A certified sixth-grade teacher and a longtime resident of the DC metropolitan area, Shaady Fakhrai seems perfectly suited to deliver informative tours of the capitol. But it wasn't her professional experience or her hometown pride that got her in the saddle?it was a medical emergency. After a terrible accident left her wheelchair bound for several months, her only release was her physical therapy sessions, where she'd rebuild her leg muscles on a stationary bicycle. She made a vow in that doctor's office: "The day that I can ride a bike again, I'm going to ride my bike for, like, fifty miles, and I'm not going to stop." And that's exactly what she did. Soon after her recovery, happenstance led her to cross paths with a pedicab, and two days later, she was starting a brand-new career.
Today Fakhrai oversees a fleet of pedicabs and drivers who lead not only historical tours, but also bar crawls, holiday excursions, trivia tours for prizes, and demonstrations in ponytail physics. On the Monuments Tour, locals and tourists alike get the inside scoop on the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam War Memorial, and the National Mall. The Lincoln Beer Tour starts out by tracing the footsteps of the assassin John Wilkes Booth, and ends at a local brewery where guests toast the Great Emancipator with free samples. The DC Wonderland Wine Tasting tour ups the ante on capitol refreshments by letting riders sip still or sparkling wine while they tour the Newseum, the Crime and Punishment Museum, and the Friendship Arch, among other locales.
Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
Sacred Lox Hair Boutique’s licensed hairstylists continually lengthen their list of mastered services. They’ve most recently added for-purchase hairpieces and extensions to the salon’s boutique area, which doubles as the entryway to a salon where they cut, color, and straighten hair. The team of experienced hands behind these services includes a licensed braid-and-natural-hair cosmetologist who specializes in advanced weaving techniques. Her skills go on full display during the salon’s weaving classes, which help students learn to adhere different types of hair to scalps or jack-o-lanterns suffering from gourd-pattern baldness.
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THEARC is home to the only community theater in its area, which hosts the I Can summer program, an internship that teaches area young people ages 14–24 about technical-theater management. The eight-week paid internship will invite 10 new interns beginning this June for an introduction to the creative and practical skills required to produce and design plays. Interns also receive training in life skills such as resume writing, setting long-term goals, public speaking, and financial literacy. I Can aims to empower young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the skills they need to achieve academic and career success. THEARC relies on the help of donations to provide each intern with the basic supplies they need to participate in the program.