The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Simply put, Players Sport & Social Group helps more than 60,000 people each year get together, meet new friends, and have fun. The two-decade-old company has more than doubled in size in the last five years, due in no small part to the wide variety of sports leagues and clinics that it offers at venues throughout the city. Teams or individuals can sign up for sports ranging from dodge ball to beach volleyball to games of "bags," otherwise known as cornhole. Players can check their weekly standings online and review each sport's rules, learning exactly what is considered a foul in kickball or how to dispose of a football opponent's captured flag by burning it in a respectful ceremony.
The company also hosts and sponsors social events such as happy hours, fundraisers, and the Luau: a 55,900-participant grass-volleyball tournament with DJ music, food, and beer. Similarly, The Big Dig volleyball tournament offers the same mix of munchies, brews, and live entertainment, but on the sands of North Avenue Beach.
A love for Texas’ Spanish heritage shines through in the instructors at Creative Language Center, who are all native speakers, born and educated in Spanish-speaking countries. Working with groups of six or fewer students allows the teachers bountiful time to speak one-on-one or practice bilingual telepathy with their pupils. General beginner levels introduce basic conversation using pictures and mimicry to cover grammar and present tenses, and intermediate levels enhance students' conversation skills, preparing them to ask for directions and make purchases. In advanced courses, instructors expand students' vocabulary, bringing them the ability to speak on current topics, argue and hypothesize, and recite even the most complicated shampoo ingredients. In higher-level sessions, instructors conduct all in-class speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. General and topic-specific courses start anew each month, enabling budding linguists to join frequently or jump into ongoing sessions.
At Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen, fourth-generation Raskins work alongside their parents to maintain their family's legacy of crafting homestyle Jewish-American fare for more than half a century. Within a classic cafeteria setting decorated with news clippings, photos, and thumb-wrestling second graders, chefs draw from practiced recipes for matzo-ball soup, house-made chocolate phosphates, chewy latke, and sandwiches lauded by Time Out Chicago. Hand-decorated cookies, made with the same care as the corned beef, are composed of high-quality ingredients and real butter, and arranged in themed baskets. Manny's famous corned beef, piled with three-quarters of a pound of juicy brisket, woos tongues without writing a love poem in chocolate sauce.
The instructors at ACM School of Music pass the torch of musical aptitude with piano lessons and music-theory classes that kindle classical-music appreciation in a new generation. With a focus on teaching students to write their own compositions, experienced musicians explain the rudiments of the form, from a piece's first quarter note to its adolescent experimentation with mixed-meter phrases to its emergence as a full-grown adult arrangement. The school's resident ensemble, Palomar, breathes life into contemporary compositions with an annual concert series. As a nonprofit driven by the goal to expand the cohort of composers and audience members, ACM also facilitates educational initiatives in local schools and offers programming to Boys & Girls Clubs.
The staff of Amerimaids scrubs countertops, vacuums floors, and dusts surfaces with nontoxic products and techniques designed to reduce environmental impact. To help those inside to breathe fresh air, they purify fabrics of allergens, bacteria, and chemicals with methods gentle enough to help to preserve rugs and fine upholstery. Tile and grout recover their brilliance without a blanket of smelly bleach or algorithms in Sharpie marker. Commercial spaces and residences reap the benefits of the staff's expertise, which extends from straightforward maintenance cleanings to one-time overhauls geared toward recovery following a move or a party.