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Sylvia Schur

For Sylvia Schur, the downside of being 86 is that some people think it's an illness. "I think it's an increased opportunity. If I wake up in the morning and I look out and I see the day, I say, ‘Hmm, you’ve got another day—maybe,’ " says the former magazine food editor. Sylvia, a lifelong New Yorker, moved to Evanston two years ago to be near her daughter, Jane Smith. Although Sylvia is legally blind, she gets around downtown Evanston with the help of a red-tipped walking stick. Sylvia takes classes at Northwestern University, teaches English to cleaning and dining staff at the retirement home where she lives and is working on a book about the history of the world since she has been a part of it.Tribune photo by Stacey Wescott