It's a big leap from the bustle of an athletic field to the solitude of a darkroom, but Calumet Photographic made the transition seamlessly more than 70 years ago. From its origins as a Chicago sporting-goods store, the company evolved into a one-stop shop for cameras and darkroom equipment and eventually into an innovator of photographic technology. In the 1960s, Calumet's most brilliant minds were behind the development of the Caltar large-format-lens line and nitrogen burst film.
Today, Calumet Photographic continues to manufacture and sell professional photographic products and software across the globe, boasting more than 25 retail stores throughout the US and Europe. Their shops abound with both new and used high-quality cameras and equipment, rental gear, and knowledgeable technicians eager to help customers find the right equipment for the job. The company’s extensive online catalog enables shoppers to purchase equipment from around the world and have it shipped directly to their home, studio, or mall photo booth they’ve claimed as a studio.
For more than 25 years, BMW of Escondido has kept the Southern California community rolling in some of the industry's sleekest rides. Its showroom glistens with shiny new bimmers, ranging from the best-selling 3 Series and the family-friendly SUV X-series to the unparalleled sport performance of BMW’s M-division vehicles. BMW of Escondido also caries certified preowned BMWs, as well as preowned cars from makes such as Mini Cooper and Toyota. A service center keeps cars on the road with regularly scheduled maintenance, and a collision center handles bodywork ranging from minor dings and scratches to collision repair for cars involved in accidents or a dog’s first driving lesson.
Safari Coffee Roasters' expert baristas brew more than 75 varieties of Arabica coffee with a keen and unrelenting attention to flavor and caffeine levels. The team ensures freshness by roasting each coffee-based thirst quencher on site and never using beans discovered in a Ziploc bag that was buried in the ground. Beverages range from $1.75 to $4.95, but Safari offers a "think green" discount, encouraging coffee sippers to bring in their own cup by offering their liquidly wares for $1 for those who do so. Pour a Dancing Bear concoction down a parched gullet and enjoy dual-flavored African and Central American beans roasted at two levels ($16.95/lb.), or sample the Continental, a unity of French and Columbian beans ($15.95/lb.). Coffee service usually takes fewer than five minutes, like the time it takes to mash potatoes with a cinder block. The café cuisine department at Safari also brings an armada of cupcakes, scones, cookies, and bran and cake muffins to taste apparatuses.
Not content to just give people the tools to make their gardens beautiful, San Diego Hydroponics & Organics also teaches customers more effective ways to use them. At five California locations, the staff works to keep a dialogue open between customers, supply manufacturers, and master gardeners while helping visitors realize their gardening goals with a stock of more than 3,000 products for indoor and outdoor use. The shops brim with high-tech gardening gear ranging from plant sprayers to growth lights, and low-tech supplies such as organic compost teas. Much of the inventory helps make gardening easier by reducing it to a precise science, providing everything from pumps and irrigation to pH meters for maintaining an ideal growing environment.
Stocked with traditional and contemporary furniture styles for every space, the expansive showrooms at Mor Furniture for Less contain an affordable selection of sofas, beds, desks, and tables. Outfit your living room with a minimalist Watson end table ($199.99) and espresso entertainment console ($249.99), or beautify your dining room with the Abbie Bordeaux dining room table and chairs, ideal for your annual brisket-eating competition ($299.99). Other items include a cream-colored Cardiff sofa ($299.99), sleep-aiding pieces for your bedroom such as a Melrose queen sleigh bed ($399.99), and a Young Pioneer Captain’s bed for your aspiring pirate, cowboy, or antiques-loving accountant ($199.99). Bed frames can be accessorized and pillow forts bolstered with a mattress from top-quality brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Simmons, and Serta (starting at $499.99).
The serene 4-acre Buena Creek Gardens fills local gardens with more than 5,000 varieties of flowering plants and showcases botanical innovations in demonstration gardens. An octogenarian pepper tree shades visitors as they stroll through the entryway, leading them to shelves replete with flourishing leaves and gardens that demonstrate the art of attracting avian life, beneficial insect life, and the migrating flocks of biographies from recently closed bookstores. One-gallon Sweet Kate plants ($7.95) and Poorman's rhododendron shrubs ($8.95) adorn yards and gardens with collars of delicate jewel-toned blooms. Lush trays of spiky echeveria succulents ($5.95–$19.95) sport verdant crimson-tinged leaves alongside steadfast resistance to drought and stoic perseverance when suffering through gardeners' dated comedy routines. Sinuous Medusa Head succulents ($15.95) pepper landscapes with sprawling tentacles and mesmerizing floral centers, and garden sculpters can summon armies of lepidopterae and beneficial insects with a vigorous 5-gallon Golden Purple butterfly bush ($24.95). Florid peafowl strut through the grounds and flash their feathery frondescence, attempting to grab the attention of the swarms of butterflies and hummingbirds flitting through the air.