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Monday, March 2, 2015

Evanston has 10th best downtown in America

It's so obvious why locals Love Evanston, but now the rest of the world is beginning to wake up to how amazing of a city it is! Thanks to Annie Coakley of Downtown Evanston, the City of Evanston and this fantastic blog, we are on the list of 10 Best Downtowns in America!


Downtown Evanston, Ill., attracts a high percentage of those in the so called “creative class.” This includes artists, engineers, technology experts and researchers. It’s easy to see the appeal Evanston has. Located near Northwestern University, and within view of Lake Michigan, downtown Evanston offers a highly walkable environment that’s loaded with entertainment options and thriving businesses. The mix of urban sophistication and suburban relaxation, along with social and economic diversity found in downtown Evanston make it a Top 10 Best Downtown.

Evanston’s downtown distinguishes it from the typical Chicago suburbs. A mix of contemporary condo buildings and post-modern office buildings create an appealing skyline. A high concentration of cultural attractions like theaters, music venues and bars draw people downtown. Three public transportation options, including light rail, and ample, inexpensive parking make getting in and out of downtown Evanston easy. More than 10,000 people work in downtown Evanston, which has seen the addition of nearly 1,200 new condominium units since 2000. More than 38 percent of downtown residents hold graduate or postgraduate degrees.

More than 25 galleries, museums, concert halls and museums in downtown Evanston provide a rich cultural scene. Nearly 100 cafes and restaurants provide diners with everything from grab-and-go lunches to elegant five-course meals in historic buildings or al fresco at quaint caf├ęs. Brian Huston, chef at popular Boltwood restaurant in Evanston, was recently nominated for a James Beard Award. Nearby beaches on Lake Michigan, paved trails, and a collection of parks give residents plenty of opportunity to stay active and enjoy the outdoors.

From the Archives: I am Worthy of a City like Evanston

City to Host Fountain Square Renovation Project Open House March 10

The City of Evanston will host an open house public meeting on Tuesday, March 10 to present initial concept designs for planned improvements at Fountain Square.
The meeting will take place at the Shops at Sherman Plaza, located at 1614 Sherman Ave., and will include an open house/concept viewing from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., followed by a presentation and community discussion from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Representatives from Teska Associates and City staff will present information on:
  • Public outreach efforts and community feedback
  • Initial concept designs, including a personal preference exercise
  • Next steps in the design process
The goal of the meeting is to gather community input regarding initial concept designs for the renovation project and establish overall design preferences.
For information and project updates, please visit or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.
The City is planning to renovate and improve Fountain Square Plaza. This area includes Sherman Plaza; Sherman Avenue, between Church and Davis Streets; and adjacent landscape areas. While certain plaza functions will remain, such as the Veterans Memorial and a fountain, the City has been gathering your thoughts on what additional amenities and activities you would like to see accommodated in the area.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pop Up Galleries in Evanston

Attention Evanston Business Owners
Turn your store into a Pop Up Gallery!

During Open Studios Evanston on June 6, 2015, Evanston business owners are invited to display art work created by Evanston artists!

*Get on the Open Studios Evanston Art Map
*Introduce your business to new audiences
*Host a reception or gallery talk by a local artist!

If you are interested in participating in this citywide celebration of the arts, contact Lisa Degliantoni at

Visit for event information

The photo above was taken during Open Studios Evanston 2014 
at Sidetracked Studio on Chicago Ave. 

Evanston painter Mary Graham 

Evanston glass designer and artist Heather Hancock

Review: 'Circuscope' at the Actors Gymnasium


Consider the lowly tardigrades. They neither toil nor spin. But in "Circuscope," these tiny, water-dwelling creatures come into glorious focus through artists who spin, dance, juggle, drum, clown and otherwise turn the Actors Gymnasium into a kinetic and thrilling trip through the lens piece, while making it all look toil-free.
Created by Dean Evans and director Vanessa Stalling, "Circuscope" imagines the world inhabited by these eight-legged organisms, a half-millimeter in length, also adorably known as "water bears" or "moss piglets," who are able to withstand extreme environments. (Tardigrades are also said to be the first known animals to survive in outer space.) And what can be more extreme than the gravity-defying work of expert aerialists?

It's a high concept, but you needn't be a biology whiz to enjoy the antics of Evans and his fellow clown, Molly Plunk, who serve as our tour guides. And if you have youngsters intrigued by the possibilities of circus arts, this show's generous use of the Actors Gymnasium's ridiculously gifted youth ensemble should seal the deal.

Click here to read the full review on the Chicago Tribune

See the show through March 22 at the Actors Gymnasium, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston; $20 at 847-328-2795 or