Pilsen: Where change is underfoot
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#1 Mar 6, 2009
How does Alderman Solis get away with the not-so-subtle racism he's spewing? I really have to ask. The people setting up businesses in his neighborhood are primarily ones that are not of Mexican descent. Imagine if any other alderman in this city set out to preserve an Irish, Italian or Polish community, and made no bones about saying so in plain English?
Pilsen is for everyone.
#2 Mar 6, 2009
The whole semiotic of the institutional graffiti used by the City in the name of "civic improvement" is uncivil and no different than the Young Lords graffiti which was painted across facades during an earlier era to intimidate non-Latino residents to move out. It warns, stay out, this is ours. I believe this whole belief structure which relies on tenuous historiography to "claim" turf in the name of culture is bankrupt and will not accomplish the "goals" expressed in the exclusionary planning document referrred to in the article.
It is difficult to compare such cohesive linguistically seperate areas like Chinatown or Argyle to an area such as Pilsen, that while having many who speak the European language Spanish, is not linguistically seperate from those of many other descents. For that matter Mexico itself is hardly a monoethnic bloc but rather a multicultural society with influences from Mongolian to Spanish and African to German much as the United States continues to de-ethnicize and grow more mixed race. Race, National Origin, and ethnicity are old constructs which will continue to become more irrelevant in the future as cuisines and cultural traditions continue to converge into the blessed stew of grace that is the United States of America.
Now would someone from Chinatown please run for Alderman, please!
#3 Mar 6, 2009
Miceli's Deli is in Pilsen? Who knew?
Not the girls at Miceli's - they'd spit out their drinks if anyone suggested that to them. You can see the girls in this video:
The video was shot in Heart of Italy / Heart of Chicago. You can see a playlist of not-Ilsen / Heart of Chicago videos here:
#4 Mar 6, 2009
Sorry - not-Pilsen.
#5 Mar 6, 2009
Sorry, but murals are really part of what gives a neighborhood its character and identity. I have no problem with communities trying to preserve their history and express it through signs and murals. In fact, that's what makes the different neighborhoods of Chicago so interesting and unique.
I think the work being done in Pilsen is really interesting for this fact - it even has people returning and working to preserve that culture instead of abandoning it for the suburbs. What I don't appreciate are gentrifiers who, upon moving in, ignore the history of the place and isolate themselves from the community.
#6 Mar 7, 2009
Character? Painting on walls and marking turf by placing Aztec calendars in cement is a sad semiotic of those with an insecure identity.
Gentrifiers? "Ignoring the history" who would you be referring to? The Latino culture which trampled on the Slavic? Who built the place? Who's history are you talking about? What country do you live in? Certainly not ours where tearing down the past and building anew is a national sport. "interesting work"? Where do you get the idea that my culture, my heritage, my Pilsen, the culture that built the place is something to spit on with a word, "gentrifiers" while your is relevant? Why do you believe your history in Pilsen takes precedence over mine which came first? Arrogant arse.
#8 Mar 7, 2009
It is very interesting how this article appears now, with everything that is going on in Pilsen...
1. The Alderman is suppose to represent all of the 25th Ward, not just the "muppies". How about University Village? The Art District?
2. If Maya Solis symbolizes the new Pilsen resident, does that mean we all get a piece of the pie when it comes to her father's money. Her 'consulting' is far from reasonably priced, and as far as I know, she is the only resident who receives her income from an Alderman (ie taxpayers)
3. Where is all the TIF money going??? The Pilsen infrastructure is slowly deteriorating and vacant lots and buildings are everywhere.
Accountability and transparency: http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosur...
We all need to take some action and hold our elected officials accountable, who represent our community and are paid for by our tax dollars!
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