It's a big leap from the bustle of an athletic field to the solitude of a darkroom, but Calumet Photographic made the transition seamlessly more than 70 years ago. From its origins as a Chicago sporting-goods store, the company evolved into a one-stop shop for cameras and darkroom equipment and eventually into an innovator of photographic technology. In the 1960s, Calumet's most brilliant minds were behind the development of the Caltar large-format-lens line and nitrogen burst film.
Today, Calumet Photographic continues to manufacture and sell professional photographic products and software across the globe, boasting more than 25 retail stores throughout the US and Europe. Their shops abound with both new and used high-quality cameras and equipment, rental gear, and knowledgeable technicians eager to help customers find the right equipment for the job. The company’s extensive online catalog enables shoppers to purchase equipment from around the world and have it shipped directly to their home, studio, or mall photo booth they’ve claimed as a studio.
Museums typically showcase art in carefully curated rooms. At Mattress Factory, however, the room itself is the art. Since 1977, the museum's two buildings have housed a permanent collection of contemporary installation art—room-sized works that engulf the entire space. In Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, mirrored ceilings and walls infinitely reflect a trio of fluorescent dots painted on a white formica floor. In Greer Lankton's It's all about ME, Not You, astroturf lines a floor covered in artful arrangements of grotesque dolls that form shrines to artists such as Patti Smith and Candy Darling.
To further immerse guests, Mattress Factory's exhibitions are paired with educational programs that range from lectures to hands-on art projects. Along with stimulating the public, the museum stimulates the growth of artists through its residency program, which invites participants to create installations while living near the museum, a much more practical alternative to hiding a secret cot in the coatroom.
The licensed massage therapists at Light Hands Therapeutic Massage East focus on medical massages to help prevent injury and foster the muscular foundation for healthier, more pliable backs. The staff's gliding effleurage and smooth strokes supplement traditional medical treatments to flush the bloodstream and muscles of toxins, tension, and miniaturized submarines manned by overly ambitious research scientists. Therapists analyze clients' everyday habits for signs of trending problems and then proceed to address individual areas of tension to boost spirits and overall range of motion.
Housed within an art gallery and wine shop, the Urraro Gallery outfits artwork and keepsakes with close-fitting protective frames. Staff lead patrons through a smorgasbord of wood and metal frames to find the border best suited to protect a portrait from harsh sunlight or the oily fingerprints of a child robot. A plethora of mats in various colors, textures, and shapes can accent prints, and shadow boxes house treasures such as a collection of medals, a lock of football-mascot fur, or a hobo's shadow. The average cost for a custom frame ranges $50–$150, and frame sizes range from quaint 4"x6" memory-keepers to 40"x60" frames large enough to hold a life-size print of a miniature pony. After framers finish their work on-site, clients can pick up the finished piece in the store or have it shipped home.
While Doctor Kulp is treating patients at Kulp Chiropractic Clinic, she also offers nutritional advice and teaches corrective exercises. She works with massage therapists to alleviate muscle pain with massages, and seeks to detoxify bodies with infrared-sauna treatments. Dr. Kulp’s onsite health-food store stocks organic and gluten-free foods.
A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.