For more than 90 years, Sterling Optical’s physicians and eyeglass specialists have paired peepers with stylish brand-name frames. Men, women, children, and seeing-impaired mannequins can browse frames by Coach, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, and Kenneth Cole (designer frames are $229+), among others such as Peachtree Eyewear ($119). Eyewear technicians forge lenses in about one hour before bestowing customers with two pairs of custom frames—one for daily wear and one for incognito trips to the grocery store. If within 30 days of their purchase patrons tire of frames with x-ray vision, Sterling Optical will gladly replace said specs with another pair of equal or lesser value.
While everyone knows that a custom suit will fit better and last longer than something off the rack, not many people apply this logic to their bicycles. Bike Zone is working to correct this view by eschewing one-size-fits-all bikes in favor of cycles that are each built to its rider’s body type and intended usage. Staff begin by measuring clients for the correct frame and then adjust the seat and handlebars until each component is as comfortable and easy to control as possible. Clients can also test ride and compare any of the shop’s Raleigh, Trek, and Felt models, each of which has been expertly assembled by an in-store mechanic instead of by North Pole elves.
Bike Zone also specializes in repairs for all brands of bikes, and mechanics can be found manning six separate repair stations any time of day. Each new bicycle bought in the store comes with a free tune-up, and the shop also accepts trade-ins for bike-shop-quality bikes that are in good working order.
As a member of TeamBeachBody and an ISSA-certified personal trainer, Eric Shaw knows how to avoid fitness pitfalls. He encourages his pupils to "live richly" by abstaining from shortcuts and consistently testing their physical limits. His routines adjust programs such as P90X and Insanity to suit distinct goals, shunning the monotonous cookie-cutter workouts that force clients to carve gingerbread men out of cement. Dietary and supplement advice round out Eric's transformation plans, which target entire lifestyles instead of just muscles.
Before hitting the gym, certified personal trainer Kristine Maio-Sandman hits the books. That is, she researches her workouts so that her clients can achieve the maximum benefits, varying the exercises so as not to overlook any muscle groups. Her one-hour boot-camp classes target the entire body with a medley of cardio and strength drills, relying especially on the student's own weight for resistance and following a military structure that can be scaled for any fitness level or age. Kristine employs the same attention to detail when leading private and small-group training sessions, and her certification in sports nutrition also enables her to dispense dietary tips, such as which foods to shop for or which sushi to throw back into the ocean.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
At Adventure Landing, children frolic through six completely interactive indoor and outdoor attractions. The WOW! Factory surrounds visitors with more than 9,000 foam balls, which they load into cannons to blast at moving targets or into foam geysers to knock down hard-to-reach birthday balloons. They time each other in races down a three-story slide or while traversing webbed nets and bridges. Aerial antics continue at a ropes course suspended 18 feet about the ground, but guests can channel their energy into creative activities instead as they build stuffed animals at the Teddy Bear Factory. Outside, they compete through three themed mini golf courses, where shots and curse words shouted by lawn gnomes traverse 18 holes of tunnels, waterfalls, and small mountains. Adventure Land's staff regularly coordinates kid-friendly events such as a playground-wide Easter egg hunt, charity raffles, and fundraising events, or organize fully catered and decorated birthday parties.
When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first Athletic Club in Buffalo in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders’ original vision, each of the Rochester locations' employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities that range of up to 30,000 square feet.
In addition to personal training, instructors lead more than 400 group fitness classes—including cycling, yoga, and Zumba—offered each week across their five locations. After workouts, guests can slip into saunas and private showers; most locations also have steam rooms, and the Perinton location has a pool. Three of the RAC locations are for women only, allowing them to workout uninhibited by the company of men or asexual mermaids.