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Affordable Townhome in Northwest Evanston

3326 Culver St., EvanstonIf you are searching for a home in Evanston, you will see that there are lots of condos for sale and quite a few single family houses, but not many townhomes, especially in desirable Northwest Evanston.

3326 culver mapThis townhome at 3326 Culver St. lives like a single family house. It’s a half duplex with lots of space and lots of light. It has three bedrooms, one and a half baths, a large rec room on the lower level and ample closets. It’s been freshly painted throughout and has new carpet and tile as well as new vanities in the bathrooms and a new range and oven in the kitchen. Off of the living/dining room is a spacious patio and there is a parking space off the alley. It is listed at $199,000.

Other than the unit itself, this home has a number of other benefits:

  • It is a fee simple home, which means that there are no assessments. It is not part of a condo association. (Of course, that also means you have to shovel your own walk and mow your own grass).
  • It is located on a residential one-way street of single-family homes.
  • Its private, fenced patio is like an outdoor room to enjoy in the summer.
  • It is conveniently located, with easy access to I-94, Old Orchard and Central Street shopping. Public transportation is just steps away.
  • It is in the award-winning Willard School elementary school district.

You can get more info here. If you’d like to see this home, please give me a call at 847-687-5957 or email me. I’d be happy to show it to you.

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Remembering Martin Luther King’s Speech in Winnetka

Martin Luther King plaque in WinnetkaA lot of people think that, because Winnetka is an affluent and mostly white suburb, that it is not a very progressive community.

So I wonder how many people know that Winnetka was the site of the first-ever civil rights rally in an all-white suburb and that Martin Luther King spoke here before a crowd of more than 8000 supporters in the summer of 1965.

Even most Winnetkans under the age of 60 didn’t know about the part their town played in the civil rights movement until a school teacher named Cecilia Gigiolio and her class raised the money to erect a monument to commemorate this historic event on its 40th anniversary.

The monument was placed in the southwest corner of the Green, which is now known as “King’s Corner.” Interestingly, despite the fact that Dr. King spent extensive periods of time in Chicago working on civil rights issues, the monument on the Village Green of Winnetka is the only monument to this great man in the whole Chicago area.

Why did King come to Winnetka, of all places, to hold a civil rights rally? Here’s a little background: Back in the early 60′s a group of young North Shore mothers were concerned that their children were growing up in a community that lacked diversity. At that time housing discrimination was common, as were the real estate practices of steering and blockbusting (which thankfully are now illegal). These women teamed up with local clergy and community Monument to Martin Luther King on Winnetka's Village Greenleaders to organize the North Shore Summer Project. They surveyed residents to determine their attitudes towards opening their community to home buyers who were not screened on the basis of color or religion. As part of their effort to end housing discrimination, they invited Dr. King to speak.

King arrived in Winnetka late on the afternoon of July 25 after speaking at five other rallies in Chicago. The estimated crowd of eight to ten thousand people is the biggest gathering ever on the Village Green, and it was a peaceful group who were mostly supporters of King. As part of his speech he spoke the now famous words: “We must now live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Today marks the 46th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech on the Village Green of Winnetka.

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Imuka Singers: From Tanzania to Winnetka

Imuka SingersThe North Shore is in for a rare treat this Tuesday night when Winnetka Congregational Church hosts a performance by the Imuka Singers, a 30 voice ensemble all the way from Tanzania.

Imuka means “rise” in the language of the people living on the Northwestern shore of Lake Victoria. The Imuka Singers “rise” from the villages of East Africa to brighten the world with their soaring melodies, rich harmonies, exhilarating rhythmic vitality and diverse cultural creativity.

Their music combines the diverse cultures of East Africa to bring together rare singing techniques, electrifying choreography, hand drumming and elements of traditional dance from the oldest African folk songs and dances. The energetic and uplifting music will appeal to all ages.

The Imuka Singers are on their first tour of the U.S. and added Winnetka to their schedule on the request of Dr. Robert Harris, Director of Music at Winnetka Congregational Church after hearing them perform in Chicago. Here are event details:

When: Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 pm

Imuka Singers logoWhere: In the Sanctuary at Winnetka Congregational Church

Cost: No charge, but a $10 donation is suggested

You can learn more about the Imuka Singers here.

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Thornwood Park Concert – 2011

Thornwood Park Concert 2010If you live in or around Wilmette’s Kenilworth Gardens neighborhood, you won’t want to miss the 7th annual Thornwood Park Concert this Sunday, July 10. First conceived of by Harper parents Terri and Tony Lorenz, and sponsored by the Friends of Thornwood Park, the concert is truly a neighborhood event. Bring your lawn chairs and your picnic and relax for a few hours with friends, family and neighbors.

As usual there will be performances by three bands of neighborhood dads who are frustrated rock stars. The opening act is the Junior Concert, with performances by some of our talented neighborhood kids.

In addition to great music, there will be a balloon artist and face painting, as well as a bouncy house, sponsored by yours truly. Last, but definitely not least, we’ll look forward to a visit from the Wilmette Fire Department, who will bathe willing concert goers with a 40 ft. vertical spray of water from the fire hose.

The Junior Concert starts at 3:00 pm and will be followed directly by the dads’ concert. The fun will continue til 8:00 pm.

All are welcome at the concert. We only ask that you make a donation to cover the cost of the event. Any remaining proceeds go to help purchase items for the park, like picnic tables. You can make a donation here.

Firetruck at Thornwood Park

kids playing in the firehose spray

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Wilmette SummerFest

wilmette summerfestI really have to applaud the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce for some smart marketing.  This year they have repositioned the same-old, same-old Sidewalk Sale to something much more alluring: a SummerFest.

Yes, there will still be a sidewalk sale with special deals at local stores, but SummerFest will be much more than that: there will be live entertainment, a beer garden, food, kids’ activities and an art festival. The event runs for two days, but if you want more than shopping, you should probably go on Saturday.

When: Friday, July 8 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm and Saturday, July 9 from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm.

Where: Wilmette Village Center, Wilmette and Central Avenues.

Details:

The live entertainment will go from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturday.

The beer garden will be open from noon to 9:00 pm on Saturday.

After the beer garden closes down on Saturday night, the fun moves inside, with stand-up comedy by Carmen Esposito at The Wilmette Theatre at 9:00 pm. This is a 21-and-older event, as beer and wine will be sold. Tickets: $12.

For more info on Summerfest, call the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber at 847-251-3800 or visit www.wilmettechamber.org.

Anne West - Your North Shore Real Estate Connection

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Pete Wentz’s Favorite Chicago Spots

Pete Wentz and Bebe RexhaWe haven’t heard much about Wilmette celeb Pete Wentz since Fall Out Boy broke up, but Pete will be back in Chicago in August to perform at Lollapalooza. Wentz has a new band called Black Cards, described as a reggae-infused, 80′s British Rock sound. The lead vocalist is Bebe Rexha (pictured above with Wentz).

In this video Pete names his favorite Chicago area spots, and three of them are in Wilmette: Walker Brothers, where he and his family used to go after church on Sundays, Chuck Wagon and Lou Malnati’s. Keep a lookout for him in August, as he’ll probably stop in to one or more of these places for a meal. But you may not recognize him now that’s he’s ditched the black eyeliner and bangs.

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Race Against Hate on Father’s Day

Race Against HateBond with your Dad and support a worthwhile cause this Sunday by running together in the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, a 10K run in Evanston along Sheridan Rd. and through the Northwestern campus. Even if you and your father aren’t up for running, you can still participate by walking the 5K.

This is the twelfth year of the event, which was created by Sherialyn Birdsong in memory of her husband, Ricky. Ricky was a beloved basketball coach at Northwestern, who was murdered in 1999 by a white supremacist, simply because he was African-American. Last year the race raised over $150,000 for the YWCA to use in its work with local schools on issues of racial justice and violence prevention.

The 10K starts at 7:30 am on Sunday, June 19. The 5K run/walk starts at 7:45. The youth mile for kids 9-13 starts at 9:00 and at 9:15 the kids under 8 can start.

Online registration is closed but you can still register in person tomorrow (Saturday, the 18th) at the Evanston YWCA at 1215 Church St., or on race day starting at 6:15 am. Go here for more details about the race.

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Summer Concerts at Plaza del Lago – 2011

Concert in Plaza del LagoOne of the things I love about summer on the North Shore is the number of outdoor concerts you can enjoy, many of them free. One of my favorite music venues is Plaza del Lago in Wilmette.

Every Thursday evening for six weeks in the summer, Plaza del Lago hosts free summer concerts in the parking lot. The concerts run from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (weather permitting) and you can bring a picnic or purchase your dinner from the restaurants in the plaza and eat al fresco as you enjoy the music.

Here’s the line-up for 2011:

June 30 – Moss/Realtime (original post-modern instrumental)

July 7 – The Dang-Its (Honky Tonk, Western Swing and Americana)

July 14 – Gone 2 Paradise (The Ultimate Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band)

July 21 – The New Invaders (British Rock)

July 28 – Ac*Rock (a cappella Rock ‘n’ Roll)

August 4 – Conjunto (Chicago’s premier Salsa Orchestra)

Plaza del Lago is located at 1515 Sheridan Rd. in Wilmette.

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Winnetka Children’s Fair 2011

Children's Fair on Winnetka's Village GreenFor 65 years, the Winnetka Children’s Fair has been a tradition of community and family fun, fellowship and participation.  The Fair kicks off the summer with an end-of-school celebration that includes rides, games, craft booths, face painting and food.

The Fair is coordinated by the Board of Directors of Winnetka Community Nursery School. More than 1,000 volunteers donate their time, energy and enthusiasm to bring this event to life. It was conceived of as a fundraiser for the school. Today, there are probably a lot more efficient and less labor intensive ways to generate the same amount of money. But the fair has become part of the fabric of summertime in Winnetka, so the school continues to put it on for the enjoyment of the community.

This year’s fair is on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Winnetka’s Village Green (Maple between Oak and Elm).  Hopefully, the weather will be more cooperative this year. Last year the fair was interrupted by torrential rains, which put a real damper on the fun.

Anne West - Your North Shore Real Estate Connection

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Birdhouse Garden in May

I first wrote about this delightful garden back in April, when there wasn’t much to see.

Here it is again in the middle of May, when the tulips were in bloom and other perennials were starting to sprout. And the birdhouses have come out to join the flowers.

Birdhouse garden on Hunter Rd., WilmetteBirdhouseHere’s how it looked just one month before:

April 13

April 13

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