Pilsen has been an artist Mecca since the Podmajersky family started remaking the Halsted & 18th Street area decades ago. The more formal emergence of the Chicago Art District a few years ago has helped draw more and more young artists to the area.

The Pilsen neighborhood (Ashland east to Chinatown and Roosevelt south to Blue Island) and the Heart of Chicago Neighborhood (Western east to Ashland and Roosevelt south to Blue Island) are slowly changing as the swelling artist population has encouraged the opening of coffee houses, cafes, hip resale stores and mixed-use art studio/book stores/music venues.


Saturday we stopped by the grand opening of the No Coast store in Pilsen. There were performances by These Are Powers, Future Islands, and Radical Passenger. They had a nice collection of printed material and independent music releases.

From their website:
“No Coast is a multi-use space and art studio in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.
We believe that the products and processes of creative practice should be accessible to whomever is interested in them. We strive to be generous with our time, our tools, and our talents in order to create a nurturing, open, & collaborative community. Our specialties are fiber arts and printmaking, but our practice is inclusive of creating, showing, and discussing many different media.

No Coast is located at the corner of 17th and Laflin Streets in Chicago. We are just a few blocks from the 18th St. L station (Pink Line) and the Blue Island, Ashland and 16th/18th St. buses.”

1500 West 17th Street
Chicago, IL 60608


A few days earlier we visited Golden Age a recent addition to the Heart of Chicago stretch of 18th. 

They also have a nice selection of printed material and independent music. Check out their webshop

1744 West 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608


–Anthony P. Munoz