The whoosh of baseballs against protective screens and leather mitts drifts through Extra Innings’ 11,000-square-foot facility even when rain is pouring down and baseball season seems far away. Athletes training for all levels of play can shut themselves in under the black meshing of eight multiuse batting and pitching tunnels, where they crush ball after ball to sharpen the minute movements of their swing. The tunnels, one of which is equipped with ProBatter ATEC7600 simulator, are all equipped with L screens and ping machines and are ideal for practicing sliders. A staff of current and former professional, college, and high-school athletes offers step-by-step instruction and on baseball- and softball-specific strength conditioning. In private lessons and group clinics, Extra Innings puts students of all ages on the path toward big-league skills such as hitting the curve and spitting sunflower seeds into the shape of a beautiful sunset.
A young woman is 30 feet in the air as she slowly stretches for a bright-colored grip. Grabbing hold, she makes a series of methodical movements, her limbs pushing and pulling her core up a vast wall. Her belay partner below takes up the last bit of rope slack as she climbs to the top of the wall. The climber raises her arms in triumph just as Johnny Cash sings the last few bars of "Folsom Prison Blues."
The Source Climbing Center staff often spins records by "the man in black" and other favorite artists. Playing tunes on the 6,000-square-foot facility's booming sound system is part of cofounders Michael Lary and Guruhans Kroesen's effort to create a pleasurable indoor ambiance for their clientele of outdoorsy climbing enthusiasts. The building, developed specifically to be a climbing center, keeps members busy with top-rope and lead climbing walls, plus 1,200 feet of bouldering terrain. They designed their air-conditioned rock scaler's paradise with a wall of east-facing windows 32 feet tall, allowing early morning sun to wash over visitors enjoying daybreak climbs, just as they do when climbing a faraway mountain or helping the Mount Rushmore presidents floss.
A short online video presentation and a computer-generated animated tour provide a closer look at the building's design features.:m]]
It would be hard to find someone in Vancouver who can imagine the city without Kiggins Theatre. Its iconic neon sign has stood outside 1011 Main Street since 1936, with bold white letters spelling out the name Kiggins. That moniker comes from original owner and former Vancouver mayor J.P. Kiggins, who first envisioned the art-deco theater and its grand auditorium. Today, the single-screen auditorium still flickers to life with a carefully chosen selection of independent, classic, and art-house films. Kiggins Theatre has also expanded to host trivia nights and screenings of popular TV shows, as well as serving as a venue for poetry readings and other performances.
Kiggins's future hasn't always been certain, however. Most recently, the theater's sustainability came into question when major distributors decided to stop releasing 35mm prints. But the theater and its loyal community rallied. Kiggins launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new digital projector and sound system. When the campaign closed on Aug 26, 2013, the theater had raised $92,830—more than enough to buy a ticket into the digital age and keep the large marquee filled for years to come.
The foursome behind Ye Ol' Grog Distillery doesn't just make specialty liquors—they make the tools that make specialty liquors. Comprised of three engineers, the team built the microdistillery’s two stills, including a completely redesigned version of a traditional pot still. This machinery not only helps churn out an extremely smooth vodka, but two variations of Ye Ol’ Grog’s namesake, an alcohol beloved by sailors throughout history. Sweetened with blue agave, the distillery’s grog includes the butterscotch-flavored Good Morning Glory and the 100-proof Dutch Harbor Breeze, which is aged in charred oak. To add an extra touch of sweetness, Ye Ol’ Grog’s proprietors complement samples of their liquors with adult shaved ice's made in house.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Yucaipa Valley Golf Club challenges players of all skill levels with a par 72 championship-length course. Club swingers avoid bogeys while aiming for birdies, eagles, and instant game-winning pterodactyls as they traverse Yucaipa's fairways, dotted with sand traps and water hazards. Further obstacles include the beautifully distracting views of the San Bernardino Mountains. To rescue golfers from the exhaustion of walking and the unreliability of squirrel-pulled chariots, the club outfits players with a convenient motorized golf cart. The buggy comes equipped with a GPS system to facilitate smooth journeys across the sprawling 6,803-yard course.