Between her time in the United States and in her native Brazil, Alexandra Neuber has spent 20 years behind the lens of her camera perfecting her framing and shutter-snapping skills. She remains discreet and out of the way during the many weddings, portrait sessions, and bar or bat mitzvahs she photographs, preferring to capture natural moments between kin and friends rather than dictating their every pose. Once sessions conclude, Alexandra and her clients confer to pick out favorite images, preserving the retouched pictures with prints, albums, posters, and dips into the Fountain of Youth.
The Sofia family boasts a New York City heritage stretching back more than a century. In 1880, the family’s ancestral patriarch, Theodoro, emigrated to The Bronx from Italy, joining millions of others in search of a new life and streets flowing with apple pie and hot dogs. After marrying his childhood sweetheart, he bought a stable with his three sons, eventually transforming it into a moving and storage business in 1910. The growing business weathered the Depression and two world wars, and gained prestige when its movers were trusted to transport the Mona Lisa to the Met, to shuttle the King Tut exhibit around the country, and to move the Atlantic Ocean to the East Coast. The family eventually phased out its moving services in favor of storage facilities, which are still run by third-generation Sofias. Today, the company's four storage locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn safely store closet overflow from New Yorkers' oft-cramped apartments. Each facility hosts lockers and storage rooms that range in size from 4’x4’ spaces to entire floors, and boast amenities such as natural-gypsum or terra cotta lining. An outside security company monitors each building at all times, and renters can opt to buy a lock or bring their own. Storage tips, packing materials for sale, and the option of custom shelving in each unit help patrons pack their belongings with long-lasting care, while easy access and complimentary use of hand carts facilitate stuff retrieval.
As the recession deepened, Metro Art & Frame owner Bo Okuyan found that demand never slackened for one market of art collectors: parents. Mr. Okuyan's business savvy caught the attention of the New York Times' Michael Winerip in 2010, who noted that a steady supply of finger paintings and crafts had caused Bo to rethink his definition of art. “All kids are artists, that’s how we look at it now,” he said. Whether upgrading fridge-hung stick-figure portraits to a permanent gallery or framing a more traditionally priceless painting, Mr. Okuyan and his staff begin with a complimentary consultation, tailoring each project to fit home or office aesthetics and personal style. Metro Art & Frame's acid-free mats center photographs, oil paintings, or post-modern puddles of spilled milk in an ornate, gold-leafed frame or elegant black one. Five types of glass and two flavors of plexiglass guard sensitive paintings from light damage with UV protection, and the shop's selection of contemporary and classic prints lets patrons fill in the gaps in their home galleries.
The technicians at CellSmartRepairs specialize in first aid for iPhones, Androids, and Blackberry phones with services such as replacing charging ports, fixing faulty buttons, and using original parts to mend broken screens. The tech wizzes can also replace faulty batteries, fix touchscreens, and unlock iPhones accidentally handcuffed to your wrist. They also offer decorative color conversions, during which they switch out the black casing of phones with backs and sides in eye-catching colors such as pink, baby blue, and clear.
Beyond its work staging traditional photo shoots and portraiture, Garden State Photo Studio's team of event photojournalists is dispatched to special occasions to tell their stories. As celebrations such as weddings, sweet sixteens, and bar mitzvahs unfold, photogs follow the belles of the ball, snapping or videotaping a chronology of candid moments with their professional-grade digital cameras and lighting equipment.
Garden State’s traveling photo booths fuel party-time fun and memory-making. After attendants set up the stationary photographer, party-goers pile in as the booth snaps pictures of the revelry. Instant images are printed onto strips and posted online so that guests can relive the memories later or ask the photo booth accusingly why it took so many pictures of Karen.