Blush Boutique, which was named Best Women’s Boutique on Fox 8’s 2010 Hot List, highlights the trendy and eclectic styles of independent and emerging designers with collections of women’s fashion and jewelry. The fashion emporium, bedecked with lemon-lime-magenta pompons, greets style mavens with groves of T-shirts, wallets, and other accessories ($10–$25), dresses and jackets ($25+), and thickets of bags ($25+) and handmade jewelry ($10+). A braided-strap top flatters torsos with floral patterns ($35), and a double-buckled belt ($24), available in beige and black, keeps belly buttons from shouting obscenities at an intrusive forefinger. Featured designers, such as Knitted Dove, Suzabelle, Veronica M, Espe, and Nicole Rae Styler, are on regular rotation, with owners Gina and Laurie—who are both designers themselves—selecting the best from each season to share with their clientele.
The professional garment cleansers at Budget Dry Cleaners provide myriad services to expel pesky dirt and unwanted stains from fine fabrics. Most garments ($2.49) are purged through a process that includes a meticulous prespotting regime, to maximize stain removal. Laundered shirts ($1.79) return to their beloved owners with finely pressed collars and cuffs, customized levels of starch, and on a hanger. Budget Dry Cleaners can also scour table clothes ($15), blankets ($20), bedspreads ($20), comforters ($20), and suede and leather coverings ($35), leaving each in tip-top shape after house-wide cleaning days necessitated by an open-top blender's joyride on a Roomba.
Alesci’s embraces family traditions. If it’s not already apparent by the third generation of brothers who co-manage the deli and grocer, it shimmers to the surface in the stories of old regulars and those who remember Grandpa Frank Alesci. Starting with Frank, and now for more than 50 years, the Alesci family has curated a collection of imported products, providing immigrants with the sought-after goods from across the pond. Beyond that, it’s a place for fresh, crusty bread, pizza, a myriad of cheeses, and deli meats sliced by hand. Inside the 7,000-square-foot location, shelves are lined with everything from polenta to biscotti, olives to olive oil, and peppers who share space with their natural enemy: the tomato.
Since 1988, Pet Supplies Plus has welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores. The shop is designed so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.
Learning Advantage Education Center and Preschool's licensed, certified teachers impart valuable skills to children in an entertaining, structured atmosphere. Summer dance camps combine age-appropriate movement instruction with foot-tapping music, fun props, and entertaining themes such as Under the Sea, At the Beach, and Standing Near a Sink. Dancers age 5–8 can bounce around at the Shake Your Groove Thing camp ($40, plus a $5 supply fee), and those age 3–4 can groove to music during the three-day Shake, Rattle and Roll camp ($39, plus a $5 supply fee) or the Lets Twist camp ($40, plus a $5 supply fee).