Warm in winter, cool in summer, and filled with amazing acts in every season, the Big Apple Circus's pair of Italian-made big tops contains the best of several generations' worth of circus traditions. A look at any show's cast finds a complex network of venerable European circus families passing the arts of juggling and trapeze artistry down through the years, while the tents' motors and seating make for a comfortably modern spectator experience.
You might never guess that the troupe started small in 1974, when American circus artists Paul Binder and Michael Christensen joined forces as a juggling act on the streets of Europe. They moved from streetlights to spotlights in a hurry, appearing on the stage of the Nouveau Cirque de Paris, before returning to the U.S. and creating their own not-for-profit circus in 1976 and raising their first tent in New York's Battery Park.
By setting out to provide visitors with one of the most beloved Christmas traditions, Anthony Gallo Nurseries has practically become a tradition in itself—the Christmas tree farm has spent more than a century decking homes with the holiday’s decorative centerpiece. At the nursery, tree-seekers peruse a lineup of firs hand-picked from Gallo’s tree farm, including Fraser firs, a modern-day favorite seen in many American homes including the White House, and Balsam firs, a classic choice known for filling spaces with their festive aroma. In addition to trees, the nursery offers mixed garlands and florist-designed wreaths sprinkled with colorful berries, handmade bows, and tiny cameras that stream footage to Santa's behavior-analysis department.
For more than 30 years, AA Christmas Trees has brought NYC a taste of the holiday spirit with a large selection of Balsam Firs. Customers to the Brooklyn location can enjoy the scent of newly cut trees, which arrive every other day to ensure freshness, and on weekends during the holiday season, the business offers free hot chocolate and candy canes to help make visits feel extra festive. Those who can't make it to the location can also send their ideal tree specifications, including height and skirt size, and the company can pick out an ideal specimen and have it delivered right to their door.
Beyond helping homes get ready for the holidays, AA Christmas Trees also donates trees to deck the halls of local police departments and fire houses.
MOD Restoration is the brainchild of Sim Fern and Hanny Lerner, a husband-and-wife team. In addition to dressing furniture in fashionable new ensembles, they keep tabs on their seasoned artisans who work throughout New York and San Francisco. They've made a name for themselves in the world of mid-century modern furniture and love resurrecting pieces by iconic designers, from George Nelson to Hans Wegner. While they work with architects, designers, and the likes of Ivanka Trump, they draw from a vast fabric collection from designers such as Maharam and Kvadrat. They also use these fabrics to make custom drapes for windows.
Since 1993, AKO Design Center has outfitted homes around the world with quality, brand-name furniture. AKO can furnish any room or hidden laboratory in the house with sleek, contemporary items ranging from beds and recliners to office desks. The store's design team works with customers in their design studio to help create sophisticated looks for the home or workplace, and they also collaborate with manufacturers to produce stylish pieces that complement each other when purchased as a set or that add decorative accents to already existing design schemes.
Sumeshe Maids and Concierges employs bonded and insured cleaners who trek their way through homes, sweeping, dusting, and scrubbing away soil and making order out of chaos. Owned by a busy mother intent on making things easier for others, the cleaning company turns soiled kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms into wholesome areas that sparkle like the teeth of an orthodontist's prized ventriloquist dummy. But cleaning isn't the extent of the staff's expertise; through their concierge service, they'll tackle a plethora of time-consuming tasks, including running errands, making travel arrangements, painting, and organizing household clutter.