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.
For more than two decades, American Mattress has promoted peaceful slumber in bedchambers throughout the Midwest with their vast selection of mattresses, headboards, and linens. The sleep experts strive to stay abreast of the latest bedding technology: their Serta mattresses are made with gel foam that supports curves, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses repel allergens, mites, and poltergeists looking to spoon. This devotion to a good night’s sleep has helped them earn the title of Best Mattress Store from suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald five years in a row. Additionally, American Mattress doubles down on each of its beds with a 30-day comfort guarantee and a 60-day best-price guarantee.
Tension and worry creep through the body, elbowing into sleep, pinching at joints, and generally making life unpleasant. As harbingers of that larger monster, stress, they are formidable foes?but they prove no match for the staff of The Chicago Stress Relief Center, Inc. Led by founder Dr. Howard K. Weissman, the team develops personalized plans to help clients to manage mental and physical ailments. Concerns can be washed away with water and heat during flotation-tank and infrared-sauna sessions that afford clients solitary peace and quiet. Further aid takes the form of massage and art therapy, yoga sessions, and unlimited rolls of bubble wrap ready to be popped.
British ex-pat and award-winning photographer David Simm counts celebrities, business tycoons, and the Archbishop of Canterbury among his former clientele, and currently holds the title of chief executive of the Professional Wedding Photographers Network. Stateside, the artist supplements his nuptial snapshots with family portraits and corporate photography. A master of composition, color, and restoration, Simm also sells instructional programs that cover Photoshop, proper lighting, handling multicultural weddings, and preventing photobombs from quirky uncles.
Nickel City Games boasts a miniature metropolis of more than 100 video arcade games and redemption games, which require not tokens or quarters but mere nickels to play. Players compete for prize bounties at redemption games such as skee-ball and basketball, which dispense tickets to be exchanged for hundreds of family-friendly baubles. Elsewhere, visitors play classic arcade games such as Pac-Man, Contra, and Street Fighter free of charge. Staffers at an expansive snack bar serve hearty pizzas and fries, and a customizable party room hosts themed celebrations for children and round-table negotiations between rival Mortal Kombat characters.
The physical-to-digital technicians of Pixcel understand that old media can slowly deteriorate from age, improper handling, or the focused fury of Leonard Maltin’s trained moths. Through their transfer services, the staffers can skillfully turn photographs and slides, VHS and camcorder tapes, and film into everlasting digital files, able to be stored on hard drives or burned onto physical discs. They can also upgrade the quality of images, increasing clarity and producing brighter colors through frame-by-frame scanning, film restoration, and color correction.