For more than 80 years, Hope Cleaners has transformed the crumpled contents of overflowing hampers into handsomely cleaned and pressed garments prepared to flap fashionably in the wind. Using nontoxic and biodegradable solvents, professionals march unruly accouterments through a thorough dry, wet, or hand cleaning process that picks off garb-sullying specks with the efficiency of a mother gorilla tending to her young with a lint roller. After weathering an ankle-splattering coffee spill or wandering into a lump of gum, marred pants can walk themselves to the cleaners and return the next day, freshly revived ($5). Hope Cleaners also restores a two-piece suit—be it double-breasted, zoot, or space ($10.75)—in an equally rapid manner, and helps customers get the gravy stains out of a favorite Thanksgiving sweater just in time for a mid-summer practice run ($5.25).
Mocha’s Pet Salon, named after the owner’s dog, operates under the philosophy that pets should be groomed in a place that’s as relaxing and stress-free as home. The salon’s team strives to build a cozy environment where pooches feel comfortable while they’re getting bathed, trimmed, cleaned, and pampered with oatmeal treatments. As a result, dogs of all shapes and sizes prance out of the salon’s two locations looking, feeling, and smelling like a million bucks.
So Fresh & So Clean's staff offers cars, trucks, bikes, boats, airplanes, and motorized bathtubs the soft lamb's-wool mitts and chamois cloths they need to look sharp on any highway or parking lot. Their services—available both onsite and via mobile wash units that can hit the roads 24 hours a day—include auto reconditioning, ozone treatments, hand car washes, and complete showroom details. To attract even the busiest drivers, the doors stay open at most locations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites take to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 NCAA slam-dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Trotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest pro basketball player.
The Urban Dare Adventure Race is a fast-paced competition that challenges two-person teams to decipher clues, navigate the city, and perform playful stunts. Combining the bustle of a track meet with the brain-taxing sleuth work of a luge competition, the race uses a dozen trivia-based clues to lead contestants to checkpoints all over their sprawling metropolis. Location hunters reach their checkpoints by whatever means necessary, be it hopping a bus downtown, flying madly through a network of secret ziplines, or scuba-diving in a fountain for bus fare. At the mini destinations, racers must use a camera to document their presence or, in some cases, get their passports stamped after completing challenges that may include a climbing wall or a puzzle.