Friday, December 24, 2010

The Last Night at Decima Musa...

I will try to post more comments after the Holidays, but here are some pics from Decima Musa's Gran Finale...

Last Night at Decima Musa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Last Days of Decima Musa…



The only way to describe the feeling of receiving news of Decima Musa’s imminent demise was the proverbial punch in the gut. But I quickly relieved myself by convincing myself that the bearer of the bad news had to be mistaken. “Closing on the 15th, you mean just for the holidays” is what I keep telling myself and anyone who dared try to contradict my illusion. It wasn’t until I heard the words directly from Rosario’s mouth that I was forced to face the truth – Pilsen was losing another one of it cultural icons. I’ve told friends that my tearful conversations Rosario over this decision since have been filled with great memories but are harder to endure than most wakes I have attended. It truly feels like the final days of a dear friend.

Pilsen has been an immigrant, working class community since its earliest days in the mid-19th century. Because of these demographics it has also been a neighborhood of struggle. Few businesses or institutions in Pilsen during the last 30 years have embodied this spirit of struggle more than Decima Musa. The 10th muse has indeed inspired countless struggles for social, economic, and cultural justice in our beloved barrio. A list of regular attendees on Thursday nights would read like the who’s who of Pilsen activist of the last quarter century. It’s loss is a devastating (but lets hope not mortal) blow to what makes Pilsen the greatest neighborhood in the country.

I will try to post more reflections after the Gran Fiesta, the final Thursday night. Below are some pictures taken over the past week, a few taken with my low res cell phone camera. Hopefully I will have better pictures later this week from the last night. And to all you Pilsenites, I will see you Thursday…


Last Days of Decima Musa

Decima Musa’s Gran Finale
Thursday, December 16th
8:00 PM til ?
1901 S. Loomis

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tellez family fights eviction...


Alvaro and Silvia Tellez have been trying for months to negotiate with the bank that holds the mortgage on their home. They want to renegotiate the terms of their sub-prime mortgage and are willing to keep making regular payments that are within their budget. Over the past year, their monthly payments have jumped from $3,000 to $4,700. The family moved into the basement of their building in order to rent the two floors above in effort to continue making regular monthly mortgage payments. But the bank would rather add one more vacant property to a neighborhood already riddled with them rather than find a way to keep the Tellez family in their home.

Alvaro and Silvia followed the legal process and looked for relief from the courts, but were callously told by a judge, after a hearing that took minutes, that they most vacate their property by December 4th. But the Tellez family is taking a stand. With the support of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Committee, the Tellez family announced on Thursday, their intention to stay put regardless of the court's decision. They held a press conference Thursday with a couple dozen supporters who plan to help the family stay in their home, even if it requires physically blocking the eviction with their presence. The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign is calling for solidarity on Saturday, when the 30 day period has expired and the possibility of attempted eviction becomes eminent. Supporters are urged to show up at the families home at 10:30 AM.

For more info check the campaigns facebook page... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=238610161031

Below are pictures from the meeting and press conference at the Tellez family residence at 2221 N. Latrobe Ave on Chicago's west side. The Tellez Family served soup and hot chocolate to the dozens who showed up to support the family, crowding the tiny basement apartment in which the family lives....