Pugilism in Pilsen, Part III

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. This is the third part of a four part story. Read PART I hereRead PART II hereRead PART III hereRead PART IV here.

For decades Pilsen has been supportive of artists. Most of the amazing murals that decorate the area were painted by people who live in the neighborhood. Like the working class Bohemian and Mexican families, artists came to the neighborhood because of the affordable homes and the supportive community.

Pilsen Mural 12

Pilsen Mural 12 (Photo credit: Atelier Teee)

However it wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that a huge influx of middle class twenty-somethings began moving into the area. Most of them were students going to college in the city and had recently discovered Pilsen’s affordability and proximity to the loop. As the years went by more and more millennial scenesters moved into Pilsen and unwittingly began gentrifying the area. As editor of Adentro de Pilsen I was witness to the latest cycle of urban renewal that had already claimed Lincoln Park in the 1970’s and Wick Park in the 1980’s. Continue reading

Lisa Hanawalt is terrifying

photoThis past weekend my girlfriend Julie and I headed to Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. The expo is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, inspired by Chicago’s legacy as home to many underground and alternative comic artists. It features comics and zines for sale, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and signings. Continue reading

Pugilism in Pilsen, Part II

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. This is the second part of a four part story.  Read PART I hereRead PART II hereRead PART III hereRead PART IV here.

Pilsen wasn’t always a bastion of Mexican culture in Chicago. It was Czech, specifically Bohemien. The neighborhood’s namesake comes from the city of Pilzen in western Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Chicago, around 1915, had the largest population of Bohemians outside of Prague. Most of them lived in Pilsen. Continue reading