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 in Chicago. It's free. Call 773-293-2964.
The U.S. is home to six million undocumented immigrants, some 300,000 of whom live in Illinois. Today a coalition of groups will march under the umbrella of the Grassroots Collaborative in support of a proposed federal law that would grant amnesty and legal standing to these immigrants, who "pay taxes and fill many key roles in our economy, yet are subject to abuse and exploitation in the workplace due to their lack of status." The rally starts at 10 AM in front of the State of Illinois Building at Randolph and Clark in Chicago, and demonstrators will march from there to the Federal Plaza at Adams and Dearborn. Call 312-427-2533 for more information.
"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," hobo/physician/reformer/ladies' man Ben Reitman once wrote to a friend. 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, Chicago. 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.
The gates will swing open on three historic north suburban private gardens today, the last of the Garden Conservancy's visiting opportunities for this year. Two are in Lake Forest: Camp Rosemary, with a series of 1920s-vintage garden rooms designed by Rose Standish Nichols, and Little Orchard, a newly restored 100-year-old garden surrounding a Howard Van Doren Shaw home on a Lake Michigan bluff. The third site is Bill Kurtis's 75-acre Mettawa Manor, which boasts a new walled English garden. Proceeds are split between the Garden Conservancy, which works to preserve exceptional gardens by making them public, and other nonprofits. Admission is $4 for each site; cash is accepted at the gates. Hours are 10 to 4 for the Lake Forest locations; 8 to 2 for Mettawa. Call 888-842-2442 for information and directions.
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, Chicago, and there's no cover. Call 773-325-2233 for details.
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 Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz's convent and birthplace--will all be given Sor Juana achievement awards at tonight's kickoff to the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum's annual Sor Juana Festival. 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." The free reception takes place tonight at 6:30 at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th in Chicago (312-738-1503).
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.
"She takes joy, deep-dyed as Tyrian purple, in all this,/ and walks, arms upraised, smiling, to meet a friend/ who appears--just now--on the path/ at the far edge of the field, waving/ and calling out her name." These lines from "On a Photograph of a Headless Greek Statue in the Living Room of a Friend," a nice little elegy, can be found in Chicago poet Mark Perlberg's newest book, The Impossible Toystore. Perlberg, a founder of the Poetry Center of Chicago, will open the River Oak Arts Reading Series tonight at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake in Oak Park. He'll read from his work at 7:30; it's free. Call 708-524-8725.
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.
Chicago Imagist Ed Paschke says any body of artistic work has an autobiographical parallel: "The work you're producing at a given time is, in part, a record of your life at that time." He'll trace the evolution of ideas in his own luminous art and their real-life roots, starting with his childhood interest in cartoons and animation, in a lecture, Art and Creativity, tonight at the Elmhurst Art Museum. It begins at 7; the museum is located at 150 Cottage Hill in Elmhurst. Admission is $15; $10 for EAM members. Call 630-834-0202.