In 2003, Jimmy and Jeff Hanson founded BaseCamp Adventure Outfitters with the belief that adventure is in the eye of the beholder, whether it takes the form of a leisurely hike or a heart-pumping rock climb. At their store, clients prepare for their version of an adrenaline rush with the help of knowledgeable staffers who pay them one-on-one attention and sometimes scream "Boo!" unexpectedly. The employees escort patrons through shelves of durable footwear and clothing from Patagonia and Timberland, in addition to portable personal reservoirs from Camelbak. The shop's high-quality brands fortify feet and bodies against wind and the flying houses it carries during moderately paced treks or cardio hikes that depart from BaseCamp. The cardio hikes, led by resident athlete Susan Riggio, span 10–12 miles and challenge even the fittest frames.
BaseCamp works to protect the natural settings that sustain it with regular events and fundraisers that benefit the Schiff Nature Preserve. It also serves as a drop-off location for Soles4Souls, an organization that outfits bare feet with gently worn shoes.
Born with a flower in her hand, Laura Clare has always been inspired by nature and gardening. She holds a four-year degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture from Cornell University, and studied floral design in London, Paris, and Amsterdam. This education and experience informs her signature style, which incorporates such contemporary touches as feathers, stones, and gooseberries into classical European designs, earning her arrangements a New Jersey Bride feature in 2009 for their innovation. Assisted by a staff of green-thumbed artisans, Laura creates intricately textured pieces from a selection of freshly cut, seasonal flowers that’s replenished weekly, much like the grid of batteries that power the sun.
Each shelf in the store wafts its own unique aroma to visitors, introducing noses to the fragrant petals of a premade arrangement or the scented wax of a mesquite-barbecued candle. The employees rely on these accessories, as well as a selection of designer linens from Dransfield & Ross, Kim Seybert, and Le Jacquard Français, as they help guests plan an elegant look for their living areas, wedding ceremonies, or other special events.
The Summit Area YMCA with its Berkeley Heights location and the Madison Area YMCA serve as community gathering places where principles are put into practice. The cause-driven organizations focus on healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. The Learning Circle (Summit Area) and the F.M. Kirby Children's Center (Madison Area) take care of babies as young as 6 weeks old, and babysitting services afford parents the opportunity to explore the Y while childcare professionals watch little ones.
The Y also aims to keep kids and their families healthy with sports leagues, youth sports clinics, group fitness classes, and a fitness center equipped with a climbing wall, Olympic free-weight room, and a pool. All of the Y’s programs are accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay or perform a back handspring.
Within the salt caves at Respira Salt Wellness Center are three salt rooms: one for children, and two for adults. In the children’s room, kids up to 10 years old play with toys like they're at a beach made of salt. Parents observe as children take in the salt-infused air, helping mitigate sinus inflammation, congestion, and allergies. In the adult rooms, clients sit back on recliners, listen to music, and relax as a dry mist of rich salt minerals helps clear the airways. In addition to salt therapy sessions, the center also offers other restorative services inside the salt rooms, including Swedish, deep tissue, and Thai massages, reiki treatments, and guided meditation. Their private yoga sessions combine slow stretches and deep breaths with modified poses such as downward-facing sugar cube. Respira Salt Wellness Center also sells Himalayan salt lamps and Dead Sea skin care products.
For some, the test of a good burger is how juicy its center remains after coming off the grill. For others, satisfaction correlates with the number of condiments the bun can hold. When Bella was a child, her test was simple: if the burger was good, it would make her hum a little song. At least that's the story Bella's father tells.
Today, the team at Bella’s Burger Shack aims to inspire that same musical urge in its patrons. The cooks primarily do so with grade-A, never-frozen Bella burgers, served on Martin's potato bread beside steaming sides of hand-cut fries. Signature bacon-wrapped and deep-fried dogs also whet customers' humming whistles, aptly washed down with Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned soda, always free of high-fructose corn syrup, or a creamy Bella milk shake.
Balanced several feet off the ground inside silky white hammocks, students at Core Connection practically levitate as they tackle challenging yoga poses during the studio’s antigravity yoga classes. Core Connection’s wide-ranging slate of classes helps students connect physical wellness with mental wellness through strength building and a non-competitive environment.
Surrounded by vast windows and gleaming wood floors, the passionate instructors lead sessions such as Bar Sculpt, a core-building class that uses the ballet bar and isometric exercises to create lean muscles. Core Connection also rents out its picturesque space for meetings, photo shoots, and parties that combine exercise with catered meals, massages, and spirited games of Pin the Tail on the Yogi.