Good Friday morning, Evanston.

Even though the number of new COVID-19 cases in Evanston increased 14% in the last week, Evanston has dropped from a “high” risk level to a “medium” risk level, according to an update posted by the City of Evanston’s Health and Human Services Department. The anomaly was unexplained. Cook County is in the medium level, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Researchers estimate that the actual number of new cases is about six or seven times higher than the number being reported because many people who test positive on tests taken at home are not reporting them. The transmission rate is thus much higher than being reported.

Co-owners Heather Bublick and D’Andre Carter are pictured May 11 at the Good Morning America competition Credit: Provided by Soul & Smoke Credit: Provided by Soul & Smoke

Soul & Smoke basks in national media attention – and more customers. Since Soul & Smoke hit the national spotlight after being on Good Morning America for a live Chicago barbecue competition, it has seen an influx of customers, many of whom told the owners they drove in from other states just to order the brisket. 

“We sold a lot of briskets,” said co-owner D’Andre Carter. “Brisket sliders, brisket sandwiches, brisket dinners. You name it: chop brisket, mac and cheese brisket bowls. It was brisket-crazy over the weekend.”

LP Lundy’s exhibition of lake photography will be on display this weekend at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. (See “At This Time,” below.) Credit: LP Lundy Credit: LP Lundy

The Weekender: The Roundtable Roundup. Happy Friday! Our Weekender reporter says it looks like a mixture of sun and rain in the forecast this weekend. “Rain or shine, I’ll be stopping by the Evanston Garden Fair where members of the Lincolnwood Garden Club will be selling plants from their own gardens.

“I remember my grandmother once told me her favorite plants in her sprawling, urban garden were the ones that had been passed over the fence by neighbors eager to share their gardening achievements. Here’s what else is happening this weekend!”

Picturing Evanston. Evanston is blessed with many green spaces. Some feel more adventurous than others, like this path across Mount Trashmore in James Park. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)


Meet the photographers who picture Evanston for the RoundTable

Richard Cahan

“I’m from the Evanston RoundTable and I’d like to take your picture. That’s what I tell people. It usually works.”

That’s RoundTable photographer Richard Cahan, explaining how he convinces Evanstonians to pause long enough to be featured in At This Time, his unique daily photo essay on the life of our community.

We’re very proud of the progress we’ve made expanding and enhancing the content of the RoundTable over the past two years – especially our photography.

With our Spring Membership Drive in full swing, we thought you’d like to know more about Richard Cahan and colleague Joerg Metzner, two of the photographers who have been bringing you some of the RoundTable’s best images.

As a nonprofit newsroom, the RoundTable depends on the community’s support to bring you the great work of contributors such as Richard and Joerg. If you have not yet become a member of the RoundTable, won’t you join us today?


COVID-19 by the numbers: 52 new cases were reported Wednesday, May 18, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 63.9 cases per day.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Olivia Ohlson with her clubs. Credit: Diversify Golf Instagram account Credit: Diversify Golf Instagram account

Local teen activist tackles lack of diversity in golf. Fourteen-year-old Olivia Ohlson is always ready for a challenge. While balancing school, sports, clubs, making hygiene kits, raising money for breast cancer research and winning the Future of Evanston service award, Ohlson has launched another endeavor to make the world a more just place: Diversify golf.

At This Time: Thursday at 12:18 p.m. Larry Lundy installs lake photos for Wave After Wave, an exhibit that opens today at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Lundy, a man about Evanston, moved here in 1999. He’s been taking photos of Lake Michigan from the same vantage point for 10 years. He’s best known for his film work – he created the record store in the 2000 film High Fidelity. Lundy is showing his lake photos along with art produced over nearly six decades. He turns 70 this summer. The show celebrates a life in art. “My brain is on fire,” he said. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Trisha Connelly (from left), Fortino Leon and Karen Courtright review their list of attributes they would like to see in the city’s next police chief. Credit: Bob Seidenberg Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Responsiveness, equity, community engagement skills – residents have high hopes for next police leader. City officials (and reporters, for that matter) were out in more force than residents at a forum on selecting Evanston’s next police chief. But the half dozen or so residents who participated produced plenty of high-quality ideas.

Claudia Renteria. Credit: Photo provided Credit: Photo provided.

Evanston Latina performer finds ‘we are all connected through art.’ Claudia Renteria began her acting career when she was 12. In Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, Renteria began attending summer school, which included theater class. It is that love of art that helped her through the many changes she has made in her life.

Credit: Evanston Art Center

Evanston Art Center will showcase short films by local filmmakers. The fourth annual Side/Lot Evanston Experimental Video Showcase features short, experimental videos by creators who live or work in the Chicago region.

Credit: City of Evanston Credit: City of Evanston

City to begin asphalt pavement sealing and rejuvenation next week. The city will begin sealing and rejuvenating areas of asphalt pavement at 14 locations the week of May 23, weather permitting. The project, which is estimated to take eight to 12 days to complete, is expected to seal approximately 32,600 square yards of pavement. 

Levy Senior Center to host concert this afternoon. The Levy Senior Center is featuring the talents of young, award-winning classical musicians flutist Jenny Shin accompanied by Clara Zhang and Theresa Kang on piano.


Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in our editorial department.


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From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality and in-depth journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.


Around the web

Robert Crown Community Center receives LEED sustainability certification. For Andy Tinucci, the principal at Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, which helped design the new Robert Crown, the facility is more than a hub for activities – it’s a highlight of the community’s commitment to sustainability.

Q&A: Founder of The Garage at NU reflects on seven years of supporting student startups. Melissa Kaufman has worked with more than 1,000 student teams and co-wrote an entrepreneurial guide, Founded, to help students design, launch and grow their businesses.

2022 grads reflect on college life dominated by the pandemic. This year’s college graduates navigated the majority of their college years with COVID-19 looming like an omnipresent rain cloud. Despite it all, they persevered and even thrived.

Early voting begins in Illinois. Here’s why access is better here than some other states. Next to Indiana and Wisconsin, the state has less strict requirements for voter identification, absentee ballots and same-day registration.


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Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...