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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness: Part I

Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness: Part I
Dominick M. Maino

Sure, I know what you’re thinking. When was the last time you heard the words Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness used in the same sentence (besides just now, that is)?

The first of 10,000 steps begins with the first step.

My FitBit Blaze
I’m a new convert to the FitBit craze. I have the Blaze which cannot only tell time, but also count the steps you take each day, wakes you up in the AM, checks your heart rate, tells you how many miles you’ve walked and a great deal more.  Today, I wanted to get in my 10,000 steps early.

Retro-Fitness on Irving Pk Rd
Starting at Laramie and Grace St., I walked over to Irving Park Road. The old Bank of America Building is being gutted and rehabbed to be the new home for a Retro-Fitness Gym and a Binny’s (after these are completed, a 300-seat auditorium in the building is to be brought back to life as well).

Just west of this, construction guys were working on getting a new Elly’s Pancake Restaurant ready for our dining pleasure.  According to the “construction men on the scene” Elly’s should open mid-summer. The folks at Retro-Fitness tell me that their equipment is to be moved in by the end of April and then they will be open for business mid-May. As I peeked into what will soon be Binny’s, I noted shelving ready to be assembled, but did not hear any information about an opening date.

I continued my trek east on Irving Park Road pass our new Thunderbolt Axe Throwing facility to
Thunderbolt Axe Throwing
Milwaukee Ave, stopping in at the Retro-Fitness pop-up store to say hello to one of their managers and fitness trainers (who will have me in her clutches as soon as they open so I can become the new and improved….not to mention “buff”, chronologically enhanced AKA “old guy”).

My next stop was to check in with the fine folks of the Six Corners Association to chat with Kelli Weffenstte (6CA’s  Executive Director) to see how our plans for the Six Corners BBQ Fest were coming along (It’s is going to be awesome!). [Zydeco Voodoo at BBQ Fest images and more BBQ Fest images here]. Visit the SCA website often to see what’s going on in our growing community.

Dominick and Joe
What can you say about a place that has 5-6,000 magazines, books, great coffee, homemade chocolate truffles, incredible live music and more?

3 words: City News Café!

This was where I was first caffeinated by a cappuccino made with the skilled barista hands of Hattie Portage. I stopped to rest my not yet weary feet while talking to City News owner, Joe Angelastri. Joe has been active in the community for decades and always has a welcome smile for all.

Then came the bong!

As I continued my adventures while walking down Milwaukee Ave., I noticed interesting artifacts [frequently used by classmates (not me of course)] during my college days in a store’s window display. This store has only been open for about a month. As I went into the Deja Vu Smoke & Vape store a very friendly gentleman by the name of Affir showed me his hookahs, bongs, pipes, vapes and other products. There were several signs that said, “To be used with tobacco products only”. Well, with Illinois considering passing a marijuana law (no doubt to reap the tax benefits noted by those states that allow recreational use of MJ), perhaps he will be able to remove these signs soon!

Want to know how Bongs, Caffeine and Physical Fitness ends? Watch for Part II soon….

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