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Old 04-15-2014, 12:14 PM
 
143 posts, read 235,773 times
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Taking schools out of the equation for the moment -- my husband and I have lived in the city for a long time (in Ukrainian Village and Logan Square), and will miss a lot about the urban, liberal environment here. Evanston seems like a natural transition, and having lived there, I know and really like it. However, I don't know enough about living in Wilmette, and it seems like it could be a great choice, as well. It absolutely seems like a great place to raise a family (just like Evanston). Specifically, I'm curious as to whether anyone has tips on whether Wilmette has neighborhoods that have a similar culture to that of North Evanston? (i.e. would I be a bit out of place for having tattoos?)
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbsmom View Post
Taking schools out of the equation for the moment -- my husband and I have lived in the city for a long time (in Ukrainian Village and Logan Square), and will miss a lot about the urban, liberal environment here. Evanston seems like a natural transition, and having lived there, I know and really like it. However, I don't know enough about living in Wilmette, and it seems like it could be a great choice, as well. It absolutely seems like a great place to raise a family (just like Evanston). Specifically, I'm curious as to whether anyone has tips on whether Wilmette has neighborhoods that have a similar culture to that of North Evanston? (i.e. would I be a bit out of place for having tattoos?)
Wilmette south of Lake Avenue most closely resembles northern and northwest portions of Evanston. The Linden Street Purple Line stop is popular with commuters and Cubs fans. This is the northernmost L stop on the North Shore. McKenzie Square (west of Green Bay, south of Kenilworth, east of Ridge, and north of Isabella) offers a mix of more modest homes and new construction, similar to what you find in northwest Evanston. McKenzie Elementary anchors the neighborhood and the neighborhood is walking distance to Evanston's Central Street as well as Downtown Wilmette. In general, Wilmette south of Lake Avenue is more Democratic (similar to Evanston) and north of Lake Avenue more Republican (similar to Winnetka/Kenilworth). Wilmette is known for its excellent park district, and I've known families from surrounding communities to be more than willing to pay extra for their programmes in gymnastics and ice hockey.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:02 PM
 
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Thank you! I appreciate this information, Omoikane. It's nice to know that there are parts of Wilmette similar to Evanston - I thought there may be similarities, but I've read some posts on this site about Wilmette being far more conservative, so I wasn't sure.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:59 PM
 
28,460 posts, read 83,721,869 times
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Default Mostly true...

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Originally Posted by cbsmom View Post
Thank you! I appreciate this information, Omoikane. It's nice to know that there are parts of Wilmette similar to Evanston - I thought there may be similarities, but I've read some posts on this site about Wilmette being far more conservative, so I wasn't sure.
There are some posters that like to paint certain towns as a "special little slice of nirvana" and in doing so tend to exagerate the diffrences. The reality is that when looking at neighborhoods in adjoining towns with similarl priced homes the people that end up choosing one home or the other are very much like yourself -- if the can find a better value at the time they are shopping in the town that is more generally desirable / has better tax situation they'll pick that.

As you get closer to the lake in any North Shore community including Evanston the prices do go and with that the folks that have earned their money tend to be less eager to have it taxed away for things that they do not support, that goes for folks that support or oppose party whose adminstration was in power during the escalation of the "war on terror" as well the party whose leader currently is head of the executive branch...

When it comes to "social issues" my experience both on the North Shore as well as affluent areas inside Chicago and affluent areas in the western suburbs is that there is uniform support for things that once were controvesial -- the "small l" libertarian views of keeping government out of how folks choose to live is very much mainstream.

Will you encounter "cranks" that get upset with things that might have broader social implications? Sure, there are some folks that will write a letter to the editor criticizing a town's decisions to buy a new hybrid for the town's motorpool instead of a traditional cheaper to operate gasoline fueled vehicle but folks that get so worked up to actually write a letter are pretty rare and honestly they tend to be just eager to exercse their right to be grumpy... Drive around the North Shore and there are a whole of folks that look more like the Koch Brothers driving Teslas than there are folks like Mayim Bialik or some other "Hollywood earth mother" but neither is there any shortage of folks that will get all outspoken about the benefits of extended nursing and similar attachment parenting. Folks that spend a lot of time reading at home or in the library are bound to have lots of evidence to support their views...
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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In many ways, I think you'll find more similarities between north Evanston and south Wilmette than between north and south Evanston. North Evanston and South Wilmette overlap in terms of using the Central Street shopping district (and Metra station), downtown Wilmette's restaurants, Evanston's parks (South Wilmette is a little park-deficient), and of course downtown Evanston's amenities. As a north Evanstonian, I am often struck by the urban cool vibe that still exists around Main Street (south of downtown), as opposed to Central Street - which is great but hardly urban cool.

Agree that Omoikane on the schools, and agree that an apples-to-apples comparison really calls into question NTHS's supposed superiority.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:16 PM
 
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Thank you, Chet and SloopyJ! I appreciate your thoughtful responses.
Chet - that image of the Koch brothers driving around is hilarious. And good to know that there are plenty of Earth Mothers to be found.
SloopyJ - I get what you mean about Main street vs. Central Street (though there's still a nice, cozy granola-ish vibe to the Central area, too, right?).
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Chicago
305 posts, read 1,098,350 times
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Hmm...granola-ish vibe? That seems a little strong. There are certainly plenty of families that fall outside the mom/dad/2.3-kids standard. Single parents, same-sex parents, multicultural families - all common enough to not raise any eyebrows, and Evanston tends to be a pretty accepting place overall. But the hippie/granola types in north Evanston seem to be aging; not a lot of young granolas or exposed tattoo sleeves/spiked hair/etc. in north Evanston.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:38 AM
 
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Got it! Thanks, SloopyJ. I thought it was a little like Portland in the Midwest, but granola probably not the right word (or maybe not as much as I thought!). Thank you all for the insights!
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:09 PM
 
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Portland? That is a stretch.

The fact is you will have LOTS of families that have social views that reflect that they probably went to nice colleges in the Northeast, Midwest or West, state funded or private, that are generally considered to be staffed with "big L" Liberal professors that may themselves if not "granola" than certainly big fans of the NYT, organic produce, and things like Earth Day...

Funny thing too, I suspect most of these colleges are staffed with full professors are quite well compensated, much like folks that can afford a home on the North Shore, so they don't NEED to eat rice & beans like the very much UNDERPAID non-tenured faculty, but neither are these folks unsympathetic to the system that they are part of AND the same could very likely be said for folks that do have families and live on the North Shore -- they are of now of similar age to the younger full professors and they too are not unsympathetic to the fact that the economy has been messed up badly for quite some time yet they ability to live "comfortably" is very different than that of folks that are closer in age to the much younger crowd in west coast cities...
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:19 PM
 
143 posts, read 235,773 times
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Interesting, Chet! What do you think accounts for this difference between the Midwest and West Coast city mentality?
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