Skydeck Chicago whisks visitors up to the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, for incredible views from 1,353 feet above the city. On the way up, interactive touchscreens and a nine-minute movie about Chicago architecture fill noggins with cloud-scratching trivia and inside info about the historic tower. From the deck, ocular orbs can spy city landmarks such as Soldier Field, the Shedd Aquarium, and the John Hancock Center. Far-sighted pupils can glimpse up to four states or spot sailboats playing badminton near the marina on Lake Michigan. The Ledge—a transparent glass box that extends more than four feet from the tower—offers brave visitors unobstructed views of the city streets directly below, as well as the spine-shivering sensation of walking on air. Visitors descend back to earth armed with unique snapshots of magnificent views, renewed appreciation for the building's 80 miles of elevator cable, and any loose pieces of masonry they pry off the building’s exterior.
Audrey Nilsen's shot-snapping career sprouted at age 15, when she worked as a lighting and darkroom assistant for her father, and bloomed over more than 35 years of subsequent image-smithing. The contents of her camera include portraits, cookbook shots, and commercial images of products for popular restaurants and stores. The bright yellow door at Audrey's studio opens to reveal a modern space with exposed-brick walls illuminated by paper lanterns and candles, and a fairy-light-filled rooftop patio gets spunk from splashes of lime green on the walls and picnic table. A mix of decorated and open locales provides transmutable backdrops for portraiture, headshots, fashion photography, and etch-a-sketched glamour shots, accented by optional hair and makeup assistance to produce a look more professional than powdering cheeks with sidewalk chalk. Sessions with Audrey can produce a gaggle of retouched files or a single winning shot.
Featured in numerous television and online media, the Sassy City Chicks Fashion Bash showcases trendy apparel from more than 50 designers, as well as accessories from chic lines such as Jay Clay Jewelry, Divine Sole Boutique, and Frederick's of Hollywood. Style mavens descend on the event to sample cocktails and relax in an onsite spa lounge. Visitors also take advantage of discounts on handbags and accessories from locally based brands. At the end of the day, select attendees go home with eco-friendly, reusable tote bags, which are filled with coupons, certificates, and at least $30 worth of beauty products from brands such as Pureology and TanTowel, including lip balm, compact mirrors, and envy balm to apply directly to the eyes of coworkers jealous of your ensemble.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
"A great photograph has the power to forever remind us the beauty of our lives," photographer Argentina Leyva proclaims on her website. So it’s no surprise that her work centers on life’s more beautiful moments, with a focus on softly lit boudoir poses.
Leyva and her team of photographers switch effortlessly from the elegance of black-and-white studio shots to the full-color vividness of Chicago's streets. Never one to settle for boring poses or predictable lighting, Leyva's traditional and boudoir portfolios feature high- and low-angle shots complemented by a combination of studio lighting and natural light that catches the glint in her subjects' eyes while hiding the spinach in their teeth. Leyva takes appointments during the week and on weekends to accomodate clients' busy schedules.
Play Golf and Tennis's instructors help students hone forehands and chips throughout the year. Aspirant tennis players and golfers improve their game at the Diversey Driving Range and the Hamlin Park tennis courts in the summer, and on Mars in the event of a planetary evacuation. Players learn either sport under the direction of renowned golf and tennis professional Ron Carroll, or work on executing perfect turns in a nonfunctioning golf cart with instructor-supplied engine noises.