In 1911, 15-year-old Elroy L. Payne dropped out of his Lincoln, Nebraska high school and journeyed to Los Angeles. A year later, he persuaded his parents and seven siblings to join him, and by 1933, the Paynes were the largest manufacturer of gas furnaces in the western United States. That was also the year Elroy painted the company trucks to match the state flower: vivid orange like the california poppy. Throughout the decades, the home-air experts' focus shifted. Today, they repair air conditioners, perform regular maintenance, improve air quality with filters and UV treatments, and sell AC systems.
Payne trucks are still bright orange today, but now they're also fuel-efficient Scions, which the company estimates has prevented 384,000 pounds of carbon from leaking into the air. Likewise, eco-friendly refrigerant, instead of snowman tears, flows through every device technicians install, and the team designs custom energy-efficient "zoning" systems for homes whenever possible.
With the exception of apprentices, all on-staff installers and service technicians have between 10 and 28 years of experience in perfecting air quality and go through a rigorous in-house training program on top of that. Payne specialists are so confident in their AC-whispering abilities that they insure their repairs with a one-year guarantee. Specialists adhere to a strict set of policies on the job, promising to be punctual, tidy, and respectful of clients' homes, first burning symbolic offerings in crankier furnaces. Though the company offers products by York, Lennox, and Carrier, technicians do not work on commission, and pride themselves on eschewing pushy sales tactics.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
Cognoscenti Coffee owner Yeekai Lim sources most of his beans from Four Barrel in San Francisco. But when he finds a new flavor he likes from another roaster, he’ll bring that in for his customers, too; previous beans have come from Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland and the local Handsome Coffee Roasters. With these carefully selected coffees, he churns out some of the city’s best brews—LA Weekly ranked Cognoscenti Coffee number two on its list of Los Angeles’ top coffee shops in 2011. A favorite of the magazine's is Cognoscenti’s cortado, a Spanish-style beverage that’s half espresso and half warm milk. Lim finishes each mug or highball glass of java by etching hearts, swirls, and scone recipes into the foam on top.
Bradco Kitchens and Baths offers innovative kitchen and bath design and kitchen remodeling services. Throughout their showroom, a team of experts helps clients choose products from top manufacturers around the world, to create the ideal kitchen or bathroom. Bradco is a pioneer in eco-friendly kitchen and bath remodeling projects, from concept to completion. The company specializes in custom eco-friendly kitchen cabinets, and runs its own manufacturing plant, allowing them the ability to control what is produced and how it is made. The staff is detail-oriented, professional and accommodating, showing clients a range of products to choose from, including custom cabinets, quartz countertops, flooring and appliances.
Andrew's Carpet, Tile, and Upholstery Care owner Andrew Gray has dedicated the last 12 years to keeping homes clean both inside and out. Free estimates allow Andrew to provide honest assessments to homeowners in need of carpet cleaning, power washing, or water removal, and products from brands such as Chemspec and Pro Choice allow the cleaning expert to thoroughly wash away grime without resorting to extreme tactics such as taunting fabrics till they cry. The bilingual, family-owned-and-operated business also uses its stain-lifting expertise to treat upholstery and furniture, and can help maintain the color and integrity of tile, stone, marble, and grout.
CitySolve Urban Race lets citizens explore their metropolis through a one-day odyssey that tests speed, stamina, and smarts. Teams scamper through their burb as they solve clues ranging from anagrams and pop-culture trivia to deciphering graffiti written in pig Latin. Interspersed throughout the race are mettle-testing physical challenges, molding iron wills to such tasks as dodgeball, improv comedy games, or identifying ice-cream flavors. Each day's race also awards winners for best costumes and best tweet. Each urban iditarod takes between two to three hours, and jet packs are strictly prohibited.