Who invented the caramel apple? While the ubiquitous treat's true creator may never be known, William Morkes, Sr. can make a case that his own hand-dipped caramel apples were among the country's very first. Morkes, who opened his confection shop on 26th and Trumbull in 1920, spent long nights testing out new recipes in his apartment above the store, yielding more than a few tasty innovations.
More than 90 years and one move to Palatine later, the staff at Morkes Chocolates still hand-dips its treats, from still-popular caramel apples and rum-ball truffles to chocolate-enrobed pretzels and strawberries. Confections are made from scratch with fresh ingredients such as pure butter, eggs freshly lain by rabbits, and store-specialty cream centers ranging from vanilla and maple to orange and raspberry.
Now guided by the steady dipping hand of Morkes Sr.'s granddaughter Rhonda, the shop’s staff keeps up the tinkering ways of their founder by constantly testing new treats. In addition to ready-to-purchase delights, they stand ready with hundreds of specialty molds to help customers add a personal touch to happy events from graduation to Christmas to baby's first sweet tooth.
Doctor of Chiropractic Felde got his first look at the chiropractic profession when he was only 16 years old, and he never turned back. After incurring a back injury during a jet-ski accident, he sought alternatives to prescription drugs and surgery; his quest soon landed him in the office of a chiropractor, who helped him to recover fully and ignited his fascination with the field. Chiropractic therapy would continue to play an integral role in his life for years to come, helping him to keep up with the physical demands of collegiate rugby and finally leading him to pursue his own chiropractic doctorate.
Today, Dr. Felde owns his own practice, where he draws upon his wealth of personal experiences to help his clients to overcome pain with safe, noninvasive methods. Before each treatment, the doctor gathers a clear picture of his patient’s injuries through neurologic, orthopedic, and chiropractic evaluations. He then sets out to correct misalignments and knead the kinks out of vestigial tails with chiropractic adjustments, massages, and acupuncture treatments.
A sign hangs over the entrance of MKG Martial Arts International: Leave your ego at the door. It’s the first indication of the group-minded, family-like camaraderie among the students and highly trained instructors, and it's a sentiment that holds true in each of the gym’s three areas of expertise—adult martial arts and kickboxing, cross-training fitness classes, and youth programs for tykes as young as 4. MKG's MAX10 Fitness & Boot Camp program challenges fitness-goers to reach new goals.
Known as MAX, the 4,500-square-foot studio's cross-training classes help students get into shape during boot-camp- and kickboxing-inspired workouts. Sessions, such as Bag Combat or MAX Strength, torch calories and tone muscles while keeping boredom at bay with continuously changing routines and punching bags that explode into butterflies every time they’re hit.
A love for Texas’ Spanish heritage shines through in the instructors at Creative Language Center, who are all native speakers, born and educated in Spanish-speaking countries. Working with groups of six or fewer students allows the teachers bountiful time to speak one-on-one or practice bilingual telepathy with their pupils. General beginner levels introduce basic conversation using pictures and mimicry to cover grammar and present tenses, and intermediate levels enhance students' conversation skills, preparing them to ask for directions and make purchases. In advanced courses, instructors expand students' vocabulary, bringing them the ability to speak on current topics, argue and hypothesize, and recite even the most complicated shampoo ingredients. In higher-level sessions, instructors conduct all in-class speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. General and topic-specific courses start anew each month, enabling budding linguists to join frequently or jump into ongoing sessions.
Creator of the conversational Cortez Method of Spanish lessons, Juan Guillermo Cortez started the Spanish Language Center in 2001 to expand the lessons he learned as a private Spanish teacher. With a stable of trained instructors, the school guides students of all skill levels through the intricacies of Spanish speaking during conversational group classes. Conversation-focused classes range from introductory courses that lay out Spanish-language basics, such as grammar and how to roll an r with the confidence of an archaeologist playing Operation, to advanced-level lessons on commands and the subjunctive tense. Each class hosts an average of 6–12 students and, like a sturdy soapbox, includes ample opportunity to practice speaking skills. In addition to providing all necessary materials, teachers also unlock access to an online class system full of updates and information.
Some consider golf a slow sport, perhaps even antiquated. But Golf Nation brings the traditional pastime into the modern age with the most contemporary technology and tools, including true-roll indoor putting and chipping greens. Golfers can also read up on the latest golf-training materials, perfect their game at true-roll indoor putting greens and multiple chipping short game areas; an indoor bunker area made of real sand ideal for green and fairway side shots; or they can venture outside for driving-range practice from heated bays.
With 25,000 square feet of space, Golf Nation also houses a fitness club stocked with quality cardio equipment and extra space for group yoga and spin classes. A caf? and lounge claims the remainder of the space, brimming with the aromas of healthy food and sound of convivial chatter.