This letter appeared in Huffington Post this week from David Morton and it's something you should read if you live/lived/planning to live in Evanston.
A devoted and proud Evanston, IL, resident, David Morton was
raised in the restaurant industry. Son of legendary restaurateur Arnie
Morton, he experienced first-hand the creation, design, and execution of
some of the most iconic restaurant brands and events of the past 30
years, including Morton's Steakhouse and Hard Rock Café. In 2009, David
Morton and Chef Michael Kornick launched DMK Restaurants, which now
includes Fish Bar, Ada Street, two locations of County Barbeque, DMK
Burger & Fish, Henry's Swing Club, and three locations of DMK Burger
Bar. David and his wife, Jodi Morton, own 2to5 Design, a residential
and commercial design firm that, among other projects, created the
design for DMK Restaurants. David and Jodi love living in Evanston with
their three children.
If you were all
mine and only mine, I would have named you 'Heavenston'. Maybe not for
your looks, but for the way you make me feel.
northeastern corner of the city behind, meandering byways of iconic
Sheridan Road, I first meet your nicely patinated cemetery to the west,
and majestic Lake Michigan to the east. I continue straight, and drive
off the cliff. No, not off of a real cliff, we soar off of an emotional
one. The moment that I find myself flying, I know I'm back home, back
in your cradle, the idyllic enclave at the edge of nature and Chicago.
love you Evanston because of the company you keep: artists, actors,
professors, entrepreneurs, hippies, techies, and even a few suits. These
are the people that I can call my neighbors. They're the kind of people
you find all over Evanston. Imagine Venice, California meets
Manchester, Vermont; or Wes Anderson married to Martha Stewart.
Admittedly, it's kind of hard to picture.
I love your nature,
Evanston. Every morning a sunrise crescendos over Lake Michigan like a
private concert for me and my wife, Jodi. Just before the pitch
blackness fades from the sky, we venture a few short steps out from our
front door. By the time we're at the beach, the orchestra members have
taken their seats, still fine-tuning their instruments. Eventually the
lights dim, the conductor takes her place, and instruments are in their
final pose, ready to be played. Witnessing it makes us feel small, but
connected, alive and aligned.
I love your body, Evanston.
Peppered with turn-of-the-century architecture, parks, boutiques, and
one-off restaurants, you give me the feeling that I would imagine only
Mick and the guys felt when they were recording Sticky Fingers. The
feeling like what had come before you was great, yet there was still an
opportunity to add one note to make a chord feel a little better.
That's certainly how we felt when we embarked on restoring our old
Tudor. A great house built like a fossilized T-Rex, all of the
magnificent bones hovering in place with none of the essential internal
organs: no running water, no modern electrical systems and, of course,
no air conditioning. The beautifully paneled walls were painted green at
some point, the old oak floors were carpeted or covered with synthetic
plastic tiles, and all but one chimney had completely collapsed. "OK,
we'll take it." We technically own it, but don't think of it that way.
We believe that we're just borrowing something from you, adding notes
to a beautiful melody and waiting to pass it on to your next lover.
love to travel. That's where I go to eat, to read, to frolic and dream.
I love you, Evanston, for letting me travel home to you daily.
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