Babies are grownups in training, meaning they need help eating without slobbering, speaking without babbling, and moving around without getting hurt. Romparoo helps out with the latter, with an indoor play space for kids aged 6 months to 3 years. The entire room, from floor to about child height, is padded, so kids can practice crawling, creeping, and toddling without bruising themselves or getting a ticket for jaywalking. Mommy-and-Me classes use music to transition between activities that help develop motor skills as well as socialization, and parents of toddlers aged 18 months to 3 years drop their brood off for two-hour classes that give them the independence to transition to preschool.
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At Right Angle, owner Pablo Godoy and his staff of skilled artisans complete each framing project in-house at one of three locations. They use museum-quality materials such as anti-reflective glass, Bainbridge cotton, and acid-free mat-boards. Using moulding styles by Larson-Juhl, the shop provides handsome settings for everything from treasured paintings to family heirlooms such as your grandpa's favorite chair.
The party planners at Last Night Out LLC work to make the final moments of singledom for grooms- and brides-to-be truly special. They also aim to ease the stresses of bridal-party members in charge of running the show by devising custom bachelor and bachelorette party itineraries. Regardless of the party's location, the specialists take the grunt work out of making arrangements for hotels, clubs, and transportation, planning activities such as spa days and booze cruises anywhere in the country.
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.
The friendly staff of AAA Organic Dry Cleaners whisks bags of dirty duds away for quick cleaning before returning them to their rightful owners. Revivify two-piece suits for both ladies and gents ($10) or prepare for a pantless affair by cleaning a suit jacket or blazer alone ($6.50). Just-unpacked winter-wear benefits from a thorough sweater cleaning ($4.95+), readying them to be worn atop freshly finessed ladies' blouses ($4.95+). Dresses sing a twirly tune after stain-busting ($10), allowing the wearer to display stems in style. Dress shirts can be laundered and pressed ($1.75) or dry-cleaned ($4.50), creating office wear as crisp as a Granny Smith apple costume. Customers can also hem errant edges ($12+) to further upgrade ensembles and allow the captains of clean to scale laundry mountains with wash-and-fold services ($1/lb.; 10-lb. minimum).
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.