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Old 11-30-2017, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Chicago
944 posts, read 897,489 times
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So, still doing some cursory research here for a potential move. My fiance is currently in the process of applying for a job in the North Chicago area, which dramatically limits the number of reasonable spots within the city we could look (to Ravenswood, essentially). With that being said, what is Evanston like? We currently live in another Big 10 college town (Ann Arbor) and like it, though it sometimes feels kind of stifling. Evanston seems to combine that collegiate urbanity with the perks of being adjacent to the city and connected to the L, like a kind of best of both worlds. What are people who live in the area's thoughts?
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Evanston is not at all dominated by the university. I live just north of Ravenswood and go to Evanston for movies, shopping and restaurants pretty often. It's a great small city with some gorgeous housing stock.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Love Evanston. Would strongly recommend it. It’s got some of the best aspects of AA or Madison coupled with being directly adjacent to Chicago. It’s also gotten to be more exciting and more of a go-to place in the past several years.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:04 AM
 
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Evanston is wonderful. You will love it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:50 AM
 
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Evanston is NOT like "college towns" for a variety of reason ESPECIALLY because so much of the graduate student base (and the professors who teach them...) are centered at the Chicago Gold Coast campus. That really "spreads out" things especially for folks teaching at the law school, med school, and many of the MBA related courses.

Of course the other thing is that until quite recently the "sports culture" of NU was non-existent -- they were a doormat and no one in their right mind would want to "tailgate" in the way that is common at other Big10 campuses. Even with recent success for the sports programs the size of the school is decidedly smaller than any of the other league and the kind of alumni that the school is most likely to attract back for any sports events is far more like Ivy League than other Big10 campuses...

The municipal leaders of Evanston have long worked to ensure that the character of the town is distinct from NU and that is reflected in the sorts of regulations there are for everything from off-campus housing and parking to things like the planning of NU lakefront -- there are some areas of "cooperation" with NU's recreation department but mostly Evanston is deliberately detached from the bulk of the campus.

The sorts of folks who tend to really enjoy living in Evanston seem to appreciate the thought of "access to the city" but many find that the mix of local restaurants and such is more than adequate. Of course for folks who do rely on either the CTA or Metra appreciate the ease of commute but lots of other towns offer that too -- Skokie and Wilmette have essentially identical commute options. Of course Skokie is not as "upscale & urban" and the many people appreciate the more varied range of residents who call Evanston home.

Taxes in Evanston tend to be quite stiff and that does translate into rather high rents, the total cost of living is likely pretty similar to the nicer parts of Chicago like Lincoln Park and other upscale neighborhoods, but quite a bit more than folks would expect in towns like North Chicago or Waukegan. You'd probably find cheaper spots in Roger's Park, Edgewater, Uptown and other not as upscale neighborhoods though the relative responsiveness of Evanston's police tend to make it an easier choice...
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:25 PM
 
Location: The Windy City
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Evanston has a neat feel. Parts of it feel like a suburb, parts feel like another Chicago neighborhood, and other parts feel like a college town.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
975 posts, read 1,872,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lepoisson View Post
Evanston has a neat feel. Parts of it feel like a suburb, parts feel like another Chicago neighborhood, and other parts feel like a college town.
I'd agree with that post. It is a mix of all types of neighborhood types(i.e. very upscale areas, neighborhoods that feel like a typical Chicago neighborhood with 2-3 flat apartments, middle class areas, and even some areas that are predominantly black too). Chet's post had a lot of truth, I'd agree with myself. Especially the part about NU's sports teams being a doormat till recent years, but that its fans trend a little yuppie. Seriously though, I am glad their football team has had more success in recent years(including some bowl game appearances), and ditto with NU's basketball team.

Also, I'd agree Evanston isn't totally dominated by NU. Aside from businesses near NU's campus(i.e. by the Foster 'L stop on the Purple Line, and some of the blocks south of NU's campus in the north part of downtown), the Evanston neighborhoods away from downtown and that college don't have the feel of being overdominated by NU. Especially if you walk around Main and Chicago, Dempster and Chicago, and also Green Bay and Central. The latter is served by a Metra station(and an 'L station is a medium walk away from there I have sometimes done, during warmer months), and the former 2 areas are served by Purple Line 'L stops. I go up there at times myself to patronize shops up there, since it's only a short trip north from the Edgewater neighborhood.
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:02 PM
 
62 posts, read 56,403 times
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Evanston is truly great. If I could afford a house there I would move there.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:53 PM
 
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I agree with everybody else that's it's almost an ideal mix of suburban and city characteristics. Evanston has the largest concentration of historic houses in the Chicago area, if you're interested in that.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:45 PM
 
8,280 posts, read 10,218,971 times
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Evanston is quite nice, although expensive by Chicago standards ( less so by Eastern ones). Although it is a Chicago suburb, the housing stock is largely pre-war, with a decent number of Victorians, and bungalows, too. The streets are tree-lined, but usually with deciduous trees and not conifers ( which is more New England-like), and the city has the advantage of having several Purple Line stops.The NU campus is gorgeous, especially when considering the beaches along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, which offer spectacular views...

Pretty nice, in all..
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