Evanston 101: Exploring the Purple Line stops students forget about

Scott Gordon

Several of Evanston’s El stations are just stops on the way to Chicago for most Northwestern students. But they’re good for more than serving as way-stations between downtown Evanston and downtown Chicago. If you are eccentric enough and look in the right places, you can find many destinations worth getting off the train for at Dempster, Main and South Boulevard. There also are plenty of things to be found north of campus at the Central stop.

Dempster EL STOP — Once you get to this station, you’re officially out of the campus/downtown Evanston area. Here the better-known chain stores give way to small businesses.

2nd Hand Tunes, 800 Dempster St.–Just a block west of the station, selling an assortment of cheap CDs and vinyl.

Main El Stop — The intersection of Main Street and Chicago Avenue is the center of one of Evanston’s strongest and most intriguing small-business districts.

Main-Chicago NewsstanD, 825 Chicago Ave. — Right outside the station entrance. Here you can find a huge assortment of out-of-town newspapers and all other manner of publications and obscure magazines.

Also in the area are The Book Den used book store, Lucky Platter restaurant, Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop, The Prehistoric Life Museum and The Open Studio Project.

South Boulevard EL STOP — This stop is a little farther away from shops and restaurants than Main and Dempster.

Calvary Cemetery, 300 Chicago Ave. — The main attraction at South Boulevard is this massive, 92-acre Catholic cemetery, where more than 200,000 people have been interred since the 1850s. Among the dead there are novelist James T. Farrell and Civil War Col. James Mulligan.

Central El Stop — The 2000-3000 blocks of Central street are occupied almost entirely by small businesses like Prairie Joe’s Cafe, Tucker Gallery, Urban Totem and other antique stores. Also check out Hogeye Music, which specializes in folk music recordings and instruments.

City Editor Scott Gordon is a Medill junior. He can be reached at [email protected]