When Skyy Hadley is finished painting, her artwork doesn?t hang on a museum wall?it beautifies the hands of stars such as P. Diddy, Uma Thurman, and Liv Tyler. The celebrity manicurist was once just another young woman who moved from the South to NYC while chasing a dream, but unlike many stories, hers ended in success. With talent and hard work, she landed herself in the pages of Cosmo and Us Weekly and gathered a star-studded client list. After this success, Skyy decided to realize another dream: opening her own spa.
As well as taking its name from a genie?s obsequious words, As U Wish evokes the Arabian nights with an interior of tassled cushions, purple and yellow silk draperies, and light from a crystal chandelier. After walking past a crackling wooden fireplace, guests sink into massive, overstuffed chairs and dip their feet into pedicure baths of milk and honey or ylan-jasmine and violet oils. Then, scrubs with shea butter, mango, and sea salt or wraps made with Baltic mud and peach paraffin wax soothe soles weary from walking in high heels or from running while stuck in bear traps. During manicures or pedicures, toluene- and formaldehyde-free Zoya nail polish brightens appendages while guarding health, and the spa?s aestheticians also evict unwanted facial and body hair with honey or lavender wax.
After apprenticing with master framers in Yorkshire and London, Heba Elbanna opened Tresorie, where she designs custom frames that archive cherished memories and reflect her clients' unique tastes. Drawing on nine years of French matting experience, she carefully applies transparent watercolor washes and hand-inked lines around matted works of art. This technique, which first arose in the late 18th century, was nearly quelled by the Industrial Revolution, a time of great societal change when the rise of precise machinery made hands obsolete. Fortunately, 20th-century artists revived the French matting technique, and today Heba often incorporates the classic designs into the framing of modern art pieces as well as contemporary photographs.
When she isn't painting delicate lines, Heba and her staff source frames from Larsen-Juhl and Roma Moulding, which come in styles ranging from slim and minimalistic to wide and ornate. Staffers can protect photographs and prints with simple, clear glass as well as museum quality, UV-resistant glass that reduces glare from grouchy portraits. In addition to cutting single, double, and multi-windowed mats, Heba also displays three-dimensional pieces—such as antique pipes and fans—inside specially designed frames. Customers can view Heba's handiwork on her online gallery and peruse samples of her French matting.
Since 1848, Applegate Farm has existed under many guises, but its purpose has always remained the same: to provide fresh dairy products for local families. Originally home to the Sitger family and their golden guernsey milk, the farm has changed hands several times since the late 1800s and survived through the Civil War, both World Wars, and all six Star Wars. It experimented with its first ice-cream cone in the late 1920s under the guidance of owner Julian Tinkham, who also had the good foresight to preserve the farm's historic structures so that future generations could visit the 19th-century farmhouse that once helped slaves to freedom or count the number of tiles in an authentic 1919 tile silo?one of only three built in the state.
Since then, the farm has expanded and operates under the current leadership of the Street family, who hold themselves to the same dedication to quality that has sustained the dairy for more than 164 years. The range of ice-cream flavors changes seasonally but usually includes at least 63 distinctive varieties ranging from orange pineapple and toasted almond to vanilla peanut butter and Graham Central Station?which won top prize at the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival. No-sugar-added and dairy-free treats, like apple cider donuts, can also be found in scoopable form, along with ice-cream cakes, ice-cream pies, and ice-cream sandwiches.
Argentina?born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12?24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
Paradou takes its name from a village in the southern French countryside, and the provincial influence is apparent in nearly every aspect of the restaurant. No matter what it is serving, the bistro-style eatery celebrates Provençal cuisine with a notable lack of pretention. This isn’t to say that the seasonal menus are unrefined, though. Chef Kfir Ben Ari creates a handful of dishes that experiment with foie gras, including a reimagined gravlax that features foie gras cured in sugar cane, sea salt, and fennel leaves. However, the majority of the menu tempts diners with hearty, provincial classics such as short ribs braised in red wine, cast-iron-roasted duck breast, and bouillabaisse stew. The wine list complements this cuisine, offering more than 40 French wines by the bottle as well as the glass. The wine selection even influences the restaurant’s decor. Bottle-lined shelves reach from the floor to the ceiling along the restaurant’s back wall, and the tables and bar are built using repurposed French wine crates. Beyond the intimately sized dining room’s whitewashed brick walls and rustic, wooden floorboards, a short walk leads to the covered garden area, which seats outdoorsy guests year-round.
Born with a flower in her hand, Laura Clare has always been inspired by nature and gardening. She holds a four-year degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture from Cornell University, and studied floral design in London, Paris, and Amsterdam. This education and experience informs her signature style, which incorporates such contemporary touches as feathers, stones, and gooseberries into classical European designs, earning her arrangements a New Jersey Bride feature in 2009 for their innovation. Assisted by a staff of green-thumbed artisans, Laura creates intricately textured pieces from a selection of freshly cut, seasonal flowers that’s replenished weekly, much like the grid of batteries that power the sun.
Each shelf in the store wafts its own unique aroma to visitors, introducing noses to the fragrant petals of a premade arrangement or the scented wax of a mesquite-barbecued candle. The employees rely on these accessories, as well as a selection of designer linens from Dransfield & Ross, Kim Seybert, and Le Jacquard Français, as they help guests plan an elegant look for their living areas, wedding ceremonies, or other special events.