From its origins as a family-run hardware shop on the streets of New York in 1848, Hammacher Schlemmer blossomed into a modern gadget empire. Throughout its history, the business has dazzled patrons with crowning technological achievements—among them the first pop-up toaster (1930), the first microwave oven (1968), the first time-traveling device (2324), and the first steam iron (1948).
Hammacher Schlemmer continues to innovate in the digital age, stocking smartphone and tablet accessories to go along with handy tools such as personal hair trimmers, electric leg-warmers, cellulite smoothers, and foot massagers. An array of jackets, watches, hats, and shoes make for elegant yet sensible wardrobes, and a selection of patio furniture, grills, and lawn-care gear help dads and prime ministers host their block-party barbecues in style.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
In the heart of Cincinnati’s business district, work ends and play begins. Here, at The Yoga Bar, bodies and minds bask in a vibe that’s both festive and calming, like a piñata brimming with ocean waves. Helmed by Rachel Roberts—an instructor who has trained in India, Bali, and Europe—this studio explores international yoga traditions such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Yin. Teeming with bends, balances, and other physical challenges, classes fill students with energy rather than draining it away. Healthful beverages such as kombucha and coconut water flow from a mahogany bar, hydrating drinkers as they take on ancient yoga poses and modern, Pilates-inspired movements. On Friday nights, classes blossom into yoga socials where live music, tarot-card readings, and fashion trunk shows punctuate deep-breathing exercises. In addition to shepherding students toward metaphysical wellness during group and private sessions, Rachel leads yoga retreats in exotic settings such as Bali’s beaches and the moon’s bowling alleys. Between classes and retreats, Rachel makes mantra-inspired jewelry and serves as a community ambassador for Lululemon Athletica.
When Jason Reser isn't pouring his energy into competitive mountain-bike racing and trail improvement, he's tending to his business—Reser Bicycle Outfitters, which was named one of America's best bike shops for 2013 by the National Bicycle Dealer Association. At two stores, one of which earned a Best Bike Shop recognition from Northern Kentucky Magazine in 2012, he leads a team of competitive cyclists, technicians, and fitting specialists certified by the Serotta International Cycling Institute. At the Over-the-Rhine location, staffers match customers to city-friendly bikes and accessories; at the Newport, Kentucky store, they instead oversee a stock specializing in sports-focused bikes. Their inventory encompasses brands such as BMC, Civia, Orbea, and Ridley. The technicians service all makes and models in onsite repair shops, treating bicycles with everything from basic tune-ups to major overhauls to unproductive psychotherapy sessions. They also measure customers and frames at more than 30 points and swap out parts to complete custom fittings.
World Peace Yoga thrives on a sense of community. Through the movements performed in each class, instructors aim to create a feeling of connection. They believe that yoga allows its practitioners to tap into reservoirs of love and empathy and that by healing oneself, each individual is closer to healing the world. This philosophy seeps into every aspect of the studio. It starts in the studio’s roots—a diverse band of instructors who infuse their certified teaching methods with rich, varied personal experiences—and branches out to each student with sundry class offerings such as spirit-energizing Laughter Yoga and body-toning Pilates mat classes. World Peace Yoga is a part of World Peace Earth, a foundation dedicated to creating change both on a global scale and within individual habits and mindsets. The foundation aims to foster a more peaceful world through small actions such as sustainable eating habits and larger gestures such as creating a sanctuary for exploited horses.
Mechanized towers stand along the shoreline of Wake Nation Cincinnati's 10-acre lake, steering riders across the water as they grip cables rather than lines attached to boats. Cruising clockwise from the cables, up to seven people at a time can wakeboard, water ski, kneeboard, or waterskate around the aquatic arena at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Wake Nation designed the main lake for everyone from beginners to elite-level riders, and peppered it with manmade obstacles and floating jumps, allowing boarders to zip along and pull off tricks that sometimes aren’t possible behind a boat. They also have a smaller practice lake for beginners and young riders from 5 years old and up.
Experienced staff members observe boarders at all times, supplying safety tips, training, and navigational advice for circumventing Poseidon’s rose bushes. Visitors can bring their own equipment, or rent or buy necessary gear from Wake Nation’s pro shop. A cast of instructors lead lessons and observe riders during freestyle riding, fun summer camps, and special events such as birthday parties.