2nd Tracks Sports assists outdoor sports enthusiasts who want to ski, snowboard, mountain bike,or paddle board, by outfitting them with new gear or breathing new life into their used equipment. Adventurers can haul bicycles into the shop to get one of three tune-up packages or bring skis in to get a proper edge sharpening that will help them to carve a frightened facial expression into snowmen they encounter on the slopes.
The smell of fresh coffee fills the air inside both locations of BlueStar Juice Bar and Coffee Café, where staffers eschew corporate cups to roast their own beans into three artful coffee blends. Blenders also churn fresh fruit and veggies into juices such as the Cobra, which gives apple and carrot a mild gingery bite, or the Fruit Fusion, which combines fresh, seasonal picks.
BlueStar staff strives to create a genial atmosphere. At the café location on 2795 South 2300 East, customers can submit juice blends or sandwich recipes to add to the menu, and canine companions are welcome indoors or on the patio. Alternately, the downtown drive-thru makes for a quick refueling stop for drowsy commuters and cars that run on eco-friendly caffeine.
In the comics, several superheroes—Captain Marvel and The Flash, among others¬—wore the symbol of a lightning bolt¬ as a signifier of their heroic identities. In the same vein, an unassuming storefront donned the iconic symbol to become Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection, harbinger of comics, toys, and games. Scattered across the store, comics and books hold the legendary tales of Superman, the X-Men, and Spawn, chronicling their feats throughout the ages. In addition to classic tales of the time the Batmobile lost a wheel, are new issues abound with contemporary characters from serial issues of Dr. Who, Nightwing, and Gears of War. The shelves also seem to disappear under the sheer magnitude of the shop’s toys, card games, and miniature figures or the drape of heroic logo shirts hanging from the shops numerous racks.
Black Diamond Store's roots stretch back to 1957, when 18-year-old Yvon Chouinard began pounding out mountain-climbing gear with a hammer and an anvil. Chouinard's gear was a quick hit within the climbing community, and today, some 50 years and a name change later, his backyard operation has prospered into a global corporation with offices on three continents.
Despite such profound growth, the company holds true to the values that helped it thrive. Its climbing and skiing products undergo rigorous testing to sustain the highest possible quality while utilizing the latest technologies to keep users one step ahead of the game. And, rather than testing gear on trembling, acrophobic mannequins, the company's employees try out Black Diamond products themselves—like the company's customers, they're climbers, skiers, and adventurists, too.
For more than 35 years, Cactus & Tropicals has livened up sparse plots and reinvigorated depressed patios with a vast, verdant variety of cacti, flowers, and gardening gear. Focusing as much on sprouting seeds as fostering field creativity, the lush storefront boasts an elaborate display area showcasing high-end floral fashions. Winding catwalks guide buyers through crowds of leafy house plants ($3.95+), annuals ($1.79+), and a colorful gathering of orchids culled from around the globe ($16+). Growers with a history of prickly relationships with plants can learn how to care for a cacti garden ($1.95+ each), get paired up with an easy-to-please perennial ($4.29+), or adopt a well-behaved bonsai guaranteed to sit still during fussy grooming sessions.
The personable staffers at Name Droppers usher guests through the multihued storeroom to help find inimitable threads, meshing free personal shopping assistance with high-quality consignment and resale garb by major brands. The bounteous selection of duds rotates regularly, encouraging deal lovers to snag one-of-a-kind purchases, such as a pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans ($19.99) or a Diane Von Furstenberg dress ($42). Shield peepers from the sun's steamy glare with Coach sunglasses ($29.99), or swathe cash and maps of Atlantis scrawled on napkins in a Juicy Couture wallet ($19.99). With designer goods regularly priced 50%–80% off their original retail cost, frugal fashionistas can snag fancified frocks for a night out on the town with enough left over to buy a sliver of that night's moonlight.