Chicago Journals

Delights in Chicago's Near North Suburbs

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A June 2003 trip to Chicago by smmmarti guide

Bahai Temple Photo, Chicago, Illinois More Photos
Quote: If your notion of "the suburbs" conjures homogenous bedroom communities, unadventurous refugees from the city, Stepford wives in SUV’s, and briefcase toting commuters in Dockers, you’ll be inclined to reexamine your ideas once you visit the surprisingly urbane, diverse and culturally aware communities just north of Chicago’s borders.

Delights in Chicago's Near North Suburbs

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Overview

Bahai Temple Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
The "suburb" of Evanston is actually a city unto itself. Home to some of Chicagoland’s most magnificent mansions and estates, it is also center of the richest mix of economic, cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity outside the big city limits. The influence of Northwestern University’s infuses the city with culture, art, theater and forward thinking awareness. The additional attraction of four assessable beaches, numerous parks and extensive amenities and free festivals, ...Read More

Cafe Sarkis

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Restaurant

Cafe Sarkis Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
A rumor has circulated the North Shore for years; that the "Chee-burger, Chee-burger" skit on Saturday Night Live was actually an amalgam of Billy Goat Tavern and Cafe Sarkis. Having met Sarkis, having shoved my way into his tiny breakfast place and shouted my order over three-deep crowds hanging on the counter to bustling cooks who only take your money when they have time (later, later), I believe it. For sure, Bill Murray ate here - often. Sarkis’ is an enduring hangout for the prep school set from Loyola Academy, as the "World’s Best Omelet's" and patio seating are the surefire antidotes for post-prom (or any other party) indulgences. Many a walk of shame has been made down Sarkis’ steep stai...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

Cafe Sarkis
2632 Grosse Point Road
Chicago, Illinois
(847) 328-9703

Homer's Homemade Ice Cream

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Restaurant

Homer's Homemade Ice Cream Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
If you’ve seen the Sopranos, you already know that gangsters apparently have a sweet side. But did you know some infamous ones also had a sweet tooth? Gus Poulos, owner of Homer‘s Ice Cream once offered Capone a dish of the homemade confection, and the notorious king of the underworld became a devoted fan, visiting the outlet frequently from his Winnetka home. Gus knew how to tap into the weakness of so many Chicagoans by developing the best ice cream on the North Shore. Since the company's inception in1935, Homer’s has garnered numerous awards and extensive praise: Best in the North Shore; Best in Chicago; Top Ten in the Country; Finest in the Nation. The demand for Homer‘s ice cream has grown ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

Homer's Homemade Ice Cream
1237 Greenbay Road
Chicago, Illinois

Pita Inn

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Restaurant

Pita Inn Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Thirteen years ago when they opened their doors, Pita Inn was a simple dive of a Middle Eastern diner sporting a half dozen smiling, swarthy cooks slinging Shawarma and shish kabab behind a little counter. I made a weekly pilgrimage here for lunch and even then, there was always a line. These days, since Pita Inn has garnered rave reviews from the local food critics and won awards from major restaurant organizations, it has gone a bit upscale. The location hasn’t changed (it’s still in an unfortunate suburban strip mall) but the little trees, now twice as tall, twinkle with white lights. The dining room has been revitalized with mirrors and appropriate art works, and the lines are even longer. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

Pita Inn
3910 Dempster Street
Chicago, Illinois 60076
(847) 677-0211

Harold Washington Library

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Attraction | "Holocaust Museum"

Harold Washington Library Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
We were having a friendly drink at Maggiano’s when my sister, a passionate teacher of history, scolded me. "You haven’t been to the Holocaust Museum? It’s right down the street in Skokie. Get over there!" Her fervor claimed my attention as she recounted the story of the Museum’s origin and goals. Back in the 70‘s a neo-nazi young man had petitioned the courts to exercise his constitutional right to hold a rally in Skokie, home to thousands of Holocaust survivors. Despite vehement protests, his right was upheld. Realizing he’d awakened a sleeping giant, he decided ultimately against holding the rally. But the local citizens didn’t stop at that, believing that counter measures were in order...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

Harold Washington Library
400 South State St.
Chicago, Illinois 60605
(312) 747-4300

North Shore Center of Performing Arts

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Attraction

North Shore Center of Performing Arts Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Well, here we are on Broadway. It's the icing on the cake.But always remember, Chicago is the cake.~Bob Falls Chicago has always had a fabulous theater scene and even more notorious comedy theater scene. I blame it on the hard winters, since hardship both inspires art, and requires good humor. On thing's certain; Chicagoans are funny and they love good theater. The city's theaters are famous for producing a slew of actors who went on to grace the world’s stages and radiate from the silver screens. Downtowners have Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare Company, The Goodman, Second City, Victory Garden, Royal George, Briar Street, Live Bait, Athenaeum, and ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

North Shore Center of Performing Arts
9501 Skokie Blvd
Chicago, Illinois 60077
(847) 673-6300

Grosse Point Lighthouse

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Attraction | "Trio of Top Attractions in Evanston"

Grosse Point Lighthouse Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
To visit one of America’s best beaches (according to Travel and Leisure), the Great Lakes’ only North American landmark lighthouse, and the one of the largest visual art centers in Illinois, you need only park your car once and wander a bit on a summer’s Saturday or Sunday in Evanston, Illinois. In spite of working in Evanston for years and living here briefly, until recently I had completely overlooked the lighthouse that towers 117 ft. above Lake Michigan’s sandy shoreline in northern Evanston. The towering trees surrounding the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

Grosse Point Lighthouse
2601 Sheridan Road
Chicago, Illinois 60201
(847) 328-6961

Bahai Temple

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Attraction

Bahai Temple Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Of all Chicago’s world-class architectural icons, the Bahai Temple in Wilmette is possibly the most beautiful of all. An aerial view of the building reveals its meaningful intention; it is a lotus flower peaking over the greenery of the North Shore garden. From a distance, we see not a concrete jungle, not a throbbing, bustling hub of suburbia, but a single flower blooming along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. At c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2003

Bahai Temple
536 Sheridan Rd
Chicago, Illinois 60091
(847) 251-0646