Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Mish Mosh... (Pilsen Edition)


When I got done with the previous post, I realized that I still had some photos that I wanted to share.  In addition, I took a nice walk with Kathy and the dog today and managed to find other interesting tidbits.  Pilsen is such a rich community in terms of its heritage and its present day diversity.  You could literally find both the best and worst of Chicago within a block.  There are stunning examples of art within feet of where a kid was killed last summer.

The two pictures above are part of a mural on the wall of a viaduct directly across from our condo building.  The first time we parked there, we actually jumped as we turned around to see the three dimensional faces stick out of the wall. 

But other people had a vision of what they wanted to leave on the wall as well.  The following pictures are found on the arches holding up the train tracks of the same viaduct.

Anyone who knows me is aware of my deep fondness for bourbon.  In my mind, there is no incompatibilty with drinking and living a life devoted to serving God.  But there are times when devotion to God should probably be separated from imbibing the distilled fruit of the vine.  Such was not the case in the following example.

I found this makeshift devotional just outside of a parking lot for a mattress store on 18th Street.

It was about 2 feet high and 2 1/2 feet wide, sitting on the concrete of the sidewalk in front of the fencing surrounding the parking lot.  It was made of a combination of plywood and 1x6 lumber.  It also had some empty bottles of hooch sitting on top of it...

Last I checked, Jose Cuervo did not supply communion wine!

A very interesting find was the stamp placed in the concrete of a sidewalk under a viaduct near 16th and Peoria.  These stamps are quite common in the city and on the block around our condo, there are four or five.  But the oldest one I have seen this far is from either 1908 or 1903. 

Say...  This was stamped in place either before or during the Cub's World Series run!!!

One last mural...

This one is found on the back of the building in which a Spanish language radio station has its studios.  If you are travelling east on 18th Street, as you come to the corner of Loomis, Blue Island and 18th Street, you will find it on your right hand side in the alley just before the intersection.

I know that immigration issues are a hot topic right now.  I am not denying that there needs to be some sensible structure in which foreigners are assimilated into the larger American society.  The impact of large immigration loads on the communities where immigrants reside needs to be addressed.  I believe that proper documentation is essential to providing adequate social services to people who reside in this city.  But I maintain, as a believer in Christ, that all those who call themselves Christians should work toward fair and equitable rights for all humans living on this planet.  The Catholic Church, of which I am a part of, has made some incredibly bad decisions of late.  My heart breaks and anger rises within regarding the bishops' handling of the sex abuse crisis.  But I suggest that all thoughtful people read the United States Council of Catholic Bishops statement on Immigration and deal with its propostions as they come to their own decisions regarding immigration.

Toward a more peaceful and just world...

Refried Beans

1 pound Pinto Beans
1/3 pound Lard

1.  Soak beans in a pot filled with water overnight.
2.  Drain beans and put them in a pot with 4 quarts of water.
3.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until they are soft.
4.  Melt lard in a skillet over medium high heat and add beans, and salt.  Mash beans with a potato masher until you get desired consistency.  Most people like a little lumpiness in the beans.
5.  Serve in a warmed flour tortilla with finely chopped white onion and chopped fresh cilantro.  If you like, add a fresh salsa and Cotija cheese.

One last thing....

Please check out this ministry that Kathy and I support wholeheartedly.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always intrigued by your personal historic recounts and the behinde the scenes reporting of the city and the Pilsen neighborhood. It's so valuable to someone like myself who was born, raised and still lives in the burbs. Thank you for them.