From a single shop opened in 1978, Amazing Fantasy Books & Comics curates a selection of new monthlies, graphic novels, manga, games, and action figures in four hotspots. Colorful characters from mainstream and independent publishers fill the pages of new issues ($2.99+) and graphic-novel collections, such as The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time ($10) or Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant ($17.95). Text-based novels recount tales of pulp vigilantes such as the Green Hornet ($15.15) and Zorro ($13.55), and 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography ($13.50) illustrates the spiritual leader’s life story with Japanese-style black-and-white art. Gamers can pick up a Don Quixote board game and join the valiant fight against alternative-energy sources depicted in Cervantes’s novel ($26.21).
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding, skis, and ice skates. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
A hailstorm of paint projectiles rains down upon CPX Sports' more than one dozen fields, each of which poses different challenges and requires specialized tactics. The crown jewel of the park is the Town of Bedlam, a massive maze of small-town 1950s buildings that jut out between streets dotted by paint-splattered cars and streetlights. There, snipers poke their heads out of the central city hall's tower as the opposing team hides out or checks for abandoned shampoo samples inside the post office. The Jungle of Doom drops teams into a heavily wooded field to vie for control of a central temple, and chromatic combatants weave between desiccated cars in the Wastelands, attempting to collect the most gas cans. A full pro shop outfits players with markers, protective gear, and Sesame Street coloring books for target practice.
Green Garden Center, now in business for more than 45 years, helps patrons beautify their home landscapes with flowers, trees, shrubs, and outdoor accessories under the guidance of second-generation owners Dick and Pat Ooykaas. Alongside a team of experienced green-thumbed staffers, they tend to greenhouses brimming with verdant plant life that is all locally grown. Green Glen also delivers and installs plant materials, performs home consultations, and creates custom planters for accenting porches or for sending home with extraterrestrial visitors.
DriveTech's pro drivers use unmatchable speed and NASCAR authenticity to guarantee a healthy flood of adrenaline in every driver and passenger they take around the track. Once DriveTech's expert instructors fill latent speed demons in on safety procedures, steering techniques, and rubber-burning incantations, they'll be free to indulge in a 12-lap blast around the Homestead super speedway. If they'd rather ride shotgun, the four-lap ride-along gives racecar fanatics and thrill-seeking maniacs the chance to feel the g-force of either a NASCAR Spring Cup style car or a race-proven ASA Late Model car as it bursts from the starting line and rounds corners at ridiculous speeds. Though the experience is as safe as a nose-diving into a ball pit full of Tickle Me Elmos, you'll feel like stakes are high as DriveTech's four-wheeled metal rockets hurtle you around the asphalt.
Century Tile helps dress naked or aging floorboards with a sweeping selection of more than 10,000 carpet, tile, hardwood, and laminate options. Disguise trapdoor entrances to vampire sleeping spaces with 3/4-inch solid-oak planks ($3.59/sq. ft.) to prevent nosy houseguests from disturbing an undead roommate’s daytime nap. Or opt to cover kitchen floors with durable, low-maintenance Terra Stone vinyl tile ($2.99/sq. ft.) or Allure Foundation laminate flooring ($1.59/sq. ft.), which provide a sturdy stage for impromptu break-dance competitions. Appalachian Trail broadloom carpeting ($2.49/sq. ft.) adds cushion to rough foot highways, and random-length linear glass-mosaic tiles ($11.98/sq. ft.) add a pop of color to barren backsplashes and bathrooms. Oasis ceramic wall and floor tiles ($1.99/sq. ft.) or Raja porcelain tiles ($1.99/sq. ft.) can add accents to homes.