The Priceless Parrot Preserve sounds like a jungle. The calls and conversations of more than 100 birds from 29 species form a symphony that strengthens social bonds. Well-behaved members of the flock greet visitors and play with toys hanging from the ceiling, whereas animals with behavioral issues—often the products of abuse or neglect—hang back, working with volunteers and founders Gene and Marietta Avery to grow and recover. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Gene provides medical care to the often malnourished birds and ensures that they receive a rich diet of nuts and fruit.
Gene and Marietta Avery founded The Priceless Parrot Preserve to care for neglected and abandoned exotic birds. Their goal is twofold: to educate the public about the birds both as pets and wild creatures, and to give a permanent home to mistreated and unwanted birds. The couple originally adopted the birds out of their own pockets, but formed their own preserve when confronted with the sheer number of birds in need. Today, they specialize in taking in larger birds such as macaws and cockatoos that demand more attention and other birds that might be considered unadoptable.
A member-supported, nonprofit organization, the Seatuck Environmental Association works to promote the conservation of Long Island's natural environment through research and educational programs. Members regularly gather with field experts on its 70-acre marshland preserve for scheduled hikes, photography classes, and meditation sessions. The trails and boardwalks that wind through the salt marshes and upland forests also lead to the Suffolk County Environmental Center, housed in a 1917 Normandy-style chateau. Members may tour the historic mansion while admiring features such as arched doorways and diamond-cut windows that allow sunlight to filter into the garret and onto the place where its original steam-powered Nintendo would have stood. The Seatuck Environmental Association also hosts regular fundraising events such as the End of Summer Barbecue and the Bats-N-Brews fundraiser, as well as an array of educational programs for all ages.
Clients stepping into any one of Connecticut's six Kennedy's locations are transported to a simpler time when men were gentlemen and a trip to the barber was a relaxing social experience. The polished wood-trimmed décor and vintage leather furnishings echo that bygone era, and the smell of after-shave and sounds of scissors clipping away locks complete the portrait. Barbers offer cold beverages and hand-selected music before trimming hair or cleaning away stubble with the almost-forgotten art of the straight razor.
To render this atmosphere social, most locations sport a lounge with saloon tables, billiards, and more modern appurtenances such as flat-screen TVs and butler robots. This spirit of old-school personal service showcased amid elegant, throwback décor has helped Kennedy’s win a number of accolades, including the Best Barber Shop award from Orlando Magazine five times, most recently in 2011.
No matter the class, Twisters Gymnastics Center's instructors always make sure to pack their lessons with a hearty dose of encouragement. They inspire students of all ages and skill levels in a 6,200-square-foot gymnasium outfitted with an array of tumbling and gymnastics equipment, from balance beams and pommel horses to colorful tumbling obstacles and a foam pit. Their introductory Mommy & Me and Mini-Gym classes help kiddies build strength and develop muscle control, and their more advanced sessions, including competitive gymnastics, nurture students' desires to test their skills against others. Each child's safety is equally important as their physical development; every instructor is certified in basic first aid and CPR, is USGF-safety certified, and is proficient in scaring away grizzly bears with nothing but a glare.
Smooth Street's instructors are all professional dancers, including Dmitry Chaplin, Karina Smirnoff, and guest instructors Heidi Groskreutz and Kevin Clifton. Personal lessons are available in Latin and ballroom dance in 18 styles—foxtrot, waltz, tango, quick step, Viennese waltz, Argentine tango, rumba, cha-cha, salsa, mambo, samba, merengue, bachata, hustle/disco, paso doble, cumbia, and swing (East Coast, West Coast, lindy, triple step, and single step). No matter which style you choose, the personal attention you'll receive guarantees you'll master sultry steps and move to the beat without wasting time wondering where your toes should go, if your posture is imperfect, or why it's hard to say the alphabet backward. All levels of dancethusiasts are welcome at Smooth Street.