Exploring with James
A Winter Day in Pilsen – Part 3
Published 2013-03-12 · By James Bursa
Continuing from the last part on 16th Street, I saw this art on a train standing on the embankment.
This recent looking mural has a musical theme. It was near Wood Street.
These strange red figures or creatures were a short distance further along.
Then there was a long row of murals next to each other. First a praying figure or saint, then a face with “Vampire” written in the bottom left, and then a girl in front of the skyline with “Love Chicago” beneath.
After that was this long black and white mural with many televisions. Some are showing ominous images, while others have animals, faces, or eyes popping out of the screen.
Next was this one, with a Mayan pyramid, the Willis and Hancock Towers, and the text “Chicago’s Our Home”.
Right after that was this dramatic owl face.
Some geometric shapes under the “L” bridge.
A colourful mural of shapes and patterns with a face emerging on the right.
That filled in the rest of 16th Street, but I wanted to show my friend the rat, so we kept going east. Here I am in front of it, wrapped up against the freezing cold wind.
By this time the cold wind had got to me despite my many layers, so we decided to head inland (south into Pilsen) to find warmth. Here’s a weather update from my phone during the walk (temperatures in Fahrenheit).
On 18th Street just west of Blue Island Avenue we saw this mural of superheroes, also new since I lived in the area.
Here it is in more detail.
On the other side of the street is this mural that I’d seen before about immigration.
On Carpenter Street at 18th, we saw a new mural. “Another Day, Another Hustle, On That Every Day Struggle” it says. The creature next to “Hustle” looks similar to those on the “Let It Rain” mural from earlier in the walk; perhaps the same artist?
Finally we got to Simone’s bar at Morgan Street where we got some warming drinks.
After warming up, we headed out again to see what else we could find. We went back to 16th Street, and this time we walked up one of the ramps to the track level to look at the view. Here it is looking north towards the Produce Terminal Cold Storage building. A double-stacked container train is standing on the railway.
Looking west across the tracks. In the foreground are former industrial buildings, now residential. In the distance are downtown’s skyscapers.
And here’s the view east showing the ramp and a mural I saw earlier.
Here’s a typical view along the 16th Street sidewalk. In some places along the crumbling embankment wall, water draining or leaking out had frozen solid.
I missed this simple art of various animals that I must have passed earlier in the day.
I also noticed this mysterious drawing next to the text “Viva Le Revolucíon Del Surreal”.
For some reason this mural was painted over. The only thing remaining was a name and two dates. A search revealed that it refers to Saint Toribio Romo González.
Our final destination and reward for exploring in arctic conditions was this store on Blue Island Avenue.
Don Churro produces churros (fried dough strings) filled with various flavours.
A delicious way to end our exploring.
You can see all these photos on a map at Flickr.
Some great websites with information about Pilsen murals that I found while writing: