Since its birth in 1949, The Alley, or at least the North Shore ground on which The Alley resides, has come full circle. During its earliest years, it was known as Mary Jane Lanes, a 10-lane bowling center that buzzed with family-friendly competition throughout the 1950s and '60s. That buzzing continued at a much louder decibel level during the 1970s, when Mary Jane Lanes became Minstrel's Alley, a go-to music venue rocked by the riffs of bands such as REO Speedwagon and The Ramones. In the 1980s, after crews restored its lanes and dug out all the burnt electric guitars embedded into its gutters, the building returned to its origins as a family-first bowling center. Today, The Alley has been updated with automatic scoring, projection TVs, and pool tables ready to accommodate guests of all ages. Every Friday and Saturday, though, The Alley detours back through the '70s, as live bands revive the facility's glory days during Rock and Bowl.
Skokie Valley Laundry and Dry Cleaners breathes neat new life into grubby threads using eco-friendly methods. Changing solvents with each load to preserve efficacy, the outlet's skilled launderers can remove pesky mayo splotches from shirts ($2.20) or poorly executed ketchup self-portraits from bed sheets, tablecloths, and other flatwork ($16.75 for the first 5 pounds, $2.30/lb. thereafter). Skokie Valley's dry-cleaning service forgoes the widely used but potentially hazardous chemical perc, relying instead on safer and greener substances to waterlessly wash shirts ($7.95–$8.50), blazers ($7.95), full suits ($14.50), and more. With the cleaner's convenient pickup and delivery service, customers needn't be home for clothes to be picked up or dropped off.
Physicist turned "Capture the Moment" photographer. Worked in 38+ countries photographing people in their natural surroundings. Fell into working with kids as the main part of my business. Printed all my own images up to 30x40 from 1973 and now digital since 1998. Take real pride is satisfying a clients needs.
The inspiring trainers at MetaBody lead troops of women workouteers in results-getting one-hour workouts several times weekly. The fun classes utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment ideal for both beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. MetaBody's motivational instructors will use your instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. They’ll keep your muscles guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so you’ll never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth-brushing. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early morning boot camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late evening class. In addition to the fitness classes, you will receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound-loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching.
Performance Factory Training doesn’t look like your average gym. Grunts and shouts echo off the rafters of the 5,000-square-foot facility, a cavernous warehouse that’s mostly empty, save for a smattering of kettlebells and cast-iron weight plates. The students here have little use for gimmicky equipment, as they focus on functional movements—pushing, pulling, squatting, and lifting, to name a few—that rely on body weight for resistance.
Though PFT’s instructors offer everything from personal training to football-specific workouts, their flagship program is CrossFit. This functional fitness phenomenon consists of a series of short, intense workouts that combine grueling strength and cardio training with basic gymnastics.
To prove that CrossFit’s for everyone, the instructors offer a two-week On Ramp program designed to get new students up to speed on the foundational movements. It’s hard not to get caught up in the daily workouts, seeing as how no two are ever the same. One day might involve shoulder presses and deadlifts, while another might require you to haul the tires of a car that was double-parked in the facility’s parking lot.