For years, billiards was associated with smoke-filled pool halls, the dens of asthmatic hustlers and seedy habitués. At Hot Shots Westside Family Billiards, a charcoal-filtered HVAC system ensures the air—and the atmosphere—stays clean, making the establishment appropriate for players of all ages. Kids under 10 always play for free on the hall's 22 pocket billiard tables ranging from 7 to 9 feet, including three premium Chevillotte heated tables imported from France. At the Over the Rail Café, the staff prepares burgers and milkshakes, and an arcade room provides a healthier diversion with pinball machines, video games, and dart boards. Beyond recreational games of pool, Hot Shots also hosts charity tournaments throughout the week, and instructors impart the secrets of activating the powerful magnets under the table during private lessons.
Yuen Lui Studio, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits and wedding photography, creates visual heirlooms in a tradition of quality it has upheld since 1947. With several area studios available, each boasts a multitude of backdrop options for portraiture sessions, or photographers may take sessions outdoors to add natural scenery to the frame. Wedding and engagement shots come to life under the careful eyes of each photographer as they seize rare moments and trap them in frames to be displayed like trophies from a hunt. High-school, child, baby, and family portraits keep precious memories locked in time for clients, who can peruse an online gallery of their images after their session.
Staffed entirely by DMV–certified instructors, Oregon Driver Education Center has been filling potholes in the knowledge of novice and experienced drivers since 1987. The center's masters of the open road send teens and adults on the path to earning their driver's licenses and maintaining clean driving records with comprehensive DMV drive test prep courses and defense driving classes. With an intimate understanding of the unique challenges facing Oregonian motorists, ODEC also offers an Xtreme Driver Control course that focuses on navigating vehicles through rain, ice, and throngs of rabid snowmen. Additionally, the center's specialty courses teach precautionary practices to medically at-risk drivers.
Standard TV and Appliance has been equipping Oregonians with fridges, washing machines, televisions, and other home furnishings for nearly 70 years. Founded in 1947 by Clement and Hazel Gander, the appliance experts swiftly outgrew their original location and today boast four (soon to be five) locations in and around Portland. Besides selling new machines from top brands, they sling deals on quality used appliances, offer parts and repair services, and babysit lonely range-tops during long vacations.
Play Boutique makes a thoroughly wholesome experience out of the classic childhood combination of snacks and playtime. Kids burn off energy in structured but creative educational play sessions, stopping for snacks made from ingredients such as Tillamook cheddar cheese, low-fat greek yogurt, and fresh fruits and veggies. Themed events often arrange for simultaneous parents' date-night entertainment and kids' activities.
As part of its mission to trumpet the joys of natural living and community-fueled sustainability, Common Circle Education conducts a Sustainability in Motion tour, teaming bicyclists up with a like-minded biker gang of 20–40 riders for a scenic week of riding, eating, camping, and learning. Each tour begins with a guide leading the group through bike safety and mechanical fundamentals before escorting them out onto scenic, low-traffic farm roads. Pedal pushers spend the week eating healthy, organic vegan fare, visiting organic farms, and biking anywhere from two to six hours (20–60 miles) every other day. During nonbiking days, the group absorbs the productive philosophies of permaculture, sustainability, and regenerative design via hands-on activities—providing a productive respite from mind-numbing TV shows such as News, Sport, and Louder News.