Exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods


Hector Duarte’s “Gulliver in Wonderland” mural located on W Cullerton St. Photo taken by Chicago Architecture Center Director of Education and Experience: Angela Esposito.

Katelyn Whitcomb, Reporter

Chicago’s immense amount of culture has created a unique identity for its community. The beauty of this diverse area can be expressed by the colorful street artwork as well as the numerous ethnic-based restaurants that can be found throughout each neighborhood. Many community events, including parade celebrations and charity-based races, are quite common as well. 

“There’s plenty to do across its 77 community areas, each with a unique personality of its own,” WGN News reporter Julian Crew said in his Sep 3, 2020 issue all about Chicago.

The neighborhoods of Pilsen, Chinatown, and West town each represent a particular ethnic background that is so beautifully shown throughout the streets of their districts. With such creative holiday events coming up, it’s these three neighborhoods will likely use their own culture for each Chicagoan to enjoy. 


Rich in Latinx culture, Pilsen is a neighborhood full of colorful murals, tasty food, and engaging activities for all its residents. Near Harrison Park in Pilsen, the National Mexican Museum of Art can be found overflowing with a variety of art pieces for the community to enjoy.

On Nov 2, the Pilsen community held their annual Día de los Muertos Xicágo event at the Mexican Museum of Art. For the community, it’s a way to remember their loved ones that have passed away by creating ofrendas full of photos and personal keepsakes and setting them up around the park.

“Community is everything in Pilsen and it’s why I love living here so much,” Pilsen resident Alejandra Ruales said. “Pilsen is an explosion of warmth in a generally gray city.”

Hector Duarte’s “Gulliver in Wonderland” mural located on W Cullerton St. Photo taken by Chicago Architecture Center Director of Education and Experience: Angela Esposito. 


Similar to Pilsen, Chicago’s Chinatown celebrates its culture through its people who bring to life special Chinese traditions and celebrations for its community. Places like Ping Tom park, Nine Dragon Wall, and Pui Tak center are all key locations where locals will congregate for community events.  

“All of the restaurants seem to have an affiliation with various regions of China and/ or regions of Asia,” South Loop resident Adriana Hernandez said. 

The Chinese New Year is celebrated very heavily by this Chicago community. With the Lunar New Year parade taking place on Jan 29, 2023, many locals will celebrate the new year of the Rabbit with music, dancing, and a day’s worth of traditions and excitement. 

“The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade is what stands out to me the most as an event specific to the neighborhood,” Hernandez said.


Lastly, the up-and-coming neighborhood of West town is full of history and culture. Ukrainian Village in West Town, as well as Greek Town which is just west, is home to many Eastern Europeans. Roughly 15,000 residents of Ukrainian villages are of Ukrainian descent. 

“It’s been an anchor for as long as I can remember”, resident of West Town Pat Dwyer said, “The neighborhood ‘West Town’ has changed a couple of times since the 80s, but the Ukrainian presence in Ukrainian Village has been a constant”.

Throughout the winter, it’s likely to expect West Town’s, Ukrainian Village locals to be indulging in the beauty of the neighborhood. The alluring St. Josaphat Ukrainian cathedral, Ukrainian National Museum, and Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art will be full of Ukrainian history. Many locals will likely be enjoying famous bakeries and restaurants full of Ukrainian cuisine- for example, Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen or Kolos Bakery. Both of these are quite popular during the holiday season