CHICAGO (CBS) — Forbes magazine named Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood one of the world’s 12 hippest destinations.
Tour buses drive by the countless vibrant murals on walls and storefronts where visitors can see the mosaics that tend to be more expensive than working with paint.
Art lovers can get an up-close look at the outdoor mosaics that accent Pilsen’s Latin flavor.
“We are really proud,” said Jamie Garza of the 18th Street Development Corporation. “Music, art, and culture in Pilsen are really important and makes this neighborhood pretty cool.”
Forbes magazine says Pilsen is a nest of cutting-edge culture and art with its mix of restaurants, Mexican street scenes, and galleries, which is why the magazine named it one of the 12 coolest neighborhoods in the world.
Visitors like Shawn Smith and Mary Kelly don’t seem to argue.
“As I was driving by, I could barely keep my eyes on the road,” said South Loop resident Shawn Smith. “Restaurants, boutiques, I kept saying I have to come back here more!”
“I think it’s the culture,” said Naperville resident Mary Kelly. “There’s a neighborhood feel to it.”
For 31 years, the National Museum of Mexican Art has showcased the heritage of the immigrants who, in recent decades, came to call the neighborhood home.
“People who come here see the richness of its people and that’s a beautiful thing,” said Carlos Tortolero of the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Tourists from over 60 countries visit Pilsen each year.
“We are grateful people are recognizing this neighborhood,” said Garza.
In recent years, Pilsen has become more populated, as more and more residents started moving into the area. There are concerns about gentrification rising prices and pushing longtime residents away, but there is a strong commitment to keeping the area true to its roots, something many say is part of Pilsen’s appeal.