. It’s free (312-747-4600).
Local comic artist Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library has long been published in serial form, but his clever Jimmy Corrigan stories were never available in one place–until now. Today at 3 Ware will sign copies of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth at Quimby’s Bookstore (for which he designed the storefront and several of the signs inside). He’ll be joined by former Chicagoan Daniel Clowes signing copies of his new book, David Boring. The “afternoon of loathing and despair” will continue until 5 at 1854 W. North. It’s free; call 773-342-0910.
24 SUNDAY In keeping with its mission of making the city’s major tributary “more of an asset for the people who live within its watershed” the Friends of the Chicago River are encouraging canoe and kayak owners to participate in its first-ever Flatwater Classic, a 71/4-mile race past barges and towboats, under bridges, and around debris, including the half-sunken yacht the Sari-S in the North Branch Canal. The races start at 10 at Clark Park (3400 N. Rockwell) and finish at Ping Tom Park at 19th and Wentworth in Chinatown. It’s $20 to compete; to sign up call 312-939-0490, ext. 17, or print out a registration form from their Web site at www.chicagoriver.org/race and fax it to 312-939-0931.
25 MONDAY For Gang-Banger Bingo, participants are handed hats to be worn sideways or backward; when “O-69” is called, everyone goes to the bar for a free shot. The unlucky person who yells “Bingo!” prematurely must stand in the corner and wear a dunce cap. Add a throbbing beat and you have an idea of what goes down at Circuit nightclubs’ popular Monday night Disco Bingo, which is overseen by “the vivacious and sometimes cruel” drag queen Daisy Mae. Tonight’s installment takes place from 10:30 to 1 at Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted, and there’s no cover. Call 773-325-2233 for details.
26 TUESDAY Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th-century Mexican playwright, philosopher, mathematician, and poet, became a nun when other educational opportunities for women were blocked. She’s often referred to as the “first feminist of the Americas.” Tonight septuagenarian community activist Carmen Arias, philanthropist Rosemary Croghan, educator Adela Coronado Greeley, community volunteer Jovita Duran, and businesswoman/activist Rosario Rabiela–who has made pilgrimages to Cruz’s convent and birthplace–will all be given Sor Juana achievement awards at a kickoff to the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum’s annual Sor Juana Festival. The free reception takes place tonight at 6:30 at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th (312-738-1503).
27 WEDNESDAY When Midge Wilson (who is white) and Kathy Russell (who is black) hit the road in 1993 to promote their book, The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans, they found themselves surprisingly interested in each other’s own private beauty rituals–Russell envied Wilson’s short, straight hair, while Wilson thought Russell’s head scarf was a real time-saver. Together they started exploring their attitudes regarding hair and skin care and researching the historical, cultural, and social forces that shape women’s identities, which led to their 1996 book, Divided Sisters: Bridging the Gap Between Black Women and White Women. They’ll discuss A Question of Beauty: Women’s Cross-Cultural Perspectives tonight as part of the city’s Unity Month celebration. The free event starts at 5:30 in the video theater of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4050).
The city’s venerable Rookery Building at 209 S. LaSalle takes its name from the City Hall and water tank–a favorite roost for pigeons–that were temporarily located on that spot after the Great Fire in 1871. John Wellborn Root designed the building in 1888, Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the lobby in 1905, and the whole thing was restored in the early 1990s, overseen by architect Gunny Harboe. Harboe will discuss the restoration tonight at 7:30 at the Nineteenth Century Women’s Club, 178 Forest in Oak Park. It’s $12, $8 for members. For reservations call 708-848-1976.
28 THURSDAY Best-selling author and Democratic also-ran Bill Bradley shoots into town today to sign copies of his new book, The Journey From Here, a collection of eight essays exploring the questions facing the U.S. in the upcoming presidential election. He weighs in on campaign finance reform, universal health care, child poverty, and a handful of other hot, though well-trodden, issues. The merits of subliminal advertising and the quality of the New York Times’s campaign coverage are not addressed. Bradley will be at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan, from 12:30 to 1:30. The bookstore advises arriving early, as the former senator/Knick/ Rhodes scholar/Olympic gold medalist will sign books on a first-come basis. Call 312-573-0564 for more.