Shop Evanston Holiday Issue November-December 2018

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contents Fall-Winter 2018

O N T H E C OV E R 4 6 8


Make an Impact: Break a Sweat A New Way to Work: 818 Coworking Budgeting for Success

12 A Rebirth: Piccolo Theatre



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Evanston | Wilmette | Kenilworth | Winnetka | Northfield | Glencoe Spring–Summer 2010 Buy Evanston. For Evanston.

U P C LO S E 3 Fall/Winter Fashion Must Haves 10 Holiday C.A.R.E. Faire 13 New In Town: Chicago Hot Dog & Co Breakfast Hot Spots Page 6

Art Under Glass

Page 16

Petal Pushers


Page 30


The Talking Pictures Film Festival


14 One More Time...Greek Islands


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Fall & Winter Fashion Must-Haves By Jennifer Zhan


he leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter, and it’s time to say goodbye to our sunny weather clothes. Don’t be too sad while you pack away your shorts and sunglasses, though - just because it’s getting cold outside doesn’t mean your outfits can’t still be on fire. Welcome to fall and winter fashion, where it’s all about comfortable and functional clothes. Not sure where to start? Check out these five hot items you can rock during the cold seasons: 1. Blanket scarves As it gets colder, your outfits might get bulkier and harder to coordinate. These big pops of colors and patterns are a great easy solution. Since they’re so large, you can get creative- wear them classic-style around your neck, drape them on your shoulders, use them as a belted cape, or tie them into a makeshift poncho. 2. Over-the-knee boots: Tall boots are in right now. As long, solid blocks of color, they match with pretty much all pants (and if weather permits, they look killer with tunics and dresses). Plus, it’s an

extra layer separating your legs from the cold. Perfect for a night out! 3. Trench coats: There’s a reason the trench coat has been such an enduring piece of fashion. Pulling this iconic, chic coat over a turtleneck or sweater instantly adds some classy flair. The belt at the waist keeps the jacket from swallowing up your figure and looks flattering on pretty much everyone. Since it’s somewhere in between casual and fancy, you’ll be wearing this versatile coat all the time. 4. Oversize knit sweaters: Big sweaters are a big trend this year. You can pair them with a belt, and layer them over or under other clothes. If you want to play up the comfortable look, find patterns with warm colors like browns and reds! 5. Beanies: Much more stylish than earmuffs, these classic fashion staples will keep your ears warm while adding a cozy finish to your outfit. This is a perfect accessory to throw on, whether you’re having a bad hair day or not.


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Break a Sweat, Make an Impact


ven running on three hours of sleep, Albert Ferguson is all energy. The night before, Albert sat in Northwestern University’s Main Library until 3AM planning special fitness and community outreach programs for Fitness Matrix, the gym he owns and manages. Despite the lack of sleep, Albert soldiers on through his busy day training clients and running his two locations. Fitness Matrix opened its first location in Southwest Evanston in 2011. After graduating from Northwestern in 1998 and earning his MBA from Georgetown University in 2003, Ferguson worked a variety of jobs, from management consulting in Washington, D.C. to corporate business training in Copenhagen, Denmark, to co-founding a not-for-profit as part of the Halcyon Incubator, an incubator for socially responsible businesses. During that time, Albert honed his organizational and communication skills, and visualized a career path where fitness and community would intersect. Thirteen years later, Albert returned to Evanston, a place that has “always felt like home” to him. Here, he launched a business that combined his passion for fitness and community building: a small, specialized gym where trainers could cultivate meaningful relationships with their clients. Fitness Matrix offers a variety of programming, including personal training, small group training, sports conditioning, martial arts, and special programs for children and seniors. “I wanted to create a fitness facility for the entire family,” he says.

by Morgan Smith More so, Albert wanted to open a gym that emphasized personal growth and development as well as muscle strengthening, inspired by his college experience. As an undergraduate student at Northwestern, Albert was an active member of the ParaCombatives Ju-Jutsu club. Then, under the instruction of (now) Evanston Police Officer Ervin de Leon, Albert says his selfconfidence and well-being skyrocketed. Albert, a certified personal trainer, sports conditioning specialist, corrective exercise specialist, and martial arts expert, wants to impart the same confidence to his clients. “Feeling better about yourself can positively impact your relationship with everything in your daily life,” he says. Because of his ties to the local community, Albert was approached by officers Ervin de Leon and Adam Howard from the Evanston Police Department to host a special community fitness event called “Five-O-Fitness”. The objective of the Five-O-Fitness is to engage community members with the police department through regular workouts right in the neighborhood. 30 people paid a small fee to workout alongside Albert and officers from the police department, and uniformed officers stopped by to chat throughout the event. Albert and his team even had Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty sweating and boxing! Fitness Matrix donated the proceeds of the event to the Officer & Gentlemen Academy mentorship program coordinated by EPD and Evanston/Skokie School District 65. But participating in Five-O-Fitness was only the first step in Albert’s grand scheme to strengthen the Evanston community. Albert wishes to make Fitness Matrix accessible and affordable

to all Evanston residents so that everyone can experience the benefits of working out to improve their overall daily life. To deepen its roots in the community, Fitness Matrix is launching a kids’ martial arts programs to help mentor young boys and girls in hopes that through this additional training, these students will develop goal setting and persevere to graduate from high school, where they can continue their relationship with Albert through the New Leaf Initiative when they matriculate in college. Enter the New Leaf Initiative: Albert’s work-in-progress, a program that aims to provide a broad spectrum of support and mentorship to local first generation college students. “When you first get to college, especially as the first in your family to attend, it’s like learning how to drive – there are so many important things that command your attention that it’s hard not to make mistakes,” Albert says. “It would be nice to help these students navigate resources, interact with professors, manage their new found personal freedom, and problem solve anything else that arises.” Albert also wants to expand the Fitness Matrix’s services to include women-specific self-defense classes that infuse fitness with functionality and fun. Working with both children and adults, Albert says the best part of his work is simply connecting with his clients. “People always reveal their best selves through hard work,” he says. Stop by or call 847-772-2444 Fitness Matrix, located at 2409 Main Street, to visit and watch Albert motivate residents to reach their fullest potential.

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Coworking Community in Evanston Continues to Grow with the Newly Opened 818 Coworking


fficeVibe reports that by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors, and soloprenuers. As workers become more independent and flexible in their jobs, traditional models of office spaces no longer fit their lifestyles. Enter “coworking,” a style of work where workers share office space and amenities, but are members of different work organizations. In addition to the efficiencies of shared spaces, coworking spaces also provide the benefits of community and networking, often hosting social and professional events regularly. There are over 80 Coworking spaces in downtown Chicago, and now there is a rising trend in co-working spaces opening in suburban areas. And of course, Evanston is no exception. 818 Coworking is the latest coworking space in town, joining the ranks of Industrious, Co-Lab, Creative Coworking and Regus. While co-working spaces in Chicago are buzzing social havens catering to recent graduates and tech-startups, the local Evanstonians who founded 818 saw the need for a different type of space to bring together the entrepreneurs, mobile professionals, and

small business owners in Evanston, as well as those just tired of working out of their individual (and often, lonely) home offices. The result is a space uniquely designed with an eye towards supporting the needs of Evanstonians. Located at 818 Lake Street (just west of Sherman), 818 moved into a space with a storied history of housing Evanston businesses. The prior home of successful business such as Tonka Toys and Allegretti Rugs, 818 Lake Street is the perfect home for a new space dedicated to serving the local business community. “As people have more flexibility and opportunities to work outside of the office, we wanted to create a space that allows people to have a professional and comfortable space close to home,” says Christina Kapetan, the Community Manager at what members have taken to affectionately calling “8-18.” “We believe that by bringing together business people who are currently working in isolation in their homes or out of coffee shops, we can do our part to help connect, strengthen, and grow the diverse community of businesses in Evanston.” The newly renovated space features décor that is modern and professional, while

maintaining a warm and welcoming vibe. It’s designed to offer a variety of flexible working options, including day passes, designated personal desks, private offices, and conference rooms available for rent to both members and non-members. When it’s time to be social, the various communal areas offer beautiful, comfortable spaces for members to mingle or host client meetings. While the space itself is important, what really distinguishes this co-working space from others is the community feeling that is apparent when you step into the space. “As a proud Evanstonian, I wanted to find a space to work locally that really felt engrained the Evanston community and committed to its growth,” says Chanté Thurmond, a Sr. Executive Recruiter at ThinkingAhead Executive Search, who has worked out of 818 since it opened last month. “The first time I walked in here, I felt welcomed and at home right away. That’s a big difference from other more corporate co-working spaces I’ve tried, where it’s easy to feel a little invisible.” If you are curious about the space or interested in becoming a member, you can sign up for a tour at, or just stop by 818 Lake Street anytime during the workweek.

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Community Animal Rescue Effort

ounded in Evanston in 1987 as an all-volunteer run, not-for-profit organization, Community Animal Rescue Effort opened a home of its own in nearby Skokie this past August. The C.A.R.E. Adoption Center, 4927 Main Street, Skokie, has space for up to 20 dogs and about 30 cats, most of whom come from Chicago animal rescue organizations. In addition, the building features a huge Community Room, “real life” rooms where dogs meet potential adopters, and “catios” for social cats that include climbing walls and large windows. Funding to look after C.A.R.E.’s many cats and dogs comes from volunteer-run events. Our biggest such event is the annual Holiday C.A.R.E. Faire. This festive fundraiser will take place two days after Thanksgiving on Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Unitarian Church, 1330 Ridge Ave., Evanston, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All family members are welcome, including dogs. Faire highlights include a Cookie Walk, Raffle, vendors, Silent Auction, Photos with Santa, and more. Proceeds from the Faire go toward vet care, food and supplies needed to offer world-class care for our animals while we work to place them in forever homes.

Will you take me home? Sammie, Marcel and Colette are three of the pets available from Community Animal Rescue Effort. To learn about other C.A.R.E. pets or to volunteer, visit us online at Sammie Domestic Shorthair, Born in 2014, Torbie, Spayed female. I’m an independent girl with dramatic green eyes and a super-soft coat. I don’t care much for other cats because I want to be your one and only. And some people I like better than others. Will you be one of the chosen ones? I’ll relax once I have a home of my own where we can live happily ever after. Adoption Information: Sammie would do best in an adults-only home. We aren’t sure how she feels about dogs. Sammie is microchipped, spayed, and has had a full veterinary checkup and vaccines. Marcel Domestic Shorthair, Born in 2016, Black, Neutered male. They gave me a French name I’m Marcel. People who meet me love my sleek, ebony coat and golden eyes. I try to be the perfect kitty: I’m loving, affectionate, playful and curious, ready to climb on your shoulder to give you kisses. I came to C.A.R.E. from Texas after Hurricane Harvey, but no one has

adopted me yet. Will you be the lucky one? Adoption Information: Marcel would do great with kids, and with other cats. Marcel is microchipped, neutered, and has had a full veterinary checkup and vaccines. Colette Hound Mix, Born in 2018, Spayed female Bonjour! I love toys and games and playing and jumping and learning new tricks. My many foster moms at C.A.R.E. think I would make a great agility dog. People who meet me admire my adorable “flying nun” ears, and my pretty white coat with two brown spots on my rumpus. A house with a fenced yard would be ideal because I have lots of energy. I can’t wait to start our adventures together! Adoption Information: Medium size/ weighs 40 lbs. Colette would do best in a home with older kids who are used to strong dogs. Colette gets along with most dogs; is housebroken, and has been spayed, microchipped and has had a full veterinary checkup plus vaccines. C.A.R.E. Adoption Center, 4927 Main St., Skokie, IL Adoption Hours: Weekdays by appointment; Sat-Sun, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Email: Web: Tel: 847-705-2653

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A Rebirth: Piccolo Theatre


ince its inception in 1985, the Piccolo Theatre has made itself into a beloved establishment of Evanston by providing yearround arts and entertainment ranging from classical plays to modern-day comedies; as of this year, the new board of directors has been putting forth a continuous effort to restore the theatre to its former glory. Piccolo Theatre is the brainchild of founder John Szostek, who established the theatre as a non-for-profit organization after becoming the director of the Custer Fair. Though Custer Fair was supposed to stop functioning in 1982, it quickly gained popularity during John’s initial years as director. “[Custer Fair] was attracting 60,000 people over 2 days,” John said. “We had theatre performances, music performances, children’s performances, plus arts and crafts and commercial vendors.” It was this sudden surge of attendance at Custer Fair as well as the appreciation that Evanston citizens shared for the arts that influenced John to establish the Piccolo Theatre. For the next few years, John worked to assemble a board of directors and find a venue for Piccolo Theatre. Eventually, Piccolo secured a contract with the Union Pacific Railroad that gave them access to the Main Street Metra Station. “For three years, we moved our Custer Fair offices into the train station, which was in pretty bad shape,” John said. “In those three years, I hatched a plan to restore the train station. It took 5 years to restore the station and install the theatre into it.” John has long since left Piccolo Theatre. As of this year, Piccolo has a new board of directors, one of the members being secretary Tammy Szostek. Her husband Steve Szostek is the president of the board. “My husband had worked for Custer Fair

Photos courtesy of Robert Potter

By Clarrisa Wong

for many years. We had always been supporters of Piccolo - it just grew on me and became something that I loved,” Tammy said. The new board is working to revitalize the popularity of Piccolo. However, because Piccolo relies on Custer Fair as its main source of revenue, the theatre has recently struggled since attendance at the fair was down last year due to unfavorable weather. “The previous year, we had an estimated 122,000 people throughout the 2 days [of Custer Fair]. This year, the attendance was nowhere near that,” Tammy said. “This year really hurt Piccolo funding-wise, so we are really trying to raise money.” Though Piccolo struggled for a few years after John had left the board of directors, Tammy and the new board are working towards its resurrection. This December, Piccolo Theatre is putting on a Holiday Cabaret featuring a medley of past Piccolo Panto performances. Given the popularity of Panto productions in the past, the feedback from the community has been incredibly supportive. “Some people thought that Piccolo had just gone away because we hadn’t been doing the productions we normally had,” Tammy said. “But the sales [for the Holiday Cabaret] are at the point where we’re going to have to put on two shows because there’s such high demand of people wanting to see them.” Piccolo’s past success and current resurgence is in part due to the popularity of the arts and culture among Evanston citizens. “In my experience with working in Evanston for a long time, people in Evanston enjoy enriching their lives, whether it’s in intellectual pursuits or debate or policy about governance in the community,” John said. Through her experience working for Custer Fair and Piccolo Theatre, Tammy also recognizes Evanston’s appreciation for the arts.

“It’s the hardest thing to describe, but it’s something that you have to stand back and witness and be in awe of how much Evanston loves the arts,” Tammy said. Yet despite the outpour of support from the city, Piccolo Theatre was truly a grassroots-inspired project. “We never asked for money from the city of Evanston for us to do our work,” John said. “And that was intentional because we wanted to demonstrate that theatre could be good business on its own.” To this day, Piccolo continues to operate independently. Currently, the board of directors is fighting to get back into their original venue. “One of our main goals is getting back that Metra Station that we were in before because it’s our perfect home,” Tammy said. “It makes the most sense for us to be there, and we want that building back so we could have the space to put on a line of productions throughout the year like Piccolo always has.” Though John left Piccolo Theatre years ago, he found that the Main Street Metra Station added to the whimsical character of Piccolo productions. “That building and how it functioned when I was there - there was a quality of perfection about it - perfection because it was intimate, it was delightful, it was different,” John said. When John started the Piccolo Theatre, he chose to center its focus on comedy. Piccolo Theatre still puts on productions to provide laughter and entertainment to the Evanston community. “I chose the company’s focus based on a lot of reasons,” John said. “I just felt that in the world, we already had too much drama and we needed a laugh.” Piccolo Theatre will be putting on its first performance of a Holiday Cabaret on December 9th at 7pm in the Firehouse restaurant at 750 Chicago Avenue in Evanston.


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ooking for a Chicago dog a little closer to home? Chicago Hot Dog and Co. offers all the best of Chicago dogs right

here in Evanston. At age 34, owner Waseem Bhimani has recently opened his own restaurant on Davis Street after managing the Taste of Chicago Vienna Beef booth since 2005.

Chicago Hot Dog and Co. opened midAugust and serves everything from salad to burgers to Chicago style beef- along with its gourmet hotdogs. All dogs are charred to enhance their flavor. “When you have that taste of a char dog, immediately that first bite you know the difference, and that is what makes us stand out,” Bhimani says. All items on the menu are Bhimani’s own creations. “I have individually taste tested everything,” he confirms. While the classic Chicago Style Jumbo dog is the fan favorite, Bhimani’s personal choice is the Chicago Style “J” Dog, a deep fried jumbo dog that features grilled onions and Giardiniera peppers on a poppy seed bun, which he invented with his father. So far, Bhimani has received a great response from the community and is happy to be working in Evanston. “I’ve always had a thing for Evanston,” Bhimani said. “I love the community and everything about it.” If you are in the area feel free to stop by and try some of these delicious Chicago inspired dishes. Chicago Hot Dog and Co is located at 1009 Davis Street and can be reached at 847-868-8569.


Shop Evanston Buy Evanston. For Evanston. The summer of 2019 marks Danon’s seventh kayaking trip to the Greek island of Crete and fourth solo trip of this kind, following three guided trips run by the Northwest Passage, and three fundraising trips in 2007, 2014 and 2016, the first raised almost $20,000 for Pediatric Research at Children’s memorial Hospital in Chicago and the second raised around $4,000 for Alzheimer’s. Danon’s fundraising trip in 2016 was cut short due to a serious right shoulder injury. Danon plans to paddle down the west coast, across the south coast, up and down the east coast, and finally back west along the south coast to the base in Matala where he returns his kayak to the group Northwest Passage who loans him the boat. He spends the majority of his time on the trip alone, but with fairly reliable access to the internet he is able to keep friends and family updated on his journey. Danon also uses a website called Poseidon System to get up to date wind and weather information which helps him plan his trip around possible dangerous changes. “I think I like Crete [because] I feel very safe and comfortable there. Its like a home away from home,” Danon says about why he continues to go back to the same Greek island to raise money for those in his community. Even though he sometimes goes days without speaking to anyone who speaks English, he feels it never gets lonely. “Everybody is just so friendly, offering to take the boat out. People will wave from shore or boats, particularly the kids,

Bob… One More Time Jamie Spain


t 73, Bob Danon is not yet ready to hand in the towel, or rather, the paddle. The Evanston business owner, who single handedly mans his art and framing store, Danon Gallery, doubles as a one-man fundraising machine. In his next fundraiser, Danon will embark on an estimated 5 week 300+ mile kayaking trip in August to raise money for a cause yet to be decided.

they think its kind of cool.” Although his kayaking is far away, he is fundraising for those close to home. “In today’s world, more and more people have to help when they can,” Danon says, and kayaking is how he gives back. “I watch some of these things on TV and it just brings tears to my eyes.” The 2007 fundraiser was done in the name of 13-year-old Kira Arney, a friend and customer of Danon who was able to raise so much money in their local area of Wilmette through community support. The majority of the money came from people in Wilmette who knew him, Arney, or both. The 2014 Alzheimer’s fundraiser was brought to his attention when the father of a local friend, Phil, was diagnosed with the disease. “He was the kind of father that I hoped I could be,” Danon explains why he chose to fundraise for him. Danon has yet to decide what he will raise money for on this upcoming kayaking journey, but Alzheimer’s is one of his options, or possibly another local source. This isn’t the last thing on his horizon. Danon is currently selling an original print, Proud to Be, at his art and frames gallery and where some of the proceeds are donated to the K9s for Warriors foundation. He is also thinking about volunteering with red cross as a kayaker for water emergencies. “I’m a very young 73,” Danon says, and he plans on doing a lot more in the coming future.





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f you have not been to “A Winter Festival @ SPACE,” now is the time! You wont believe what you have been missing! Unlike other holiday shows this one feels like a party. Enjoy your community, food and drinks all while finding the prefect gifts. It is a festive and fun way to spend your day. On December 16, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, AnoMalY Productions, spearheaded by Amy Amoroso, will bring together incredible local artists to show and sell their work. This is a must do for the holidays—learn from the artists and creators about how they conceptualized and hand made many of their crafts. For eight years, Amoroso has been hosting “A Winter Festival” and this year it returns to SPACE, the amazing music venue that is housed behind Union Pizzeria. Twenty-five artists, including a few local children, will present their original work: ceramics, clothing, jewelry, chocolates, essential oils, note cards, original works of art, and much more! This high quality craft show is not one to miss and it is free of charge! It is the perfect opportunity to get beautiful gifts for the holiday season that are made by people in your community. Union Pizzeria opens for brunch and drinks just for this occasion. It is the perfect chance to gather with family and friends to celebrate the upcoming season. A Winter Festival @ SPACE has become a signature event that the (Evanston) community looks forward to each year where families, friends, and early shoppers find unique gifts from their loved ones. AnoMalY Productions also works with Lisa Degliantoni of Evanston Made and Evanston Art Center to bring together dozens of Evanston creatives for a month-long celebration of the arts in a Summer Pop-Up Store open in June. In addition to creating her own line of Bohemian-inspired jewelry, Amy teaches adults and children how to create their own jewelry out of her South Evanston studio. For more information about the Winter Festival @ SPACE, or to see Amy’s work, visit Mark your calendar for Sunday, December 16, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm at SPACE.







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