Even if your budget is more Ikea than Louis XV, at this weekend's seventh annual Chicago Antiques Fair you can ogle furniture, jewelry, ceramics, and more courtesy of dealers from around the country and Europe. The show, on the second floor of the Merchandise Mart, 350 N. Orleans in Chicago, runs today and tomorrow from 11 AM to 8 PM, Sunday from 11 to 5, and Monday from 11 to 3. At 5:30 tonight fair organizers team up with the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust to host a Wright-themed mixer where, in addition to enjoying cocktails and munchies, attendees can check out a rare copper urn designed by the architect and bid on auction items, including a dinner prepared at a Wright home by an as-yet-unnamed top Chicago chef. Admission is $12, $8 if you pay with an American Express card; call 800-677-6278 or see www.merchandisemart.com/chicagoantiques.
At tonight's Tanked for the Troops fund-raiser, $25 will get you unlimited draft beer, well drinks, wine, and soda from 8 to 11 at Joe's Bar, 940 W. Weed in Chicago. All proceeds go toward care packages for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bar will provide notebooks in which you can scrawl messages to soldiers, along with a photo montage of the units that will receive the packages and an Iraqi flag allegedly taken from one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. You must be 21 or over; call 312-337-3486.
Writer and monologuist Jonathan Ames has made a career out of his almost stream-of-consciousness meanderings through the minutiae of life: he's got several books under his belt, he's a frequent contributor to Public Radio International's The Next Big Thing, and his hilarious stories have made him a favorite guest on the Late Show With David Letterman. He'll appear for the first time in Chicago tonight at 9 for a free reading at Burkhart Studios, 2845 N. Halsted. Tomorrow night at 11 he'll perform an updated version of his one-man show Oedipussy at Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, also in Chicago. Tickets are $15, $18 at the door; call 773-330-8728 or see www.jonathanames.com for information on both events.
There'll be plenty of rare and used vinyl for sale, but true to its name the WLUW Record Fair and Other Delights offers a lot more than that. In addition to performances by Mike Kinsella, Bubblegone, and "celebrity DJs" from bands like Mahjongg and the Wichita Shut-Ins, this year WLUW's brought in the Self-Publishers Event Council of Chicago to put on the Self-Publishing and Media Reform Fest, a simultaneous festival of readings, panel discussions, and workshops. It includes sessions on creating zines, how self-publishers can become self-sustaining, the Patriot Act, and developments at the FCC, plus short readings from a bunch of local writers. Doors open at 10 and close at 6 at the Pulaski Park field house, 1419 W. Blackhawk in Chicago. Admission is $7, $5 with a postcard or their ad from this issue of the Reader; all proceeds benefit the Loyola University-based community radio station. Call 773-508-8080 or see www.wluwrecordfair.org for info on the musical side of things; call 773-269-2918 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more on the zine fest.
Not far away, Dusty Groove's annual garage sale will be held from 10 AM to 5 PM. Back stock and promos will go for $1 a pop for LPs, $3 for CDs. It's at 1120 N. Ashland in Chicago; call 773-342-5800.
In the 1960s, an Oak Brook developer agreed to move the contents of the old Thurston Cemetery so he could build on the land. Apparently he never finished the job: archaeologist Catherine Bird says that when a local road was widened a couple years ago, contractors found themselves cutting through something other than dirt. Bird's firm, Midwest Archaeological Research Services, was called in to investigate; she found scattered buttons, coffin parts, and human remains. She'll talk about the fate of these 19th-century graves at today's meeting of the Chicago Archaeological Society at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian at Kendall College, 2600 Central Park in Evanston. Refreshments will be served at 3, and the lecture starts at 3:30. It's free and open to the public; call 630-739-7255.
For its annual dinner tonight, the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Services, a nonprofit opposed to nuclear power, will present the program Chernobyl--Remembering Yesterday's, Preventing Tomorrow's. Kevin Kamps of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service will narrate a slide show of photos his wife, Gabriela Bulisova, took of survivors of the disaster. Environmental activist Natasha Akulenko, a native of Kiev, will talk about her experience of the catastrophe, and Shannon Fisk, staff attorney with Chicago's Environmental Law and Policy Center, will discuss legal steps being taken to prevent the building of reactors in Illinois, Virginia, and Mississippi. It runs from 4 to 7 PM; tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and include a buffet dinner. Admission to just the program, which starts at 5:30, is $10. It's at Chase Cafe, 7301 N. Sheridan in Chicago; call 847-869-7650.
Even in Paris, expats inevitably get homesick at some point--Houston native Monique Y. Wells missed her favorite comfort foods in particular. She originally planned to publish a few soul food recipes and a list of markets for her fellow African-Americans in the City of Light. But Food for the Soul: A Texas Expatriate Nurtures Her Culinary Roots in Paris, published in 2000, ended up as a love letter to her family and her heritage. In between recipes for things like Miss Grace's chicken and onions and pineapple-coconut cake, Wells covers everything from her dad's barbecue technique to the effects of the slave trade on gastronomy. Today at 6 she'll talk about how she tracked down ingredients at Parisian markets at the Calphalon Culinary Center, 1000 W. Washington in Chicago; call 312-529-0100 to reserve a spot.
Before he became grandpa to the beat generation, before the William Tell routine that killed his wife, before the boys in Tangier, and before Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs lived in Chicago. In 1942, he rented a north-side apartment and took a job as an exterminator; a year later he moved to New York and began hanging out with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Burroughs died in 1997; his longtime companion, editor, biographer, and adopted son, James Grauerholz, will discuss the Chicago chapter of his deliberately outrageous life today at 5 in Harper College's Drama Lab, Building L, on the campus at Roselle and Algonquin in Palatine. Admission is $7; call 847-925-6100.
Battling it out for Donald Trump's respect is nothing compared to spending 90 days in a remote bunker 40 feet belowground. In the 2003 film The Nominee, an ousted contestant on a fictional Chilean reality TV show goes ballistic and kills another contestant; the producers can't decide whether to step in or sit back and watch the ratings soar. The movie (in Spanish with subtitles) shows tonight at 7 at Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Dr. in Evanston as part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. It's free; call 847-491-4000 or see the sidebar in Movies for more.
The runway wares at Fashion Columbia, the South Loop school's annual showcase of student design, aren't available for purchase, but there will be a silent auction of sketches and drawings by participating students. A matinee this afternoon at 1 costs $35, $20 for students; the evening show and reception starts at 5:30 and costs $60, $35 for students. Both take place at the Conaway Multicultural Center, 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago. For more info or to buy tickets call 312-344-6281.
As part of the series Poetry off the Shelf, whose goal is to broaden poetry's role in popular culture, the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are sponsoring an evening devoted to the intersection of verse and science fiction. Two-time National Book Critics Circle Award winner Albert Goldbarth, who considers the nature of space, science, and the soul in his work, will read, as will David G. Hartwell, an editor at Tor/Forge Books and the proprietor of Dragon Press. It starts at 6 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton in Chicago. Admission is $5 and includes refreshments. Reservations are required; call 312-787-7070 or go to www.poetrymagazine.org.
Go ahead, pick "Surrender": Tonight at 9, Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen hosts a karaoke competition at the Wicker Park pizzeria and brewpub Piece. The winner takes home a $100 kitty. There's a $10 cover; proceeds go to benefit the Gus Foundation, which funds pediatric brain tumor research at Children's Memorial Hospital. Piece is at 1927 W. North in Chicago; call 773-772-4422.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Tom Peschio.