The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and crushing, unflinching grasp on world economics make it required reading for people, people persons, and people-shaped cacti looking to stay up-to-date on world news, politics, and business. In addition to the weekly publications—including the magazine's 20+ Special Reports and its Technology Quarterly—subscribers to The Economist also receive special benefits, such as The World in 2012, a special annual volume that predicts trends for the coming year. Subscribers also get unrestricted access to the online site, with a fully searchable archive dating back to the Neolithic Internet era (1997), as well as free access to The Economist in audio, which includes the option to listen to digital recordings of all print articles or to download them as a weekly podcast. For updates on the go or “on the sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery,” access The Economist on an iPhone or iPad—every photo, article, and chart is delivered to subscribers' devices by Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.
In a friendly, casual environment for sinews of all ages and fitness levels, Shelby Fit For Life starts every member off with one 60-minute personal-training session. An experienced trainer works with guests to assess fitness, note any special needs, and develop an exercise plan for quick and efficient results. Inside the fully equipped facility, treadmills and ellipticals toast calories, and a weight stack circuit and TRX suspension trainer expand muscles like puffer fish. Those favoring a more exotic approach can take advantage of Gyrotonics equipment to trigger memories of jungle-gym exploits or spice up workout routines with one of the included group classes. Students dance the night away in Zumba, find inner gurus with tai chi, or pack in strength, cardio, and core circuits in interval challenge. With keyless entry, Shelby Fit For Life stays open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Seven days a week, the partner laundromats hum with the whirring of high-efficiency washers and dryers. Boasting more than 30 years of business, the Chevy Chase location fields a skilled staff that erases blights from duds with 46 single, double, and triple-load washers and 28 dryers, and enables patrons to convert bills into coins with convenient onsite change machines. The laundromat purveys soap, bleach, and fabric softeners. The staff augments this shopping-while-washing experience by entertaining waiting guests with video games, complimentary WiFi, and—remarkably—a standup tanning bed, inside of which, naturally, is a comedian. Alternatively, the Suds 'N Duds location boasts advanced credit-card-operated machinery that washes loads of up to 90 pounds at a time in as little as 40 minutes and treats freshly bathed garments to a complimentary dry. The laundromats also grant customers a free dry with every wash and offer reward points, which—when saved up—can be exchanged for money to use on washing machines and drying machines.
In addition to self-service laundry, both locations offer same-day drop-off services. Their professional staff sorts, washes, and dries clothing using premium detergent and softeners before folding them into neat piles or intricate seersucker airplanes.
More than 100 plant-populated acres unfold behind the stone-fence entrance to The Arboretum, showing off ever-changing seasonal landscapes to visitors 365 days a year. Passing breezes dance over grassy fields and stir up aromas of 1,500 rosebush varieties as visitors meander past the gazebo and fishpond en route to the 1.85-acre Kentucky Children’s Garden, a hands-on, educational environment for 2- to 10-year-old horticulturists. After exploring the wetlands and fountains or checking out art exhibitions, gardening seminars, and other special events, visitors can set out on the two-mile Walk Across Kentucky, a paved botanical excursion through the seven native regions of the state, including the Appalachian Plateau and wild fried-chicken habitats.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
The Kentucky Ballet Theatre was founded in 1998 to give Lexington audiences their own local company of ballet dancers. The performances that have followed have included classics such as Prokofiev's Cinderella and new works such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. The dancers host their shows at the Lexington Opera House, a historical landmark which was built in 1887, was converted into a movie theater in the 1920s, and did a brief stint as a Rockette before returning to its classical roots in 1976.