"I have been reading comics since before I could read," quips Matt Ashland: EMT, sports coach, and eponymous owner of Matt's Cavalcade of Comics. Ashland began amassing his first comic-book collection in college, and he has kept at it ever since?even after opening his first full shop in 1993. Today, his store boasts a gallery of two million game cards, scores of action figures from TV and film, and an array of vintage?and modern?comic-book memorabilia. The shop also provides open gaming and demos, and it functions as a regular meet-up spot for "Magic the Gathering" league games.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Certified massage therapist Tressa Glaser, an Oregonian since 1999, mastered her craft at Lane Community College in Eugene. Now, she shares her skills with clients at Level 3 Salon & Spa. She brings massage recipients to a state of physical and mental relaxation with soothing strokes, gentle kneading, and warm stones. Add-ons such as skin-softening paraffin treatments complete the spa experience.
La Belle Boutique offers respite from the day-to-day grind of work, family, and butter churning with an indulgent spa menu. Clients may solicit a skilled aesthetician for waxing or nail services or revamp their tresses with confident layers and highlights. The salon also employs multiple licensed massage therapists to ease tension with techniques ranging from flowing Swedish strokes to deep-tissue pressure.
Mother-daughter team Grace Adkinson Spencer and Kandice Adkinson moved to Oregon in 2004 with a dream of helping women of all ages find their own unique style. Like Cornelius Vanderbilt's line of designer stunner shades, the tight-knight pair has fused their knowledge of fashion with a well-honed business savvy, filling racks and shelves with jeans and apparel from well-known labels. Flickering candlelight and the warm glow of chandeliers frame seasonal collections of breezy dresses and flowing tops, jewel-studded caps, and colorful handbags. Vases of fresh flowers complement the boutique's earthy mahogany tones, and helpful staffers assist each customer in fashioning a personalized wardrobe of eye-catching streetwear.
At Albany Scuba, a team of aquanautic veterans hosts a variety of diving classes, certification courses, and diving excursions. The team gives students the benefit of one-on-one tutelage, tailoring their instruction to each student's rate of learning and prior experience, from seasoned divers to newbies who've never even had a glass of water dumped on their head before. Beginners are offered a chance to practice in a placid diving pool before taking to the open ocean, and all certified divers are welcome to join the team on regular excursions to nearby lakes and calamari petting zoos.