There’s a narrow strip of Florence Avenue, south of Dempster (between Crain and Greenleaf) with an impressive array of local businesses:

Bucephalus Bikes, Just Builders, Perfical Sense Studio andEvanston Print & Paper.

 Were it not for Bucephalus Bikes’ distinctive wheeled-windows, you might drive right past the Florence/Crain Arts building.

Bucephalus Bikes’ Grand Opening Celebration is Saturday, Feb. 12, from 8-6 p.m.  Co-owners Alex Añón and Ryan Pavlik, both architects and bicycle enthusiasts, moved to this location (from Greenleaf Street) in October 2010 as demand for their services required more space.  These men know and appreciate cycling: Añón and his family have lived car-free for the last thirteen years and use bikes as their primary mode of transportation; Pavlik commutes to Evanston every day from Chicago’s South Loop.  On a bike.  I can’t even get myself up and out of the house in time to walk my kids eight blocks to school each morning…

As for Just Builders, I had no idea it was located on this cute little stretch, though I’ve had plenty of experience working with them.  My rowhouse association has used Just Builders several times for porch rebuilding and paint/shingle work.  Owner John Cook is always professional, available, and he truly understands, among many other things, how to work with historic Evanston architecture.

Perfical Sense Studio hosts shows, studio rentals, and classes.  Ever wondered what encaustic painting is?  Take the Introduction to Encaustic & Mixed Media, Feb. 26, 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.  Owner Cindy Jevon brings her creative energy and enthusiasm to this neighborhood haven.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall at Evanston Print & Paper.  With life so digitized these days, I’d love to just stop everything (but the presses) and watch how Eileen Madden and Vanessa Shaf use several thousand pounds of metal to create their art.

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