jumpsuit: JcPenny | shoes: JcPenny |duster: Target
Welcome to Paseo Boricua, a section of Division St in the Humboldt Park community of Chicago’s West Side. I grew up on Monticello St, just 6 city blocks north on Armitage. So technically, Logan Square but I’ll do a tour there soon. Paseo Boricua is marked by two sixty-foot Puerto Rican flags on Division Street that sections off this area in celebration of what was once the largest Puerto Rican population in the midwest. Now with a mix of races, ethnicities, and cultures, Humbolt Park still remains synonymous with Puerto Rican culture in America. I say this while puffing my chest with pride and nostalgia of what was a rich and colorful childhood. Just recently, I had lunch with a client I’ve worked with a few times before, who wanted to get a better sense of our experience as Puerto Ricans in Chicago. It was an amazing time to walk down memory lane, talk about our experiences, and enjoy delicious food. I’d like to share a few spots you should visit if you are ever in my old stomping grounds.
where to eat:
Papa’s Cache Sabroso, 2517 W Division.
Right in the heart of Paseo Boricua, is a restaurant who’s food outshines it’s humble size.This tiny BYOB eatery serves up big flavor in traditional fare including Chicago’s infamous Jibarito sandwich, a steak sandwich made with plantains created right here in this neighborhood. While you won’t find this dish on the island, you’ll taste the influence within the first bite.
where to shop:
Lily’s Record Shop, 2733 W Division.
This place should be a landmark. Carmen “Lily” Martinez is a pioneer in the community. Established in 1983, Lily’s Record Shop is one of the longest standing shops on the street, being the go-to place for music, clothing, and culture. If you want to find traditional Puerto Rican garb, souvenirs, musical instruments, or to purchase tickets to the best cultural events in the city, this is where you would go.
where to stay:
The Playhouse, Bangtel.
Although not on the Paseo, this Humboldt Park townhome is within walking distance to some great boutique shopping and amazing restaurants. The best part of this uber-cool place is the decor, which also happens to be for sale. Check out Bangtel.com for more information.
what to see:
National Museum Of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, 2459 W Division
Formerly known as the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, it is the only self-standing institution in the nation devoted exclusively to Puerto Rican arts and history. Exhibits are open all year round.
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Special thanks to our friends at Boriqua Chicks for snapping the main and featured image.