By Aaron Michael Lenz

photo-4Pilsen is tight-knit community with many activities for teenagers.

The boundaries of Pilsen are 16th Street to the north, Cermak Road to the south, Halsted Street to the east, and Western Avenue to the west.

Pilsen seems like a small community with a population of 43,000.

While spending time in Pilsen, many teenagers expressed that hanging out and having fun is a way to spend their time in Pilsen. Yasmin Alvarez, 17, said that the “place where people manly hangout is Harrison Park.’’

In Harrison Park, boys play basketball with there dads, and people work out.

Harrison Park, Speedies, and Pizza Nova are great places that teenagers Marllery Juarez, 15, and Aaliyah Caldeon, 13, frequent.

Teens said Pilsen is a not just a good place to hang out, it’s also a great to eat. Alvarez described the food as “addicting’’ and “authentic.’’ Taqueria Los Comales is a great example of authentic Mexican food, they said.

Besides all the food places and hangout spots, the murals are impressive things to see. Each and every piece of art that is on the walls is for a purpose to tell a story about the community.

Even though everyone in Pilsen might not be wealthy, they have an abundance of riches from their culture.

“Pilsen has a really family-friendly environment,” Ariana Porras, 27, a gift shop clerk at the National Museum of Mexican Art. “There is a strong cultural influence. You see it in the food and the art.”