Off Arsenal Gallery's precision framers preserve diplomas, sports memorabilia, and prints with custom frames, acid-free backing boards, and UV protection to prevent keepsakes from fading. Off Arsenal's veteran framer stocks myriad style offerings to conquer odd jobs and hard-to-frame knickknacks. The shop's sociable, image-focused atmosphere allows customers to feel at ease making special requests for add-ons such as elegant design accents or a custom-fitted wiper blade to protect Employee of the Month headshots.
On the weekend of October 11, thousands of Deutschlandishly whimsical folks will celebrate German culture with cold, frothy beer and traditional German food at Soulard Oktoberfest, one of the Top 3 fests in the country. Frauleins fill mugs to overflowing with pilsners and lagers from Paulaner, Kulmbacher, and Schlafly, all poured from a stockpile of kegs and one beer-granting genie. In between mingling with friends, guests can appease their appetites with steaming bratwursts, German pretzels, roasted turkey legs, and other mouth-watering provender, along with a round of Jägermeister. To top it all off, the festivities get a hearty dose of Bavarian-style music played by live bands such as the Polkanauts, Deutschmeister Brass Band, and The Dorfrockers, one of Germany's premier party bands.
A red brick exterior, spacious sidewalk patio, and delectable café menu highlight the charming European appeal of Rue Lafayette, whose beginnings were documented on a recent episode of Renovation Realities on HGTV. Early-morning strollers, comptrollers, and world-weary street mimes can start their morning of artfully aimless ambling with Rue Lafayette's sweet, flaky croissants imported from France. The chocolate croissant ($2.25) matches particularly well with large cups of the café's drip coffee ($2.25) or frothy cappuccino ($3.55). Lunchers, meanwhile, can feast on the quiche ($6.99) and mix it together in their digestive centrifuge with the sinfully tasty croissant bread pudding ($5.99). Since Rue Lafayette's dishes rotate with the stately dance of the seasons, each polite café employee will cheerfully lay out today's recommendations, tomorrow's libations, and yesterday's neutron radiation gyrations. The café's mad scientists have also combined breakfast and lunch into an unholy (yet delicious) monstrosity known as brunch, which gets unleashed from its chains every Saturday and Sunday.
The shelves at Looking Glass Designs teem with jewelry, bags, apparel, and gifts for children and adults alike. Adorn barren wrists, lonely necks, and empty earlobes with handmade beaded jewelry sets in contemporary and antique styles. Stylish serving items include wine glasses etched with the fleur-de-lis, the national symbol of Rhode Island ($8). Recycled coffee bags come together in Sun Ministries eco-friendly totes, and each tan and gingham-patterned bag helps to send young missionaries into inner-city areas. The shop also stocks scarves ($15–$35), baby gifts and apparel ($10–$50), soy candles ($14), and natural loofah bath scrubbies ($7). For an additional fee, customers can choose to have owner Andrea Heugatter, whose needle skills helped her to win the Riverfront Times 2009 award for Best Personalized Gifts, emblazon gifts with names, personal messages, or grocery lists.