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Northwestern University and Evanston are inextricably linked together. The campus winds its way north along the eastern edge of the town and creates a major economic engine for the area. Many famous movies have been filmed here, including John Hughes' Sixteen Candles and Uncle Buck. Actor Jeremy Piven is an Evanston native and his family operates the Piven Theater that's geared towards encouraging young people to take up the craft. Those who enjoy shopping in local stores are going to find plenty of them in the various shopping districts that include the downtown area, Central Street to the north, Dempster Street at the middle, Chicago/Main towards the south, and Howard Street at the very southern border.
Cost of Living
Evanston has always had a reputation for being an expensive place to live and its cost of living score is well over the U.S. average. Housing is cited as the major factor in the cost index, but it doesn't reflect the fact that Evanston has a large stock of homes that are reasonably priced in the areas west of Ridge Avenue. However, property taxes are on the high side due to the fact that Evanston is located in Cook County.
Evanston is rich in transportation options via train, bus, and car. It's an easy commute by car or bus to jobs at the university or to the technology district located directly west in Skokie. Those who want to work further north or south can pick up the L at many locations along the line or take the Metra that runs through town. Downtown Chicago is 12 miles south and an easy commute by train. Sheridan Road feeds directly to Lake Shore Drive for those who work near the lakefront. The Edens Expressway is a few miles west of Evanston and is a major north-south artery for drivers.
Evanston schools belong to the Evanston/Skokie Community Consolidated School District 65. It handles students from both Skokie and Evanston. There are two selective enrollment schools, three middle schools, 10 elementary schools, two special schools, and one high school. Five of the elementary schools are rated at seven out of ten and the high school is rated at eight out of ten on GreatSchools. The high ratings demonstrate the strength of the academic curriculum throughout the school district.
Street fairs, festivals, and concerts of all kinds are held throughout the year. The most famous of the fairs is the Custer Fair which is one of the biggest art fairs in the area. Other events of note are First Night Evanston held on December 31 of every year, World Arts and Music Festival, the CommUNITY Picnic, and Halloween festivities every October. For winter sports, check out Mount Trashmore, a former landfill turned into a sledding hill, and make sure to see the sky at Dearborn Observatory during the summer for the best views.
Disclaimer: School attendance zone boundaries are supplied by Maponics and are subject to change. Check with the applicable school district prior to making a decision based on these boundaries.