Sociologist Xóchitl Bada studies the civic, cultural, and political participation of Chicago-based Mexican migrant hometown associations at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before participating in a panel on what effects immigration reform might have on Chicago, she got specific about how she likes her martinis in the Zócalo green room.
If you could be any animal, which would you choose?
A koala because they live in Australia, and that’s one of my favorite countries which I’d love to visit one day.
How do you unwind?
I take long walks. I love Lake Michigan, and I live close by, so I enjoy the lake.
What keeps you up at night?
Do you have a Starbucks name?
I use my first name, which is Yolanda—a lot easier. Not just for Starbucks but for restaurants and places where I don’t want to spell my name.
What’s the most frustrating question your students ask you?
Is it true that Mexicans have been here for a hundred years? Really?
Where’s the best Mexican food in Chicago?
At my favorite taquería, which is La Cuchara in the West Loop.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Martini, straight; shaken, not stirred.
Gin or vodka?
Gin. Bombay Sapphire.
What makes you nostalgic?
The beach in my hometown.
What’s your hidden talent?
I can cook.
What’s your best dish?