Search This Blog

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Enjoy First Night Evanston on New Year's Eve!

This event has the BEST event poster, ever, and it has an incredible talent lineup. The event features live performances at 7 venues around Raymond Park, all within walking distance from one another. Enjoy artists like Regina Carter, Mark Smith Poetry Slam and so much more!

Buy event buttons here 

This is your chance for an incredible bargain! Enjoy all of First Night Evanston's performers at all of our venues for just $20. Prices go up on December 26 to $25, and they'll be $30 at the door. That's better than than a 33% discount! Don't forget, you'll need the button even if decide to get a Reserved Seating wristband for any of the venues, so get it out of the way and buy it now.

Visit event website here

Developing: New Chiaravalle Sports Annex is Really Ugly and Huge

This blog is all about how much I love Evanston and usually lends no space or time to negativity in relation to Evanston but I just have to say that the Chiaravalle Sports Annex going up on Hinman is a goliath monstrosity that is being built with no regard for the neighborhood look and feel. (While you read this post, please hum to yourself Taylor Swift's tune "Haters Gonna Hate")

Evanston Now published an article about the annex being all about teaching sustainable living to the Chiaravalle community. I'm dumbfounded how a massive sports complex that will be unoccupied for 70% of the day is sustainable in any way at, but that's another argument for another day.

The lakefront neighborhood bordered by South Blvd., Chicago Ave. and the Northwestern Campus, is cluttered with a variety of structures to include massive single family homes, apartment buildings and tiny houses, but very few of the structures are modern and even fewer are eyesores. The Chiaravalle annex is a modern, brick and steel structure that looks nothing like the original building it's built onto and looks nothing like any other structure in the neighborhood. The worst part of the Chiaravalle Sports Annex  is it's HUGE. 

I took my complaint about the building to Facebook and immediately got the reply below. And although I believe there was a conversation with the Evanston Historic Preservation Commission, I find it hard to believe the commission's feedback was used to do anything other than meet guidelines. 

"Lisa, we appreciate that the contemporary design of the North Wing is not to your personal taste. Chiaravalle and the school's architects incorporated feedback from the Evanston Historic Preservation Commission to meet guidelines for a new addition in the Lakeshore Historic District. The size of the North Wing was decided as part of the property purchase agreement with the City in 2010. 

Thank you for your feedback, and we hope the finished construction changes your opinion."

There is no way the finished project is going to change my opinion, it's just going to make me more annoyed that Chiaravalle built an ugly and massive sports complex into a quaint, historic neighborhood.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Stargazing Friday Nights at Dearborn Observatory

The Dearborn Observatory is open for public observing with the historic 18.5" refracting telescope every Friday night from 8:00-10:00 pm.

Your group will have a tour of the Observatory, and be able to look through the telescope for the full hour.

We usually try to allow everyone at least one opportunity to look through the telescope, but space is limited in the dome; therefore, there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to look through the telescope if we are very crowded.

The Friday night observation tours at the Dearborn Observatory are open to the public, and there are two hours open for visiting:
8:00 to 9:00pm: * Reservation hour only.
9:00 to 10:00pm: Walk-ins are welcome.

There is no fee for the Friday night observation tours; however, if you make a reservation for a group of 10 or more, we do require a refundable deposit which will be returned to you on the night of your visit.

* If you would like to make a reservation and want to learn more about the Observatory, or need information about a private group viewing, please call the Dearborn Observatory at 847-491-7650.

Love Letter to Evanston from David Morton

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.

Dear Evanston,

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.

Leaving the 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.

I 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.

I 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.


Click here to see the original post

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Winter Festival, Saturday December 13th at SPACE

 A Winter Festival, Saturday December 13th at SPACE (1245 Chicago Avenue- Near SE corner of Dempster and Chicago Avenue) in Evanston from 9 am til 2 pm.

Nichols' Girl Scout Troop 40060, (formerly of Washington School) will be showing and selling their handmade jewelry at this show alongside 17 wonderful, local artists. There will also be craft tables (for kids) at the event and Union Pizzeria is opening for lunch. Plus there's a kids' open mic! If you have a child who would be interested in performing a song on the stage at SPACE go to to sign up.
Saturday December 13 from 9:00am - 2:00pm 
SPACE  1245 Chicago Avenue Evanston

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free: Evanston History Center’s Annual Holiday Open House


Join us for an afternoon of holiday cheer at the Dawes House. Explore the majestic lakeside mansion decked out for the holidays, view EHC’s exhibits, and enjoy holiday treats, crafts for kids and live music in the Great Hall. 
1:00 pm – 2:30pm: Piano Music by Chris Mahieu2:30pm-3:30pm: Music with Marian McNair & Jim Fine
This event is free and open to the public!
EHC’s 9th Annual Holiday Food Drive
In partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the EHC kicks off the 9th annual holiday food drive. Please consider donating to this important cause! All food collected will go directly to an Evanston food pantry to benefit area residents. Donations of nutritious, non-perishable food (no glass, please) will be accepted at the Dawes House, 225 Greenwood St., from Thursday, December 4 through Sunday, December 7 from 1pm to 4pm each day

The food drive is conducted in the spirit of the Dawes family.  Every year, the family put together baskets of food and goodies.  On Christmas Eve, all members of the family drove around Evanston, delivering the baskets to families in need.

EHC gratefully acknowledges Whole Foods Market for sponsoring the event.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga Play Ravinia 2015

Wangechi Mutu at Block Closes Dec. 7

View photo gallery
Main Gallery and Alsdorf Gallery
Wangechi Mutu, Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002, ink and collage on paper. Collection of Peter Norton, New York. © Wangechi Mutu.

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is a comprehensive and innovative exhibition of works by the international artist Wangechi Mutu—her first survey in the United States.
Spanning the mid-1990s to the present, the exhibition unites more than 50 pieces, from the artist’s most iconic collages to rarely seen early works and new creations.

Highlights of the exhibition include Mutu’s first animated video, created in collaboration with musician Santigold. The artist will also transform one of the Block’s galleries into an environmental installation, including a monumental wall drawing, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in her work.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya and living in New York since the early 1990s, Mutu is best known for large-scale collages depicting female figures in lush, otherworldly landscapes. Her work explores issues of gender, race, war, globalization, colonialism and the eroticization of the black female body. She often combines found materials and magazine cutouts with sculpture and painted imagery, sampling from sources as diverse as African traditions, international politics, the fashion industry, and science fiction.

Read The New York Times’ review of the Brooklyn Museum's presentation of Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey (October 10, 2013): A Window, Not a Mirror: A Survey of Wangechi Mutu at Brooklyn MuseumAdditional information about the artist as well as this exhibition may be found on the websites listed below:
Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University by Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art.

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major support is provided by Marilyn M. Arthur, the Ford Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Katherine Thorpe Kerr, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Additional generous support is provided by Duke University’s Council for the Arts; Gladstone Gallery, New York; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Support for the presentation at the Block Museum has been provided by the Diane and Craig Solomon Contemporary Art Fund.

- See more at: