North Shore Amenities
By: Rebecca Lee
“The commuter rail station is to a suburb what the airport is to a city–the gateway to the world,”
-Joseph Schwieterman, DePaul University expert on public policy and transportation.
Wilmette and Glenview were ranked among the top five optimal suburbs for commuters in a report from the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.
The towns at the top of the list are generally older suburbs that settled years before cars were a popular means of transportation. Thus, train stations are located in central areas so that much of the population can walk or bike then take car-free commutes to work. The study also evaluated facilities, amenities and services available to those without cars, retail areas surrounding stations, clocks and community information accessible to riders, cleanliness of trains, and even nighttime light level of parking lots. Stations were also rewarded for power outlets, free WiFi, and coffee places. Evidently, the stations that ranked high on the list are of towns that prioritize residents who are commuters to work and school. Therefore, those seeking suburban housing who also want a variety of options of transportation should consider towns such as Wilmette, Glenview, Highland Park, and Winnetka.
Specifically, Wilmette boasts two transit service stations: CTA and Metra. CTA Linden Station, found at 349 Linden Ave, runs on the Purple Line and takes passengers to Howard Station in Evanston at various times all days of the week, or stops throughout the Loop in Chicago at rush hours on Monday through Friday. Specifically, the express transit services from Linden Station to the Loop begin at 5:20 AM until 9:25 AM, then run again from 2:25 PM to 6:30 PM. From the Loop to Linden, trains run from 6:05 AM to 10:10 AM, then 3:10 PM to 7:15 PM. All of these arrive and depart approximately every fifteen minutes. These trains, of course, primarily and conveniently serve those who work and study in downtown Chicago. Riders can park their bikes in a sheltered area or pay $4 a day to park their cars at the station. A single ride on the CTA costs $3, and riders can purchase passes for as many rides as they need. Metra Train Service, located at 722 Green Bay Road, runs from Kenosha, Wisconsin to downtown Chicago. Metra trains are almost continuously available and stop more frequently than do CTA trains. A one-way ride costs anywhere from $3.50 to $7, depending on the time and location. Similarly, a monthly pass costs from $95 to $200. Both the CTA and the Metra discount ticket prices for students. Clearly, a resident of Wilmette has convenient access to not only Chicago, but a variety of other suburbs as well.
The Metra Station at the Glen of Glenview, another North Shore suburb, was also highly lauded as an accessible, spacious, and even clean station. Both Amtrak and Metra trains depart daily from the station. Although most riders of the Amtrak are travelers, the Metra primarily serves commuters. As previously stated, the Metra arrives and departs during popular hours of commute from and to various areas of Chicago. The station stands at a prime location for residents of Glenview: the Glen. So, not only can one easily catch a train to virtually anywhere at almost any time, he or she can grab dinner, drink coffee, or even shop while waiting.
By: Rebecca Lee
Happy New Year, everyone! According to a study done by the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, the following are some of the most common resolutions that Americans have made for 2016. Because we all understand how difficult commitment to these can be, here are resources and tips specific to the North Shore community that will hopefully keep you from breaking those resolutions within the first four days!
If you have resolved to stay fit and healthy this year, you have several resources here in Wilmette! Purchase a membership at the Center Fitness Club in the Wilmette Park District Center, located on 3000 Glenview Road. The Fitness Club provides members with state-of-the-art equipment for individual use. Members can also participate in a multitude of different group classes that teach all kinds of activities, from Zumba to Pilates to Conditioning. Clearly, there are options for everyone!
Although, experts do say that fitness is only twenty percent exercise, and eighty percent diet! Citizens of Wilmette enjoy and sometimes even take for granted the fresh and organic food that is readily available in grocery stores such as Fresh Market in Edens Plaza Shopping Center and the newly constructed Whole Foods Market on Green Bay Road. Additionally, the great majority of restaurants located in Wilmette, such as Depot Nuevo Restaurant and Walker Bros Original Pancake House, are locally owned and serve high quality meals. You do not see a lot of fast food around here!
There are plenty of opportunities around Wilmette for those who have resolved to get organized in 2016! If you are looking for simple supplies, check out the enormous Office Depot on Greenbay Road, where you can find everything from a planner that you’ll actually use to a filing cabinet that will help clear the mess of papers on your desk that you haven’t touched since last January.
Or, maybe you’re seeking to de-clutter your wardrobe, where you have trouble ridding of pants that haven’t fit in years. To make the experience easier for you, there are several locations where you can donate or even sell clothes that you no longer wear. Consider donating to Salvation Army on Oakton Street or Connections for the Homeless on Lake Street in Skokie, which are only fifteen minutes from Wilmette. You can sell gently used items to stores such as Plato’s Closet, conveniently located a couple of minutes away from Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Not only can you clear your closet, you can simultaneously earn quick cash or help another in need!
Those who wish to learn something exciting this year have an abundance of choices in the North Shore! For those looking to explore creatively, the Center for the Arts at the Wilmette Park District offers classes to everyone from children to adults in theater, dance, music, and art. Similarly, at the the North Shore Art League, teens and adults can learn to create different forms of art, or simply work on their own pieces in open studios.
If you are looking to push yourself out of your physical comfort zone, at Yogaview Wilmette on Green Bay Road, you can take all sorts of classes, from Prenatal Yoga to Trauma-Informed Yoga, where you will learn not only the activity, but the transforming philosophy.
Or, maybe you’re someone who struggles to boil water or successfully crack an egg. Then, take a culinary class at Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma at Old Orchard Shopping Center, where you’ll learn to use your oven to do more than heat up leftover take-out!
There are so many opportunities to help others succeed in the North Shore! If you are a student at New Trier High School, you can attend one of the long list of clubs that provide opportunities for social service. Specifically, you can distribute goods to local food pantries, tutor at-risk children at schools in Chicago, or even simply work in a soup kitchen for a couple of hours. These are such invaluable opportunities that are so readily available to us!
Even if you are not a student, you can volunteer to do all kinds of work! Through the Winnetka Youth Organization, you can not only work with but mentor adolescents in this community. Similarly, you can work at programs at Angles, a clinic that provides sexual health and education services for teenagers. If you work well in the outdoors, volunteer for the Friends of the Green Bay Trail, who maintain (as the name suggests) the nature of the Green Bay Trail. If you wish to step outside of your comfort zone, you can work for the Night Ministry, which provides housing and health services to impoverished or homeless citizens of Chicago. Again, there are so many places in the North Shore where you can not only check off an item on your to-do list, but more importantly, give back to the community.