July 22, 2011: Elisa Shoenberger

On the train this morning, I worked on memorizing my poetry for the First Ward Ball at the end of July. Two corrupt alderman of the vice district, Hinky Dink Kenna and Bathhouse John, used to host the ball at the turn of the century. My boyfriend, Scott Priz, and This is Not a Studio are trying to recreate it for one night. It’ll be a combination of historical celebration and circus. He’s Bathhouse John and I am

Minna Everleigh, one of the Everleigh Sisters who ran an elite brothel. My poems are from the point of view of the Everleigh “butterflies.” I also worked on a fake ballot for our rigged election.

Later, it looked like nighttime outside the window where I work. I work on the 14th floor in a building in the loop. Well it’s really the 13th floor since there isn’t an official 13 floor in the building. I heard the thunder and saw the flashes of lightening reflected on the building. Usually, I can’t hear anything due to the location of my desk. But this must have been a great storm. And boy, do I love big storms.

At lunch, I got tamales from the Tamalli Spaceship at Dearborn between Monroe and Madison. It’s where the food trucks congregate in my area of the loop. Every day is different. Multiple trucks show up any given day. My favorite is the 5411 Empanada truck comes on Wednesdays while the Tamalli Space truck is there on Fridays. The meatball truck is usually there every day. Regardless I love them all.

The Tamalli Spaceship is the most theatrical; a gentleman in a luchador mask and a Mariachi hat took my order and gave me my food. I experimented today with the goat cheese and beet tamale. It was definitely like no tamale I’d gotten before. It was a good choice. I ate it nearby in the Chase Plaza with the Chagall mosaic and the fountain that shoots water up two stories every five minutes or so. The spray hit me as I ate.

I love working in the loop. And I love this city.


About the Author: Elisa Shoenberger works at the Chicago Legal Clinic and is getting her MBA. She learns tight wire and writes. She’s @Vogontroubadour.


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