Alderman Moreno
Alderman Moreno

First Ward alderman Joe Moreno not only knows how to serve his Wicker Park constituents—he knows how to party like them. Here’s his behind-the-scenes account of last weekend.

It was a busy Saturday. It always is. I like it like that.

I began the day with a light five-mile run around the neighborhood. I love running, always have, and since becoming alderman of the First Ward I’ve used these early morning runs to check up on things. There was a lot of standing water around, so I noted the specific spots on my phone to give to my staff at a later point.

Soldier Field

The sun was merciless all day. That afternoon I went to Soldier Field with 60,000 others to watch Manchester United beat the Chicago Fire, 3-1. I went to the game with a couple of my staff and volunteers from my campaign. Every beer we consumed was rapidly sweated out. I like hot, but not that hot.

After returning home for a long, cold shower I geared up for Wicker Park Fest. This is the biggest (attendance and money) music fest in the First Ward. I’ll happily argue with anyone who says that this community, which I’m beyond honored to represent, doesn’t have the best and most vibrant neighborhood music festivals in the entire city.

To get further into the spirit of things I stopped at Nick’s Beer Garden for a couple of PBRs, the standard drink of the Wicker Park Fest. Then I made the short journey over to the Crocodile. I really enjoy the atmosphere in this place; the people who work there are great and entirely unpretentious. The fishbowl (eight shots and all sorts of other stuff) I drank at the Crocodile wasn’t at all pretentious either.

Wild Flag

Subterranean, Evil Olive, and Silver Wrapper Productions put together an impressive array of artists, including Wild Flag, Flosstradamus, and Mimosa. The ladies from Wild Flag were very intelligent and easy to chat with. Two of them used to be in Sleater-Kinney. I’m a big fan.

After the second fishbowl, I steadily made my way home around midnight, but not before stopping at Big Star for two delicious fish tacos.

Moreno with Wild Flag

The nightlife was one of the big reasons why I moved to this neighborhood 15 years ago. I enjoy it differently than I did back then, but I still enjoy it.