For Aimee Higgs and Julie Fitzpatrick, it was an "overall vibe" that St. Charles was the place to be in the Western suburbs.
That vibe convinced the two to lease the north end of the former St. Charles National Bank building at 200 W. Main St. for a fall opening of The Dailey Method, a fitness studio providing classes in a workout method stressing core strength and balance.
"The new changes in the area have created an enticing atmosphere that has spurred amazing growth and a sense of community," Higgs, a resident of Naperville, said about St. Charles. "That is what our studio is all about, and with the Downtown St. Charles Partnership and chamber of commerce embracing us, there was clearly no other choice."
The 3,000 square feet in what was Fifth Third Bank's north-end addition (when Fifth Third resided there) fits the studio perfectly, Higgs said.
Fitzpatrick, of Batavia, said nearby parking and an outdoor patio for people "to hang out" after their workouts were plusses for what she considers a perfect location.
Real estate firm Sperry Van Ness/Landmark is working to lease the rest of the building, which has been empty since 2008, other than law firm Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers occupying the top floor.
The Dailey Method has locations throughout the Chicago region and appears to be growing in popularity.
"The workout is based on principles of orthopedics, alignment and balance, rather than choreography," Higgs explained. "It makes for a safer and healthier workout for your body."
Fitzpatrick, who teaches the method at the Naperville location in Fifth Avenue Station, said she became hooked on it four years ago.
"I have tried everything and I always hit a plateau," Fitzpatrick said. "With this, I never hit a plateau, it always becomes more challenging."
Higgs said The Dailey Method works for men and women and various program packages will be available, though she notes that practicing the method a few times a week produces the best results.
It all stems from a fitness guru named Jill Dailey, who started The Dailey Method 11 years ago in California.
"It is true that most clients are women, but men get so much out of this class, too," Higgs said. "Men tend to be a little tighter in areas of the body such as their lower back and hamstrings, and our class focuses on these areas."
Higgs and Fitzpatrick are hoping The Dailey Method can be open for classes by October.
Pulling for Geneva: Kathleen Newhouse has built such a fondness for Geneva, she can't stand to see any business in the city faltering.
Newhouse, owner of Park Place Interiors in Dodson Place along Third Street, was disappointed to see neighboring store Dreamwear recently close its doors.
"It makes me sad to see any company close its doors due to the poor economy," said Newhouse, who recently closed her Elmhurst location, but says it was partly because the Geneva store, in its seventh year, was doing so well.
Newhouse knows the loss of any store in a business district hurts all of the others.
"I absolutely love Geneva and the spirit that is in the city," she added. "I hope that our friends and neighbors continue to shop downtown and keep stopping in to visit."
Eggplant and chocolate: Speaking of Third Street in Geneva, here's another reason it is the envy of so many other cities: On a nice summer night, a dinner of eggplant Parmesan and a couple of glasses of wine at Chianti's was followed up with a peanut butter cookie covered in Belgium chocolate at Chef Alain Roby's All-Chocolate Kitchen.
The cookie was about the size of my head and, yes, I ate the whole thing, much to the astonishment of my wife and friends.
There is much to love about the Tri-Cities in the summer, and that's just one story.
It's a start: Organizers of the fundraiser three weeks ago for golf instructor Rich Flores and his battle with cardiac amyloidosis and plasma cell cancer estimated that Flores' medical bills could soar higher than $1 million.
They were happy to report that the event had already raised more than $120,000, and that donations continue to come into the FriendsofRichFlores.org website.
Rare construction site: Remember when buildings were going up so quickly around here you could barely keep up with what was what? Those days are long gone, to the point you are surprised when you actually see a construction site.
Such may be the case when you drive by the corner of Route 38 and Williamsburg Avenue in Geneva and see that big hole in the ground.
That's going to be the site of a new 15,400-square-foot LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. Ground was broken a couple of months ago on the project.
Sales and diapers: One would think that the most important item in a recent St. Peter Church bulletin was the reminder that the Geneva church was going to stage the popular Barn Sale on one weekend (Sept 17-18) again this year, rather than the several weekends that were tried last year.
But my suspicion is another item was especially good news for new parents: Changing tables have been installed in the bathrooms located in the church narthex.
Praise the Lord and pass the baby wipes?