Search This Blog

Monday, September 29, 2014

Divvy Bikes are coming to Evanston!


Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $3 million state investment in the Divvy bicycle-sharing program that will add 700 new bikes and 70 docking stations in Evanston, Oak Park and Chicago neighborhoods. 
Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget Jerry Stermer, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, and 8th Ward Ald. Ann Rainey shared the news at today's Bike the Ridge event in Evanston. (See photos below.)
The grant will allow for eight stations in Evanston, with the exact locations to be determined by the City Council in the next few months. The state will provide $432,000 in funding with an approximate $108,000 match from the City. Final numbers will be established as an agreement is developed with the City of Chicago in the coming weeks. Evanston funding will come from various transportation sources within the City budget and from potential private sector station sponsors. Stations are expected to be in place by Spring/Summer 2015.
The City is also in discussions with Northwestern University to participate in a program to add stations at and near campus. 
Below is the press release issued by the Office of Governor Pat Quinn:
Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Expand Divvy Program in Chicago and Suburbs
State Commitment Will Help Regional Bike-Sharing Program Reach Oak Park and Evanston
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $3 million state investment in the Divvy bicycle-sharing program that will add 700 new bikes and 70 docking stations in Evanston, Oak Park and Chicago neighborhoods. The investment will be supported by an additional $750,000 from the three cities, enabling the popular bike-sharing program to expand and provide a green transportation option in the suburbs for the first time. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect the environment and increase transportation opportunities for the people of Illinois.
“We’ve worked hard to make Illinois the most environmentally-friendly state in the nation and that includes boosting access to green transportation throughout our state,” Governor Quinn said. “The Divvy program has proven to be a successful and innovative way to commute, navigate congested city streets and explore vibrant Chicago communities. Expanding Divvy outside of the city limits mean fewer cars on the roads and gives more residents and visitors the fun opportunity to take a ride.”
“Divvy has been a tremendous success, but Chicago’s bike share system will be even better when more areas of the city are served,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “As we expand Divvy to more Chicago neighborhoods, we welcome Governor Quinn’s plan to extend this popular program to neighboring towns for more people to travel in a fun, affordable and healthy way.”
“I would like to thank Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department of Transportation for helping to make bike transportation accessible to all Evanston residents,” Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said. “Biking not only lowers our collective carbon footprint, it supports healthy, sustainable living, and that’s good news for the whole community."
The investment will cover 50 new docking stations and additional bicycles in Chicago’s Garfield Park, Austin, Rogers Park, West Rogers Park and other communities. Oak Park will receive 12 docking stations and Evanston will get eight. The new equipment will be installed next year. Chicago is providing $550,000 and Evanston and Oak Park a combined $200,000 in local match to the state’s $3 million investment, for a total of $3,750,000.The expanded bike-sharing program is a public-private partnership between the state of Illinois, City of Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, and the bike share company Alta. Earlier this year IDOT released its first Bike Transportation Plan which encouraged the use of more bike-sharing programs such as Divvy to help create a more sustainable multimodal transportation system in the state.
Created by the Chicago Department of Transportation in 2013, Divvy is Chicago’s bike-sharing system, with 3,000 bikes and 300 stations across the city. The expansion funding announced today will add to the 175 stations and 1,750 bikes slated for spring 2015, bringing the total to 545 stations. Divvy is intended to provide Chicagoans and visitors with an additional transportation option, and leverages Chicago’s public transit system to help commuters complete the first or last few miles of their trip.  In a recent survey, 76 percent of members have used the bike share system to get to and from a public transit station.
Divvy is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is designed to be used for short point-to-point trips or as alternative option for multimodal commutes. Users can pick up a bike from a self-service docking station and return it to any other station nearest their destination
For more information on the Divvy program and a map of station locations, visit

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bike the Ridge Sept. 28


The annual Bike the Ridge event will take place between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 28, 2014. Ridge Avenue will be closed to ALL vehicular traffic between Howard and Church Streets. Bicycles are not allowed on Ridge Avenue at any other time, so come out and enjoy this non-competitive, City-sponsored special event!

You are invited to join the official start of the ride at 9:00 a.m. at the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Howard Street. During the event, you may bike on Ridge Avenue anywhere between Howard Street and Church Street. Children under age 18 are required to wear bike helmets per City of Evanston ordinance.

Bike_the_Ridge_street.jpgThis event is limited to those on non-motorized bicycles only (motorized bicycles or skateboards are not allowed). Non-bicyclists can walk along the sidewalks of Ridge Avenue and support the bicyclists.

A wide variety of free activities will take place along the route, including Ridgeville Park District’s "Fall Frenzy" with live music; bike registration, repairs and decorating; and quadcycle rides. Free snacks and water will be available and you may purchase lunch or treats from food trucks.

This year, an expanded Health and Wellness Corner will be located at Grey Park, Ridge Ave. at Main St. Stop by for a massage by Wellness Revolution, join a yoga class from Heaven Meets Earth Yoga Studio, or work out in an exercise class by CrossFit E-town.

Volunteers are needed; please register at or call 847-859-7833. For more information, please call/text the City of Evanston at 847-448-4311.

This event is sponsored by the City of Evanston. It is made possible by support from Ridgeville Park District, Presence Saint Francis Hospital, McGaw YMCA, Wiener and Still Champion (supplier of free meal coupons for volunteers), Local Fire Union 742, Wellness Revolution, Heaven Meets Earth Yoga Studio, Bike Doc, Wheel & Sprocket, Bike and Roll Chicago, Whole Foods Market/Evanston South, Krave Ice Cream and Hummingbird Kitchen.

This weekend: Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival

Everyone has been asking me why the Downtown Evanston streets are all blocked off, here's why;

Arriving the final week of September for its inaugural debut, Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival introduces a weekend-long celebration of local art and flavorful fare. Kicking off 5PM Friday with live music and tasty fare, the Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival will feature local fare, beer, and wine from Farmhouse, Stained Glass and more! Live music will fill the streets of Evanston for more fun! Headlining 7PM on Friday night will be Sixteen Candles, one of Chicago’s best 80′s cover band! “Dance like an Egyptian” to all your favorite 80′s songs. The brand-new festival will feature original high-end work from 130 artists will be available for purchase, perfect for gifts or a signature addition to a personal collection. Traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture, and photography will be showcased alongside unique, usable art, including handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind furniture, and home accessories. The art festival will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10AM – 5PM. Live music, beer, wine, & food will be Friday from 5PM to 9PM, Saturday 10AM to 9PM, and Sunday 10AM to 5PM.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today is My One Year Anniversary at Acquirent


Today is my one year anniversary at Acquirent and it's a huge deal on so many levels. One year in "Lisa D" years is very comparable to dog years, it's like seven. 

Several ACQ teammates call me Ping Pong Sally because my resume has so very many jobs listed (I took off most of New York publishing jobs like at Vogue, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine....) it's a huge feat I'm still here after 12 months. 

I think I'm a great fit for Acquirent culturally and I'm going to learn a ton about sales and selling myself (in the positive sense) which will be useful when I finally figure out what I am going to be when I grow up.

When I turned 40 (two years ago I turned 40 and yes I was featured in a New York Times article on making friends after 40) I took on the task of totally reconstructing my life - no more chasing my media "career", no more uprooting my family and moving every chance I got across city and state and county lines, I had to learn to live and work and love and play in the SAME city and lastly, but not leastly the MOST more commuting in a car or train to work ever again in my whole entire life (I even documented my last day commuting on the CTA with this no make up selfie), only walking and biking distances to work allowed. Acquirent is six blocks from my house in Evanston. 

So happy anniversary to me as it marks the final step in a life restructuring process that took several years. 

*That photo is of me and boss Joe Flanagan as we try to snap a photo of our entire team to celebrate winning the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies award for the third year in a row. I know how to pick them!

And a special thanks goes to Erika, Maggie and Brooke for helping me get this job!

Friday, September 19, 2014

9.23.14: Special Lecture for Photographers at Perspective Gallery

Create Demand for Your Art

Renowned speaker, Jennifer Schwartz, will discuss how to launch a body
of work through both traditional and non-traditional avenues. Schwartz is
the creator/director of Crusade for Art, a non-profit organization focused
on cultivating demand for fine art photography. She owned and operated
a fine art photography gallery in Atlanta for five years which showcased
the work of emerging photographers. She also created the online project,
The Ten, and is the co-creator of Flash Powder Projects.

In this lecture, which is intended for photographers only, Schwartz will
discuss how to create innovative programs that engage people with
their images in meaningful and memorable ways. The talk complements
her book, Crusade For Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art
Photographers (published in March 2014), and is geared toward
photographers of all levels who want to explore creative ways to get
exposure and build collectors. By inspiring, mentoring, teaching and
funding, Schwartz’ Crusade for Art aims to empower photographers to
strategically and effectively cultivate audiences for their work.

Jennifer Schwartz regularly participates in portfolio reviews such as
PhotoNOLA, PhotoLucida, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, FotoFest,
Medium, Filter and others. She was invited as a curator to the Lishui
Photo Festival in Lishui, China in 2011 and travels around the country
giving talks, guest-lecturing at universities, leading workshops and
hosting photographic retreats with Flash Powder Projects. In the spring
of 2013, she traveled around the country in a 1977, Volkswagen bus, 
engaging audiences about photography.

Date & Time: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Perspective Gallery,1310-1/2B Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois

Please Note: This event is for photographers only.
Attendees are asked to bring their own seating.

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