Recently relocated from Wrigleyville to Lincoln Square, this little record store is your best bet if you're looking for the most obscure CD you've ever desired. Their selection is in no way mainstream, but they've got depth in the weirder genres.
This gym is great for those who like an independent workout (lots of weight and cardio equipment), and those who like classes (almost all of which are included in dues, the exceptions include tennis lessons and rock climbing courses). The only downside? The steakhouse next door! When you get out of a cardio class in the evening, all you smell is roasting meat.
You can't request an experience level at the student massage clinic, so you always run the risk of getting a newbie. Also, you only get one kind of massage, so don't go in requesting deep tissue therapy. The massages I've received there were really pretty good, though a little bit of massager hesitation was always evident. For a little less than twice the student rate (though far below most independent practitioners), you can get a massage at the professor's clinic; still a decent deal, and you know they're experienced.
Don't bring a bag into this store! It's packed to the gills with items from local and national artisans, and you're likely to bump into some of the goods (or perhaps another customer). The selection ranges from candles to books to reading glasses to pretty clothes that will make you pass out when you see the price tag. They do give decent earnings to the artists, though, so go to this shop if you've got both expendable income and a conscience.
This store, a block up from the Old Town School of Music, is one of the gems of Chicago. The selection is great (and includes CDs, vinyl, books, and DVDs), the vibe is funky, and the staff recommendations go above and beyond the typical "what's good that's out this week, things that have recently been reissued" selections, and include weird finds like Scandinavian psychedelia.
The music selection here is quite good, and equivalent to the Lakeview location. However, if you're hunting for used copies of Criterion Collection DVDs, this is the record store you must go to. I'm always wowed by what used DVDs they have here, and I come in and scour the recently arrived shelves a couple of times a week. It's a fun place, and close to a lot of other great businesses.
This is a great place to search for obscure/indie/alterna/whatever CDs and vinyl. The used and new selections are both quite good, and they've got a nice magazine selection. The DVD selection at the Wicker Park location is a little bit better, but if you live closer to Lakeview, there's no reason not to go to this store.
First, this is the cheapest rental place anywhere if you're willing to pre-pay: $100 for 100 rentals, video or DVD. The selection tends toward cult, obscure, classics, and artistically well-regarded movies. You can find import movies in PAL DVD format here years before they'll even be theatrically released in the US (if at all). I highly recommend this store for any one who enjoys movies.
These people know what they are doing. Never before while receiving a haircut have I heard mention of the occipital bone in my skull, and I doubt I ever will again. Vidal Sassoon knows the science of haircutting, and will give you a perfect cut. It might take three hours, but it will be impeccable. Now if their prices were only a little lower...
On that side, though, the student stylists are all great, and way cheaper. If youre ever approached by one while shopping at Water Tower Place, sign up!
Really, if I could split it, this review would read "5 stars for spa services/2 stars for hair services".
Im a big fan of Avedas student-service spa at least for facials. For a fraction of the full cost, you can get a leg massage, facial, extraction, steam, and facial massage from a fairly knowledgeable student. The one hassle is waiting for their instructor to come and examine their work.
The student haircuts? Not nearly as good. Both haircuts I got here were disasters that had to get corrected at a real salon. Perhaps I got inexperienced students, and I was sporting a graduated bob at the time (not the easiest haircut to do), but its not worth the savings.