Unknown City

  • 03:36:56 pm on October 29, 2008 | 1
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    Murals in Pilsen

    Murals in Pilsen

    After spending all day in “La Villita” i think that its safe to say its not all as bad as you might have heard… Just like Chicago’s bad rep for being a gangster city (thanks Capone), Pilsen has had a bad rep as well for having an unruly past with the law at times, but also for being a very small community that keeps to itself. Located just south of UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), Pilsen boasts Chicago’s largest Latino community. I took a walk down 18th street, and there you can pretty much find everything.

    House in Pilsen

    House in Pilsen

    There are great award-winning restaurants, bakeries, several shops to peek into, Harrison Park is around the corner, and a couple churches. The walls of the buildings across the street from the park have been painted into beautiful murals, and i found several of these as a walked around. They all varied, but pretty much all of them have a cultural Mexican significance tied into them. I ate some tacos at the Nuevo Leon restaurant right there on 18th. It was so pretty. Everything there is so reminiscent of Mexico itself.

    The National Museum of Mexican Art is right there in Harrison Park, so there’s no need to drive. The museum is beautiful, with arts straight from Mexico and fun souvenirs at the gift shop. Right now they have an amazing Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit going on that i recommend you catch before it ends on December 14.

    Frida Kahlo tribute at Day of the Dead exhibit

    Frida Kahlo tribute at Day of the Dead exhibit

    Pilsen is close to the El, and everything is literally within walking distance. Its such a beautiful cultural experience as well, and i kind of like that its so separate from the rest of the city even though thats usually what its criticized for. The people there are so friendly, and i felt like i was back in the Riviera Maya, with the exception of the cold weather! Pilsen has everything you could need or want, and more! There’s no need to buy a ticket to Mexico, just hop on the El! I really do believe that in order to get to know the whole city of Chicago you would really have to pay a visit to this city within a city!

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