That place would be Evanston, the place where I live right now. It is the home of Northwestern University, and is a good place to live. Its slogan, “Where Chicago and the North Shore Meet,” is quite an apt slogan, as Evanston is the first suburb north of Chicago with respect to the shore of Lake Michigan.
Yet, I find it as both an extension of Chicago and its own autonomous area. Why do I feel the former? The “L” and several 200-number CTA buses serve Evanston, which makes it incredibly convenient to extend into Chicago when I want to. Yet, since Evanston has its own character, I could stay entirely north of Howard Street if I wanted to, and would probably still be just as happy.
As I may or may not have mentioned yet on my blog, when I was deciding between Northwestern and UPitt about five years ago (Geez Louise!), a few social (non-academic) factors really weighed out. Two of those: (1) Evanston is much closer to family, since I have cousins that live in Milwaukee, 90 miles north. (2) The bike friendliness! Bike lanes, trails, and streets that appeared suitable for cycling.
Additionally, people by-and-large are very friendly in Evanston and Chicago. Having lived in the Midwest my whole life, this may have been another factor that I was considering in the deep reaches of my mind.
Are there some negatives about living in Evanston? Of course! Despite often seeing the sunny side of things, I realize that there are drawbacks to everything. My apartment is pretty small, and it has suffered from a few cases of bed bugs. Although the price is not breaking my back, I feel that I probably could find somewhere cheaper, but because I suspect that I may be graduating in the next 12 months, I do not find it worth it to search out a new place at this juncture. Who knows where I will be next?
Additionally, sometimes that bike infrastructure is unusable during the winter–bike lanes become mounds of snow and cars that can’t move over to the curb. Additionally, the last few weeks the sidewalks have been dangerously slippery–in some sense green transportation is both Evanston’s biggest strength AND weakness.
There’s also the whole tizzy about the town-gown relations in Evanston, but given how politically inactive I am, I pay little attention to that stuff. Yes, I often absorb into my own world.
Regardless of where you live, you should try to embrace the positives and minimize the negatives.
Today is the sixty-eighth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes nine weeks and five days.
The Daily Prompt today, like this whole week, was the name of a song (and one that I somewhat like). Titles can always be made interesting like that.
As of 17:44 central DAYLIGHT time, here are some other responses: