Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Evanston Named Top 5 City to Live IN!

Thank you to USA Today for this awesome nomination!

When choosing where to live, Americans consider a variety of factors. For some, the quality of schools is important. For others, the strength of the local economy or personal safety takes priority.

To determine America's best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 areas measured by the U.S. Census Bureau with populations of 65,000 or more.

Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America's 50 best cities to live...

5. Evanston, Illinois
> Median household income: $68,169
> Unemployment rate, 2013: 7.20%
> Median home value: $360,900
> Violent crime per 100,000 residents: 304.7
> Average commuter travel time: 28.4 minutes
More than two-thirds of adults living in Evanston had completed at least a bachelor's degree, among the highest educational attainment rates in the nation. Younger Evanston residents seem to be on track to get a good education as well. Secondary school students performed above average on math and language arts standardized tests in 2013. Additionally, Northwestern University, one of the nation's top universities, is based in Evanston.
In addition to a well-educated populace, Evanston residents have plenty of entertainment options available to them. Cook County, which includes Chicago, had 49 museums and 192 libraries as of 2012. There were also nearly 9,000 restaurants and more than 900 bars -- more than any other county in the nation.

Read the full article here! 

Granted the USA Today article forgot to mention Open Studios Evanston which is why I think Evanston rocks! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

61st Annual American Indian Center Chicago Pow Wow

Photos by Lilian Hogan
Last weekend we went to the 61st Annual American Indian Center Chicago Pow Wow in the Busse Woods preservation. The event was very well organized and the emcee did a marvelous job introduce the audience to each aspect of the event.

Although there is no reservation land in the state of Illinois, the American Indian Center of Chicago is a great resource to native Americans. 

For more info visit

Take your family to this great celebration next year

Thursday, September 11, 2014

FEW Spirits and Hewn are Finalists for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards


Few Spirits (918 Chicago Ave.) and Hewn Breads (810 Dempster St.) were both announced as finalists for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards. The awards spotlight small business owners and creative entrepreneurs in fields including crafts, design, food, and style. Few was among one of 800 businesses from around the country named to the finalist pool by a panel of judges. Hewn made the cut as one of 200 wildcard finalists voted on by the public.

The top 10 finalists will win a trip to New York City to participate in the annual American Made event, $10,000 in business funding, and the opportunity to be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine. Nine of the winners will be selected by a panel of judges. The tenth winner will be selected by the public and named as the American Made Audience Choice Award Winner. Voting for this award begins on September 15.

According to the program website:
American Made spotlights the maker, supports the local, and celebrates the handmade. The program is made up of people and communities that have turned their passion for quality craftsmanship and well-designed goods into a way of life.
For more than 20 years, Martha Stewart has celebrated this spirit of innovation in the pages of her magazines and on her television shows. Now, through American Made, Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living are spotlighting the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Super Fun Charity Wine Walk

Quick note: I am thrilled that this is an event I can walk to!

Join the Chicago Dempster Merchant Association and Vinic Wine on Thursday September 18th for a lively neighborhood wine tasting event.  Beginning at 5:00, over 20 local businesses will be pouring tastings of French Wines. There will be a suggested donation of $15 per person that will benefit two local charities: No Boundaries – Train for Work, Train for Life & The Evanston Art Center.

Savor the last of the warm weather as you stroll from shop to shop where each business will pour a 1-2 oz. sampling of a different wine. “We would like you to join us in raising a toast for a good cause,” says Sandeep Ghaey of Vinic Wine. “We are excited to share our French wine and partner with the Chicago Dempster neighborhood businesses.”

The day of the event, participants will start at one of three locations (Blue Pearl Studio at 517 Dempster Street, Paramour Bungalow at 812 Dempster Street or Vinic Wine at 1509 Chicago Avenue) to pick up a wristband and a map of participating businesses. From there, plan your tour of area shops and restaurants to sample French wines from Vinic Wine.

Don’t miss this opportunity to check out the many great new area shops like Stumble & Relish (a gift shop), Dragonfly (a clothing & decor store) and Homestead Meats on Chicago Avenue. Also new on Dempster Street are Blue Pearl Studio, offering custom counter tops and Paramour Bungalow, a creative home accessory store. These businesses compliment your favorite neighborhood staples like Squeezebox Books and Music, Miniasian Rugs, Blind Faith Cafe, Lollie Kids Boutique and Union Pizzeria. Bring your friends for a lively evening exploring these and many other businesses while sipping wine, enjoying tasty bites, shopping sales, and meeting neighbors.“We are so excited to be part of this vibrant neighborhood!,” says Jaime Leonardi from Stumble & Relish. “The wine walk is the perfect way to showcase the Chicago Dempster gems and team up with all of our neighbors to support some great organizations.”

Proceeds from wristband sales will benefit two local non-profits, No Boundaries and the Evanston Arts Center. No Boundaries—Train for Work, Train for Life, is a workplace training program that helps teens and adults with disabilities build the essential skills they need in order to live and work in today’s fast-paced world. The Evanston Art Center has a long-standing commitment to providing quality visual arts programming, including art classes, exhibitions, public programs, special events, and community outreach.

“Our non-profit workplace skills training program, No Boundaries – Train for Work, Train for Life, opens up work and community opportunities for people with disabilities. We are honored to be a part of the first annual Wine Walk and are appreciative of the Evanston community for supporting full community participation by individuals with disabilities” said JJ Hanely from No Boundries.

Friday, September 5, 2014

This Saturday, Amy O. Woodbury Front Yard Art Sale

Amy O. Woodbury
14th Annual Front Yard Art Sale
Saturday Sept. 6th 8 am to 4 pm rain date 9/13
1931 Colfax Street Evanston Illinois

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Evanston is so hip it has an Art Walk with almost 100 artists


Although the list keeps growing, we're ready to publish the first list of participating artists (alphabetized by first name) in Open Studios Evanston on October 11, 1-5 p.m. This website will promote each artists work with photos, bios and artists statements leading up to the event. A map will be available before Oct. 11. 
Adriana Poterash, Midwest Clay Guild
Alice George, Adler George Studio

Angela Lyonsmith
Ann Baker

Aydin Dincer
Barbara Seyfried
Beth Adler,  Adler George Studio
Bonnie Katz
Bridgette Schnider
Chris Heisinger
Clark Ellithorpe, Space 900
Colleen Conley, Space 900
Cynthia Von Orthol
Dana Shearin, Midwest Clay Guild
Darren Oberto, The Alley Gallery
Dave Ford
David Velasco, Perspective Group and Photography Gallery
David Yonan, Adiana Strings
Diane Thodos
Dominic Mosca, The Pot Shop
Donna Spencer, Perspective Group and Photography Gallery
Donovan Mixon, Space 900
Dustin Harris, Space 900
Emily Testa, Midwest Clay Guild
Erdmut Lerner
Evanston Dance Ensemble
Fay Kaiser, Voice Lessons
Heather Hancock
Jack Kraig
Jackie Lakely

Jane Carney
Jane Sisco
Janet Trierweiler
Jennifer Presant
Jessica Jacobs
Jill Birschbach, Midwest Clay Guild
Jill Brazel
Jill King-Wynn, Jill King Studio/Artists Seeds
Joann Rea
Joanna Kramer, Midwest Clay Guild
Joanna Pinsky, Space 900
Joe Taylor
Jon Weiss, Midwest Clay Guild
Joyce Elias
Judith Freilich, Space 900
Julie Cowan
Juliane von Kunhardt
Justin Hart, Midwest Clay Guild
Katherine Orr
Ken Avick, Space 900
Larry Geni
Laura Allen-Simpson
Lauren Levato Coyne
Lea Basile Lazarus
Lea Pinsky, Space 900
Lindsay Sherman, Midwest Clay Guild
Lindy Stockton
LP Lundy
Lynette Martin of Bottle and Bottega
Maggie Meiners
Matrthew J Schaefer
Mark DeBernardi
Mark McMahon, The Danon Gallery
Mary Graham
Matthew Schaeffer
Melanie Deal
Michelle Mallin
Mike O'Mara of Etc. Music School
Nadine Yadi Royster
Patricia Biesen
Paul Whitaker
Peggie Robinson, Space 900
Raissa Bailey
Ray Schooley, Midwest Clay Guild
Rory Coyne
Ross Martens, The Alley Gallery
Ruth Ann Begelman
Sara Piepmeier
Sheila Ganch
Stephen Lloyd
Susan Curry, Midwest Clay Guild
Ted Glasoe, Ted Glasoe Fine Art Photography
Tom Graham
Vanessa Filley

If you are interested in joining in the fun and want to open your studio doors to the public on Oct., 1-5 p.m. email

Friday, August 29, 2014

Evanston Named One of the Best Suburbs for Education in America!

Evanston ranks among the country’s best suburbs for education, according to the real estate website Movoto.
The site put Evanston at No. 7 on its Top 10 list. It singles out city’s high test scores, high graduation rate and large spending per pupil.
Newton, MA tops the list, with Plymouth and Minnetonka, MN and Wauwatosa, WI representing the Midwest along with Evanston. Evanston is the only Illinois community to make the list.
The site compiled the list by assessing four criteria: student-teacher ration, money spent per year per student, high school graduation rate and rating, which is based on test scores.

From NBC Chicago

A Chicago suburb has been named one of the best suburbs for education in the country.
Movoto Real Estate has released a list of the top 50 suburbs for education in America and Evanston snagged a top spot on the list.

Researchers gathered data from more than 100 different suburbs in the U.S. using criteria like student-teacher ratio, money spent per year per student, high school graduation rate and or test score ratings.
Evanston ranked no. 7 on the list and was cited for having some of the highest test scores and a high school graduation rate of 91 percent.

The top-ranking suburb in the country was Newton, Massachusetts, followed by Plymouth, Minnesota; Ellicott City, Maryland; Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Dublin, Ohio.
The only other Chicago-area suburb to make the list was Skokie, which ranked at no. 12.