Pilsen is by far my favorite neighborhood to explore in all of Chicago. It never gets boring. The Architecture along 18th street makes me dizzy with delight as I struggle to decide which facade to stare at as I ride along. The many (layers of history of ownership) are visible from building to building, with dozens of pristine examples of Bohemian flourishes atop the grander building and many strange defunct vintage modernizations of low slung commercial storefronts ready for new rebirths. This gets me thinking- what better way to contemplate the Pilsen neighborhood than with a bottle of Bohemia beer.http://www.fearlesscritic.com/beer/13/bohemia The name is Czech, the style is Pilsner, the origin is Mexico and the flavor is just fine.
While the eastern end of Pilsen has many years of investment and gentrification including amazing happenings over at Thalia Hall http://thaliahallchicago.com/, the western side still has a lot of good real estate buys. It's a great neighborhood to wander around. Hop off the pink Line at 18th and start to stroll on foot or bike. My favorite new discovery is MeztiSoy Food Market http://www.yelp.com/biz/meztisoy-food-market-chicago on 18th and Wood, across the street from the Harrison Park Field House. The store, which opened up this fall, features an extensive selection of local produce, a juice bar, a great butcher and best of all, a grill in the back with the best tacos i have had in town. The mood in this store is ecstatic, so much does the staff believe in the store's mission. It is hard to not leave in ecstasy yourself after loading up on a six dollar special plate. http://www.pilsenportal.org/news/2772
Over on Western is Working Bikes, a co-op that fixes and re-sells used bikes and donates bikes and money to developing countries in Latin America and Africa. it's the best place in the city to buy a used bike that is ready for the road, and you know your money is going to a good cause. http://www.workingbikes.org/about/
On the border of Little Village is Pete's Fresh Market, for year a well known secret spot for the best produce in the city. Lastly, the Lagunitas http://lagunitas.com/ brewery is finally about to open at 18th and Rockwell. Lagunitas is the sixth largest craft brewer in America and is poised to open a facility to handle all brewing for the territory east of the Rocky Mountains. That's a lot of beer about to be brewed in Chicago. The impact of visitors coming to the taproom will be a tremendous boost to the visibility the neighborhood, with beer tourists and new jobs galore, watch for the West Side of Pilsen to be a hot location for 2014.
At the moment the best housing buys are 2 and 3 flats with a few single family homes. Most condos are to the east side of Pilsen, but the bargains are to the west. $200,000 can still buy you a six-flat including a coach house and $57,000 will get you a single family with an expandable attic. Pilsen es Chingon!
My aim is
to help Renters become First Time Homeowners. It is so much easier than most
people think to buy your first house. There are a million resources and programs
to help along the way, but the first step is to decide that you want to do it.
It is my job to make the process both fun and enlightening and to make sure that
you get the most house for your money.