Evanston RoundTable
Outdoor dining at the “Custer Oasis” in summer 2021. (Photo by Ned Schaub)

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

The pandemic’s peaks and valleys have forced local dining spots to continuously innovate. Evanston restaurant owners are exhausted by challenges with menus, staffing, supply chain issues and the city’s vaccination card mandate.

“The best way I can describe all of this is whiplash. We’re feeling good, and going to open, and then, no we’re not,” said Annie Coakley, Executive Director of Downtown Evanston. But there is hope ahead.

A volunteer cleans the Baker Park ice rink. (Photo by Wendi Kromash)

During the winter when temperatures dip to 32℉ or lower, skaters in southeast Evanston enjoy an outdoor ice rink in Baker Park. But this year, someone damaged the rink before the city had finished building it. The city deemed the rink unsafe and closed it.

However, a group of anonymous helpers have salvaged the Baker Park ice rink, allowing skaters to use it.

(Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Picturing Evanston. The debris field of makeshift and broken sleds covering Mount Trashmore in James Park, south of Oakton Street. Officially, sledding down the 65-foot central hill is forbidden.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Dear Gabby: Is secretly serving chicken broth to vegetarians OK? I’m in a pinch: Time is short before my guests arrive and I’m out of vegetable bullion.

Table items and housewares. (Andryea Natkin photo)

The Art of Making Art: Andryea Natkin. Sgraffito is the art of applying layers of plaster, paint or glaze to a surface and then scratching to show the colors of the surface underneath. Andryea Natkin uses the sgraffito technique when creating functional art out of clay and ceramics.

(Photo by Richard Cahan)

At this time: 6:04 p.m. Saturday. The far side of the moon? A mountain range in the next Olympics? Nope, guess again.

Winners, from left: Maddy Varela, Alfredo Torres and Dylan Bonn.

ETHS announces winners in Bridge Building Contest. Students constructed small straw bridges that were weighed, tested and scored for efficiency. This year’s winner was Maddy Varela with a bridge that held 5.0 kilograms.


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Around the web

Chicago Public Schools to continue universal masking despite ruling. A downstate judge blocked mandates at some school districts (not including Evanston, where masks are still required). The state Attorney General is seeking an appeal.

Northwestern students call for overhaul of campus mental health services. Three weeks into his freshman year at Northwestern, Sahibzada Mayed was involuntarily escorted to the hospital by University Police. He says the case shows why changes are needed.

As communal worship goes online, some see a chance to grow in faith. Evanston houses of worship like St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Beth Emet Free Synagogue have found some silver linings.

Northwestern cheer teams up with senior dancers. Residents of The Merion senior living community performed at the Northwestern-Rutgers men’s basketball game last week, as seen in this SportsNight broadcast segment.


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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...