NFT Chicago Evanston

Evanston

Overview
Bordering the city to the north and surrounded by beautiful lakeshore scenery and affluent suburbs, Evanston may seem a world away. Truth be told, this town is only 12 miles from Chicago's bustling Loop. Spacious Victorian and Prairie Style homes with mini-vans and Mercedes parked on tree-lined streets overlook Lake Michigan and surround the quaint college town's downtown. Unlike other development-minded and sub-divided suburbs, Evanston still maintains a Chicago-esque feel and remains one of its most attractive bordering municipalities. Of course, Evanston residents still walk with their noses in the air and even charge their city neighbors to visit their beaches. We wonder what their tax base would look like without the city. Once home to Potawatami Indians, Evanston was actually founded after the establishment of the town's most well-known landmark, Northwestern University. Plans for the school began in 1851, and after the university opened for business four years later, its founder John Evans (along with a bunch of other Methodist dudes) proposed the establishment of the city, and so the town was incorporated as the village of Evanston in 1863. Today, residents are as devoted to cultural and intellectual pursuits as the morally minded patriarchs were to enforcing prohibition. The sophisticated, racially diverse suburb of roughly 75,000 packs a lot of business and entertainment into nearly eight square miles. Superb museums, many national historic landmarks, parks, artistic events, eclectic shops, and theaters make up for any subpar seasons by Northwestern University's Wildcats in the competitive Big Ten conference.See more.

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Culture
Evanston has several museums and some interesting festivals that merit a visit. Besides Northwestern's Block Museum of Art (www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu), the impressive Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (www.mitchellmuseum.org) showcases life of the Midwest's Native Americans. The 1865 home of Frances E. Willard, founder of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and a women's suffrage leader, is located at 1730 Chicago Avenue (www.franceswillardhouse.org). Tours of the historic home are offered on the afternoons of every first and third Sunday of each month. Admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Festivals & Events
• April: Evanston goes Baroque during Bach Week, www.bachweek.org
• June: Fountain Square Arts Festival and free Starlight Concerts hosted in many of the city's parks through August
• July: Ethnic Arts Festival

Nature
Evanston is blessed with five public beaches open June through Labor Day. Non-residents should remember their wallets to pay for beach passes. For hours, fees, and boating information, contact the City of Evanston's Recreation Division (www.cityofevanston.org). The town's most popular parks encircle its beaches: Grosse Point Lighthouse Park, Centennial Park, Burnham Shores Park, Dawes Park, and South Boulevard Beach Park. All are connected by a bike path and fitness trail. On clear days, Chicago's skyline is visible from Northwestern's campus. West of downtown, McCormick, Twiggs, and Herbert Parks flank the North Shore Channel. Bicycle trails thread along the shore from Green Bay Road south to Main Street. North of Green Bay Road is Canal Shores Golf Course, a short 18-hole, par 60 public links at 1031 Central Street (www.canalshores.org) and the Evanston Ecology Center and Ladd Arboretum, located at 2024 McCormick Boulevard (www.evanstonenvironment.org).

How to Get There
By Car: Lake Shore Drive to Sheridan Road is the most direct and scenic route from Chicago to Evanston. Drive north on LSD, which ends at Hollywood; then drive west to Sheridan and continue north. Near downtown, Sheridan becomes Burnham Place briefly, then Forest Avenue. Go north on Forest, which turns into Sheridan again by lakefront Centennial Park.

Parking: Watch how and where you park. The rules and regulations are strict and fiercely enforced. Remember...Evanston police do not have much to do.

By Train: Metra's Union Pacific North Line departing from the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center in West Loop stops at the downtown Davis Street CTA Center station, 25 minutes from the Loop. This station is the town transportation hub, where Metra and L trains and buses interconnect.

By L: The CTA Purple Line Express L train travels direct to and from the Loop during rush hours. Other hours, ride the Howard-Dan Ryan Red Line to Howard Street, and transfer to the Purple Line for free.

By Bus: From Chicago's Howard Street Station, CTA and Pace Suburban buses serve Evanston.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
The Changing Face of Evanston

By Scott Gordon
Semi-urban and mild, Evanston is the ideal location for the city-desirous yet fearful. Public transportation, yea; total city status (without being concurrently a township), nay. Frolic through this supremely livable North Shore city/suburb with our guide, Scott Gordon.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  David Donze
Photo:  David Donze

Hecky's Barbeque
Hecky's is one of those places that everyone who grew up around it just assumes you know about. Say the name in Evanston, and most people will understand it means barbecue, and it's that kind of to-the-point description that suits them here. What you see is what you get at Hecky's, and it's a pretty decent view with pork ribs, chicken, hot links, and a host of standard barbecue sides like greens, beans and rice, and mac and cheese. Nothing fancy about the Kansas City style flavors here, but fancy and barbecue don't always get on together anyway. A couple of things to keep in mind here; get there early for the ribs before they're all gone on the weekends, and the half-order sides are pretty small, so order accordingly if sharing.



Posted By:  Jamie Smith
Photo:  Jamie Smith

Lulu's Dim Sum and Then Sum
Don't be alarmed by the Evanston zip code--Lulu's is easier to get to than many parts of Chicago proper thanks to the Purple Line and Metra stops that are right outside its front door. Anyone seeking truly authentic dim sum is better off spending their transit time on a trip to Chinatown, but those who are just interested in enjoying Asian flavors can find a lot to love at Lulu's. This small restaurant serves a variety of Asian cuisines and has an ample menu that includes both small plates and big bowls. Since it's too difficult to choose just one thing to order, I recommend the Munch A Bunch special. From 5-9:30 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and 11:30 am-3 pm on weekends, you can order almost unlimited sample portions of their regular offerings for $17.50. One peek at their menu will show you what an incredible deal this is. The restaurant gets busy around 12:30 on weekends, so head up a little early to get a seat and begin your feast.



Posted By:  Paul Barile
Photo:  Shirley Cean

Piccolo Theater
Nothing says welcome to the Chicago theater community to an aspiring young theater company than taking on work of one of the masters. That’s what Born Naked is doing with their inaugural project, a production of Tennessee Williams’ The Mutilated this spring. Never one to draw from the sunny side of life—Williams’ tale of loneliness and isolation is as dark and melancholy as expected. In the hands of this intrepid young company and a handful of actors who haven’t been around long enough to be jaded—there is a spark here that would have made Williams blush. Born Naked is a woman-owned company who—thankfully—eschewed the easy route (Neil Simon or David Mamet) and dug into a lesser known work by a writer who redefined theater with every sweep of his pen. Theater companies in Chicago often have the shelf life of Brittney Spears rehab stint. If Born Naked continues to stage bold productions like this, they will be around for a long time to come.




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