It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.
In 1927, Jack Cohen had a vision. Packing a pushcart full of high-quality frames, he began to sell fashionable spectacles to his fellow merchants along New York City's Orchard Street. After expanding into a small shop on a Lower East Side corner, that humble little cart has since evolved into more than 100 retail outlets known as Cohen's Fashion Optical, where customers fortify their eyesight with a range of acuity-boosting products and services. Rows of frames boast the signature contours of several designer brands, including Tag Heuer, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, and Gucci. In the onsite lab, opticians craft brand-new, custom lenses, including ones that self-adjust to different lighting conditions. Meanwhile, licensed optometrists help renew prescriptions and ensure ocular health during eye exams that measure eye coordination, refraction, and the curvature of the cornea, a concept originally discovered by Ferdinand Magellan when he looked through the wrong end of his spyglass.
Years before Dan and Maria founded DBC City Bike design, the duo resolved to reduce their dependence on gasoline. This resolution led the couple to Europe, where they hopped aboard Dutch bicycles that redefined how they thought about comfort on two-wheeled mounts. When Dan and Maria returned stateside, they began importing and selling these revolutionary rides through their new store, The Dutch Bicycle Company (The DBC). However, the hills, long-distance commutes, and stairs that define many American cities revealed many inconveniences in the unmodified Dutch model, so DBC added City Bike design to its name and they began building their custom Swifts, calibrated to handle the rigors of urban, bike-riding lifestyles. Today, the founding couple and their design staff build these bikes to order, modify existing rides, and provide tune-ups that, like prison-gang relay races, keep chains moving smoothly and swiftly.
After retiring from professional boxing with a 44–9–1 record, two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champ John “The Quietman” Ruiz opened Quietman Sports Gym to guide aspiring fighters toward greatness. Located inside Gold’s Gym, Quietman offers classes in boxing, MMA, jiu jitsu, and muay thai taught by Ruiz, his brother, and their experienced staff.
Since 1967, BSSC has been bringing people together to hit, kick, dunk, and catch balls of all shapes and sizes. More than 45,000 players join its leagues every year to compete in 12 different sports that range from field hockey and basketball to soccer and kickball. Men?s, women?s, and coed options help every player find a team more enjoyable to play with than one exclusively made up of imaginary friends. The club helps members stay active and socialize with a variety of outdoor adventures and social events, including pub crawls.
The club also organizes longer jaunts, such as day and weekend ski trips that take groups to snowy slopes or more involved weekend and week-long trips that venture beyond state and even national boundaries. The club?s seasoned travel experts plan each detail, freeing travelers from the hassle of booking accommodations or figuring out if a country only accepts secrets as currency.
Spirit Cruises specializes in showing off New York Harbor with its luxurious, three-deck cruise ship. With a 600-person capacity, this Coast Guard–approved vessel lets passengers relax and engage in the convivial delights of a dinner cruise. Delicious comestibles, an interactive DJ, live performances, and dancing spicy up evenings that might otherwise be spent on a couch or petting Pat Boone's hamsters.